YMG Staff, interns grow with the organization
YMG Intern Hermes Falcon, a junior at Bradley University, spoke on a prestigious panel this month at Harris Stowe University in Missouri at the invitation of federal officials with the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). The panel was part of SAMHSA’s 988 One-Year Anniversary Roadshow, about the impact of the mental health crisis hotline 988 on youth across the country.
He shared the stage with Missouri Lt. Gov. Mike Kehoe, Health and Human Services Regional Director Joseph Palm and Monica Johnson, director of the 988 & Behavioral Health Crisis Coordinating Office, among others.
Hermes’ extensive work on YMG’s TikTok account over the past two years has positioned him as an authority on what works when communicating with youth about mental health and 988. He also drew from his personal experience as a trans, first-generation Cuban American who has struggled with anxiety and depression to connect with the audience.
“Growing up in Miami, you don't really see a lot of people like me...In order to hide myself in order to pretend to be strong, it's very easy to lose yourself,” he said.
Hermes said he was lucky to get the mental health help he needed, and reminded the audience how important– and often difficult– it is to ask for help.
“Trusting someone is the bravest thing you can do,” he said.
We couldn’t be prouder of Hermes for representing YMG so well. You can see the video of his full remarks here.
YMG staffer Kyndall Hubbard, who joined the organization in January as an editorial assistant, was promoted to Assistant Editor this month!
Kyndall, who graduated from University of Missouri’s journalism program in 2022, will now take on more responsibility within the organization’s content and programs team. She’ll help to develop, administer and teach programs while continuing to write stories, and create and edit videos as well as social media posts.
Kyndall will be a mentor-editor for a group of high school students during our fall workshop on transportation and health, and will be co-teaching and taking on the instruction of more lessons, too.
“I'm grateful to continue my work with YMG as assistant editor and am looking forward to furthering the organization's reach and impact in my new position,” she said.
Syracuse University sophomore Kymani Hughes, who was a summer writing intern with YMG this year, will continue her internship this fall!
Kymani, who is studying applied data analytics and is considering a career in data journalism, worked this summer on a story about the lack of Black psychiatrists, its impact on mental health, and efforts to reduce the shortage.
This fall, she’ll be pursuing stories on the mental health impact of abortion bans, and is interested in writing about the use of AI companion apps such as Replika and Woebot and how they compare to therapists.
We’re excited to continue working with this talented young journalist-in-training, and will be sharing more of her work as it’s published. Look for her videos on our TikTok account, too!