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
Andrew Foley (he/him/his)
Lead Undergraduate Program Co-facilitator
Andrew is a 4th-year Psychological and Brain Sciences major in addition to a Spanish major and minor, on a pre-med track. He is a huge film fanatic and especially loves watching foreign movies! Some of his other passions are gardening and growing his own food. He enjoys swimming, his favorite stroke is the butterfly! Andrew is extremely grateful for the opportunity to connect with my peers in such a unique way through the Thriving Initiative.
UCSB Chapter President of Operations
Laura is the UCSB President of operations for the Thriving Initiative. She is a fourth-year student majoring in cultural anthropology and minoring in applied psychology. On the weekends, she is keen on making boba, decoupaging, writing short stories, having picnics at the park, and learning how to redesign old clothes! Some self-care activities she partakes in include aromatherapy and dance, which she feels are freeing for both the mind and body. Laura’s favorite thing about Thriving is how participants are able to navigate through the workshops according to their comfort levels and are supported regardless of where they stand in their healing journeys.
Visala Tallavarjula (she/her)
UCSB Vice President of Operations
& Undergraduate Program Co-Facilitator
Visala is the UCSB Vice President of the UCSB Thriving Initiative Chapter and an undergraduate workshop co-facilitator. She is a fourth-year student at UC Santa Barbara majoring in environmental studies. She is passionate about working with survivors because she feels alternative forms of healing are integral to helping all who have experienced interpersonal violence and would like to help facilitate that. Visala is currently involved with multiple other organizations and boards on campus, including the Environmental Justice Alliance and The Women’s Network at UCSB! Her favorite part of her role as a Program Co-Facilitator is seeing how much the participants are helped through the work of the providers and is thankful for getting the opportunity to be a part of their healing journeys!
“I love being a co-facilitator because I get to see my participants grow and heal together and I feel so thankful for being able to join them on this journey!”
Daniela Balas (she/her)
Undergraduate Program Co-facilitator
Daniela Balas is a senior at UCSB. She has worked for volunteer organizations in the past such as Kids in Nutrition. She is a Communication major at UCSB with a minor in applied psychology and Spanish. She has held leadership positions in the past and has always been passionate about helping others grow and working with them to become the best version of themselves. This is her first position with the Thriving Initiative and she is so excited to be involved in the program and to serve as an active support resource for the community. You can find her roller skating or enjoying her time at the beach in sunny Santa Barbara.
Graduate Program Co-facilitators
Kristy M. Ali (she/her)
Graduate Program Co-facilitator
Kristy is a Ph.D. student in the Department of Linguistics at UCSB. She received her MPhil and BA in linguistics at the University of the West Indies in Trinidad and Tobago where she is from. She is the Vice President for the Queer and Trans Graduate Student Union for 23/24 during which she organized many intersectional community-building events for graduate students. She has worked with survivors in different capacities and in various non-profits. A fun fact is that she was a participant in the graduate group before she came on board as a co-facilitator. One of her favorite things about Thriving Not Just Surviving is that participants get exposure to a wide variety of healing modalities, some of which may not have been accessible to them before. She’s an island girl at heart and loves being at the beach, reading, and making art just for the sake of making art!