Story of Impact: Meet Joanna

My name is Joanna and I first became involved with ForeverU during the 2018 winter weekend retreat as a mentor. Since then, I have continued to be a mentor for the retreats. I have had experience with growing up in an abusive household, and the challenges that can occur because of dating another woman and through ForeverU, I have been able to share my experiences and how I got through them to potentially help others utilize the same tools that I did. ForeverU has taught me how to be openly honest with my experiences and feelings which have contributed to me becoming a much stronger and more open person today. I have been able to spend more time giving back to the community and educating people on the importance of mental health and using tools to help people get through life’s challenges since I have joined ForeverU.

My personal life has changed since joining because I am always learning better and different ways of handling difficult experiences through the group sessions and am constantly reminded of the importance of having a solid support system that I can count on. The students, fellow mentors and team have opened my eyes to seeing the brighter side of things when I am struggling and I am so grateful for them and their reminders to utilize all the mental tools in my toolbox. To those who believe in our work and financially support our mission, thank you for helping me be more open about my stories and helping me realize it’s okay to ask for help.

Disclaimer: ForeverU is classified as a youth development organization. While we work closely with medical professionals and have a team of licensed mental health professionals overseeing our program, it is crucial to note that our volunteers, employees, and representatives are not medical professionals. We are a community of individuals passionate about offering hope and belonging to youth experiencing mental health challenges. Therefore, ForeverU should be utilized as an extension or “add-on” resource to youth undergoing professional treatment or receiving formal counseling services from licensed mental health professionals. The information and program we provide are meant to encourage and support students and are not meant to replace medical professionals' advice or expertise.

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