Angela Luong is a co-founder of an upcoming mental health app called, “Calm On”. The application was launched by UDmonia: Eudemonia, a team of young programmers, animators, illustrators, and mental health researchers. As Angela transitioned from City College of San Francisco to Skyline College, she made a significant change in her career path. She dropped her pre-med status and moved instead to pursuing a BS in Biology with a concentration in Physiology, and a minor in Chemistry when she transferred to San Francisco State University. While she did not want to pursue pre-med, Angela is determined to continue helping others.
Angela’s shift in majors and career paths paved the way for Angela to make mental health a priority, allowing her to maintain her intent to help people. She was recognized by her peer-mentors for always being a positive person who saw embracing mental health as personal development. Being a STEM major, she struggled with her classes leading to her having low confidence and imposter syndrome. However, her mental health really improved when she realized that her grades did not define her as a person. She intends to pass down her knowledge and experiences to the next generation who may not have had inspiring role models in their lives.
UDmonia: Eudemonia initially started out as a project when Angela was offered an opportunity to take part in a virtual coding competition hosted by UCSF. She was given two different opportunities; to either research for biological/medical companies or to create and lead her own project in the hackathon for the coding competition. Before beginning the competition, Angela had a business background but did not have much experience in technical skills like coding. She struggled with a lack of confidence and did not recognize her own strengths which caused her to have a difficult time in the early stages of app development. Angela and her team did not aim to win any prize or gain any recognition; however they did end up gaining recognition by the entrepreneurs and judges of UCSF based on their teamwork and collaborative nature. Angela was inspired to co-found UDmonia: Eudemonia once she realized the amount of support she had from individuals who wanted her to pursue a goal of promoting mental health for the upcoming generation. After the virtual competition, she began networking for the company and was offered some awards and legal help to begin app development.
Currently, Angela is focused on launching the mental health app named, “Calm On” with her team. The app is designed to help children between the ages of 6-11 years old explore and learn about their emotions, and how to process them properly. In the future, Angela hopes to first launch her company on the app store so she can continue to grow her company. And by developing partnerships with hospitals, therapists or schools that conduct therapy with children—people passionate and personally invested in helping others—she would eventually see her app being used in the way she envisioned it to be used. Her mission was to help others through this app, so Angela knew she needed to seek out flexible, open-minded, and risk taking people who were interested in thinking outside of the box and who were willing to try out new things.
“It was amazing to see many people come together virtually and spend more than ten hours without taking many breaks to make this idea happen.”
Because of Angela’s commitment, perseverance and efforts, Charity Bomb, a non-profit organization, will be officially partnering with her, supporting her company financially. This partnership is exactly what her team needed to help them overcome some of the financial obstacles and challenges she and her team were experiencing in the past year. Apart from her
achievement, a particular memory that has stood out to her was during the Zoom calls between her and her teammates — collaboration was at the heart of what they were all doing so she never felt alone on her journey.
Since the development of the application was based on volunteers, it was hard for Angela to stay motivated. She acknowledged how everyone’s mental health was impacted and the irony in how she herself was experiencing burnout while making an app designed to help people with mental health challenges. These observations also presented her with another set of
challenges—addressing stress and burnout for app developers. Through further developing skills in leadership, identifying resources, and facilitating a space where app developers can get help while dealing with the stresses of app development will ensure she can expand the company for the right reasons.
“Successful leaders and entrepreneurs need to have a strong passion and motivation; their “why” to keep on going.”
No matter what socioeconomic background you’ve come from, your personal experience will help others with their own struggles in many ways. “When you’ve been genuinely thanked by someone, you will recognize that your efforts have paid off.” To find your ideal career path, focus on your strengths, morals and values. Avoid being afraid of trying new experiences (even those that feel uncomfortable and scary) because it is from those opportunities that growth, learning and new opportunities arise. Do not be scared of pursuing a new career path that is traditionally “unaccepted” by people. Your genuine interest and passion will accelerate towards
your success in any career path that you choose. How? Because you will have a reason to keep pushing yourself no matter what circumstances you face along your journey.
Birdseye thanks Angela Luong for taking the time to sit down with us and have this fantastic conversation. We wish you, your team, and Calm On the best of luck, and we look forward to seeing future projects from you.