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

S. Brooke Briggance 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 Nakagawa-Wong 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 Lane 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 De Leon Montes 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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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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URAYAH BELLOW (she/her)

Training Coordinator

Urayah Bellow is the Training Coordinator for Cypress. She most recently served as the Administrative Specialist I for Department of Education with Mills College where she worked and supported continued outreach to marginalized populations and those in vulnerable communities to maintain connectivity to the university during the global pandemic. She has a passion for lifting the voices of groups not often represented with authenticity. She is a certified DOULA and a proud volunteer for the “Be My Eyes” application where she receives calls at anytime to support members of that community with activities and needs. She is continuing her education at Mills College pursuing her degree in Public Health and Equity which resonates with her passion in ensuring access and equity for vulnerable populations. She enjoys working collaboratively with diverse populations at all levels to meet the mission of the organization. She especially likes project management and utilizing software to track analytics. In her spare- time she enjoys spending time with her family, outdoor activities and frequent sessions of Yoga. She is a true collaborator, conversationalist and values self-care.