By Audrey Willett:
Voices of Women is an Instagram account that shares content about spreading mental health awareness.
Please enjoy the interview below
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AW: Tell us all about you and your organization!
AP: Voices of Women (@voicesof.women) is an up-and-rising Instagram platform that aims to spread mental health awareness via simple yet aesthetically pleasing—but most notably educative—content. This virtual platform is meant to structure a safe space for young people to be more mindful of their mental health through educational resources, advice ranging from inspirational quotes to a school-advising series, and even topical societal issues that the youth should be informed about as well!
AW: Why do you think it’s important for your generation to let their voices be heard?
AP: Personally, as a fellow Gen Z, I think it is important to recognize the power we hold not only for our generation but for upcoming generations as well. We are already a very progressive generation, more than ever before! We are extremely creative, ingenious, and resourceful, which is why I think we have the power to change our society positively. As I see it, Gen Z is already setting a great example of this by being more outspoken, trendsetting, and versatile despite all the odds against us, which truly demonstrates the leadership our generation has and will continue to show in the future.
AW: Are you optimistic or pessimistic about the future?
AP: As humans, it is almost impossible to not think negatively or be afraid of what the future holds in store for us; however, I am heavily optimistic about the future our generation will bring. Even though we are often fed this pessimistic notion of where our society is headed, I think that we should start recognizing that our role in the future is the most important one. If we begin to enact the renovations we want to see incorporated, changes will come as a result. Sadly, one of the biggest faults in our current society is that younger generations are painted as “lost generations,” but we should not let those perceptions alienate our generation from the ability to actively transform the world we are a part of.
AW: What are the most important issues facing our world right now? And in the future?
AP: We have all seen and experienced the most recent repercussions of the COVID-19 virus all over the world, including the rise in mental health illness. Aside from the unfortunate events caused by the pandemic, we have also been reminded of the inherently racist system in place in the United States, causing a rise in intergenerational police brutality, mass incarceration, and an overall unequal disadvantage to BIPOC. Not only that, we continue to encounter ethical questions regarding the immigration policies in place in our government, as well as climate change, and more! Altogether, these topical issues, and those not mentioned above, are all equally important and deserve our attention, but we should not underestimate the impact these can have on our emotional state of mind. This is why it is crucial to keep educating ourselves and others to keep our generation informed by also prioritizing our mental health and balancing the intake of the news we are digesting.
AW: What does your organization offer that helps the world be a better place?
AP: My platform offers mental health content that is easy to access and understand. Not only that, despite its name, Voices of Women (@voicesof.women) is very inclusive and diverse when it comes to the content demographic, meaning that regardless of gender, racial background, and beliefs as an individual you are likely to find something that speaks to you! The outermost goal of Voices of Women is to spread awareness that helps young people maintain a healthy emotional balance in everyday life by constantly stressing the importance of holistic care—the basis of our overall well-being.
AW: Will you be voting in the next election?
AP: I definitely will be voting in the next election! Now more than ever, it is incredibly important to start getting involved in politics to foresee and guarantee what will happen in the future we are the main part of. If you have an anti-voting mentality, let me remind you that your vote is bound to have an impact, but you will never see a change occur if you don’t actively seek what you want to see happen.
AW: Please tell us all about your current campaigns, projects, and endeavors. Tell everyone where to find you online and on social platforms.
AP: Currently, Voices of Women (@voicesof.women) is primarily a one-person Instagram platform; however, in the future, I hope to grow the platform into a more well-equipped youth organization! One of my aspirations is to start a podcast for the platform, where our supporters could enjoy a more personal relationship with the content creators they are following while receiving more relatable content via an auditory platform, but that is still in the works for right now! As you see this, our platform is slowly but steadily growing, and more amazing content is to be created!
AW: If there is anything else you would like to say, please do!
AP: My name is Ashley Perdomo, I am a recent high school graduate, and I started this platform amidst the global pandemic in 2020. I have endured very challenging life experiences, such as my immigration to this country in 2014 from El Salvador. Due to this, I stumbled upon a variety of discouraging academic and social experiences when I first arrived in this country. I was obliged by the circumstances to start thinking like a young adult rather than a child at the age of ten. Along the way, I saw my parents struggle with job opportunities, a language barrier, and our decadent economic situation at the time, and as I saw them become vulnerable, I started experiencing the implications of the so-called “American Dream.” I know what it is like to struggle and search for a higher purpose. For this very reason, my goal is to help, uplift, and always try my best to impact others constructively. I hope you visit my page Voices of Women (@voicesof.women) to be reminded that it is possible to surpass your hardships, become a living testimony, and make a difference in someone else’s life!
Keep trying your best at
this thing called “life.”
I guarantee you it’s worth it!
Audrey Willett is a southern California sophomore in high school. She is an activist and aspiring filmmaker, and the Social Media Outreach coordinator for The Gen Z Collective.