To integrate teens into the research process and help disseminate research to teens, we have started a new program within the lab called the RISE team, standing for Research, Innovation, Support, and Education. Our team is composed of high school students across New Jersey who are hoping to learn and contribute to mental health research and outreach in their schools and communities.

Find out more about the RISE Team here.
Ashvin, 16
Metuchen High School- Metuchen, NJ

Ashvin is a junior who is passionate about mental health and environmental advocacy. He decided to join the RISE team after witnessing problems with mental health transparency in his school. Through the RISE program, Ashvin wishes to work towards making mental health a less taboo topic in his community. In the future, Ashvin intends to attend college and pursue a degree in an undecided field of science with a minor in public health. In his high school, Ashvin is the president of the healthcare club which focuses on providing students with insights into the healthcare field and giving lessons about health literacy. In his free time, Ashvin enjoys spending time with family hiking outdoors and playing tennis.

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Karie, 16
Academy of Science and Engineering- Randolph, NJ

Karie is passionate about understanding and addressing high school mental health and suicide. After noticing the detrimental effects of the pandemic, she started exploring initiatives to encourage better mental health habits in students on a schoolwide scale, such as mindfulness practice. In addition, she leads school clubs including the Medical Club, Future Business Leaders of America, and herLift, and is part of a leadership council that promotes healthy choices regarding mental health, drugs, alcohol, and relationships. The RISE Team provides an opportunity to help inform her local community about mental health and suicide and destigmatize these topics. In the future, she hopes to pursue psychology and medicine, though she is still exploring related fields.

Sydney, 17 
Gill St. Bernard- Bridgewater, NJ

Sydney is a senior in high school planning to major in Human Development or Psychology in college. She founded the GSB Student Mental Health Club with one of her friends at school, and she loves that she can help to destigmatize mental illness in her community. She is so excited to work with Dr. Hamilton and the rest of the RISE team in spreading psychological research to her own school as well as others in New Jersey. Aside from psychology, Sydney loves lacrosse, indoor cycling, alternative music, and watching movies with her friends.

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Sneha, 16 
North Brunswick Township High School- North Brunswick, NJ

As a high school student and advocate for mental health positivity, Sneha has always been striving to help as many students as possible. Throughout her life, Sneha has always sought to help those who may be struggling on a mental basis, as she has witnessed many around her lack the necessary resources to take care of their mental health. Taking part in the RISE Rutgers team of research means advocating and doing her part to disseminate mental health information to others around her in order to create a better, well-balanced community full of healthy, like-minded students. Always seeking to learn more about mental health topics, Sneha plans to pursue a psychology major in university and possibly reach for a career in psychiatry.

Fatou, 17 
THINK Global High School- Teaneck, NJ

After dealing with her own mental health struggles in middle school, Yeli became passionate about combating poor teen mental health. This inspired her to develop Seventh, an international award-winning app that employs enjoyable music-based strategies to promote greater mental and emotional wellness in teenagers. Developed under the mentorship of licensed music therapists, Seventh uses a unique music-for-wellness approach to combat the ever-growing teen mental health crisis. In addition to developing Seventh, Yeli is a trained active listener on the 7 Cups platform where she provides 1-on-1 emotional support to teenagers around the world dealing with emotional issues, and her work on the benefits of music for teen mental health has been published in the Youth Medical Journal. Yeli is a part of the RISE Team to continue creating a positive impact in improving teen mental health.