Yvonne knew from an early age that she wanted to work with young people. She started off her career as a Secondary school teacher, but left after 5 years after becoming disillusioned with the system and pursued a career in business.
Even though she found the business world fascinating and enjoyed learning, she never felt totally fulfilled. There was a passion and drive that had been brewing inside of her for years, an innate desire to help young people to achieve their dreams. Yvonne’s father’s story was the main inspiration and driving force behind Young Happy Minds. He was told to leave school at the age of 14, as he was highly dyslexic, but in the late 1950s, in the West of Ireland, being dyslexic equated to being stupid and this is how he was labelled. Although he went on to form a very successful construction company, he was (and still is to an extent) crippled with self-doubt and self esteem issues that Yvonne believes have transcended into the next generation, even though herself and her siblings received a much higher level of education. Yvonne believes that there are many other people out there with stories to tell like hers, who have been labelled due to the Education system being obsessed with academic success, rather than focusing on the whole person. Yvonne believes in a future where wellbeing is part of the curriculum and where wellbeing is valued as highly as academic success, which will in turn lead to a happier, more successful society.
Martine is a marketing professional who left 'safe' job opportunities in Norway to pursue an adventure to find her true passion and purpose.
Over the years she has been searching for that tool that can help herself and others make active conscious choices. Martine comes from Norway where people have all the opportunities in the world, but still too often, people end up doing what is expected of them, and not what is necessarily right for them. After having searched, studied and tried a variety of techniques to improve wellbeing and awareness, Martine found "Positive Psychology", the science of happiness. The self-help movement is accessible, but does not build on academic research. Academic research on the other hand is often not accessible. Martine felt that Positive Psychology, which bridges the gap between the self-help movement and academic research, was the perfect tool. Martine has a big heart for a lot of people, but in particular she loves using her creativity and passion to see the young people thrive and flourish.
Yvonne and Martine believe in serendipity. They met in Amsterdam where they were both studying at the THNK School of Creative Leadership. They connected through their curiosity about positive psychology and how it can be used to unlock the potential of young people.
This photo was taken 12 weeks ago, when Martine moved to London so that Yvonne and Martine could give everything to Young Happy Minds. Now we have finished a 10-week course at Lampton School and we're already seeing some amazing results, where students are telling us that we've changed their lives!