UCSB Thriving, Not Just Surviving Co-facilitators
Each of our Thriving, Not Just Surviving co-facilitators has a unique style and set of experiences. Get to know our co-facilitator team by scrolling through their bios below. We are happy to be offering several small Thriving, Not Just Surviving groups this quarter. We encourage participants to request a specific co-facilitator that feels most approachable to them when prompted in the registration process. Scroll down to learn more!
Undergraduate Program Co-facilitators
Undergraduate Program Coordinator & Co-facilitator
Hello everyone! My name is Krystal and I’m so excited to be a Program Coordinator and Co-Facilitator for The Thriving Initiative. I’m dedicated to supporting survivors of interpersonal violence and I hope to create a safe space for our community, where everyone feels comfortable, respected, and supported. I’m looking forward to serving as an active resource for our participants in the Thriving, Not Just Surviving Series. Thank you, and I hope to see you soon!
Andrew Foley (he/him/his)
Hello, my name is Andrew and I am a 3rd year Psychological and Brain Sciences major on a pre-med track with a soon-to-be Spanish major or minor. I am a huge film fanatic! I especially love watching foreign movies. I also love gardening and growing my own food. I enjoy swimming, my favorite stroke is butterfly! I am extremely grateful for the opportunity to connect with my peers in such a unique way through the Thriving Initiative.
Vidhisha Mahesh (she/her)
President & Program Co-facilitator
Vidhisha is a fourth year majoring in Psychological and Brain Sciences and Film and Media Studies. She enjoys writing, biking, astrology, and working with friends on film productions on campus. Vidhisha’s favorite thing about Thriving is how it imagines what a truly safe community looks like—one that creates space for joy and healing, while honoring each individual's unique needs, comforts and journey.
Tony Muñoz (he/him/el)
Graduate Programs Coordinator
Hello everyone! Thank y’all so much for signing up to be a part of Thriving, Not Just Surviving the workshop series! I really want to say how great it is to see that we can come together and really just heal in community. It is not the easiest thing to put yourself out there and seek some form of support, but the fact that you are doing it, just highlights your resilience and strength.
I’ve been involved with The Thriving Initiative for almost two years now, and each quarter that we have offered TNJS, I have always felt like I am leaving the space feeling restored and holding such a positive light. This has been the only space that I have found where survivors of multiple identities can come together in a safe space, and connect on a level that doesn’t just focus on the clinical aspects of being a survivor, but rather, focuses on the healing, the aftercare, the human-ness of the journey.
As a co-facilitator, I am dedicated to making sure that the space feels safe and comfortable. As a past co-facilitator for a group therapy space for undocumented students, I recognize that in order for healing to begin, one must feel supported, safe, and listened to. I’m committed to making sure that everyone feels like they have the opportunity to share, to take a step back if need be, or to just relax in a peaceful space with no pressure to turn on your camera or chat. The world is already filled with so much turmoil so I am dedicated to making sure that at least in this space, you have the ability to choose what is best for you. Trust and know that you will be respected and appreciated.
This is such a rare space that has been created and I am so excited to have the opportunity to be in community with you, to learn new modalities of healing together, and to carve out our own space together. Looking forward to Thriving, Not Just Surviving!
Alexus Espino (she/they)
Coordinator & Program Co-facilitator
Hello everyone! I am so stoked to be in your presence and to learn new modalities of healing with you! Here at Thriving Not Just Surviving, we are committed to providing a safe space for survivors of multiple identities to come together and connect on a holistic level that isn’t achieved in a clinical setting! As a former basic needs advocate and Health & Wellness Advocate and now current co-facilitator at TNJS, I am dedicated to creating a safe, comfortable, and supportive space for members to flourish and thrive together. Trust and know that you will be respected and appreciated at all times! Sending you positive vibes! :)
Myah Mashhadialireza (she/her)
Graduate Program Co-facilitator
Myah graduated from UC Santa Barbara with a bachelor's in Communications and a minor in Applied Psychology. Throughout her undergraduate education, Myah worked with several local non-profits with an emphasis in mental health, access to mental health resources, and mindfulness.
Upon graduation, Myah began working at crisis center in Santa Barbara as a mental health counselor for adults experiencing suicidal ideation, depression, anxiety, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and post traumatic stress disorder. Myah currently works as the community spaces program manager for the Isla Vista Community Services District and loves to teach yoga in her spare time! You can find her on a hike or at the beach somewhere in Santa Barbara on any sunny afternoon!
Visala Tallavarjula (she/her)
Hello! I am a third year student at UC Santa Barbara, and I am passionate about working with survivors because alternative forms of healing are integral to helping all who have experienced interpersonal violence and I would like to help facilitate that. I am currently involved with multiple other organizations and boards on-campus, including the Environmental Justice Alliance and The Women’s Network at UCSB! My favorite part of my role as a Program Co-Facilitator is seeing how much the participants are helped through the work of the providers and I am thankful for getting the opportunity to be a part of their healing journeys!