Junior Advisory Board

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Vanessa Frances

Vanessa Frances has been an active member of Project Heal since 2015, beginning her work on the National Instagram page and progressing to both the National Facebook page and Snapchat platform. Vanessa is the founder of “The Ophelia” a blogging site designed for people to share their individual stories and provide a cathartic release from past tragedies. She is the editor for The Millenial Times digital newspaper, and writes for a variety of other online publications. Her work has appeared on national marketing blogs, social change platforms, and a variety of other groundbreaking spaces. You can contact her at vanessa@theprojectheal.org, or on the National Facebook and National Snapchat, respectively.

Heather Birchall

IMG_2932Heather has been volunteering with ProjectHEAL since 2015 and, throughout this time, has come to realise the enormous impact the organization is making on the lives of those suffering from eating disorders. She currently responds to and conducts interviews with all new volunteer and chapter applicants. This has enabled her to understand how far reaching ProjectHEAL has become, and how much people now in recovery from an eating disorder want to share their own experiences, and give back to those who are still on the road to recovery.
Since moving from the UK to the Bay Area in 2014 Heather has pursued her passion for working in the non-profit sector, and now volunteers for two other non-profits; The Eating Disorders Resource Center (EDRC) in Los Gatos, and About-Face. Her main role with the EDRC is to research and write grants, while for About-Face Heather teaches media workshops to middle school age children, and heads up the fundraising team for the Associate Board. Before deciding to pursue a career in the non-profit sector, Heather was a museum curator at the VA and Tate Britain, and a specialist in 19th Century British art.


EricaErica is a recent graduate of The Ohio State University where she earned her Bachelors of Science in social work. During her junior year, she discovered Ohio State’s chapter of Project HEAL and quickly fell in love with its underlying values: body positivity, self-love, and supporting one another no matter what. Erica served as the Director of Marketing for Ohio State’s chapter, running all social media accounts and co-coordinating campus and community outreach, and eventually also became a co-president of the chapter in addition to her previous roles. She is currently a graduate student at Ohio State and is looking forward to continuing to work with Project HEAL in a new capacity. She can often be found exploring new coffee shops around the Columbus area and eating lots of ice cream! Feel free to contact her via email: erica@theprojectheal.org

Judy Jiao

JudyJudy Jiao is a Toronto native who is helping to build out Project Heal’s Canadian presence. She graduated from Harvard College in 2014 with a degree in Psychology. At Harvard, she was actively involved with Women in Business and Harvard Undergraduate Television. She previously worked in private equity in Boston and is now working at a media startup in Toronto.

Lindsay Kenney

pic for websiteLindsay Kenney currently works in the molecular therapeutics department of Columbia Medical Center, researching the neurocircuitry of mouse models of schizophrenia. She previously worked with Drs. Evelyn Attia and B.Timothy Walsh at the Columbia Eating Disorder Research Center, where she gathered histories of patients with eating disorders and screened for program eligibility, among other things. For two years, she volunteered with NEDA as a facilitator for “pursuing recovery support groups,” and for the past year has founded and runs similar support groups through ANAD. She is passionate about researching the neurological and biological underpinnings of eating disorders, and plans to start an MD/PhD program in the fall of 2016.

Danielle Lowe

danielleDanielle Lowe is a 20-year-old LA-native that is currently a junior at the University of Miami. She studies music therapy and contemporary voice, but is heavily involved in eating disorder awareness/advocacy. Aside from working as Project HEAL’s blog manager, she will also serve as the chapter president for the University of Miami Project HEAL chapter in the 2017-2018 school year. When she is not singing and playing the guitar, she can be found going to concerts, saying, “Can I pet your dog?” and eating ice cream sandwiches.

Abigail O’Laughlin

AbigailAbigail O’Laughlin is working with Project HEAL to spread eating disorder awareness through social media. She is a photographer for the Wear Your Label Brand and a budding graphic designer. Abigail has been in recovery from an eating disorder for two years and has found that advocacy is her favorite coping skill. She currently attends Niceville High School where she aspires to earn a BS in Psychology or Neuroscience. She hopes to make a difference in those who struggle with eating disorders, body image, trauma, and depression; especially within the military community she has grown up in. She also loves cats with all her heart.

Caty Rea

Work picCaty Rea is currently a Business Analyst with McKinsey & Company in their Boston office. She is a Boston native and graduated from Harvard College in 2014 with a degree in Government, a minor in Economics and citations in French and German fluency. While at Harvard, she was involved with Harvard Model Congress and the Sabliere Society. She is a dog lover and enjoys reading, pilates, ice hockey and traveling.

Taylor Renniger

Taylor Renninger has been working with Project HEAL as a Facebook manager since October 2016. Taylor is a student at The University of Cincinnati study Early Childhood Education. Taylor is passionate about helping both women and men gain self love and overcome body image issues and eating disorders. She believes the keys to true recovery are through optimism, positivity, and love. You can contact her on twitter :@TaylorRenninger, instagram: @renningertaylorpaige, Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/taylorpaige.renninger or email: taylor.renninger@theprojectheal.org

Melena Steffes

MelenaMelena Steffes is 21 years old, studying journalism with a minor in psychology at the University of Wisconsin- Milwaukee. She is passionate about mental health advocacy and eating disorder awareness and therefore writes majority of her pieces around those topics. Being in recovery herself, she has been personally impacted by the power of words from some of her favorite authors. She wants to give back to the recovery community herself through writing. She believes that Project HEAL is an organization that has a profound impact, and strong mission which is one of many reasons why she wants to be involved and volunteer. As of 2017 she is also one of Project HEAL’s blog managers. If she’s not writing, you can catch her playing fetch with her new kitten or drinking coffee at a nearby coffee shop.

Hannah Welch

At Project HEAL, Hannah designs and writes the monthly newsletter, facilitates the Body Project at NYC schools, and helps plan annual events in San Francisco and New York. Originally from the Washington DC area, she grew up in the Middle East and went to high school in London. She received her BA from Stanford University in 2016 and currently works at a women’s health startup in New York City.
Hannah is passionate about the intersection between healthcare and technology, and someday hopes to move back to the west coast to pursue a PhD in psychology. She loves breakfast, yoga, and spending time with her close friends and family.

Jessica Zeng

IMG_4469Jessica Zeng is a Private Equity Investment Associate at Lightyear Capital. She helps evaluate and execute new deals at Lightyear Capital and also helps monitor Lightyear Capital’s investments. Prior to joining Lightyear Capital in July 2014, Jessica worked at Greenhill & Co. as an Investment Banking Analyst, where she focused on mergers and acquisitions across a variety of industries. Jessica received an A.B., Cum Laude, in Economics from Harvard University in 2012. She was born in China, and grew up in Iowa City, Iowa, where her parents still live. She is passionate about helping women and men overcome body image issues and eating disorders.