There are many things in life that I find myself wishing I could take back. Words I’ve
said, decisions I've made, things I’ve done; one thing that I am extremely grateful for
pursuing is the opportunity to intern for This is My Brave this summer.
It was the end of June, and I had realized that it had been nearly a month since I had
gotten home from school for the summer. All around me my peers were working,
taking classes, and moving on with their lives. I was still stuck transitioning from
lacrosse season in the heart of D.C. into my unstructured summer life in Northern
Virginia. I knew that I wanted to do something this summer, but I hadn’t yet come
across anything that sparked my interest. That was when I stumbled on this
As a politics major at The Catholic University of America, I am passionate about
public policy, with specific regards to public and mental health. Growing up, I have
constantly struggled with Generalized Anxiety Disorder, as well as having been
diagnosed with Panic Disorder, Depression, and PMDD. After facing daily obstacles
from my mental illness, I decided that I wanted to be able to use my voice and
position to help and encourage others to live with their own mental illnesses. I have
seen so many people be affected by mental illness throughout their lives, and in my
21 years of life, I have not seen significant changes to help those that are struggling
with mental illness.
As a college student, I see the effects of mental illness every single day. Even if my classmates don’t realize it, anxiety and depression is so prevalent on college
campuses. As a student athlete, I see it around our athletic department as well. The pressure that young people face is enormous, and for a while, I was too afraid to ask for help, fearing embarrassment and judgment. When I finally did get up the courage to open up to people, I realized quickly that no one judges me for my anxiety; and those who do are not welcome in my life. Having support from others has helped me live with my mental illness on a daily basis, and accomplish things that I never thought were possible for me.
I am living proof that sharing your story does help end the stigma surrounding mental illness. This summer, This is My Brave has provided me with the opportunity to learn more about how a nonprofit organization works, and has exposed me to
how many people are interested in helping This is My Brave achieve its goals. I
already believed that the stigma surrounding mental illness was a tangible problem
in modern society, but I did not realize how many others agreed with me across the
country, and even internationally. This is My Brave has been able to reach not only
those struggling within the United States, but also spread its message globally.
Although this organization has made so many strides already, it needs constant
support from the community to keep it running. Interning for This is My Brave has
given me even more of a desire to continue working in the mental health field and
grow the resources that are available to those who need help. Although I have to
return to school in a few weeks, I will continue to spread the message that This is
My Brave has taught me, and hopefully inspire others to join the fight against the
stigma and to be brave.
We are so grateful to Megan for her hard work this summer and can't wait to watch her pursue her goals at school and beyond!