1/28/18 Hero: Johané Ligonde

Today’s #SamehHere Hero: Johane Ligondé


We’ve shared a story about the stress related to immigration of an entire family. However, we have not shared one where a child immigrated alone, and left not just their familiar surroundings, but everyone their family and friends support group.


Johane took the stress, anxiety and depression from her drastic change, learned/studied how to properly heal, became a successful leader in education, and has used her knowledge, experience, and “ability to relate,” to help so many others. A Hero on many levels, Johane is actually an expert practitioner on our Global Alliance, focusing on Aromatherapy/Essential Oils. She’s also the principal of one of the largest middle schools in New York, and has championed bringing the Yes4Schools program to her school and district, bringing about an incredible transformation with students, teachers and administrators, for the better.


Johane is also one of the centerpieces of The Global Movement’s #samehere School MH program currently in development, that will incorporate the daily YES! breathing program into its core curriculum. Celeb Alliance Member, Golden Gloves winner, Eric Kelly and I are proud to be representing our Global Mental Health Movement at an event in NYC on February 8th, being hosted by YES! At this event, YES! will be honoring Johane and one of her counterparts from a school in Newark, New Jersey, for their leadership. World-renowned speaker and advocate Marianne Williamson will also be speaking during the program to attendees. If you are interested in finding out more about this event, starting at 5:30 pm at Divya’s Kitchen, please DM us for details & we can connect you with the YES! folks.

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“I remember when I had my first experience with depression when I came to this country at 10-years-old, leaving my spiritual teacher and favorite person in the world-my grandmother, my family, and friends in Haiti where I was born, and grew up as a child. As an introvert, it was hard to make new friends, learn a new language, and adjust to a completely different lifestyle.


As a result of all of the above factors, I developed an overachieving mentality. I worked while attending high school and pushed myself to graduate in three years. I was on overdrive.


In college, everything came to a crashing halt as the brain/body just can’t maintain that pace for that long. Again, I found myself in foreign territory, and my old coping mechanisms no longer served me. I sought professional help at the college counseling center on campus my freshman year.


I share my story to inspire others to reclaim their joy! As a principal, I know many students who share a story like mine. So, I connect with them by being open about my experiences, and they appreciate knowing they are not alone.


The last five years as principal of one of the largest middle schools in Long Island, New York have been the most rewarding years of my life. I have had the privilege of working with an amazing, caring staff and @yes4schoolsusa – an organization that has brought a daily breathing practice that has completely transformed our school community.”

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