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Meet our Advocates.

Their stories of turning adversity
into advocacy will inspire you!

Browse through our collection of inspiring stories from our incredible advocates.

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Robert Villanueva

Diagnosed with bipolar disorder in 2001

Became national speaker & trainer for The National Alliance on Mental Illness

Read His Story

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Lisa Ford Berry

Lost son, Michael, to peer abuse-driven suicide

Created nonprofit organization to combat peer abuse

Read Her Story

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Corey Reich

Diagnosed with ALS in 2007

Founded "Corey's Crusade" to give voice to ALS sufferers

Read His Story

April Rovero

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April Rovero

Adversity: Lost a child to prescription drug use

Advocacy: Founded a nonprofit to raise awareness of recreational prescription drug use

“Every parent who has lost a child worries that, as time goes on, they will be forgotten and they want their lives to have had meaning and a […]

David Flink

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David Flink

Adversity: Learning disabilities – ADHD and dyslexia

Advocacy: Started a national mentoring program for youth with learning disabilities

“Mentoring has become a platform that allows people with learning differences to have our stories be seen and heard and valued.”

When David Flink was accepted into Brown University, he assumed […]

Ro Vitale

Ro Vitale

Adversity: Diagnosed with severe OCD

Advocacy: Speaks, writes and sings in English and Spanish to support others with OCD

Photo by: Santiago Giovanetti

“There’s much beauty in being of service to someone that’s battling the same adversity. Helping others is turning adversity into advocacy, turning isolation into motivation, […]

Susan Burton

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Susan Burton

Adversity: Grief over loss of her son led to drug use, criminal activity

Advocacy: Started a nonprofit to provide housing and support services to recently incarcerated women

“What I’ve been through and what I do is a powerful tool to show people that things need to be changed…. […]

Steve Wampler

Steve Wampler

Adversity: Cerebral Palsy

Advocacy: Established various advocacy pathways to show children with disabilities that their dreams are possible.

“My advocacy allows kids to see their full potential. What I mean is that they can get their way with anything they do in life. Camp Nedejdly turned my life […]

Joshua Toch

Joshua Toch

Adversity: Was bullied by fellow students due to the effects of cerebral palsy

Advocacy: Started a nonprofit speakers bureau to educate the public about bullying and overcoming adversity

“By speaking out, I see this transformation. I see people with disabilities become more confident, I see audiences become empowered to believe […]

Melody Moezzi

Melody Moezzi

Adversity: Diagnosed with bipolar disorder

Advocacy: Works to reduce the stigma of mental illness as an author, blogger, speaker

“The more I speak out and the more extraordinary people I meet who are living with mental illness, the more I realize I’m in incredible company, and I wouldn’t want to […]

Melissa Dohme

Melissa Dohme

Adversity: Brutally attacked by an ex-boyfriend

Advocacy: Raises awareness about teen dating and domestic violence

“I share my story so that other women won’t have to experience the violence I did. Speaking out has helped my own healing and recovery.”

In 2012, when Melissa was only 20 years old, an ex-boyfriend […]

Katherine Switz

Katherine Switz

Adversity: Diagnosed with Bipolar II

Advocacy: Started a nonprofit that recruits community leaders to talk about their mental illness

“It’s empowering to come out of the shadows. It’s great to see our impact on leaders and their impact on others.”

Katherine Switz is a Harvard graduate, has a bachelor’s degree […]

Jonny Imerman

Jonny Imerman

Adversity: Diagnosed with testicular cancer at age 26.

Advocacy: Founded Imerman Angels to support people affected by cancer.

“You start out in the beginning to help other people because it’s important with the short life we live. But somewhere along the way you realize it uplifts our spirit, helps us find […]