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Professional Wellness Staff

Peggy Zherdev

Director of the Wellness Center + Social Support Services
MSW, MPPA, ASW #95390

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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. Terri Moriarty

MFT Intern Coordinator, MA
PSY#24415

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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

Marriage and Family Therapist
Associate, MA, LMFT #124080

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Maria Vogel is a Registered Associate Marriage and Family Therapist with 10 years of experience working with children and families.  She has been working clinically as a therapist for the last 4 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.

Shelley P. Cox

Shelley received her Masters degree from Chicago School of Psychology. 

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Her studies are based in Human Development with an emphasis in working with special populations. Her graduate work is in prenatal, perinatal, and early childhood psychology and health. Her focus of work has been in working with parents of children who have or may be at risk for a developmental difference or Autism Spectrum Disorder. She founded Step by Step Early Childhood Development Program (DBA Step by Step Programs & Services) in 1998 to provide comprehensive services for children with and without developmental delays and differences to maximize potential in all areas of development. Shelly has been a Malibu resident for over 30 years and her children attended the Malibu schools.

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.

Kasey Earnest

Kasey Earnest is the Executive Director 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

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.

Randi Goodman, LMFT#52964, MA, MS

Randi is a licensed therapist and was an educator for over 25 years, Randi has taught in the public schools in New York and trained teachers in all areas of Early Childhood Development.

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Her creativity and passion led her to the Children’s Museum of Long Island, where she developed an early childhood play space and parenting resource center. She moved to California over 15 years ago and she has been in private practice, and specialized in children and families. She enjoys working as the Director of the Wellness Center at the Boys & Girls Club of Malibu and appreciates the overall process of growing programs, supervising interns, and collaborating with the Boys & Girls Club as a support to students and families. 

Colin Keller, LMFT, MA

A Los Angeles native, Colin Keller received a Masters Degree in Clinical Psychology from Antioch University, specializing in conflict-related trauma. He received his Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of California at Santa Cruz. 

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Prior to Engage Therapy he worked in a community-based mental health program in Los Angeles providing individual psychotherapy, group therapy, and assessment and crisis intervention. After 15 years working in business development, Colin left the corporate world to become a psychotherapist and follow his “compass of the heart”. Along this journey, he has trained extensively in mindfulness-based therapies, substance abuse treatment, psychodynamic therapy, cognitive-behavioral therapy, and is Level 1 certified in Sensorimotor Psychotherapy to treat PTSD and other types of trauma. Combining evidence-based practices with an interpersonal and client-centered approach, Colin strives to remain as authentic as possible, while helping empower others to find their own purpose and meaning. 

Shuli Lotan, LCSW

Shuli Lotan 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.

Jennifer Morgan, MA

Jennifer is an occupational therapist and founder of Morgan Occupational & Speech Therapy (mOST), a pediatric therapy practice based in Malibu.

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Jennifer and her team of therapists work with local Malibu children and families on a variety of skills ranging from fine motor skills, coordination, speech and language, attention, sensory processing, and much more. They provide professional, personalized, services at their sensory gym in Point Dume, local homes, and private schools. Jennifer received her M.A. from USC, and has been practicing in the Malibu community for ten years. Jennifer and her team are passionate about their work, and this is reflected in everything they do at most. 

Michelle Smit, LMFT#39167

Michelle is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist with a private practice in the West Los Angeles area.

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 She has been in private practice for 16 years. Prior to working in private practice, she worked with children in the foster care system, providing counseling and working with foster families. Her private practice focuses on couples, young adults, and adults struggling with anxiety, depression, and relationship issues. Michelle is a parent of two teenage children, a son at Malibu Middle School and a daughter at Malibu High School.

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Explore Internship Opportunities

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

For Wellness Center clinicians and interns

Our mission is to significantly enhance the lives of all youth to fulfill their potential as caring, productive, contributing citizens.

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