Founder's Story

Trina Ford is the founder of Mya’s ShadeTree Foundation. Trina’s daughter, Mya, is the inspiration behind the name and mission of the Foundation.

The idea of Mya’s ShadeTree Foundation started over 13 years ago while Trina was sitting outside the psychiatrist’s office waiting for her daughter’s initial session to conclude and the Doctor to share the treatment plan. It was the longest 45 min of her life…

While sitting there, Trina had an epiphany. There she was, a single mom with one single focus… understanding how to help / “reach” her daughter. She realized all that mattered in that moment was implementing life changes to support her daughter. What never crossed Trina’s mind was work related thoughts, financial concerns, etc. She did not give a second thought to the time she had taken off from work or to the out of pocket cost of the session. Her only concern was Mya’s mental health and well-being.

How many single parents could say the same? How many displaced families or distressed teenagers had that kind of support?

Trina recognized at that very moment that she was fortunate; she was able to financially and emotionally support her daughter without hesitation. She could drop what she was doing without concern for losing her job or experiencing a reduction in pay wages to be there for her child. She came to the realization that she and her family were truly blessed; not many people are in a position to easily put their children first. 

She wanted to pay it forward and become a blessing to single parents (and other vulnerable groups) that are facing challenges others may not understand… sometimes you just need help in the form of “cover” – like a shade tree. It was a feeling Trina was all too familiar with. This was her opportunity to help others feel as she did that day – empowered, independent and the hero of her own story!

From 2009 to 2017, there were at least 173 mass shootings in the U.S. 2017 was the deadliest year on record for mass shootings. In half, the shooter exhibited warning signs indicating that they posed a danger to themselves or others before the shooting. (Everytown)

The amount of mass shootings across the U.S. so far in 2019 has outpaced the number of days this year, according to a gun violence research group. This puts 2019 on pace to be the first year since 2016 with an average of more than one mass shooting a day. (CBS News)

4 in 10 LGBT youth (42%) say the community in which they live is not accepting of LGBT people. (Human Rights Campaign)

Between 2009 and 2017, rates of depression among kids ages 14 to 17 increased by more than 60% … (Times)

Kids are feeling more pressure to achieve, more pressure in school, and are more worried about making a living than in previous years … suicides have increased in all age groups over the past 20 years and that the stress is passed down to children and teens. (

According to data from the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, the majority of the United States faces a severe shortage of practicing child and adolescent psychiatrists, with fewer than 17 providers available per 100,000 children. (

1 in 6 U.S. children aged 2–8 years (17.4%) had a diagnosed mental, behavioral, or developmental disorder. (