Directors

Juliette Virzi 

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Executive Co-Director

Year: 4th

Major: English

Why are you passionate about Mental Health? 

I know what it feels like to struggle w/ a mental illness & I want UCLA students to know that they are never alone

Danielle Herrera

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Executive Co-Director

Year: 4th 

Major: Psychology; Applied Developmental Psychology  Minor

Why are you passionate about mental health? 

Being raised by a mother w/ substance abuse disorder & other mental health disorders along w/ my own personal experience w/ mental illness has truly demonstrated to me just how stigmatized mental illnesses are to general society. I want to advocate against the stigma & for better mental health practices that promote wellbeing & the acceptance of seeking professional help.

Jason Rivas

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Membership Development Director

Year: 4th Transfer

Major: Anthropology 

Why are you passionate about mental health?

 I have depression and social anxiety, which I’ve never been able to speak to my family about due to the stigma surrounding mental illness. Active Minds has changed the way I think & talk about mental illness & I want to change how other people think about it as well.

Austin Gane

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Education Committee Director

Year: 3rd

Major: Psychobiology; Anthropology minor

Why are you passionate about mental health?

I have seen mental health issues in my family, my friends, & myself & I want to make sure I’m doing my part to destigmatize mental illness by creating a space for open & informed conversations.

Mandy Mekhail

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Events Committee Co-Director

Year: 3rd

Major: Psychology; Disability Studies Minor

Why are you passionate about mental health?

It’s something that affects all of us and it’s something we can always work to improve. Self-care isn’t selfish!

Brooke Houser

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Events Committee Co-Director

Year: 2nd

Major: Psychology

Why are you passionate about mental health?

 I have personally experienced mental illness and was able to help myself because of people willing to speak up and share their experiences. Not everyone has mental illness, but we all have mental health!

Megan Larson

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Workshops Committee Co-Director

Year: 3rd

Major: Microbiology, Immunology & Molecular Biology; Study of Religion minor

Why are you passionate about mental health?

I know from experience how hard it can be living with a mental illness, especially when faced with stigma. I want to combat the stigma surrounding mental illness and help others know they are valuable and worthy of help.

Jonathan Valdez

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Workshops Committee Co-Director

Year: 4th

Major: Psychology

Why are you passionate about mental health?

 Mental illnesses are often life changing conditions that people are more or less placed into. The work we do to expose students to individual’s stories & further educate about mental health issues fuel my passions as we reduce the stigma around mental illnesses, one ripple at a time.

Tania Caseres

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Marketing Co-Director

 Year: 2nd

Major: Psychology

Why are you passionate about mental health?

Mental health is everything. No matter what our purpose or stance in life is, taking care of our mental health helps foster change, well-being and allows us to see and appreciate the beauty in life.

Stan Kuboi

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Marketing Co-Director

Year: 2nd

Major: Psychobiology

Why are you passionate about mental health?

Mental health affects everyone, yet not enough people talk about it! Through Active Minds, I can help spread knowledge, discussions, and awareness about mental health, which is always a powerful experience.

Valerie Vessels

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Finance Co-Director

Year: 3rd

Major: Psychobiology; Gender Studies minor

Why are you passionate about mental health?

People tend to ignore mental health because you can’t always see it, but we want to show everyone that mental health is just as important as physical health. We may not all have a mental illness, but we all have mental health and it’s time we started taking care of it.

Brianna Garcia

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Finance Co-Director

Year: 3rd

Major: Psychology; Public Health minor

Why are you passionate about mental health?

Our mental health is so vital to our everyday functioning and I just want to ensure that others don’t neglect its importance.

Araceli Gonzalez

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Logistics Director

Year: 3rd

Major: Psychology; Education Studies minor 

Why are you passionate about mental health?

Mental health affects every aspect of our lives. I strive to reduce the stigma that surrounds mental illnesses, especially in underserved communities, so everyone can feel comfortable reaching out for the help they deserve.

Dorothy Nguyen

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Community Relations Director

Year: 3rd

Major: Neuroscience; Cognitive science minor

Why are you passionate about mental health?

I’ve chosen mental health as my social justice issue, one, because the public view of mental disorders needs to be de-stigmatized. For another, I think basic mental health maintenance and self-care is so relevant to simply being happy, that it should be a subject that is pushed out to the public eye more than it currently is now.

Justino Flores

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Web Development Director

Year: 3rd

Major: Psychology; Public Health minor

Why are you passionate about mental health?

I have seen many mental health issues among my family and it has made me evaluate that mental health is an important part of health in order to live a happy and balanced life. I want to become a Clinical Psychologist & help underserved communities with their mental health issues.

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