Jessica Goldberg receives an award for Sib4Sib, a program which provides support for siblings of people struggling with mental health issues.
For almost 15 years, Jessica Goldberg has been along for the ride at weekly therapy appointments as dozens of medication combinations were prescribed. She was there for the meltdowns in Target and in restaurants as bread was thrown across the room by her brother, who struggles with mental illness. As a sibling, she found no resources that met her needs, so she decided to create one.
Jessica, also named a Rising Star by the JN and the JCC’s JFamily earlier this year, understands what happens when those in supportive roles need support themselves.
In November 2016, she started Sib4Sib, a 501c3 nonprofit that connects people ages 6-18 with the resources they need for their own mental health while actively helping a brother or sister deal with theirs.
All support groups are facilitated by licensed mental health professionals and give families the information and support they need. Sib4Sib uses workshops, community events, ad campaigns and public presentations to raise mental health awareness and support for the supporters.
This summer, Jessica was awarded the Diller Teen Tikkun Olam Award for her work with Sib4Sib. Now in its 13th year, the award honors the work of teen leaders committed to igniting change in their communities and around the globe. She and her organization will receive $36,000.
Jessica, 17, of Farmington Hills said she is excited to join 15 other teens who share a passion for giving back and also received Diller Teen Tikkun Olam awards this year.
“I am so honored to have received this award, and I am fortunate to be able to put all the money back into the organization,” said Goldberg, who attends Adat Shalom Synagogue in Farmington Hills with her brother and parents, Scot and Judy Goldberg. “I cannot express how humbled I am to be among the winners.”
Sib4Sib’s support groups are free to participants, so the funds from the award will go toward continuing to provide this support without charge and toward the organization’s goals. While Sib4Sib is not religiously affiliated, the group meets at Adat Shalom twice a month on Thursdays.
In the next year, Goldberg plans to create an all boys’ support group, as she says she has noticed boys tend to feel uncomfortable sharing experiences in co-ed groups that are mostly female. She also plans to create a kids’ group with a more play-based therapy approach.
As she prepares to begin her senior year at North Farmington High School, Goldberg is looking toward her organization’s future. She is working with the Sib4Sib board to create a sustainability plan for when she leaves for college and beyond.
A celebratory awards ceremony honoring the teens will be held in San Francisco in August.
For more information, visit sib4sib.org or contact email@example.com or (248) 215-2451.
Read More: Rising Stars: Teens Making a Difference