MINDS Leadership Development Program Team

Meet our current 2014 MINDS Leadership Development Program (MLDP) interns! For more information on the program itself, please click here.

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Grace Backe, Intern

Grace Backe is a 21 year old, senior-Feb (started and will be graduating in February), International Studies major, and Global Health minor at Middlebury College. She enjoys traveling, playing squash on Midd’s Varsity team, and skiing on the many beautiful Vermont slopes. Grace spent the past semester studying at Christ College in Bangalore, India, where she developed an interest in and appreciation for Indian politics, successful non-profit work, and of course flavorful curries with naan. She is excited to help out MINDS because it provides her with a relevant transition from her experiences abroad.

MINDS is a wonderful organization because they take on mental health in India, an extremely under-recognized issue which causes many people to suffer. MINDS’s grassroots-led, comprehensive approach to projects, and their focus on intern growth were the reasons I joined the team.

Zoe Matthews

Zoe Mathews, Intern, Communications

Zoe is a junior Journalism major at Emerson College in Boston. She hopes to continue learning every day and pursue fields of international news and political science. When not curled up with a good book Zoe, can likely be found exploring the city and traveling as much as possible. This summer she will spend six weeks in Israel and Palestine with a fantastic team of “backpacktivists” soaking in culture and knowledge with the group Operation Groundswell, and will be studying for a semester in Washington D.C. before graduating. Zoe has an affinity for storytelling and an appreciation for curios of times past, and proudly combines them in her vintage typewriter, with which she occasionally (to the dismay of her professors) types term papers.

I joined MINDS after being a Media Lab intern with the Next Mile Project, where I worked with Raghu on a few projects. After realizing we could work together on more projects in the future, I gladly joined the team!

Madhav Mittal

Madhav Mittal, Intern, Office of the CEO

Madhav Mittal recently graduated from the University of Delhi majoring in Economics with an overall first class grade. He plans on beginning graduate school in September at the University of Edinburgh for a 12 month program. Before that, he will participate in an exchange program at Charles University in Prague, Czech Republic for 3 weeks. Traveling is a big passion of his and he spends close to 3 months away from home each year. Madhav is a keen debater and participates in 15-20 debates a year across state and national level competitions. He is also socially inclined and has a background in working with jail inmates on the issue of drug abuse, which was a highly enriching experience. Another rare passion is in car rallying – he has participated in an 8-day long rally in the Thar Desert spanning 2,500 kilometres. Madhav aspires to participate in the Dakar Rally someday. He calls himself an extrovert and enjoys meeting new people with different backgrounds.

I believe MINDS offers a structured, comprehensive solution to the problem of mental illness in India, an area for which a lot of work needs to be done. MINDS offers me insight into realizing that in addition to problems like poverty in rural India, mental health is a field where constructive research can go a long way in helping us develop an understanding around not just medical treatment but also the various hurdles that deter people from availing such services.

Krupa Patel Krupa Patel, Intern, PR/Marketing Krupa is from Los Angeles and a rising junior at USC, double majoring in Neuroscience and Psychology. She is hoping to go into clinical psychology or do research in neuroscience, particularly studies in mental health. Having family in Gujarat, India, Krupa has traveled there at least every other year and truly enjoys her visits there. She volunteered for an elementary school via a nonprofit a few summers ago in south India, which sprouted her interest in nonprofit and philanthropy work. Her hobbies include photography, reading, traveling (especially in Asia), and learning about different cultures.

MINDS stood out to me through its unique grassroots approach in not only combating the stigmas against mental health but also in improving mental health treatment in rural India. I am thrilled to be working for an organization with such an important and powerful cause.

Amanda WalkerAmanda Walker, Intern, Office of the CEO and Operations
Amanda is a rising senior at Williams College with a Chemistry major, Public Health concentration (similar to a minor) and a particular interest in Global Health. She got involved in fighting the stigma against mental illness at Williams when she joined the Mental Health Committee, a student government committee who ensures that students’ mental health needs are adequately met by the College and various student groups. Amanda enjoys following college basketball and attempting to play squash.

MINDS allows me to combine my passion for global health and my interest in improving mental health and fighting the stigma associated with mental illness.

Claire_InternProfileClaire Wright, Intern, Programs

Claire Wright is currently a sophomore at Wesleyan University majoring in Psychology, College of Letters (Western Literature, History, and Philosophy), and French. She first became interested in combating mental illnesses while studying abroad in Nepal in 2012 where she studied and worked with development and aid organizations. Upon arriving at Wesleyan and learning about MINDS, she became interested in MINDS’ work in India and the similarities between health organizations in rural India and Nepal; eager to get involved, she is now working as an MLDP intern.

I believe MINDS offers a sustainable, comprehensive, and effective approach to reducing mental illness in rural India while simultaneously increasing education and reducing stigmatization around health problems; I believe in the success of this unique approach and therefore am thrilled to be working with MINDS.

To see our past MLDP interns, please click here.