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At Thriving we believe students know what students need. Our cornerstone program “Thriving, Not Just Surviving”, was created to serve undergraduate and graduate student survivors of interpersonal violence and is based on peer-to-peer engagement. Every academic year, this program is designed and operated by student peers who volunteer their time to create the unique space that is Thriving. Below are a few impact statements from previous and current student officers. 

Headshot of Lauren Roberts.

Lauren Roberts

Co-founder & Executive Director

“The sprouting creation of the Thriving Initiative wasn’t anything new or radical, but the courageous healing participants choose to embark on when they join our programs is revolutionary. It shakes the mere foundations that have left survivors alone in their suffering for far too long.”

Headshot of Tony Muñoz.

Tony Muñoz

Program Development, former UCSB Chapter President and Program Co-facilitator

“There is such a need for resources for survivors that focus on the aftercare that has just not been met. Healing that strays away from the clinical and focuses more on the common humanity and nurturing of the soul has been pushed aside. The work that The Thriving Initiative does is so important because it focuses on how to heal outside of a therapist’s office, or a psychiatrist’s office, or a lawyer’s office. It focuses on how to take care of yourself after you feel that you’ve lost yourself.”

Headshot of Michelle Dalarossa.

Michelle Dalarossa

Former PR & Marketing Officer

"One of the things that I found most unique about The Thriving Initiative is its sensitivity to confidentiality and its focus on decentering trauma itself, so survivors are never expected to share their past experiences. Its emphasis on healing as a long-term and sustainable process combined with its innovative and creative workshops make it a one-of-a-kind, student-centered organization."

Headshot of Shivani Awasthi.

Shivani Awasthi

Former Officer of Budgeting and Special Funding

"The Thriving Initiative is like a tree rooted to the ground and each of the initiatives and programs we undertake from The Thriving Not Just Surviving Workshop Series to the Community Cultivations Program is like a branch that reaches out and connects the community to one another, all together providing a strong base of support made up of allies and survivors."

Headshot of Laura Morales.

Laura Morales

Former Chapter President, Officer of PR & Marketing, and Program Co-Facilitator

"The Thriving Initiative does not require survivors to share their story at any point and almost all interactions held within our spaces are confidential. No participant is required to attend all sessions or participate in the activities which take place during the workshop-- regardless of whether they are in the room. We honor challenge by choice and respect our participant's healing journeys through and through." 

Headshot of Victoria Perez.

Victoria Perez

former Vice President of Operations

“The Thriving Initiative's work is different and impactful because we are a student-led organization. I believe that makes us unique because all of the work that we put together, whether it's our TNJS series, or our Community Cultivations project, those ideas have come alive because of UCSB students and community providers. I think there's so much power in students coming together to create holistic healing practices for others for our community to participate in.”

Michelle Dalarossa

Former PR & Marketing Officer

"The Thriving Initiative's mission is to provide accessible and innovative resources and workshops to student survivors of interpersonal violence with the goal of promoting community healing and greater awareness of these issues."

Tony Muñoz

Program Development, former UCSB Chapter President and Program Co-facilitator

“[A past Thriving, Not Just Surviving Participant] shared that coming to the space each week was the only thing that was keeping them feeling excited and hopeful. That was the most impactful moment to me. Being a survivor is hard. One of the hardest journeys a person can be forced to embark on. Everyone that comes into the space seeking healing and community is incredibly powerful. Survivors are strong. Creating a space for survivors to come together, and to even be excited to come into the space speaks volumes to my soul.” 

Headshot of Jasmine Wahab.

Jasmine Wahab

Thriving, Not Just Surviving’s first Co-facilitator

"The Thriving Initiative's work provides a new avenue in survivor resources. Rather than requiring participants to recount trauma, Thriving focuses on providing new ways to heal while encouraging community, be it through group art therapy, yoga, boundary work, or reiki. Each program is designed with a survivor-centered approach and aims to introduce participants to methods of healing that they may not have considered before, all with the support of the entire Thriving team."

Headshot of Chassidie Liu.

Chassidie Liu

Director of Program Development and Outreach, former Program Co-facilitator

“The Thriving Initiative brings together a community of survivors to heal within different modalities such as Reiki, trauma-informed yoga, sound therapy, and much more! This is one of Santa Barbara's only resources for student survivors of interpersonal violence. Not only are we creating a space for folks to heal, but we’re allowing them to find a community within each other."

Tony Muñoz

Program Development, former UCSB Chapter President and Program Co-facilitator

“Being in community with other survivors has meant the world for me. When I started at UCSB and experienced an act of trauma, I never would have imagined being in a position where I can engage in collective healing with other survivors. This has been the most meaningful experience.” 

Laura Morales

Former Chapter President, Officer of PR & Marketing, and Program Co-Facilitator

“Teaming up with the other officers to create new workshops has been the highlight of my work with the Thriving Initiative, thus far. We wanted to create a workshop in which participants could see themselves grow and feel comfort throughout their journey. This brought us to think of Community Cultivations in the Winter of 2021. We brought together our expertise on the arts and gardening to plant herbs and flowers, paint our flower pots, journal, name our plants, and send in pictures of our sprouts as the journey continues!” 

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