Grow still was founded by Jasmine Mascarenhas, who developed this project as a response to the lack of resources and support for young adults in the emerging adult population (ages 18-30).
Throughout her university days studying Human Relations at Concordia University, she noticed this gap and upon graduation (2017) she faced a series of circumstances that inspired her to fix these systemic issues.
Jasmine has extensive experience in tutoring and peer mentorship and developed her skills in crisis intervention from her position at Logifem women’s shelter. She also has a number of years of experience from volunteering at other non-profits such as the Batshaw Youth and Family Centre in Montreal.
Vanessa Cyriacopoulos, co-founder, also a Human Relations graduate, has a host of experience working with at-risk youth as a crisis intervention worker. She is also currently working on her masters in Youth Work at Concordia University.
She offers specific insight to Grow still as she grew up in the youth protection foster system. Knowing the struggles many young people face, she has dedicated her life to helping people navigate their own circumstances.
On top of her BA from Concordia, she is also a certified nurse aid, massage therapist, and crisis intervention worker for Batshaw Youth and Family Centre.
Advocate for 18-25 year-old adults to be recognized by the government as a distinct population of emerging adults needing targeted support and guidance.
Encourage people from different racial, socio-economic backgrounds along with the L.G.B.T.Q.I.A.+ population to help them meet their highest potential despite the barriers they face.
Combat the growing suicide rate that affects this population.
Reduce stress and anxiety through our support strategies and establish a strong sense of well-being.
Direct people to relevant and helpful resources.
Turn our website into an online resource.
Create a global community.
We are NOT
- A counseling service
- A mental health centre or service
- Affiliated with any doctors or therapists
- Affiliated with any businesses or for-profit entities
Erikson’s Psychosocial Theory of Development has been a monumental influence for Grow still. It looks at what is necessary to take place at specific stages in a person’s life in order to make them a successful, complete and contributing member to society.
The fifth stage of ‘Identity vs Role Confusion’, occurring during adolescence, is what inspired Grow still‘s first ‘Identity’ step. Resolving this crisis leads to a strong sense of self, a necessary aspect to feeling happy and satisfied.
Grow still views ‘emerging adulthood’ as an additional phase to the theory, and ponders what crisis may take place within it, noting that we need a framework to address the common psychosocial issues present for individuals of this demographic.
Systems Theory is the interdisciplinary study of systems that are made up of natural, environmental and human-made factors. Any system requires input to work and provides output as a result.
The emerging adult population can be referred to as a system. The ‘input’, can have a positive ‘output’ in society if it is given good information.
Grow still believes that increasing self-awareness, understanding others, self-love and self-care through its initiatives, can have a positive influence on this population’s output that contributes to the larger societal ecosystem.
This could directly combat macro issues that affect the emerging adult population such as poor mental health, the growing suicide rate, substance abuse, unemployment/underemployment, identity issues and waste potential.
With the right kind of encouragement, help and resources this population can thrive and have support at the time it counts the most.
With a preventative approach, it’s possible to see a reduction in these societal issues as the initiative to help during this transitional phase can ease additional strain.
Theory U is an applied learning theory that helps people identify and break unproductive patterns of behaviour that prevent them from connecting to people. This can lock them into ineffective patterns of decision making.
It’s made up for four fields:
- Thinking (individual)
- Conversing (group)
- Structuring (institutions)
- Ecosystem coordination (global systems)
The theory states that the main crises of our time are the disconnection of self to self, of self to the other, and of the self to the environment. Grow still addresses the first disconnection, knowing that it is a necessary step to truly be able to connect to others, and ultimately cooperate to solve the global issue of climate change that we all face.
Grow still aims to improve the first field thinking through connection to identity, providing wellness through group conversing that happens in the form of self-development workshops and community events, structuring through resources and connections to helpful institutions and ecosystem coordination through community building and the creation of an online global resource.
The theory of Yin / Yang is a classification system derived from Chinese Taoism. It’s the concept that duality is what forms the whole. For example, we cannot have the whole day without having the night (yin) and the daytime itself (yang).
The idea is that we can be multifaceted with many opposing aspects within us but that is what makes us whole.
The incorporation of Yin / Yang into Grow still originated from seeing that the western medical system, the dominant outlook on medicine, has its own gaps that leaves many people underserved.
Grow still believes that a holistic approach to healing that takes the individual into consideration, is necessary to promote healing. It’s about balancing these energies, rather than trying to strive for any kind of perfection, in order to create a lifestyle that suits each individual.