Fresno State business student supports diagnosis with podcast

Andrea Lee, part of the Lyles Center in Fresno State, started the HiLow Podcast to discuss bipolar disorder. Photo by Lee

Mental health became the focus of many conversations as the pandemic took over the world. A Fresno State business student is spreading this conversation to the business world with his podcast.

Mrs. Lee Clovis graduated as a class teacher at North High School and this month graduated with honors from Fresno State. But behind the praises was the mental health struggle.

He was diagnosed with bipolar disorder in 2020, a mental health disorder associated with extreme mood swings in the upper and lower emotional realms.

The mess affects millions of Americans, but Lee decided to turn it into a business opportunity when he realized he didn’t have many models in the business world. Her session, The HiLow Podcast, gives a voice to employers, students and mental health advocates. Available on Spotify and Apple, the podcast was launched in March and has five episodes so far.

Its purpose is to create a sense of community and understanding and to encourage people to function in spite of others.

“I really wanted him to have someone with bipolar disorder and be able to live with him so I could see my future, but it was really hard and almost impossible to find that, especially when we were isolated,” he said. he said.

The idea originated in a business class at Fresno State, and was further developed by Lee at the Lyles Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship.

“Every problem you come across is solved by an entrepreneurial project or effort, and when I was diagnosed with my biggest problem I thought I was not inspired,” Leek said.

Selected to be part of the Student Hatchery program, 10 students were in a business incubator with business contacts, their office space, and business tutors. Students in the program are also in front of investors.

Anna Borgeas, a faculty member at Craig School of Business in Fresno State, met Lee in her entrepreneurship class. From the beginning, he came to Lee Borgeas ’class to remember The HiLow Podcast.

Upon learning of the idea, Borgeas invited Lee to apply to the Hatchery program.

“We have room for up to 10 students and we are quite selective in what we ask them to come. We provide support services to help them grow and grow their business, ”said Borgeas.

Lee said the podcast was a great way to start something that was viable, and different than a blog or website. It’s just the beginning of advice for future business owners and entrepreneurs.

“In my opinion, a lot of the problems of young people who want to start a business are not pressed to play; they keep writing things down and then they don’t have to take action. It’s a common trap because we’re perfectionists. We want everything to be perfect before it launches, “he said.” I went into my laptop, grabbed a microphone and started.

Nelson Sebra, an entrepreneur living in Fresno State, helps select students for the Lyles Center Hatchery program. He has been involved in the process for over 10 years.

“From time to time we come across a student like Andrea, who is truly an extraordinary student,” Sebra said.

Vartuhi Tonoyan, Lee’s mentor and business professor, described Lee as a founder, leader, and intellectual.

“He’s really an incredibly talented man,” Tonoyan said.

Tonoyan met Lee last year while teaching an entrepreneurship class and said he is one of the most outstanding students he has ever taught.

Tonoyan said Lee’s business plan is particularly appealing because a lot of people talk about physical disabilities, but no one describes the mental health disability that Lee has begun to develop.

“I think what stands out most is that he has a serious goal. His experience and his desire to fill a gap he was diagnosed with when he was diagnosed with bipolar disorder,” Borgeas said.

Borgeas said Lee’s story is outstanding because of the challenges it has raised.

“I think it’s a beautiful thing to see someone flourish in such misery, to become an opportunity to do something meaningful,” Borgeas said.

Jorge Cruz, one of Lee’s business professors at Fresno State, is an entrepreneur himself. Lee says he stands out among his peers because he is not afraid of risk and has used his challenges as a business opportunity.

“Entrepreneurs always have a sense of urgency and work under those conditions,” Cruz said. “They see failure as an opportunity to learn.”

Lee liked to connect with others who suffer from bipolar disorder.

“I’m not alone I’m not alone. And it’s a moment where you realize I’m not the only one who’s experienced this, ”Lee said.

For the past two years, he has been blaming his therapist and his case manager. They both helped him set goals and helped him see the silver section.

Once you accept the diagnosis, you can find ways to help yourself, he said.

Lee has used his weakness to his advantage and after identifying his needs he has asked his loved ones for help.

He encourages other entrepreneurs to transfer their business plan from the notebook.

“It’s important to do the paperwork, but it’s just a matter of talking to people. Start making your business a real thing, ”Leek said.

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