Where it all started….
How About H.O.P.E. was started in 2015 by Mikhayla Hughes-Shaw of Rock Island, Illinois. With the help of LOVE Girls Magazine and their partnership with Royal Neighbors, Mikhayla started the campaign with a sticker project.
In 2018, Mikhayla won the title of Miss Iowa under the Miss Iowa Scholarship Program, and used How About H.O.P.E. as her platform of choice. She competed for the title of Miss America 2019. During her year of service, she partnered with local mental health and suicide awareness organizations. Through this, the mission of HOPE expanded throughout the states of Iowa of and Illinois. We are now a 501c3 charitable organization continously working towards a more competent and understanding society.
“How About H.O.P.E.”, which stands for “helping others & providing encouragement”, is a campaign designed to create and sustain conversation surrounding mental health and suicide. Through sharing stories, artistic expression, advocacy, and awareness, we can create a knowledgeable and understanding community. Your voice and your story matter.”
- Artistic Expression
H.O.P.E. Board of Directors
Simone Collins – Advocacy Director and President
Simone Collins, resident of Rock Island, IL and long-time friend of Mikhayla, founder of How About H.O.P.E., has made it her life’s mission to be a mental health advocate.
At the age of 15, she realized that it was her calling to pursue a career in the mental health profession due to her mother’s and her own mental health diagnoses.
In 2016, she graduated from Truman State University with her Bachelors of Science in Psychology with a minor in Statistical Methods.
Currently, she is working on her Master’s Degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling at Western Illinois University-Quad Cities. Simone is expected to graduate in Spring 2022. After graduation, Simone plans to pursue a career as a mental health counselor in a college setting.
Currently, Simone is a Mental Health Rehabilitation Specialist at the Robert Young Center-Community Support Program and a Direct Support Staff member at Vera French Community Mental Health Center. Simone is certified in both Youth and Adult Mental Health First Aid.
Along with her passion for being a mental health advocate, Simone enjoys spending time with her friends and family, listening to music (specifically Michael and Janet Jackson), reading, watching television, eating, traveling, and attending community events.
Dr. Tiffany Stoner-Harris
Dr. Stoner-Harris is an Assistant Professor at the Western Illinois University QC Campus in Moline. She completed her Ph.D. at the University of Iowa in Counselor Education and Supervision and is a Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor (LCPC) in the state of Illinois, a Licensed Mental Health Counselor (LMHC) in the state of Iowa, and a National Certified Counselor (NCC).
Dr. Stoner-Harris has worked in the mental health field for over 15 years providing case management, counseling/therapy services, and consultation services. Her clinical experiences include early intervention counseling and play therapy interventions with children ages 0-5 and their families, individual, group, family and/or couples counseling with school-age children, adolescents, and/or adults.
Dr. Stoner-Harris currently provides clinical counseling services through her private practice in the Quad Cities community. Her counseling specialties include PTSD and trauma, multicultural issues, women’s issues, parenting issues, youth and adult mental health, substance abuse counseling, co-occurring disorders, and reentry counseling.
Dr. Stoner-Harris is an advocate for equity in education and social justice issues. In addition, she is currently a RIMSD41 School Board Member, a member of the National Alliance of Mental Illness (NAMI) African American Outreach Committee, and a consultant with Performance Learning.
Mikhayla Hughes-Shaw, Founder and Director
Mikhayla Hughes-Shaw, 22, is majoring in Journalism and Mass Communications at the University of Iowa, working toward a career in broadcast journalism. Mikhayla served as Miss Iowa 2018 under the Miss Iowa Scholarship Program, and competed for the title of Miss America in September of 2018 in Atlantic City, New Jersey.
She is a mental health and suicide awareness advocate. As someone who previously battled depression and suicidal thoughts, Mikhayla created the campaign “How About H.O.P.E. – Helping Others & Providing Encouragement” to inspire change in our mental health culture through sharing personal stories and encouraging compassion. She has impacted over 20,000 students and adults with her mission and speaks vulnerably and honestly about dealing with mental health conditions and suicidal thoughts.
She knows the importance of speaking her truth, because “there is something so powerful about sharing your story with the hope of helping someone share theirs.”
Brina Bily, Social Media and Marketing Intern
Brina Bily is a junior at the University of Iowa majoring in Journalism and Mass Communications and Enterprise Leadership. She is currently working toward a career in either public relations or digital communications.
Brina is a former pageant competitor on both the state and national levels. She was able to promote her platform, Beauty Bags for a Cause, which gave adolescent girls the tools they needed to feel confidently beautiful. She previously interned in the Community Engagement department at Four Oaks in Cedar Rapids, where she was able to help create a digital campaign to fundraise for their TotalChild program.
In her free time, she enjoys writing for her blog, traveling to as many places as possible, and spending time with her friends and family.