The Innovators Society, a program of Community First Foundation, invests in promising, but not yet proven, nonprofit innovations to increase awareness and change perceptions of mental health. We engage a network of committed nonprofit innovators, community leaders and community investors to accelerate new solutions for mental wellness.
The Innovators Society invests in nonprofit innovations that are changing public perceptions of mental health and mental illness while reducing stigma. Selected innovators receive expert coaching and assistance to develop a solid plan for their innovation. The heart of this program is collaboration between the nonprofits and communities.
AOPYO engages youth to normalize mental health stigmas through leadership, arts, wellness, skilled trades, and the Apprentice of Peace philosophy and principles.
Email Derwin Pos Ryant
The B.I.O.N.I.C. Team empowers young people to reach out to students facing challenging times so they know they are not alone. B.I.O.N.I.C. won the $50,000 grand prize for The Innovators Society 2.0.
Email Sandy Austin
My Quiet Cave creates spaces for faith and mental health. They tap into the power of faith communities and empower and equip congregations to give people tangible tools and skills, share stories, and experience their value together.
Email Brandon Appelhans
Open Labs is the vehicle behind the Open Movement, placing the people who experience brain conditions (or mental illness) in the driver seat. They are building a world where we all have the hope we need to live openly.
YI’s leadership program, Young Advocates for Healthy Living, trains and empowers young people who are committed to improving mental health care access, and ending stigma on college campuses.
Email Christina Postolowski
The YouthRoots RAISE Program uses our youth-led civic engagement model to empower high school students to support mental health work and tackle stigma in their schools.
Email Lauren Czajka
Bright by Text sends text messages to parents and caregivers with tips and resources to support children in the early years of life.
Email Jared Wigdor
EMBRACE is a mindfulness training program to help early childhood educators reduce stress, build emotional resiliency and create a positive learning experience for vulnerable children.
Email Cathy McCarty
The PCN App analyzes patients’ social support network data and provides a menu of resources for health care providers.
Email Danielle Varda
Breakin’ Bread, Breakin’ Barriers fosters healthy lifestyles and awareness by enriching the mind and body through holistic wellness education such as yoga, cooking classes and healthy living workshops.
Email Tyrone Beverly
Project Helping organizes meaningful and socially engaging volunteer experiences to improve mental wellness and combat depression. Project Helping won the $50,000 grand prize for The Innovators Society inaugural year.
Email Justin Kruger