I grew up in North Carolina and London, determined from a young age to disallow what I saw as unjust, particularly when it befell my childhood peers. This innate desire kindled in me a dedication to equitable education and mental health care. Earning my BA in psychology at Colgate University, with minors in education and creative writing, I seized opportunities to work directly with youth, an ardent believer in the importance of meeting children where they are and understanding their diverse needs as they learn to exert agency in response to the complexities of the ever-agitated world. I conducted research in the US, UK, Ghana, Samoa, and among several refugee communities, driven by increasing rates of mental illness and decreasing age of onset — both exacerbated by the global pandemic. After graduation, I joined the Center for Autism Research at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. My PhD, a coalescence of my experiences, will focus on effectively supporting youth at the community level and within contexts of demographics, neurodiversity, and personal/political disruption. Understanding which interventions are beneficial long-term for children with internalising difficulties will enable individualised optimisation of care.
Colgate University Psychology 2021