Hey, my names Mykalee and I am 23 years old born and raised in the tri-cities area. I was the type of kid who didn’t play by society’s standards. All through high school I took on multiple roles, everything from the typical athletic jock to the tough kid out back with the grades of your “average” nerd. On the ouside it looked like I had it all – perfect family, big social group, and great academics! By senior year, I was completing my level 1 mechanics certificate and was blowing the trade by surprise as a female, and I was extremely proud, but something was missing…

I think the overall hardship I felt; the one thing I was missing most was unconditional love. I grew up surrounded by severe alcoholism that made my childhood memories quite different than most. I struggled with ADHD, anxiety and depression which made me feel like NOBODY understood or cared about me. I grew up angry and cold just following the every day motions until I reached “adulthood”. That’s when I slipped into the wrong crowd, and even though I managed to stay afloat, I wasn’t doing anything to grow as a person, I was just hurting myself.

Now at the age of 23, I can look back and reflect on the choices I made when I felt like it was “me against the world”. I have made more conscious decisions to find the love in myself, resulting in much more positive outcomes for myself, but it wasn’t easy!

This is why I am passionate about working with youth… it’s mainly because I get it! I get what it’s like to have parents who don’t believe you, or to have peers tell you that you’re fine and I get what it’s like when nobody is there to listen to you. I understand what it feels like to work so hard just so you can hear someone tell you “I’m proud of you” but it never comes. I know what it’s like to believe you weren’t given the tools to succeed because I was that person not too long ago, and over time I found the tools and people who knew how to encourage me to move in the right direction, but first I had to believe in myself. I believe that learning more about ourselves at a younger age can give us an upper hand towards creating a more fulfilling future. The one thing they don’t teach you in school is how to handle life’s curveballs. Why not learn how to love and spread compassion instead of anger and hate throughout our generation? This is what I’m here to do; I’m here to lead from the heart and spread the powerful message of self-acceptance and compassion for all, and most importantly… have fun doing it!