My name is Paul Steeno. I enjoy punking out to Avril Lavigne music, I rock PF Flyers because I’m unabashedly obsessed with The Sandlot, and my mental well being often hinges on whether the teams I fanboy over are doing well or not.
Most importantly, I had the privilege of serving as the communications intern at Picking Me Foundation this summer.
I had the opportunity to write a lot of the foundation blog content. For most of the stuff I wrote in the blog I didn’t include my name in the byline because the work was never about me. Rather, it was about the brave individuals who live with this disorder and are finding the courage to speak up for themselves, share their experiences, and offer advice to help others. Serving as a conduit that they can relay their important stories through has made this internship extremely rewarding.
Spreading awareness about a stigmatized and misunderstood disorder is a constant uphill battle we face at the Picking Me Foundation office. For me, it manifests in my email response rate being about 10 percent when I use my work email address. For our amazing CEO and Founder Lauren McKeaney, who is a dermatillomania suffererer, it manifests in more serious ways such as the constant, sometimes ignorant, questions she has to field about her dermatillomania. Advocating for our small, misunderstood community is all about spreading awareness of what dermatillomania is and how it impacts the people who battle it on a daily basis. I’d like to think the blog has helped, at least incrementally, in doing that and has thus contributed to the overarching goal of the foundation.
Picking Me Foundation is doing amazing things, and it was an honor and a privilege to be a small part of a big, important cause this summer.