Peer-to-Peer Support (P2P) with Mental Health Ambassadors

We are a diverse group of students dedicated to academic success, called to serve our community’s mental health needs by providing transformative, non-judgmental support to our peers.

Juggling school, family, relationship, jobs… its hard. Its stressful. Most of us need support to succeed and thrive in our academic journey. The P2P Team is here to support you through your BCC experience with compassion, respect, and help accessing resources. Our Mental Health Ambassadors complete ~50 hours of training in providing peer-to-peer mental health support to our BCC student community.  We’ve got two Peer Support programs.

1. Success Inc

All Berkeley City College students are welcomed to our student-designed, developed, and led Success Incubator. This weekly online gathering provides much-needed human contact, a place to share your feelings and experiences, and valuable skills for coping with stress and developing healthy habits. We cover topics such as: self-care, dealing with procrastination, how to get help at BCC, developing healthy relationships, and stress-management. Most of all, we strive to create a space of dignity and belonging. Bring your dinner and your stories, come on by and listen/share/relax. We meet most Wednesday nights from 5:30p to 6:30p.  CLICK HERE TO JOIN THE ZOOM.

2. One-on-One Peer Support 

Feeling stressed? Need to talk about it? Peer-to-Peer Support can help. Trained Peer-to-Peer Mental Health Ambassadors are here to provide you with understanding and space to share whatever you are going through.  We focus on creating non-judgmental space and listening with compassion.  We can also help link you to campus resources, if you want.  Some examples of things people like to talk about: feeling overwhelmed with school deadlines, breakups, minority stress, loneliness, feeling stuck, family drama, sexuality and identity, substance use/abuse, COVID stress, and anxiety of all kinds.  Our team has lived experience with these issues. We understand and are here to help. Request a Peer Support session here.

Meet the P2P Team

Alicia Mandac (she/her)

Alicia has over 15 years of experience working in academic counseling, mentorship, and coaching in higher education. She is currently a career coach at UC Berkeley. She is passionate about helping nurture personal growth by providing a compassionate space for people to feel seen and heard. She holds a Master’s degree in Social Work from the University of Michigan and hopes to pursue a license in clinical social work in the near future.

Grant Quinones (they/them)

Grant is a Bay Area native whose focus of study is social and behavioral science. They are non-binary and passionate about issues affecting the Queer community. As a person who has lived experience with mental health and substance use challenges, they understand some of the ways these issues can affect the lives of students. Grant firmly believes recovery is possible.

Heather Lawson (she/her)

Heather is an Inner East Bay transplant from the Sacramento area going on 7 years now. Heather is a young mom, a breast cancer survivor, and a prolific reader. She is passionate about using her experience as a cancer survivor to help others in the community in the same situation. As a person who also has experienced her own mental health struggles she is hopeful that providing a wider availability of resources and tools that she can be apart of helping herself and others to not pass on generational trauma. She is genuinely looking forward to being apart of the peer to peer program and hopes that she can have a purposeful impact in the BCC community.

Aylin Navarrete (she/her)

Aylin comes from Chile and has been living in the Bay Area for nearly 6 years. Her most recent studies at BCC have been focused on Social Work. As a foreigner and a non-native English speaker, she has experienced firsthand some of the struggles and challenges that cultural and communication barriers represent in college, work and in life. She feels motivated to help other students to overcome these and any other issues by giving them a space to express themselves, listening with their concerns and connecting them to the resources they need. Her approach is aimed at bridging the gaps so that people succeed with equal opportunities.

Aidan Mark (he/him)

Aidan is a student at BCC who took a gap year to work, and is still exploring majors. Although he hasn’t decided on anything yet, Psychology and Animation have caught his interest. He has gone through significant challenges during the pandemic with his physical health and the health of a family member, but he remains optimistic. He believes in compassion and empathy above all else and wants to help his peers through their challenges.

Lola Pratt (she/her)

Lola has been working with the underserved community as a Community Outreach Coordinator and Peer-to-Peer Advisor with Alameda County throughout the pandemic. Previously, she has served as an IHSS Facilitator/Trainer with Alameda County Public Authority and Care Partners where she participated in the team that was Awarded the CSAC Challenge Award. Lola is an Army Military Veteran and understands the unique challenges of Veterans. In addition to Peer-to-Peer work, Lola has done extensive advocacy and outreach about Advanced Care Directives. She is passionate about giving back to her community.

YuWathan Aung (she/her)

Yu is an international student who is excited to begin her educational journey in the US and at BCC. She is enthusiastic about reaching out to other international students should they need peer support. She is also passionate about advocating the importance of mental health and is eager to connect her fellow peers to the resources they are looking for. She hopes to be able to make a meaningful impact on those around her by being part of their journey. In her free time, she is either watching a Korean drama or is taking a walk around her neighborhood.

Saloni Raj (she/her)

Saloni, who also goes by Zia, is a Mental Health Navigator at BCC who helps students connect with Mental Health and wellness resources. She is majoring in Psychology, loves to work with kids, listen to music, and go to the beach. Her goal is to be able to act as a positive influence to those around her, and be able to actively help others by providing meaningful support, through both practical resources and acting as a listening ear. Through her own experiences with mental health, she knows how important it is to have a support system, and aims to provide that for others.ssed student are here.