April 25, 2022 | Articles

Welcome to Our Newest Advisors!

Last month, The Upswing Fund put out an open call for diverse youth ages 18-25 to apply to join our Advisory Committee. We received applications from engaged youth all over the country, all of whom were ready to launch into meaningful conversation surrounding the mental health of LGBTQ+ youth and youth of color. Today, we are excited to introduce our four newest advisors that will be joining The Upswing Fund!

These youth advisors will serve alongside current members of our Advisory Committee and The Upswing Fund team to provide their feedback on our priorities, strategies, and grantmaking criteria. Additionally, they will plan and launch a mental health related project to be featured on our website later this summer/fall. We look forward to learning from their rich insights and uplifting their wonderful work throughout the year.


Atlas Alvarez (they/he) is a 25-year-old non binary and transmasculine person. Atlas was born in El Centro, California and lived in their hometown, a border town known as Calexico, for 22 years until they moved away to North County San Diego to study Psychology as a transfer student. He lived, worked, and studied in North County San Diego for about a year and a half until the COVID-19 pandemic began to worsen and it became apparent that school would be online for some time. Atlas moved back to their hometown in the summer of 2020, where he finished his last three semesters of school through Zoom. Atlas graduated with a Bachelor's in Psychology in May 2021 and they are now looking forward to starting a two year MSW program in the upcoming fall at CSU Long Beach.

Joseph (Joey) Martinez (he/they) is a clinical research assistant at the Center for Gender Surgery in the Department of Plastic and Oral Surgery at Boston Children’s Hospital, working with Drs. Oren Ganor and Elizabeth Boskey. They received their B.S in Biology and Society, and Nutritional Sciences from Cornell University in 2021. He is interested in pursuing an MD/PhD, with his research interests being rooted in Social Epidemiology. He aims to push forward the current knowledge regarding how various systems inform health disparities afflicting gender and racial minorities.

Madison McCall (she/her) is a doctoral student in Clinical Psychology at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Health Policy Research Scholar. Her research focuses on the design, dissemination, and evaluation of digital tools that advance mental health care delivery for underserved youth and their families. As an advocate for youth mental health equity, her work considers the structural and systemic barriers in research, practice, and policy that underlie mental health disparities. Madison earned her B.S. in Biomedical Engineering from the University of Virginia.

Karissa Smith (they/them) is a recent graduate from Western Oregon University with a passion for conducting mix-method research on race-related and sexuality-related health disparities. They are also a violence prevention professional that specializes in supporting survivors of interpersonal violence. They plan to pursue an MPH and a Ph.D. in Psychology in the future, so they can help advance mental health care for diverse youth!

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