Professional Wellness Staff

Peggy Zherdev

Director of the Wellness Center + Social Support Services

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Peggy started working for Boys & Girls Club of Malibu Wellness Center in August 2020. She is a bilingual associate clinical social worker trained to work with families and parents in both in-home and outpatient settings. Peggy is passionate about helping communities learn trauma-informed care practices and empowering teams to use them with clients and each other. She has helped programs succeed in increasing family engagement, positive parenting, and mental health awareness. Peggy dedicates herself to providing her team and clients support with cultural humility, dignity, compassion, and respect. She is a mom of three children who teach her every day about embracing life, playing more, and being present in the moment.
She attended California Lutheran University, where she earned a Master’s in Public Policy & Administration, and more recently, Boston University to earn a Master’s in Social Work with a clinical emphasis. Peggy earned her Bachelor’s degree in Global Studies & Spanish at the University of California Santa Barbara.
Siugen Constanza

Director of Community Affairs & Outreach


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Siugen has been working in the Malibu school system for over 20 years and for the Boys & Girls Club of Malibu for 13 years. In her 20 years, supporting the local education system, Siugen has served as Bilingual Liaison, Community Service Coordinator, Area Manager, Program Manager, and now Director of Community Affairs & Outreach. Her passion for helping marginalized families, especially the Latino community, is what drives her on a daily basis and is close to her heart as she is an immigrant herself. She is a true leader deeply ingrained in the Malibu community and is always looking to advocate for those in need. In this new role, she will continue to be a champion in supporting those who need access to mental, emotional, and social support services.

Dr. Therese Moriarty

MFT Intern Coordinator, MA

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Dr. Therese “Terri” Moriarty, Psy.D. is a clinical neuropsychologist who has been supervising the trainers at the Wellness Center since August of 2018. Dr. Moriarty earned her Masters in Counseling Psychology from Boston College and her doctorate in Clinical Psychology from Pepperdine University. She has worked in a myriad of settings including, McLean Children’s Hospital, VA, Federal prison, and in substance abuse. In addition to working at the Wellness clinic, Dr. Moriarty has a private practice located in West Los Angeles and Calabasas.

Luisa Barajas

MSW Intern Coordinator
LCSW, PPS #77916

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Luisa is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker with over 40 years of experience working in Human Services. Her experience includes working with migrant farm workers, recent immigrants, severely emotionally disturbed children, and adolescents in residential treatment facilities. She has also worked with foster children and parents, at-risk children and teens involved in prevention programs for at-risk families, and teaching parent-child classes for LAUSD Adult Education.

In addition to Luisa’s vast experience, she has been involved in providing services for children and families in Head Start preschools, and working as a Contract Social Worker with an International Adoption Agency for 25 years. Most recently, Luisa had the privilege of being employed for several years as a Field Instructor for MSW Interns. She has a special interest in caring for children and families affected by early childhood trauma, a desire she developed through raising her adult daughter, adopted from Romania. Luisa is married, and besides her husband, and daughter, shares her home with her 7-year old grandson, ‘Ayden-the-Awesome’, whom she is co-facilitating homeschooling alongside her daughter. Luisa is bicultural and bilingual, English and Spanish.

Maria Vogel

Director of Mental Health Education MA, LMFT #124080

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Maria Vogel is a Registered Marriage and Family Therapist with over 10 years of experience working with children and families. She has been working clinically as a therapist for the last 6 years.  Prior to working with the Wellness Center, at the Boys & Girls Club of Malibu, she worked in a group practice in Culver City and as a school counselor for children in foster care.  Maria’s clinical work has focused on survivors of trauma, teens and young adults, and the LGBTQ community.  Maria loves using art and music to connect with clients of all ages.

Wellness Advisory Council

Our Wellness Advisory Council is a local group of experts, comprised of individuals who work in the field of mental health and psychology. Through a shared invested interest in caring for and addressing the needs of Malibu’s youth, families, and the community at large, driven by dedication to every individual & family to ensure access to high quality services. 

Kathryn Alice

Kathryn is a bestselling self-help author who directed Agape’s Crisis Support Team for six years.

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Kathryn has been featured in Psychology Today and The New York Times as well as other media. Kathryn is a graduate of Vanderbilt University. She is based in Malibu and is married with four boys. Kathryn serves on the Board of Advocates for Malibu Public Schools (AMPS) where she has been President and has been a member of the Malibu Leadership Council.

Kasey Earnest

Kasey is the Chief Executive Officer of the Boys & Girls Clubs in Malibu. After establishing her career in the Non-Profit arena, in 2005 she joined the Boys & Girls Club of Malibu, a then brand new non-profit in the small rural community of Malibu.

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Through her leadership, vision and the support of an engaged board of directors and staff, she has led the Boys & Girls Club of Malibu from a modest beginning of a staff of 3 and membership of 30 young people in a single trailer, to an expansive community for youth with 4 locations, 30 staff, 300 volunteers (annually), and has grown the membership to 800 members with a reach of over 1,600 young people. In 2017, Earnest’s long time vision for a Wellness Center, meeting the mental health needs of Malibu’s public school children was actualized. Currently, the BGCM’s Wellness Center provides licensed mental health and counseling services to all Malibu Public school children and their families through a formal MOU with the Santa Monica Malibu Unified School District. 

