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Anneliese Silvestre

May 01, 2021

Anneliese Silvestre

Anneliese, tell us a little bit about yourself …

Hey there! My name is Anneliese, I’m 17 years old and I’m currently a senior in high school at
Fairmont Prep in Anaheim where I’m part of the International Business Program. I’m a huge nerd
in terms of music, acting, and swing dance, and I consider them to be the loves of my life. I
started making music when I was in 6th grade, started swing dancing when I was in 8th grade,
and began acting during my sophomore year of high school. You know, It’s crazy looking back, I
only now realize that all three of these art forms revolve around connection; connecting with
yourself, connecting with your body, and connecting with others. There have been times where
I’ve been drowned by the sea of thoughts in my mind, but I’m convinced this basis of connection
gets me through those moments.

What’s your connection to Orange County?

I’ve lived in Orange County my whole life and I’ve always been in love with every aspect of it. It’s
my home! My childhood, all my memories, all my accomplishments and failures, everything
significant (and not-so-significant) in my life happened to me here to shape me into the person I
am today.

Can you share a little bit with us about your outlook on life.

I truly believe that if you strip down every negative circumstance, emotion, thought, feeling,
situation - the only thing that remains is love. This might sound like it came straight from the
hippie movement, but I believe life was meant to be lived with love. Love is so contagious and
can be spread so easily. To me, the meaning of life is to be love; to feel happy and to be in love.
To be in love with myself, with my achievements, with my passions, with my education &
profession, with others, with the world, and with my life. I want to dedicate myself to the things
that make me be the best version of myself I can be. I want to savor every second I have on this
Earth, because after my time is up, I don’t know if I’ll get another chance.

What’s your favorite book?

Ooh, good question. I’d have to say my favorite book is 1984 by George Orwell.

What’s your favorite self-care activity?

Listening to my feel-good playlist I made for myself and dance like a complete maniac, as long as
no one is around to watch.

What drew you to community mental health work?

It goes without saying that mental health is vital, so I’d have to say that reducing the stigma
around mental illnesses or mental health in general is one of the primary factors that drew me to
community mental health work. However, I think more importantly, I wanted to be a person that
could be a part of a community that is committed to helping others in regards to supporting
them and letting them know that they really aren’t alone with whatever they may be dealing
with and that we’re genuinely always here to help.

What have you gained from your experience as an intern for Mental Health Association of Orange County (MHA-OC)?

It has been an absolute pleasure and an honor to be interning/volunteering for MHA-OC. During
our time here, we did learn more about the business/marking side of nonprofits, specifically
dealing with expanding outreach on social media, requesting and receiving donations for a
fundraiser and event, and creating other marketing materials in order to raise awareness for the
nonprofit. Apart from that, we were also able to expand our personal network and partake in
board meetings; essentially, we were able to learn and improve on skills that we will use as we
transition into our adult lives.

Why attend community mental health events, like those hosted by Connect-OC?

Community mental health events are very important for a variety of reasons and they cater to
different people and situations as well. There is no requirement to attend a mental health event,
so you can join regardless of what your personal situation may be. Our mental health is
something that we all need to pay attention to, so regardless of if you struggle with mental
health, just want to raise awareness, or if you want to further inform yourself about this
prevalent topic, attending these community events will prove to be very beneficial.

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