About the Program

Yale College Community Care ( YC3), a program created through the collaboration between Yale College and Yale Mental Health and Counseling, expands mental health and wellness support to Yale College’s diverse undergraduate student community. In addition to the services that remain available to students via the department of Yale Mental Health and Counseling, the YC3 program offers students additional options for support. The YC3 program provides students the ability to drop-in with a team member during a day/time of their choosing. 

Founded in the spring of 2021, YC3 has nine full-time staff members; four College Care Clinicians and five Community Wellness Specialists. All team members meet with students individually and through group opportunities. In addition to these services, YC3 team members can assist students who are thinking about pursuing more formal, ongoing therapy through Yale Mental Health and Counseling. Students can schedule YC3 appointments directly.

Mission Statement

Our mission is to provide short-term mental health and wellness services to Yale undergraduates. We offer readily accessible individual and group opportunities that are tailored to a diversity of student needs. A partnership between Yale College and Yale Mental Health and Counseling, we strive to promote a student-centered culture of well-being.

College Care Clinicians are licensed clinical social workers and psychologists who are available to meet with students in locations near the residential colleges for drop-in clinical care. The YC3 clinicians are part of the Mental Health and Counseling staff, and meetings with them are confidential. They also work closely with the rest of the YC3 team on common issues and community programming.

Community Wellness Specialists are available to meet in the residential colleges with students who want to work on practical strategies for overall well-being. They are part of Yale College’s Student Affairs Office and work together with heads, deans, first-year counselors, and peer liaisons as members of the residential college’s support team. The tools and approaches they offer can be used alongside therapy or on their own. The YC3 specialists can also connect students to other resources throughout the university.


Need urgent support? To speak to an on-call clinician 24/7 (including after-hours and weekends) call this number: 203-432-0290

Meet Our Staff

Corinne Coia, Director of Yale College Wellness Programs

Corinne CoiaCorinne Coia is the Director of Yale College Wellness Programs. Corinne provides oversight and leadership for the Good Life Center and the Yale College Community Care (YC3) program and provides a limited number of 1:1 wellness appointments with students. She loves working with students through a holistic lens to help support them through their unique life challenges. She has experience working with members of the LGBTQ+ community and has extensive experience working with topics such as stress management, relationships, sleep, body image and athlete specific issues. Prior to Yale, Corinne spent several years working clinically with eating disorders, anxiety and athlete issues before transitioning into the wellness and prevention area. Corinne earned her Master's in Social Work and Bachelor's in Kinesiology from the University of New Hampshire where she was a member and captain of the Women's Basketball team. Corinne currently resides in New Haven with her wife Elizabeth, their daughter and two dogs. Corinne enjoys hiking, home renovations and painting/photography.

Please  note that Corinne is currently on parental leave and will be returning at the end of summer. If you need anything please email either community.wellness.specialists@yale.edu or college.care.clinicians@yale.edu


Community Wellness Specialists

Email: community.wellness.specialists@yale.edu

Common Topics for a CWS

Stress management, motivation, sleep, communication skills, identity development, time management, LGBTQIA+ matters, difficult conversations, imposter syndrome, procrastination, body image, mindfulness, self-compassion, boundaries, relationships, overall wellness

Ricky Belizaire

Photo of Ricky BelizaireRicky Belizaire (ricardo.belizaire@yale.edu) is passionate about supporting students well-being, long after their academic pursuits. Committed to helping others be successful, his ethos centers around belief, inclusion, and empathy. Ricky has experience working with students from many different backgrounds and communities, including first-generation college students, LGBTQ+ students, BIPOC students, and transfer students while recognizing the many intersections folks often occupy. Prior to Yale, Ricky spent two years at the University of Georgia working within the UGA Pride Center building out wellness programs and leading educational trainings that connected students to resources on campus and in the local community. Ricky has a breadth of knowledge and experience teaching about creating boundaries, time/stress management, self-care, communication skills, identity development and exploration, and transitional periods. At the beginning of COVID-19, Ricky implemented a bi-weekly program at the university called Q-mmunity Wednesdays, which focused on holistic wellness to support students virtually in their remote environments. Ricky earned his Master’s in College Student Affairs Administration from the University of Georgia, and his Bachelor’s in Theatre Arts from Fairleigh Dickinson University, where he was a Resident Assistant and interned in the dean of students office. Ricky currently resides in Stratford, CT with his family, and in his spare time enjoys cooking, dancing, and traveling. 

Whitney Simmons

Photo of Whitney SimmonsWhitney Simmons (whitney.simmons@yale.edu) is passionate about helping students access and utilize skills that support their unique wellness goals. Whitney considers diversity, equity, and inclusion when working with others and strives to help others establish supports and connections in their communities. Whitney has been in the helping field for seven years and has experience with: mentoring, in-home and outpatient therapy, and delivering mental health consultation services to: communities, children, families, and individuals. Whitney has great experience and knowledge regarding interpersonal relationships, communication skills, self-care, and planning/organization. Whitney is a Licensed Professional Counselor born in raised in New Haven, CT. Whitney earned her Master’s of Art Clinical Practices degree from the University of Hartford. Whitney is a Harry Potter fan,  loves cooking, and enjoys listening to podcasts.

Cindy Avila

Photo of Cindy Avila

Cindy Avila (cindy.avila@yale.edu) is a bilingual New Haven native who has worked in the community for over 10 years with its culturally diverse population. She loves working with young adults and is passionate about supporting students through their personal growth and wellness. She uses a person-centered approach to helping clients navigate life challenges. Cindy has knowledge and experience teaching assertiveness and communication skills, creating boundaries, healthy relationships, exploring spirituality/faith, utilizing time management, improving self-care, and managing stress/anxiety. Cindy earned her Master’s in Community Mental Health Counseling at Southern Connecticut State University. In her spare time, she enjoys salsa dancing, New Haven pizza, reading, movies, and spending time with her friends and family.

