Nurturing Neurons (NN) is a 6-week telehealth program for students between 4th - 8th grade designed to increase one’s mental wellness, emotional regulation, and academic functioning. The program consists of social activities, goal-setting tasks, and sensory breaks, all of which are intended to foster virtual peer interaction. Participants will meet bi-weekly in small groups with the ultimate goal of creating a safe space to meet and support their peers.         

Trained paraprofessionals lead each session with a concentration on teaching cognitive behavioral techniques and mindfulness strategies to use in daily life. Sessions will be overseen by a licensed clinical psychologist, Dr. Grace Mucci, and Post-Doctoral Fellow and Psychological Associate, Dr. Laura Coopersmith.

Disclaimer: NN can be a supplement to treatment, but it is NOT a substitute! Our goal is simply to enhance social and cognitive development. 

Rachel Snyder


Rachel Snyder graduated UCLA with a BS in Biochemistry and am starting an MS/PhD program at the University of Arkansas Medical Sciences in Pharmaceutical Evaluation and Policy. Over the summer she was a course assistant for the Biology of Parasitism course at the Marine Biological Laboratory in Woods Hole, Massachusetts.

Christine Chang


Christine “Cece” Chang graduated UCLA in June 2023 with a BS in Neuroscience and a BA in Psychology. Throughout her undergraduate years, she conducted clinical psychology research in the Laboratory for Clinical and Affective Psychophysiology, and provided mental health support to peers through a school-affiliated organization. Ultimately intending to pursue her medical degree, she is now working as a post-baccalaureate researcher at the National Institute of Mental Health.

Grace A. Mucci, PhD, MSCP, ABPDN

Dr. Mucci is a Board Certified Pediatric Neuropsychologist and Licensed Clinical Psychologist, specializing in the assessment and treatment of brain-related psychological and neurocognitive dysfunction. Dr. Mucci has over 25 years of experience working with children, adolescents, and adults in a variety of settings, and is dedicated to providing meaningful and relevant services in a supportive environment. Dr. Mucci is a member of CHOC Childrens Medical Staff, Associate Professor (V) University of California Irvine, Associate Editor Journal of Pediatric Neuropsycholgy and Past American Academy of Pediatric Neuropsychology         

Laura Coopersmith, Ph.D.

Dr. Coopersmith is a graduate of Palo Alto University’s Clinical Psychology Ph.D. program. During her graduate studies she specialized in the emphasis of neuropsychology. Her prior education includes a Master of Arts in Clinical Psychology from Argosy University and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology from the University of California, San Diego. Dr. Coopersmith has over 14 years of clinical practice in a variety of settings. She has worked in community mental health providing crisis intervention and psychotherapy, an outpatient treatment clinic providing long-term psychotherapy, and psychotherapy and assessment services in home to individuals unable to access in clinic care. Dr. Coopersmith also has years of neuropsychological assessment experience including a year of training at the VA Palo Alto Health Care System, and an intensive one-year predoctoral internship at Kaiser Permanente, San Diego. During her year at Kaiser Permanente, Dr. Coopersmith specialized in pediatric neuropsychological assessment and psychotherapy practices. Also, in 2022 she joined the staff of the Chicago School of Professional Psychology as an adjust professor teaching courses on pediatric and adolescent psychopathology and assessment.