Junior Board

MHAI junior board

The MHAI Junior Board is a network of young professionals dedicated to mental health advocacy. The Junior Board is comprised of professionals in an array of fields, including clinicians, social work, psychology, business, law and communications.

The Junior Board works closely with the MHAI board, as well as  mental health advocates and organizations in Chicago and throughout Illinois. The Junior Board welcomes any interested applicants of all educational and professional backgrounds. 

Junior Board Members

  • Samantha Simmons, Junior Board President
  • Renee Shurilla, Junior Board Secretary
  • Gwen Cooke
  • Gianna Gaza
  • Liz Gunnar
  • Zach Holtman
  • Chelsea Parker
  • Kevin Patti
  • Aryn Sothbarr

The Junior Board is actively recruiting new members! Interested candidates may attend a meeting (with an approved RSVP) or speak to a Junior Board representative for more information. Meetings are typically held bi-monthly on chosen Mondays from 6PM-7:30PM. Junior Board members should commit up to five hours per week for MHAI duties. During promotional periods for events, some additional work and time commitments may be necessary. To RSVP to a meeting, to apply for a position or for more information, please contact Samantha Simmons.

Current Junior Board Openings


A large part of the Junior Board’s role is to plan, organize, and promote fundraisers that will raise essential funds for MHAI. We’re looking for individuals with marketing, event planning, PR, communications, or fundraising experience to help grow our fundraisers to reach more members of the community. Notable fundraisers by the MHAI Junior Board include:

  • The Super-Bowl-a-Thon, a pre-Super Bowl bowling event at Timber Lanes in Chicago that features a fun night of bowling, pizza, music and raffles.
  • Stand Up for Mental Health, a stand-up comedy show at The Laugh Factory that features Chicago’s best comics. 
  • Jammin’ Away the Blues, a blues show at Buddy Guy’s Legends that features live blues acts from renowned performers, a raffle and more. 
  • Various networking events (trivia nights, social meetups, etc.)

Event planners of all expertise, or individuals who wish to learn the ins-and-outs of event planning, fundraising, and nonprofits are welcome to apply. 

Do you love following and participating in the latest social media trends? We’d love your help! We’re seeking a social media savvy volunteer to assist with the creation of content for our Facebook and Twitter pages. Content should include a wide range of topics, including the latest news at MHAI, mental health news at the local, state and national level, advocacy news, and any other engaging or shareable content to reach members of the community. Responsibilities include but are not limited to:

Creating a weekly or monthly social media calendar for general use; a promotional social media calendar for fundraisers as needed

  • Posting content on Facebook and Twitter at least 4-5 days of the week
  • Creating event pages as needed, inviting contacts
  • Sharing content from our partner organizations and MHA
  • Responding to messages and comments

Applicants should have a well-rounded understanding of social media trends. Prior experience in social media coordination for an organization (page) preferred. Some graphic design experience is desired, but not required. 

MHAI is looking for a digital marketing specialist to help expand content on our website and increase our overall visibility on the web. Candidates should have a thorough understanding of Google AdWords, Google Analytics, SEO and general online marketing expertise.