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Angela Luong: How “Calm On” Will Change the Way Mental Health is Viewed Today

 Angela Luong is a co-founder of an upcoming mental health app called, “Calm On”. She experienced a big change from being a pre-med student to majoring in human biology as she transferred from the City College of San Francisco and Skyline College. Angela is currently pursuing a four-year degree in biology with a concentration in physiology and a minor in chemistry at San Francisco State University.

About the Entrepreneur

Mental health was a priority for Angela along with the original intent of helping other people. She was recognized by her peer mentors for always being a positive person who saw mental health as personal growth. She dealt with imposter syndrome and had low confidence as she struggled with a lot of courses being a STEM major. 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 inspiring role models in their lives.

Recognizing the Importance of Mental Health

Mental health has always been a priority for Luong along with the intent of helping other people. She has been recognized by her peer-mentors for always being a positive person who sees mental health as personal growth. As a STEM major, she dealt with imposter syndrome and had low confidence when she struggled with many of her college courses. 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 inspiring role models in their lives.

About the Application

“The app will educate children through the use of creative arts, gaming, and technology.” Luong’s current project is to create Calm On, a mental health app that will help children between the ages of 6-11 learn more about their emotions and how to process them properly. In the future, she hopes to expand her company after launching the application on the app store. The company will partner up with hospitals, therapists, and schools who would be interested in using the app for therapy and counseling services while working with children.  For potential candidates wanting to work alongside Luong, she seeks passionate employees and volunteers who are personally invested, without any financial motivation, that see her product being used the way she has envisioned. They should be flexible, open-minded, willing to grow, and ready to try new things. 

Business Journey

Luong was offered to participate in a virtual coding competition hosted by the University of California San Fransisco. She was given two different opportunities; to either research for biological/medical companies or to create and lead her own project in the hack-a-thon for the coding competition. She decided to take on the second option, leading her own project alongside a team. However, she did not have much experience in technical skills such as coding, but had a business background prior to the competition. Due to her lack of coding experience, she struggled to recognize her strengths and had a difficult time while developing the app. Despite this, Luong and her team were recognized by the entrepreneurs and judges at UCSF, even though they did not aim to win any prize or gain any recognition. Her inspiration to start UDmonia: Eudemonia, began there, once she realized the amount of support she had and what everyone wanted her to pursue. After the virtual competition, she began networking for the company and was offered some awards and legal assistance to support her in starting the app. 

Partnerships & Memories

“It was amazing to see many people come together virtually and spend more than 10 hours without taking many breaks to make this idea happen.” Luong will be officially partnering up with Charity Bomb, a non-profit organization which will be a strong resource and will support her company financially. The organization will help solve a lot of obstacles and challenges that she and her team have been experiencing in the past year. A particular memory that stood out to her was during the team Zoom calls of the virtual competition because she didn’t feel alone in the goals she wanted to achieve and that inspired her. 

Biggest Challenge

Since the application was entirely volunteer-based, it was hard for Luong to stay motivated. She mentioned how the mental health of everybody on the team could’ve been affected and that she did face burnout moments while making the app. She also was faced with the question of: “How can I help people who are also struggling mentally while making the app?” There are leadership skills that she wishes to improve upon by finding more resources for the team members, reaching out to people, and by expanding the company.

Motivation to Become an Entrepreneur

“I aspire to lead a big team who can commit to a great deal of social good and well-being for society.” Luong has a strong background in customer service, administrative skills, socializing, and negotiation. She has a big vision and hopes to be an exceptional leader who is not driven by financial motivation and personal profit. One group that tends to struggle with knowing what’d they like to do for their careers are college students. College students tend to feel quite insignificant about themselves and are unsure what steps to take to understand what they should do next. Luong believes that students should learn how to get out of their comfort zone and build a wide, friendly, social circle through hobbies that are relevant. From there, they can slowly build their professional network and generate ideas for their future career. She suggests trying out as many experiences as possible to push the limits and to be passionate to grow from those experiences. She believes that you shouldn’t worry about whether the position is for profit or not; just give it a try!

Quote to Live By

“Slow and steady wins the race!”

Career Advice

“Successful leaders and entrepreneurs need to have a strong passion and motivation; their “why” to keep on going.”

No matter what socioeconomic background that you’ve come from, your personal experience will help others with their struggles in many ways. “When you’ve been genuinely thanked by someone before, you will recognize that your efforts have paid off.” To find your ideal career path: focus on your strengths, morals and values. Do not be afraid of trying new experiences, even if they can feel uncomfortable and scary at times. You will learn a lot from those experiences, and exciting new opportunities will come afterwards. Do not be scared of pursuing a new career path that is traditionally “unaccepted” by people. Your genuine interest and passion will help accelerate your success in any career path that you choose. How? Because you will have a reason to keep pushing yourself no matter what circumstances come your way.