Angie Makomenaw

Angie Makomenaw (angelyn.makomenaw@yale.edu) has spent 16+ years supporting and advocating for mental health clinical teams within university settings (Wesleyan University, University of Northern Colorado, and University of Utah) and her own tribal community, Saginaw Chippewa. She is also a peer grant reviewer for the Department of Justice specifically working on grants supporting human trafficking organizations and tribal communities.  Angie enjoys supporting, guiding, and learning from students the best ways to integrate well-being practices. She identifies as indigenous (Ojibwe/Apache) and loves to blend the medicine and wellness wheels together. Angie has a wealth of experience teaching about healthy relationships, communication skills, sleep dynamics, self-care, supporting others, creating boundaries, motivation, imposter syndrome, mindfulness, and is a QPR trainer. In her free time, Angie enjoys watching high levels of television with her family and enjoying the views of the beautiful outdoors from the comfort of the indoors.  She lives with her partner (Matthew) and children (Odeno & Ishkode Nimkee).  Not to be forgotten, she also lives with their cats, Jasper and Aanii, who keeps them all in line with their condescending stares.”

College Care Clinicians

"Clara image"Clara Mesa, LCSW

Clara Mesa (clara.mesa@yale.edu) is a Colombian-American, bilingual Clinical Social Worker, who completed both her Bachelor’s degree and MSW from Boston College. As a first-generation college student, Clara is passionate about empowering students to navigate their college experience while prioritizing their mental health. She employs culturally sensitive and affirming therapeutic interventions in a range of specialties from trauma, anxiety and depression, to acculturation issues and identity exploration. Clara developed her therapy practice over the last 10 years with children, adolescents, and families in community mental health settings. For each student, Clara fosters a safe and inclusive environment in order to help each individual embrace their strengths, navigate challenges, and achieve their fullest potential. In her free time, she enjoys traveling and trying any lemon-flavored foods.


Kayla Reid, LCSW

Kayla Reid (kayla.reid@yale.edu), LCSW completed her Bachelors degree in Social Work at Central Connecticut State University followed by a Masters in Social Work at Fordham University’s Graduate School of Social Work. Kayla is a New Haven native and familiar with the culture of the neighborhoods and communities surrounding Yale. Kayla’s background is in therapy with adolescents, families and young adults. Her clinical expertise includes Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and integrative approaches to overall health and wellness. Kayla is passionate about working with diverse populations and specializes in culturally appropriate and evidence-based practice strategies to effectively engage with individuals at their respective stages of identity development, life circumstances, or cultural, economic and religious backgrounds. Kayla is dedicated to providing a safe, non-judgmental, therapeutic space for all individuals and looks forward to working with students to cultivate growth, wellness and healing.


Lauren Moss-Racusin, Ph.D.

Dr. Moss-Racusin (lauren.moss-racusin@yale.edu) completed a Bachelor’s degree in Hispanic Language and Literatures from Boston University, followed by a doctorate in Clinical Psychology from the University of Connecticut, a clinical internship at the counseling center at the University of Illinois at Chicago, and a postdoctoral fellowship at the counseling center at Temple University. She is passionate about contributing to the linguistic and cultural inclusivity of the mental health field, and about using psychotherapy as a platform through which to advance social justice. As a clinician, she helps individuals to understand themselves and their relationships, to learn adaptive ways to engage with their thoughts and feelings, and to make healthful changes. Dr. Moss-Racusin loves working with university students on the range of life issues they may be facing, including psychological distress; trauma; identity development; discrimination; familial, peer, and romantic relationships; academic and occupational decisions and pressures; and growing independence.


Nicole Cepeda, LCSW

Nicole Cepeda (nicole.cepeda@yale.edu), LCSW is a bi-cultural/bilingual Clinical Social Worker and native New Yorker, now residing in Connecticut. Nicole is dedicated to providing a safe, non-judgmental, therapeutic space for all individuals. Nicole’s background is in therapy with children, adolescents, and young adults. Her clinical approach is focused on helping people understand the effects of trauma and the healing journey, specifically gender-based and intergenerational trauma. Nicole’s sessions are student-centered, culturally-informed, and appreciative of the vulnerability and courage present in the room. Lastly, Nicole enjoys testing her strength through Powerlifting and always starts her day with a cup of Bustelo.


Zeleyka Fowler, Psy.D.

Photo of Zeleyka FowlerDr. Zeleyka Fowler (zeleyka.fowler@yale.edu) completed her doctorate in Clinical Psychology at Long Island University Post Campus. Her predoctoral internship focused on health psychology, combat and sexual trauma treatment at the Brooklyn Veteran Affairs Medical Center in the New York Harbor Healthcare System. She completed her postdoctoral residency at Community Health Center Inc. and her clinical experiences include her work at Brooklyn College Personal Counseling Center. Her clinical specializations include trauma treatment, cultural identity development, and integrative approaches to overall health and wellness. Dr. Fowler strives to inspire creativity and autonomy in a therapeutic space that is supportive and tailored to the needs of each individual. She is passionate about working with students to cultivate growth and wellness through the exploration of their identities, fostering emotional awareness and highlighting healthy ways of managing relational conflicts and coping with emotional distress. 


Need urgent support? To speak to an on-call clinician 24/7 (including after-hours and weekends) call this number: 203-432-0290