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Calm Sea

Our Story

We founded Cypress Resilience Project in 2019 because so many of us experience the impacts of trauma, mental health challenges and grief.

Meet Our Team

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S. BROOKE BRIGGANCE (she/her)

Program Director / Trainer

Brooke comes from a multi-sector background in health, direct impact programming for children, youth and families, and non-profit work. She began her career in healthcare in the Department of Neurology at SUNY Stony Brook in New York, and has experience in administrative leadership and public education advocacy and reform. She served as the Executive Director of an education foundation and has worked as a consultant assisting in projects ranging from school district redesign, community engagement and best practices for non-profits. She currently serves as the Program Director for the Cypress Resilience Project and as Deputy Director for the FACES for the Future Coalition – both programs at Public Health Institute in Oakland, CA. Brooke has a B.A. in World Religions and Comparative Religions from SUNY Stony Brook.  She is a Certified Grief Recovery Specialist, a Certified Mental Health First Aid Instructor (Adult, Youth and teen), and a Certified Trainer in Trauma Informed Systems and Practice.

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JASMINE NAKAGAWA-WONG (she/her)

Program Manager / Trainer

Jasmine holds a BA in Studio Art from Mills College, an MBA from the Lorry I. Lokey Graduate School of Business, and an Education Specialist teaching credential from the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing. Jasmine has spent most of her career working with underrepresented youth. She is a Certified Grief Recovery Specialist and a Certified Mental Health First Aid Instructor in the Adult, Youth, and Teen curricula. 

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KAREN LANE (she/her)

Program Administrator / Trainer

Karen is the Program Administrator for Cypress. She is responsible for its fiscal management and contracts, overseeing the program’s MHFA certification process, and supporting course scheduling.  She brings many years of program administration experience in corporate, higher education and non-profit organizations.  Karen received a BA in Human Development from Cal State East Bay.  She is currently a hospice patient support volunteer and served as a volunteer crisis counselor for 3 years at two bay area county crisis hotlines. She is also a Certified Mental Health First Aid Instructor.

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KARINA DE LEON MONTES (she/her)

Bilingual Spanish MHFA Trainer

Karina is a Mental Health First Aid Instructor for Cypress, specializing in the Adult and Spanish curricula. She graduated from the University of California, Santa Cruz with a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology. During her time at UC Santa Cruz,  she created the Rigoberta Menchu scholarship to financially support students at Oakes College. Karina believes that everyone deserves equitable access to mental health resources, and is passionate about ensuring that community members have the skills to support each other during challenging times.

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CLAIRE ENEMARK (she/her)

MHFA Trainer

Claire is a Mental Health First Aid Instructor for Cypress. She brings over a decade of experience working primarily with refugee communities in multiple program areas: mental health, community education and youth development.  She is a Peer Support specialist with experience in trauma-informed care. She holds a B.A. in Spanish and International Development Studies from Point Loma Nazarene University and is completing an M.S. in Multicultural Counseling from San Diego State University.  Claire is a lifelong learner who is energized by education and views curiosity as one of the most powerful tools for social change. 

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PRECIOUS UKAEGBU (she/her)

Evaluation Coordinator / Trainer

Precious is a senior at Minerva University, San Francisco, where she majors in Biochemistry and Clinical Psychology. She is passionate about the intersection between Preventative Medicine and Public/Global Health. Mental health being a crucial part of these fields, she looks forward to learning more about and engaging with the mental health facet of holistic health, supporting the Cypress team, and serving the Cypress community this summer. For self-care, Precious enjoys movies from a culturally-diverse pool of movie industries. She also enjoys music, fashion designing, and documentary production.

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MICHELE DAWSON (she/her)

Training Coordinator

Michele Dawson manages the day-to-day processes of our mental health-related trainings.  She supports instructors and students to resolve any challenges and ensure a positive and successful experience from beginning to end.  Having witnessed the effects of mental health crises, she is excited to contribute to this worthwhile endeavor.  Her educational background includes a Bachelor's and Master of Science in Landscape Architecture. As a greater New Orleans resident, she enjoys attending festivals with friends, traveling, the beauty of vinyl records, foreign television dramas/anime, and knitting. 

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JESSICA FORRISTER

Administrative Assistant

Jessica received her BA in English Literature from John Cabot University.  She has worked in multiple different industries, and this breadth of experience provides a useful and unique perspective when working through complex challenges.  She is excited to focus all that knowledge on the Cypress Resilience Project and help people help other people.  In her free time, she enjoys working with animals, singing, writing, cooking, juggling, and exploring the natural beauty of the outdoors.

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