Meet the Team

Founder: Victoria Garrick

Victoria Garrick is former Division I athlete who had a successful career on the USC Women’s Volleyball team from 2015-2019. Since delivering her 2017 TED Talk, “Mental Health in Athletes: The Hidden Opponent,” she has become a passionate advocate for mental health and body-image. Victoria founded The Hidden Opponent to create a strong community and unified platform for the many student-athletes who face mental health issues.

President/CEO: Ben Ruvo

Ben Ruvo is a current student-athlete at Washington College on the Eastern Shore of Maryland and CEO/President of The Hidden Opponent. After battling his own demons, he noticed a lack of attention towards athlete mental health and wanted to make that change. He founded OpenMindGymm and later merged with Victoria and The Hidden Opponent to strengthen the cause.

Our Volunteers

Editor in Chief: Leeann Passaro

Leeann Passaro was a student-athlete at Washington & Lee University in Lexington, Virginia. She has struggled with anxiety and depression, especially after dealing with various concussions from sports. After graduating in May 2020, Leeann will be an English Teaching Fellow at Berkeley Preparatory in Tampa, Florida. She is looking forward to coaching soccer and lacrosse and earning her Masters Degree in Education. Outside of athletics, Leeann loves reading, writing, film editing, and fishing!

Business Strategy: Max Ruvo

Max Ruvo is a student-athlete at Washington College on the Eastern Shore of Maryland. He is studying economics and finance and will help the team with product development and statistics. He realizes the stress involved in everyday life and has made sure to take his mental health and wellness seriously.

Data Analytics: Jake Brodsky

Jake Brodsky is an ambassador from North Caldwell, NJ. He attends Clemson University as a Finance major. Jake played hockey since the age of 5 and continues to be active today. He has personal experiences with mental health and is looking to help contribute to the fight.

Research Coordinator: Jamila Johnson

Jamila Johnson is a former D1 volleyball player from Furman University. After receiving her degree, she continued on to get her Master’s degree in Community Engaged Medicine, where she dedicated her thesis to uncovering the stigma of mental health in student-athletes. By combining her education and personal experiences, she plans on advocating for the student-athlete community.