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Active Minds celebrates Random Acts of Kindness Week

By Ashlyn Fransen '24
Published February 13, 2024
Categories: Student Life, Students

Students in the Eckerd chapter of Active Minds include (left to right) junior Celeste ” Nana” Paultre, senior Nora Colussy-Estes and junior Emily Grayless. Photo credit @activeminds.ec

The teal dorm-room doors typical of traditional housing at Eckerd College are adorned with notes written on colorful index cards for the week of Valentine’s Day. They say things like “You are strong,” “Your smile is beautiful,” or “The world needs your creativity.”

Each sentiment was written by a fellow student on Feb. 9, when Active Minds hosted a table to collect kind words and hand out candy.

Active Minds is a national nonprofit organization that exists to promote mental health awareness and education among young people. The Eckerd chapter is student-led and helps students connect with the mental health support they may need.

The smiling faces of juniors Emily Grayless and Nora Colussy-Estes—respectively, an animal studies and psychology student from Woodlands, Texas, and an anthropology and literature student from Decatur, Georgia—radiated from behind the table. Club head Celeste “Nana” Paultre—a junior human development and sociology student from Knoxville, Tennessee—was unable to join the table; she was involved with promoting mental health in her high school, which is what inspired her to get involved with Active Minds at Eckerd.

“Inclusivity is a main priority,” Nora pointed out. “Nana always says she hopes people on campus feel seen.”

Active Minds is an avenue to do just that. Last year, the club hosted a “Stress Less Week” of events to help students manage stress during the busiest part of the semester. This year, they plan to host similar events spread across a whole month instead of a week.

A note of encouragement in one of the traditional residence halls; photo by Summer Grady ’26

Both Emily and Nora got involved last year, their sophomore year, after Nana’s passion for the club inspired them to contribute. Nora also promotes good mental health on campus through Religious Life programming, and they are clearly very passionate about this work.

Active Minds will continue to support positive mental health on campus this semester through advocacy, education and events.

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