2018: Jenn's Year in Review

January 3rd, 2019 –  Notes From Jenn

It’s hard to believe another year has whizzed by! The U!Shine team continues to be so grateful for all you do to support our mission of bringing mental and emotional health programs and resources to high school and university students. The past year has been full of connecting with students and the community, as well as starting new programs. I know it's a lot to keep up with, so here’s a quick recap --a highlight reel, if you will-- of what we’ve been up to this past year and what you’ve helped build:


  • We created U!Shine’s Healthy Habits, our own 5 week small group workshop that every student can benefit from, whether they have struggled or not with mental health. During the program they learn physical, emotional, social, and spiritual tools they can use to cultivate their mental health. We’ve received positive feedback on this program from both the students and facilitators, and we're excited to 'graduate' another group of students from Healthy Habits this Spring!


  • We started a U!Shine program at Lipscomb University. Lipscomb began using both our Conversations and Healthy Habits programs in August in their own unique way that benefits their student population, proving that our materials are easy to use and flexible enough to be adapted for each school’s needs. We've received great feedback from our U!Shine ambassador on Lipscomb's campus, Andrea Mills-- be on the lookout for a blog post from her soon!


  • Oklahoma Christian Academy, an Edmond, private K-12 school, began piloting our U!Shine Conversations program for middle/high school students this school year. We’ve seen the need to start talking with students about mental and emotional health before the university level and we plan to continue to improve our programs for this age level. 


  • U!Shine Vienna is providing mental health resources and conversations for the Vienna community under the directorship of Holly Kooi. It’s been eye-opening to see how mental health is a conversation that is needed worldwide and we are thrilled to have our programs represented abroad!


  • Along with these endeavors we continue to have a strong presence at Oklahoma Christian University and consider that our home base. We love our relationship with the students, faculty, and staff there!

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All this to say, U!Shine is thriving, growing, and reaching students locally and abroad. Thank you for allowing us to do what we do and continue starting conversations about mental and emotional health. ​
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In 2019, we have so much to be excited about! Our first annual fundraising dinner, A Heart for Resilience, will be held February 16th, at 6 pm at the Skyline Building in Bricktown. We’d love for you to include us in your Valentine’s plans that weekend and plan a date night with us! The evening will be full of amazing food, great music, and a time to hear from students and others who benefit from the U!Shine programs. Go register now at www.ushine.org/events/fundraiser-2019!

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As I think over the last year, I am reminded that we continue to see, on a weekly basis, the need for mental and emotional health education for students. We want you to know that your funding, prayers, and encouragement are greatly appreciated and help us every step of the way. We are continually grateful for our U!Shine friends. Thank you for your support, and here’s to your good mental health in 2019!

About The Author

As someone who has dealt with anxiety and depression throughout her life, Jennifer personally knows the darkness that can come from mental illness. On the bright side, she also knows the hope and healing that can come through a holistic approach to mental health.  She loves sharing her story of hope with others and is passionate about teaching university students and young adults their potential for becoming more mentally resilient. She also loves helping break the unfortunate stigmas that often come with mental illness, by sharing stories of the many beautiful, creative, and successful people who live full and amazing lives despite a diagnosis of mental illness.