Vira Salzburn is a Ukrainian-American living in Savannah, Georgia. She is a Program Director for Safety and Resilience programs at Chatham County Safety Net Planning Council. She earned a Master of Science degree in Management, Organizational Behavior & Leadership from Troy University, and a Bachelor of Liberal Arts degree in Humanities from Auburn University at Montgomery. Vira also holds a graduate certificate in Topics in Human Behavior from Harvard University.
She is a Mindful Self-Compassion Trained Teacher, Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training Master Trainer, Certified Trauma-Sensitive Mindfulness and Trauma-Sensitive Yoga Facilitator, and Community Resiliency Model (CRM)® Instructor.
Vira is the developer of the community-based upstream suicide prevention approach that uses evidence-based Mindful-Self Compassion programming. She is a community educator and public speaker on suicide prevention, trauma-informed practices, self-compassion, and resilience and is the 2022 TEDx Savannah presenter.
Since moving to the U.S. in 2007, Vira had the honor of volunteering as an interpreter and a liaison between Ukrainian orphaned children and American adoptive families, which has greatly impacted her perception of compassion and servanthood and helped her better understand the true meaning behind the idea of “changing the world one life at a time”.
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Jess Matthewson is the Youth to Adult Program Manager for Gateway Community Service Board and represents Gateway as a Mindful Self-Compassion (MSC) Trained Teacher. Jess holds a Masters in Criminal Justice from Boston University, is a Certified Psychiatric Rehabilitation Professional, and received her Bachelor’s in Psychology from Daniel Webster College. As the Youth to Adult Program Manager, Jess is able to work with youth and families throughout Chatham and Effingham Counties to assist in accessing mental health resources and supports as well as creating and implementing programming to address gaps and barriers for these individuals.
Jess is passionate about addressing the needs of our community by addressing and preventing trauma for its most vulnerable population, our youth. Through MSC, Jess is able to introduce techniques and tools for youth and youth serving adults that are trauma responsive and healing in a manner many have not been able to try before. It is her hope that through this work we may heal the children we serve, heal the child within us all, and prevent future traumas for generations of children to come.
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Fausta Luchini became a Whole Person Certified Coach in December, 2018, bringing over 20 years experience as a therapist to this new adventure. As a therapist, she worked primarily with people who experienced lots of trauma in childhood, or ACEs, Adverse Childhood Experiences. She learned ways to help her clients work through the lingering impact of trauma on their lives and her clients helped her understand their pathways to healing. She is deeply grateful for the people who shared their experiences with her, and awed at the strength and resilience of her clients. She brings a trauma sensitive lens to her work as a consultant and coach. You may learn more about Fausta’s private practice at faustasplacetoponder.com.
She began practicing mindfulness and teaching the practice to her clients in 2007, but really fell in love with Mindful Self-Compassion taking a class with Vira Salzburn in 2019. She continues to use this practice with her coaching clients, and is in the last stage of becoming a trained teacher.
Fausta moved to Savannah, Georgia in 2017, following her dream to live near the ocean. She lives in a multi-generational home with her life partner, Dennis, her daughter, two grandchildren, and a cat.
“A moment of self-compassion can change your entire day.
A string of such moments can change the course of your life.”