Micah grew up in Pittsburgh, attending the public school system there. This exposed him at a young age to the racial and economic inequities created and perpetuated by America’s public and private institutions. He witnessed gang violence in the heyday of the Bloods and Crips; vicious, race-based attacks by white students on Black students; schools so starved of resources they lacked toilet paper; and far too many children’s futures thrown away. These experiences, coupled to the philosophy of tikkun olam, have motivated him at every step of his personal and professional life.
Annie Toirac grew up in Miami, Florida, she is now attending the American University Gap Year program. She has also worked for Facelift Designs as a social media marketing intern. This experience allows her to run our Instagram page and website development. Her aspirations include majoring in Neuroscience on a pre-med track when she attends college next fall with the goal of becoming a healthcare professional. She enjoys being a member of the Active Minds organization which promotes access to mental health services on college campuses. In her free time, she enjoys reading,catching up on the latest shows, and hanging out with friends.
As a graduate of James Madison College at Michigan State University, Rachel seeks to utilize her education in critical thought and analysis of public affairs – including policy, comparative cultures, international relations, and crisis intervention. She is passionate about studying diverse perspectives and modes of being. Rachel completed senior thesis papers on federal drug policy reform and sustainable community-based ayahuasca retreats.
While attending her undergraduate program, she volunteered with the Center for Survivors and received training in trauma-informed support. Rachel carried these skills to Huamachuco, Peru, and conducted multidisciplinary research on developing strategies against gender-based violence. Integral to this internship was co-facilitating a program with community members centered on topics of leadership, conflict resolution, and mindfulness.
She aspires towards a role that encourages life-long learning while promoting justice and equity and is excited to be a part of HEAL. Currently, Rachel is focused on tracking news related to psychedelics, drafting fact sheets and literature reviews, and helping to grow the advocacy network.