Ariel Mickey’s journey with mental health advocacy began in 2007 at the age of 16 when her written work was published in a small local PA Magazine called AND. Her first article detailed student life inside of a special education alternative education placement, and challenged stigmas against students diagnosed with Emotional Behavioral Disturbances, sparking a local dialog surrounding the positive attributes of special education services.
As an adult, Ariel holds a master’s degree in special education from Lehigh University and has been working for the last two years as a special educator within an alternative education school specific to students diagnosed with emotional behavior disturbances, the same population that first sparked her advocacy journey.
Her lived experience and advocacy merges within her classroom as she strives to encourage students to take control of their own education, provides them with positive strategies to overcome their struggles, and continues to advocate for youth and mental health awareness on a systematic level.
Ariel has spoken on her work as an advocate and educator through a number of platforms over the years and continues to present literary research surrounding the topics of youth voice, mental health awareness, and the importance of popular culture in education.
For the future, her goal is to continue to be a supportive educator and an advocate and to one day take the stage as a TED Talk presenter.
Listen to Ariel’s story: Stop. Watch. Listen.
Listen to The Worth of Words and Kindness.