About the Founder & CEO
Shelley Mitchell was born and raised in a poverty-stricken environment in Oakland, Ca. She was exposed to homelessness and abuse throughout her childhood. Educated through the Oakland Unified School District but not receiving a high-quality education, she tapped into her resilience and enrolled herself into college. Shelley graduated from the University of California, Davis with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Dramatic Arts in 2008. Shelley dealt with mental health issues most of her adolescences. Unaware of what she was really dealing with, she was carrying trauma pains from her childhood that were never properly addressed. After experiencing a mental health crisis in 2018, Shelley sought counseling and therapy. Counseling and therapy motivated her to answer her spiritual calling of helping and connecting with people, specifically teenagers, growing up in Oakland as she did. Shelley wants to help teenagers learn to own their dreams with their mind in the right space to reach them.
Shelley is Oakland Made.
Why do we need Oakland Made Teen Centers?
Trauma not dealt with properly, “can leave you struggling with upsetting emotions, memories, and anxiety. It can also leave you feeling numb, disconnected, and unable to trust other people.” Helpguide.org
“For many adults who have mental disorders, symptoms were present - but often not recognized or addressed-in childhood and adolescence.” National Institute of Mental Health,(nimh.nih.gov)
According to these statements, we know that living in the current unrest condition of Oakland’s environment, young people once in adulthood, can become negatively influence from it. The issues (gun violence, poverty, community disconnection) that plague Oakland, negatively impact our youth. Furthermore, mental health and trauma services are in low demand or rarely offered to our youth living here in Oakland. There are not enough systems in place to help address how teenagers are handling these life changing events.
Introducing Oakland Made Teen Center into the city of Oakland will create a system for teenagers to address their mental health, by developing mindsets of rational thinking and self-love, which will enable them to establish a helpful frame of mind for their personal, academic and professional lives and future.