Starting college can be an overwhelming time for many young people as they adjust to new classes and routines. While many first-year students wait until their second semester to get involved in extracurricular activities on campus, freshman communication studies (CMST) student Jada Bromberg (she/her) jumped right in within weeks of starting at Temple University in August 2022.
After going to Director of Communication Studies and Undergraduate Studies Scott Gratson’s office hours, Gratson suggested Bromberg come to the upcoming Klein College of Media and Communication Preview Day so she could help out and meet prospective students. Bromberg was already interested in the event, and was glad to show up in her Klein shirt to represent the CMST program.
Now, Bromberg is officially part of the CMST recruitment and social media teams.
“I’ve seen the experience that she brings already make our team so much better than it was,” said Student Director for Recruitment for CMST Hadley Driscoll (she/her). She noted that the recruitment team always needs students who are passionate and well-spoken and can help prospective students see themselves at Temple.
In addition to involvement in CMST, Bromberg has been to several Asian Student Association and Active Minds meetings, and joined OwlCappella and the Music Technology & Business Society. All of these clubs reflect passions she had before coming to Temple and Bromberg is excited to have found outlets to develop them further.
One of Bromberg’s passions is mental health advocacy. “I’ve struggled with anxiety and depression. I just use different platforms to share my story and use my voice,” she said.
While in high school, Bromberg was the president of her school’s chapter of Our Minds Matter, a national mental health nonprofit that aims to promote wellness and positivity through school clubs, for two years.
“A key ingredient to having a club is having passionate student leaders,” said Program Director at Our Minds Matter Laura Beth Levitt.
In the summer of 2020, Bromberg interned for the organization. Levitt noted how she spearheaded some of their social media development. For instance, she did a series on raising awareness of mental health in communities of color and the best ways to support them.
Bromberg’s involvement at Our Minds Matter led to her interning with one of their partner organizations, This Is My Brave, also during the summer of 2020. With This Is My Brave, she joined the Brave Teens video diary initiative where teens share their mental health stories.
In August 2020, People magazine published an article about the project, in which Bromberg was featured.
Her work with This Is My Brave gave Bromberg the opportunity to merge mental health advocacy with another one of her passions: music. The organization hosted shows where teens could tell their stories, so Bromberg auditioned for the DC area show with an original song she wrote about mental health called “At the Edge.”
Bromberg started song writing when she was 13 years-old, although she said she’s been singing for as long as she can remember. When she started struggling with anxiety and depression in middle school, her mom suggested she try writing about how she felt. Though she was against it at first and being vulnerable enough to write about her experiences was difficult, she performed an original song for an audience for the first time when she auditioned for the DC area show.
“I auditioned for the show because I used to be very ashamed of talking about my mental health and I hid it from everyone,” Bromberg said. Auditioning was her first step in sharing her story.
After the virtual DC area show aired in October 2020, Bromberg decided to audition for the national show with a different original song, “I’m Still Here.” The show aired on YouTube in May of 2021, and there was a live performance in Virginia in September of 2021.
“I think one of the things that really stands out to me is how clear it was that she was doing this for others, not for personal gain,” said Driscoll of Bromberg’s desire to share her music with the world.
In addition to spreading mental health awareness, Bromberg is also passionate about using her voice to educate others about what it’s like to be an Asian American adoptee. In her high school journalism class, Bromberg had the idea to write a story about adoption for the school paper. Although it wasn’t chosen for that issue, Bromberg still felt strongly about writing it.
She ended up writing a piece about what it’s like to be an adoptee in an education setting, in hopes of educating others about her and others’ experiences. She pitched it to a few major publications, and with the help of her dad, it eventually caught the eye of someone at USA TODAY and was published as an op-ed in November of 2021 during National Adoption Month.
“My parents are the ones who are super encouraging of me. I don’t give up, but I definitely need that boost of encouragement sometimes,” Bromberg said. She is grateful to have parents that help her embrace her Asian American culture, and she was recently featured in a Washington Post article about how she and her family celebrate the Lunar New Year.
Before coming to Temple, Bromberg did one more internship with Our Minds Matter where she went into the office in Washington to work with staff on materials to support other high school club chapters.
“She’s a mover and shaker for mental health, and I think she’s going to be a great member of the Temple community,” Levitt said.