Who We Are
Teen mental health, while being a talkative topic among professionals, is a touchy one among teens. Cats to Cats is a student-run organization dedicated to ensuring everyone at Los Gatos High School can get the resources they need and a way that works for them. We all go through hard times, so let's go through them together!
GET TO KNOW THE FOUNDER
Founder of Cats to Cats
In the spring of 2019, I faced some of my hardest challenges. I was lost. I was unmotivated. I was depressed and, at a time, I did consider suicide. And I didn't know where to find help. I had to just research and I had to dig deep and I had to be brave to be out to talk to some people, but, since then, I've come to realize that we don't talk about that kind of stuff much and that is a major issue. Because we can talk about all the goofy stuff on Instagram all the livelong day we don't talk about the stuff that makes us human. After my experience last year I kind of realized that the best thing I could do for the school was provide that kind of environment. An environment in which it's okay to talk about the hard things. And that’s what Cats to Cats is. Cats to Cats is specifically a student-run organization because I think nothing is more important than being able to talk with someone who’s also been through that experience and is of the same age and mindset. You can talk to professional counselors, but sometimes these experiences are just too intimidating and there’s just too much red tape to go through. But, Cats to Cats presents all the available resources in a way that makes it easy to understand and digest. That is what Cats to Cats is and that is what we are working for. Welcome to Cats to Cats and I hope that, together, we create a safer and more healthy environment.
THE CATS TO CATS TEAM
Who We Are
JOSHUA OGAWA, SENIOR (HE/HIM)
President & Founder
When I hit rock bottom in 2019, I realized that I was alone. I had no idea where to find help and I was lost. I created Cats to Cats because I don't want to see anyone else feeling that lost in their most desperate hour. Outside of Cats to Cats, I coach gymnastics, am part of the LGHS Marching Band, and enjoy writing.
MABEL HEENAN, SENIOR (SHE/HER)
Vice President & Topic Director
Hello, I’m Mabel. I'm a senior, a sneakerhead, and an athlete. I've struggled with depression and anxiety for as long as I can remember, but that isn't my defining feature. I want everyone to know that too; you may be riding the Struggle Bus but that doesn't mean you can't transfer to the A-line to Happytown. You are worth it, you are intelligent, and you are a Wildcat!
QUINN FAFARD, JUNIOR (HE/HIM)
Vice President & Media Director
I’m Quinn and I’m a junior at LGHS. My brain never really shuts off and I’m always juggling thousands of actions, thoughts and ideas all at once (yes, it drives me insane). I’m at my happiest when I am being productive and working with others. Outside of school, I’m a dog trainer, hiker, unicycle enthusiast and I’m also a part of several LGHS music programs.
JASON AOCHI, SENIOR (HE/HIM)
Secretary & Technology Officer
Hi, I’m Jason! I play Bass Clarinet and Mallet Percussion in the LGHS Band Programs and I'm a docent at the Japanese American Museum of San Jose. When Josh first told me about Cats to Cats, I was excited to get on board. Mental health should be a priority for everyone. I manage most of the technology for Cats to Cats, and I also work directly on the website and YouTube Channel.
MERIDIAN ONDREJKA, SENIOR (SHE/HER)
Hello, I’m Meridian, I’m a senior at LGHS. I love reading and writing. As a person who has had to deal with her fair share of mental hardships, Cats to Cats really spoke to me because there isn’t enough openness in our current culture to be able to discuss things such as depression, anxiety, etc. I think Cats to Cats can really change that, giving a space where people can both educate themselves, and if need be, reach out for help and support.
PRAJEET MOHAN, SENIOR (HE/HIM)
Hi! I’m Prajeet. Ever since I was little, I’ve always had a passion for helping people out, especially with their anxiety, stress, and depression issues. When I was introduced to Cats to Cats, I figured it was the perfect fit for me. All I’ve ever wanted was to help people see the best of themselves and to provide them with as much support as possible. I can’t wait to help students achieve that through Cats to Cats. No one has to be alone to combat their struggles!
ZOE, SENIOR (SHE/HER)
Hi! I’m Zoe, a senior at Los Gatos High. I love art, costuming, and poetry. In fact, my first draft of this bio was a haiku, though the line about my love of chicken didn’t really fit with the theme of Cats to Cats. This is a resource I wish I had, especially freshman year, and I’m excited to work with such a great team to make this organization come to life.
JULIE CHEN, SOPHOMORE (SHE/HER)
Hi, I’m Julie! I am currently a sophomore, and the newsletter supervisor for Cats to Cats. I am also a dancer who loves to help out my peers in whatever way possible! I moved here from Chicago last summer and felt quite anxious to start a new “beginning”. I want to help those at school feel like they have a safe outlet to communicate their struggles, and know that we support whatever it is they may be going through! Cats to Cats is something I am very interested in because I feel that mental health issues are not getting enough attention as it should be at school. I am very excited to be a part of something so special, and can’t wait to see what the future holds!
