Nova Southeastern University graduate student Fiorella Marquez has beat out students from across the state to earn a spot in the Florida Blue Health Innovation Competition finals with the mental health management mobile application she helped create to provide users with tools and information about mental illness management techniques and coping skills.
The application complies resources and provides users with all the information they need about anxiety and depression. She is one of 12 teams of collegiate students selected to participate in the finals of the Florida Blue Health Innovation Competition.
Marquez’s experiences and expertise in both mental health care support and entrepreneurial business have helped them excel in preparing for the competition.
For the past five years, the Florida Blue Health Innovation competition has challenged collegiate students across the state to develop and pitch innovative solutions for a variety of problems. The focus of this year’s competition is anxiety and depression with student competitors being asked to create innovative solutions that support the treatment of anxiety and depression through improving access to therapies, reducing the stigma of treatment, increasing engagement in treatments, personalizing treatment access and options, improving convenience of treatments, or encouraging ongoing mental health wellness.
Marquez is the only student from Nova Southeastern University selected to one of the 12 teams that will compete in the finals at the GuideWell Innovation Center in Orlando’s Lake Nona Medical City on Oct. 10.
Marquez is a Mental Health Therapist in training and is currently pursuing her Master’s degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling. She is set to graduate this December with Psi Chi honors and has been nominated for Student of the year.
Marquez is far more than just a student competing in this year’s health innovation competition, as she is also a passionate activist and is focused on raising awareness for mental healthcare and female empowerment. She is heavily involved in helping her community and has even started her own mental healthcare organization called Fear Is Out. Additionally, Marquez recently went on a mission trip with Hear Congo and United Nations to the Democratic Republic of Congo in Africa where she provided free therapy to human trafficking and abuse survivors.
Marquez’s passion for mental health care began when she started educating herself on the matter so she could better help herself and those in her community. She started serving others as she learned healthy management techniques to face life’s challenges. She is treasurer for the counseling organization at NSU, served as the first-year representative for the MIND club at NSU, volunteers for numerous other organizations, and is a motivational speaker.
This is the sixth consecutive year the health innovation competition has been co-sponsored by Florida Blue and the USF Center for Entrepreneurship. Winners of this year’s event will be awarded prizes of $10,000 for first place, $5,000 for second place and $2,500 for third place.