Compton native, Breyon Clemmons, classifies herself as a uniquely skilled mental health clinician, as well as the founder of TIME Incorporated. With over 10 years of experience in mental health, she is well versed in child advocacy and well trained in Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy.
Clemmons received her Bachelors in Psychology from California State University Dominguez Hills and her Masters in Clinical Psychology from Antioch University. Currently she works with foster care and probation youth, but in the past she has worked for organizations, such as the AIDS Project Los Angeles (APLA), In the Meantime Men’s Group, and Volunteers of America servicing various populations.
“I have dedicated my career as a clinician to advocating and providing effective mental health services to individuals living in communities with a deficit in resources.”
I recently interviewed Ms. Clemmons where she chatted more on her advocacy for our youth and her community.
Huey X: Growing up and still to this day who are your inspirations/mentors? How did they impact your life?
Breyon Clemmons: My greatest inspiration is my mother. I watched her as a single mom do her best to provide for me with the resources and support she had. Throughout my life I have had several mentors who taught me the importance of respect, self love, dedication, passion, acceptance, feminism, advocacy, and cultural diversity. I thank God for each mentor for becoming a vessel in my life. Today, my mentors are Angela Rye and Amanda Seales; they just don’t know it!
Huey X: When did you realize you had a passion for entrepreneurship/social services?
Breyon Clemmons: Omg! I ran away from being an entrepreneur until 30. The passion was always there and the ideas floated around. I would have to say in undergrad I was certain I wanted to dedicate my career to social services and being an entrepreneur.
Huey X: How did you get involved in social change initiatives?
Breyon Clemmons: I started working for Compton Unified School District and Los Angeles Unified School District right out of high school where I witnessed redlining in education. Compton and Watts schools were not receiving the same funds and resources as the schools in the more affluent neighborhoods. These disparities along with others in education lit a fire in me to create change.
Huey X: What inspired you to start your company/initiative Time Inc?
Breyon Clemmons: My own experience growing up in a Black community where mental health services and resources were non-existent is what inspired me to create TIME. I knew that whatever I chose to do I had to give back to the community I came from.
Huey X: Can you tell us what your company/initiative does from a procedural stand point?
Breyon Clemmons: Together Impacting Minority Excellence Incorporated provides mental health services to children and families in underprivileged communities. Services include both School Based and Community Based services.
Huey X: When starting out and deciding to build your company/initiative what were your goals and expectations?
Breyon Clemmons: The goal always has been and always will be to provide quality mental health services and resources to our children and their families. My expectation is always excellence, and nothing less.
Huey X: With mental health being such an unpopular subject and frowned upon subject in our community, does the stigma surrounding it make your job more difficult?
Breyon Clemmons: Yes, and that’s what I love about it! I enjoy finding creative ways to talk to families about the importance of mental health and wellness. Trauma is not an easy topic to discuss with kids but when you write a story, or create a song, or play games to unpack the trauma it becomes easier to discuss.
Huey X: You’ve recently been added to the (Forbes The Culture) forum how did that make you feel being accepted into an elite organization?
Breyon Clemmons: Pretty Awesome! It feels great to be in a group of my peers with common goals, mixed with culture, a dash of passion, a sprinkle of tenacity, and a pinch of fun. The best part is that we uplift each other and share resources.
Huey X: What are some things you’ve gained and experienced since joining the organization?
Breyon Clemmons: A sense of community. The idea that I have access to a group of educated individuals in a spectrum of careers is quite empowering.
Huey X: In the near or distant future, what are you hoping to learn and experience being apart of the organization?
Breyon Clemmons: I am looking to gain experiences, resources and life long connections with many of the people within the organization.
Huey X: Can you offer our readers and aspiring therapist/change agents some great words of wisdom and advice?
Breyon Clemmons: I will leave you with the quote that I live by ” It is easier to raise a healthy child than to repair a broken man.” – Frederick Douglass.