ANIKA CHUKKAPALLI, JUNIOR (SHE/HER)
Hi, I'm Anika Chukkapalli and I joined CTC because I believe mental health is something that people in general need to be more educated about and destigmatized. I'm a junior at LGHS and I am in the jazz band and I like watching movies.
AMELIA CONTI CHEN, JUNIOR (SHE/HER)
Digital Design Officer
Hello! I'm Amelia, and I'm a junior at LGHS. In my free time I like to hike, draw, and pursue musical nirvana. I am also part of the LGHS marching band. Dealing with mental health can often feel like quite a lonesome struggle, so I'm excited to try to help change that through Cats to Cats!
ABBY ELLIS, SENIOR (SHE/HER)
Hello! My name is Abby Ellis and I am a senior. I spend a lot of my time outside whether it be doing sports or doing anything else active. I am a part of the Field Hockey program at LGHS and the Winter Guard Program. I am so grateful to be part of this amazing team of fellow LGHS students working hard to help teens with mental health.
MAYA GINSBURG, SENIOR (SHE/HER)
Hi! My name is Maya and I am a senior at LGHS. I am a part of the outreach team for Cats to Cats and am lucky enough to work with such dedicated people. At LG I play lacrosse and field hockey. Outside of school I enjoy hiking, running, gardening, and trying new things whenever I can! Through Cats to Cats I hope to encourage others to find new ways to express themselves and not be afraid to speak out.
TATUM HEYL, SENIOR (SHE/HER)
Outreach Widcat-line Supervisor
Hello, I’m Tatum. I grew up in Los Gatos. I joined Cats to Cats in order to help others realize that mental health shouldn't be as stigmatized as it is portrayed in the media. I love dogs and rowing and I'm always looking for ways to help others!
REBECCA LEE MESHENBERG, JUNIOR (SHE/HER)
Chief Research Officer
I’m Rebecca, a junior at LGHS. I’m super excited to see where this goes, and I really think Cats to Cats has the potential to help students and improve the overall LG community. I participate in FIRST robotics on our school team, and I’m glad I have this opportunity to not have robotics be my whole life. Mental health issues always seem to be stigmatized and danced around, and I think this will really ease the awkwardness around the topic. I can’t wait to get going!
CAIT NGUYEN, JUNIOR (SHE/HER)
Media Outreach Creator
Hi! My name is Cait Nguyen, and I am a junior. I'm a member of the LGHS robotics team and I love doing all sorts of arts. I play violin, bass, and I draw in my free time. Nothing is a better time waster than working on a big art piece, only to throw it away five hours in!
MARISHKA STUEZLE, SENIOR (SHE/HER)
Hello! I’m Marishka and I run the Facebook account for Cats To Cats, and I joined this amazing group because I’ve been struggling with Misophonia for many years and it was difficult in high school. And seeing that, I realized I wanted to help others with what they’re going through.
YUNA SHEGAI, JUNIOR (SHE/HER)
Social Media Supervisor
Hey there! My name is Yuna and I am the social media supervisor. I’m a flute in the LGHS marching band and just a major fan of music overall. As someone who struggles with anxiety and wants to pursue a career in the psychological field, Cats to Cats drew me in. I want to help lift the social stigma around mental health in the LGHS community and help people understand that they are not alone. I look forward to being a part of Cats to Cats!
MIRANDA WOODTHORPE, JUNIOR (SHE/HER)
Digital Design Officer
Hey, my name's Miranda, and I'm currently a junior at LGHS. I enjoy spending my spare time drawing and listening to music. Due to my knack for creating art and dealing with graphics, I also co-design the Cats to Cats Newsletter. The topic of mental health is often ignored, overshadowed, or scorned altogether in today's society. By being a part of Cats to Cats, I hope to help lift the stigma around mental health issues and educate the student body at LGHS.
Cats to Cats is a peer-to-peer organization. The students on staff are not qualified to give advice or assist directly with any of the mental health issues presented. All informational and educational content is from widely-accepted sources and the testimonies of individuals featured and interviewed. More information on any of the sources or individuals can be found on this page or on our website. The information cited does not necessarily reflect the views, opinions, or policies of the Cats to Cats Team or Los Gatos High School.
Students can seek on-campus professional help from our contracted mental health provider CASSY, or view our Cats to Cats Therapy Information page for information on outside organizations. In addition, crisis hotlines are listed on our website.
In addition, if we receive any information involving potential or real harm to self or others, we are legally required to report the incident, which can lead to potential intervention by school or other authorities. The person who contacted us and/or the person's parents will be contacted to verify that the student's parents are aware of the situation and/or that the student is under the care of a professional.