Jonea Ahouissoussi and Seher Raza Jonea Ahouissoussi and Seher Raza

The Steve Fund warmly welcomes two new members of its Youth Advisory Board, Seher Raza (University of Virginia, 2017) and Jonea Ahouissoussi (University of Virginia, 2017).

Seher Raza is a senior at the University of Virginia, majoring in Psychology. She is currently in the Distinguished Majors Program, developing her own research study in the Social Psychology Wilson Lab to learn more about mental thought processes. Seher became passionate about mental health at a very young age after coming face-to-face with a variety of mental health illnesses that run in her family.

Ultimately, Seher hopes to work in a counseling-related career to continue providing support to individuals in the domain of mental health.  She is passionate about how mental health relates to people of color and defeating negative stereotypes that are associated with mental health such as the ones she has witnessed in her own South Asian, Pakistani, household. Using her personal experiences as a drive, Seher is excited to provide a lasting impact through working with the Youth Advisory Fund.

Jonea Ahouissoussi is a senior at the University of Virginia, majoring in Women Gender and Sexuality and minoring in Sociology. She has grown up in Benin, located in West Africa and is deeply interested in how mental health issues relate to the African communities. She has seen how issues surrounding mental health are often a taboo topic in African communities. She hopes to learn more about how mental health issues relate to people of color and especially within the African community.

This year Jonea became the Co-Student Director of Project Rise, an initiative focused on helping African-American students with social, personal, and academic issues, ultimately aiming to improve mental health. Jonea is also the founder of Success at SEA, an intervention created under Project Rise, focused on providing students with social, emotional, and academic support during their transition from college to post-graduation.