OUR FOUNDERS

Nikki Portrait

NIKKI SYMANOVICH

President

Nikki’s passion and dedication to mental health and suicide prevention stem from personal experiences with suicide. She lost her cousin to suicide when she was a sophomore in high school, and two other friends took their lives within the same year. In 2012, she found an annual 18-mile suicide prevention walk that happened to take place in San Francisco that year. Walking with such a widespread group of survivors of suicide loss opened her eyes to a community she never knew existed and began to give her the voice to talk about these complex issues.

Nikki’s personal losses have driven her desire to educate others about mental health and suicide, and motivated her to pursue a degree in Psychology and an education certification at Connecticut College. Much of her studies focused on psychological disorders and mental health-related research.

As someone who has experienced suicide loss as well as struggled with depression and anxiety, Nikki aims to provide others who may be struggling with the support they deserve and a powerful opportunity to voice their experience. She also hopes to equip young people with the tools they need to recognize warning signs, to reach out, and to open up the conversation around mental health and suicide.

Click here to read Nikki's full narrative.

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SARAH FEINBERG

Vice-President, Secretary & Treasurer

When something happens, Sarah’s immediate reaction is action. Losing one of her closest friends freshman year of high school urged her to make a difference in her community. Sarah participated in suicide prevention walks alongside Nikki, Kayla, and others to honor her friend Quinn and others taken by suicide. Since then, her goal has grown to assisting those dealing with all forms of invisible illnesses.

Sarah is a senior at Oberlin College majoring in Politics and Law and Society. As a member of the Oberlin women’s lacrosse team Sarah serves as her athletics departments Student Athlete Advisory Committee (S.A.A.C.) Communications and Public Relations officer and as the President of the North Coast Athletic Conference’s S.A.A.C. As president, Sarah is spearheading a conference-wide mental health initiative.

Sarah is specifically passionate about the impact this project could have on college athletes who she sees as a group needing as much support as any but often times focused on the least. Sarah is passionate about making people smile—even just for a second—and believes Narratives of Hope has the power to do that and so much more. 

OUR BOARD OF DIRECTORS