social capital noun. the value of our social networks & relationships

Meet the Team: Mental Health Awareness Association

Published by Leah Mulrenan on

Meet the 2024 YGPC Mental Health Awareness Association youth team and their three volunteer coaches, Monica Altamar, Steve Rubin, and Valery Crayton.

The Mental Health Awareness Association team wants to teach youth about the various mental health resources, the variety of mental health issues, and how to identify and address those mental health issues. They hope to achieve this by providing materials and activities that will invite discussions on mental health awareness.

Their coach, Monica is a Business/HR Professional of 13 years. Currently, she is working for The Hershey Company as an HR Agile Manager. Monica enjoys finding solutions for large complex issues within an organization. “I had always wanted to give back to the community,” Monica stated. “A friend of mine works for SCI and has always talked about the amazing mentorship opportunities.”

Steve is another coach for the Mental Health Awareness Association, and he is a seasoned corporate leader and strategic advisor. He is especially skilled at developing strategies for funding and scaling ventures as well as implementing enterprise change and turnaround management efforts. He serves as a board member, senior advisor, and operating partner to marketplaces, SaaS, and B2B service companies, providing strategic guidance, operating knowledge, corporate governance and risk assessment, executive coaching, and leadership development expertise. “I love working with young entrepreneurs in helping them achieve their goals,” Steve shared. “Especially related to those that have a positive social impact.”

Last, but not least, is the team’s coach, Valery. She is a sophomore at Boston University working towards a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration with a concentration in Finance and Global Business. She is engaged on campus as the Head of Operations for BU’s ‘Association of Latino Professionals for America’, Questrom Ascend Fellowship Lead, and Thrive Scholar’s Boston University Campus Director. Coming from Chelsea and having to step up as a student leader in high school to make changes within her community, Valery was extremely excited about the YGPC so she could use her past and current experiences to support youth fighting for similar changes within their community.

The goal of SCI’s Pitch Contest is to provide youth with the opportunity to decide how to strengthen their community while practicing valuable professional skills such as public speaking, project management, and community organizing. With the guidance and support of multiple professional volunteer coaches, each youth team will develop their project ideas and be in the driver’s seat of positive change. The youth teams will also have the opportunity to participate in skill-building workshops related to team collaboration, public speaking, and pitch development.

The Pitch program will culminate on April 6th, when SCI will host the in-person Pitch Event at the Microsoft NERD Center where $14,000 of grant funds will be awarded to at least 7 of our participating youth groups. Media are invited to attend the Pitch Event. Funded youth teams will have until November 2024 to complete their respective projects and submit a project impact report.

This project is supported by Kick It for a Cause, Winning Home, Inc., Social Equity Access Fund, Gail O’Rourke, founder, Benefact4, Enterprise Bank, the AmeriCorps Agency, Massachusetts Service Alliance, and a Massachusetts state budget line item, thanks to the advocacy of State Senator Cindy Friedman. Major support for SCI Woburn is provided by Cummings Properties.