Many people, including Malibu City Council members, a school board member and even a California state senator, submitted nominations for Earnest as Citizen the 2018 Citizen of the Year, (Malibu Times). In 2019, she was awarded the Certificate of Congressional Recognition, Community Service Award, Ted W. Lieu, Member of Congress 33rd District, May 7th, 2019 State of California Non Profit of the Year. This substantial recognition is on account of her regular work as executive director and commitment to mental health resources for youth; and later, for her extraordinary performance coming to the aid of all Malibu residents during and after the devastating Woolsey Fire. Earnest created and set up the Malibu Emergency Relief Fund in less than a week to provide disaster relief and emergency aid to the citizens of Malibu. Her immediate and decisive action resulted in $1.8 million awarded to local individuals, families and workers, directly providing vital relief to hundreds of distressed families who lost their homes.

Honors Received

  • Women’s Leadership Award, Malibu Chamber of Commerce, November 20th, 2019
  • Hagop Kuredjiam Memorial Citizenship Award, City of Malibu, May 17th, 2019
  • Community Service Award, Santa Monica-Malibu Council of PTAs, May 7th, 2019
  • Certificate of Congressional Recognition,Community Service Award, Ted W. Lieu,
  • Member of Congress 33rd District, May 7th, 2019
  • State of California Non Profit of the Year, CalNonprofits, June 5th, 2019
  • 2018 Citizen of the Year, Malibu Times, March 13th, 2019
  • County of Los Angeles Commendation, “Hero of the Woolsey Fire”, Sheila Kuehl, Supervisor, Third District, March 10th, 2019
  • Keynote Speaker, Malibu State of the City, April 20th, 2018
  • State of California Senate Certificate of Recognition (for Wellness Services), Senator Henry Stern, April 20th, 2018
  • Wellness Achievement Award, Malibu High School Parent Teacher Student Association, May 24th, 2018

Katie Dahm, MA

Katie graduated from Pepperdine University with a Bachelor’s Degree and got her Masters from California Lutheran University in school counseling. 

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She is currently High School Counselor at Malibu High School and has been since 2004. She helps students develop academic and social skills needed to succeed in school. She is also a mother of four children and a SUPER sweet dog.

Mariya Bauer, LCSW #61294

Mariya completed her Masters in Social work at the University of Southern California in 2009. Following her Masters program she was hired as a Mental Health Clinician for a Domestic Violence and Residential Drug Treatment program.

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For the next 6 years she worked as a clinician for the residents in the shelter regularly visiting Century Regional Detention Center to assess inmates for eligibility to the program. Eventually in that assignment Mrs. Bauer became Supervisor, overseeing program staff while maintaining her role as primary clinician.  Over the course of her time working in residential treatment, Mrs. Bauer regularly worked with Probation, District Attorneys, DCFS, and other agencies becoming intricately aware of the many obstacles facing this unique and disenfranchised population. Mrs.Bauer then accepted a position as Reentry Coordinator with a non-profit organization in La County and has since become Director of Reentry Services.  Currently, as the Director of Reentry services Mrs. Bauer oversees multiple Workforce Development grants with both the County and City of Los Angeles as well as a team of clinicians, case managers, and interns that offer a range of supportive services both within the correctional facilities and in the community. 

Dr. Kathleen Eldridge, MA, PhD

Dr. Eldridge has been a Malibu resident since 2004 and a Malibu public school parent since 2011. She is a licensed clinical Psychologist and a Professor of Psychology at Pepperdine University in the Graduate School of Education and Psychology.

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She earned a BA in Psychology at UCSB and an MA and PhD in Clinical Psychology at UCLA. She specializes in teaching graduate courses in couple and family therapy, cognitive-behavior therapy, and mindfulness/acceptance processes. Dr. Eldridge’s scholarly work focuses on couple therapy, relationship communication and education, faith and spirituality, and culture. She has worked in multiple clinical settings with diverse populations comprised of children, adolescents, college students, adults, couples, and families. She is passionate about partnerships between Pepperdine and the Malibu community and excited about serving on the Advisory Council for the Wellness Center.

Shuli Lotan, LCSW

Shuli is the Coordinator of Mental Health Counseling for the Santa Monica – Malibu Unified School District. She is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and has worked in schools as a therapist and program coordinator for over 20 years.

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Providing direct counseling services to students and families as well as managing programs and supervising school social work interns. She coordinates the services that are provided at district schools by the various community-based mental health programs including the Wellness Center at the Boys and Girls Club of Malibu, and works collaboratively with school and agency leadership to try to increase access to supportive counseling for district students. Shuli can help connect families to services in the community as well as on campus, and is grateful for the wonderful partnership between the Malibu schools and the Boys & Girls Club Malibu Wellness Center.

Marilyn Porras Figueroa

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Explore Internship Opportunities

To explore internship opportunities with the Wellness Center,
please see below. 

For Wellness Center clinicians and interns