Tell us a little bit about yourself!

I’m 21 years old, grew up in Tacoma, WA, and recently graduated from the University of Washington with a degree in neuroscience. I’m currently a graduate student at Duke University pursuing a master’s degree in biomedical sciences, and I aim to become a physician in the future. I love to bake for my friends and family, play with my 16-year-old dog named Cody, and listen to jazz music.

Why did you choose to become a NAMI Seattle volunteer?

Because of my personal/family experience with the impact of mental health conditions, I developed a passion for mental health advocacy. In college, I joined a mental health advocacy club called Pup Support that works to educate and support through social media. I then decided to become a NAMI Seattle volunteer because I really resonated with NAMI’s commitment to reducing stigma and empowering voices of lived experience.

What has been the most fulfilling part of being in this role?

The most fulfilling part of being a NAMI Seattle volunteer has been getting to talk to youth about mental health and mental health conditions as an Ending the Silence presenter. I hope that through awareness and education, NAMI can help create a generation of young people without stigma around mental illness, internal or external.

Has this role affected other aspects of your life (mentally, spiritually, professionally, or otherwise)?

Being a NAMI volunteer over the past year has inspired me to highlight mental health advocacy in my personal and professional life. Looking forward, I can see myself becoming a psychiatrist or primary care physician that prioritizes empathy, listening, and treating mental illness as equal to physical illness. I know that my experiences with NAMI will make me a more effective and compassionate healthcare provider.

Learn more about our Ending the Silence program

NAMI Ending the Silence is an in-school presentation designed to teach middle and high school students, parents/caregivers, and teachers about the signs and symptoms of mental illness, how to recognize the early warning signs and the importance of acknowledging those warning signs.

Interested in becoming a volunteer?

Reach out to Vince Medrano ( to learn more about current volunteer opportunities and how to get involved.