Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, high school student Anh Ngo identified her mission to shelter the mental health of the young generation. Ngo founded a non-profit organisation named MindsetSeed. MindsetSeed's purpose is to promote the implementation of a growth mindset, and kindness for mental health.
The story started from a little puzzle. Ngo recalls that as a child, she would fidget with a Rubik’s cube, wanting to solve it, but not desiring to put forth the effort. However, as Ngo has to be perfect at everything, not being able to match all six sides of this cube wounded her. As Ngo grew up, this mindset harmed her greatly. In her sophomore year in high school, Ngo came across a study of the Growth Mindset by Professor Carol Dweck. Ngo realised that her potential can grow and that talent is dependent on hard work. At this moment, Ngo decided to share this knowledge with others, for them to avoid the downfalls she had met, through MindsetSeed.
MindsetSeed mainly focuses on the mindset and self-esteem of students: in seeking motivation to improve, through the belief that one's potential is not concrete but can grow. Ngo shares her idea upon understanding the scientific foundation behind a study, how it is a critical skill for students to be curious in learning, and seek challenges.
"MindsetSeed offers opportunities for young researchers to participate in the field of neuroplasticity - the background behind the growth mindset study by Professor Carol Dweck," Ngo said. "In knowing that when we learn something new, our neurons react to that and make our brains stronger can make a significant impact on a person's will to develop."
In addition to research programs, MindsetSeed provides interactive mental health activities, in instructing participants through yoga, art, or mediation sessions. MindsetSeed also partners with the American Diabetes Association, to push a healthy mindset in those with diabetes. MindsetSeed has hosted a variety of webinars with health experts, in calling diabetics to adopt not only a fitting diet and lifestyle but also a good mindset, to better their health.
Ngo shows her excitement about the partnership with the American Diabetes Association through her passion for juvenile diabetes research, as MindsetSeed has now created the Diabetes Circle Club. The Diabetes Circle Club is unique, as it offers various volunteer opportunities to help and enrich their scientific and research knowledge on diabetes and the range of individuals the illness affects.
“As a child, I felt as if I needed to be perfect all the time, now I still find myself struggling with perfectionism. With MindsetSeed, I strive to convey that perfection shall not be sought, but improvement instead,” Ngo said. “In shattering the depiction of the 'must', I seek for others to ask the 'why' and 'how', and bliss the process, not just the results. I find this to be most relevant when I am doing research at my chemistry lab and am now applying it to MidnsetSeed.”
To reach this goal, MindsetSeed not only offers services but resources to the youth. MindsetSeed issues its own magazine, the Effort Magazine, featuring a "students help students" model. Editors of this magazine are passionate youths in the field of literature, hoping to convey their ideas about growth through this platform.
Ngo’s goal is to reach a large number of audiences in terms of what MindsetSeed could provide for those people. Ngo wants others to avoid the downfalls she met while thinking one’s potential was concrete and development cannot be sought, as her objective is for the young generation to realise that one’s talent is cultivated through efficient work and determination. Ngo is glad that her message is delivered thoroughly through MindsetSeed’s programme because she sees how people are overcoming their difficulties efficiently and positively through their help.
"I choose 'determination' to describe MindsetSeed. As not the only key factor in starting up a non-profit organisation in the first place, it is also very crucial to the development of a growth mindset,” Ngo said. “[MindsetSeed] had continuously expanded the organisation through new and inventive methods every month, as we try to connect with a large audience, now growing to more than 5,000 participants.”
With a mission of aiding the mindset of the youth, Ngo hopes for the next generation to believe in themselves, and work hard for their dreams.