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.
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.
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
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.
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. She has recently obtained a Certificate in Social and Human Service Work Readiness. 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.
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, Sociology has caught his interest. He has gone through significant challenges during the pandemic with his physical health and the health of a family member, and wants to prove support for others during their challenging times. He believes in compassion and empathy above all else and wants to help his peers succeed.
YuWathan Aung (she/her)
Yu is an international student who is always excited to share her cultural background from Myanmar and Singapore. 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 here at BCC. In her free time, she is either watching a Korean drama or is whipping up a meal in the kitchen.
Cassie Benton (she/her)
Cassie is a Bay Area native who has experience working in Youth Development and Out of School Time direct services in both Alameda and San Francisco counties. She is enthusiastic about helping people have healthy relationships and breaking generational trauma. She believes in compassion and communication, and hopes to start a podcast in the near future.
Parsa Faraji (he/him)
Hey y’all! My name’s Parsa and I’ve lived in the Bay Area for a few months. Even though I pursued a career in medicine for quite a while, I’ve now gravitated toward Computer Science and its applications in other fields of work. That being said, Psychology and mental health studies are one of my biggest passions in life. In my free time, I enjoy listening to music, exercising, and getting in touch with friends and family! Like anyone else, I’ve been through some tough times myself and intend to dedicate part of my time to helping others who experience similar mental health challenges.
Julie Pachurka (she/her)
Julie is a French psychologist. She has a French master’s degree in clinical psychology. She worked in a private practice, with people suffering from burn-out and also with migrants. She arrived at Berkeley in February 2023. As her degree is not recognized in the US and as she really wanted to continue to work in the mental health field, she is really grateful to be a P2P member! Plus, as a student-peer aware of the stress and with her emotional experience as a migrant, she hopes to really help the team and the students! Her approach is to try to let thoughts go, to accept emotions and to reconnect with values! Otherwise, she loves food and she likes to do some exercise or to enjoy with her friends!
Mikhal Tewolde (she/her)
Mikhal is a BCC/Umoja alumni who is born and raised from Oakland, CA and is now attending her last year at UCB as a Sociology major. Mikhal plans to educate herself about the social factors of mental health through sociological and psychological perspectives. She is interested to learn how mental disorders are treated in a sociobiological context and the outcomes that seek to resolve them. As an individual who has experienced challenges with her own mental health and others in her community, Mikhal wants to be an an advocate. For those who are dealing with any challenges wellness related and to erase the stigmatization of the problems she faces in her community in relation to mental health/illnesses. In the long run, Mikhal would like to pursue the career pathway of becoming an MFT (Marriage & Family Therapist) back in her hometown of Oakland, CA.