Hi! We're Scarlett Meza and Apaara Chawla, two high school students from San Diego, California.
Scarlett, a local, and Apaara, a Virginian, happened to cross paths in seventh grade. But it wasn't until September of their freshman year of high school that Scarlett introduced the idea of Zinnia Wellness to Apaara. Fast-forward to March--the start of the first Coronavirus lockdown in California. Apaara and Scarlett didn't let virtual communication stop them and continued work on Zinnia Wellness full steam ahead over FaceTime. They knew that in a world where it is so hard to get ahead and make a name for yourself as a woman, they would have to put in a lot of hard work to make this project a reality. This brings us to today, where Apaara and Scarlett continue improving Zinnia Wellness nonstop to bring accessible mental wellness care to busy teens. Because when it comes down to it, the more kindness you put out in the world, the better all of our futures will be.
After witnessing the benefits mindfulness can provide to those struggling, Scarlett decided to take action. She founded and developed Zinnia Wellness in her freshman year of high school with the desire to change the way people experience mental wellness care. More than that though, she realized society's efforts to "banish" the stigma were half-hearted. Most mental wellness services charge users a premium to partake in them and talking to an adult can be intimidating for many. Scarlett believes "even the simple act of supporting each other can help make the world a happier, more vibrant place; but it all starts by looking within ourselves."
Scarlett is a high school sophomore in sunny SoCal. Her passions include photography, ballet, all things art and history, and of course, the mind!
In Apaara's words, "I have been exposed to mental difficulties many times in my life. I have always detested the stigma that comes with needing mental help especially when it affects the people I care about." This notion is what drove her to aid others in conquering their own conflicts. She believes in building a more accepting community through Zinnia Wellness. Apaara has worked tirelessly to view creative ideas through a realistic lens, in order to manage our organization's technological aspects. Without her hard work, Zinnia Wellness would have remained merely an unattainable dream.
Joshua serves as our Director of Arts and Music and manages this page, along with all article submissions, as part of his duties. He has had years of experience playing a variety of instruments, composing and recording pieces, and has even won the Silver Key Award for the National Scholastic Art and Writing Contest for his short story. Due to his slue of creative abilities, Joshua has taken over the creative aspects of managing this page. He composes original, mostly classical music that help to relax the listener, or simply brighten someone's day.
Evan is currently fulfilling the role of Director of Events on the Zinnia Wellness Team. He strongly believes that “a healthy mind leads to a healthy body which creates a healthy and happy life.” One of the main reasons Evan decided to join the Zinnia team is because he believes that all teens should have the opportunity to receive easy access to mental wellness support and services. By joining Zinnia Wellness, he hopes he can accomplish this goal. Evan’s duties at Zinnia Wellness include planning and executing events, such as fundraisers, and also promoting different opportunities around the community, such as a mental wellness walkathon. Evan is also working closely with the rest of the Zinnia Team to plan some events to support Zinnia Wellness and other mental wellness programs so keep an eye on our event calendar in the website for upcoming events!!
Evan is a student in a Southern California area high school. He loves forensic science and psychology and he has held a variety of positions through the school’s associated student body to plan and execute many different school-wide events.
Shea McGrath, Director of Public Relations at Zinnia Wellness, believe in “the many positive benefits that mindfulness provides in one’s daily life.” He understands the deep, healing power of mindfulness, and his wish is for all teens to have easy, affordable, and convenient access to mental wellness resources. As well as handling public relations, media, and press, Shea works with the rest of the ZW team to promote Zinnia Wellness’ services and research how similar organizations offer mental wellness programs.
Shea is a student at a Southern California area high school. He also loves teaching, and is a US Sailing certified instructor.
The reason you'll see us use the term "mental wellness" instead of "mental health" is because we don't want to present ourselves as having the capabilities of a mental health care professional. While we work with mental health care professionals, our goal is to provide non-judgmental peer-to-peer support.