Meet Our 2020-2021 Ambassadors
Milan Chand is an 18-year old freshman at the University of Pennsylvania, where he is majoring in Neuroscience. He is very passionate about mental health, working on the CT State Board of Education, interning at The Avielle Foundation, and researching in a clinical lab at Yale, all to advocate for awareness. Along with this he is very involved in his community as he spends countless time volunteering and leading many organizations such as Families United in Newtown. Overall he is a hardworking, diligent, and compassionate individual who is determined to not only make a difference, but actually spark change.
Grace Imondi is a sophomore from South Windsor, Connecticut majoring in Psychology at Catholic University in Washington, D.C. Her passion for psychology stemmed from her experiences working as a volunteer grief counselor for young children at a not-for-profit dedicated to supporting grieving children and families in Windsor, CT. She is an active advocate for mental health treatment and hopes to pursue a career as a clinical psychologist, specifically working with children and/or young adults. Her favorite things to do are spend time with friends and family, travel, read, and pet her fluffy goldendoodle, George.
D’Ziyah Mitchell is currently a Sophomore Political Science Major at Howard University. She graduated at the top 1% of her class from Hartford Public High School Academy of Law and Government and is a significant leader in her native area of Hartford, CT. She now serves as a member of the ONYX Mental Health Generation, HUSA Senate, IMPRINT, and was selected as a Family Fellowship Scholar and Congressional Shadow Day Delegate. She is diagnosed with Depression and Anxiety but despite these, she continues to aim and accomplish the highest of her goals. She is someone who loves to serve and furthermore help represent people who like her are “turtles” who lie in the shadows scared yet needing help. She is excited to be a part of this amazing opportunity and also ready to change lives!
Patrick Muro (he/him/his and they/them/their) is a Master in Public Health and Master in Social Work student at the University of Connecticut. During his undergraduate career, Patrick participated in Active Minds and volunteered on UCONN Suicide Prevention Committee. This laid the foundation for his passion for suicide prevention. Patrick enjoys hiking, playing with his dog, hanging out with friends, and reading.
Ambassador Carissa Peckrul brings both academic and lived experience to the work of suicide prevention and mental health advocacy for the Jordan Porco Foundation. Being a suicide attempt survivor herself, Carissa is aware of the difference that support can make during unimaginable times. If Carissa could implement a class that everyone should have to take, it would be regarding the signs and symptoms of mental health, and how to recognize a crisis before one arises. She strongly believes in advocacy for those with mental illnesses, and the work surrounding becoming more aware while reducing stigma. She says, “It is not enough to just be aware. We have a moral obligation to advocate and act, too.” Carissa holds a B.A. in Psychology from Roger Williams University, as well as certification to teach both Youth and Adult Mental Health First Aid, and is currently pursuing her Master’s in Social Work at UCONN.
Ashley Steinkrauss is a student at Connecticut College who is dedicated to mental health and wellbeing. She is studying neuroscience and education and hopes to pursue a Ph.D. She loves to spend her time running, hanging with friends, and cooking. Ashley is involved in multiple ways on campus as an advocate for mental health. She hopes to continue her education later on in life incorporating mental health awareness in any possible way she can.