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At Young Adults with Epilepsy (YAWE), our mission is to foster resilience and independence in young adults with epilepsy from the Central Coast. Through education, empowerment, and sustained support, we aim to transform lives by facilitating access to resources, promoting awareness, and creating a nurturing community that embraces diversity and inclusivity.


Our vision at Young Adults with Epilepsy (YAWE) is to revolutionize epilepsy and mental health care for young adults, promoting optimal health outcomes and quality of life. We aspire to dismantle the stigma surrounding epilepsy, fostering a secure and open YAWE community where acceptance thrives and individuals feel safe to share their experiences and learn from others.

"We are suffering more from stigma than we are from seizures."

Miles Levin YAWE Filmaker

Our Board of Directors

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Wendy Steel

Executive Director

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Austin Cole


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Bonnie Bufkin


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Christian Woodward



Dr. Stella Legarda

Medical Advisor


David Clifford

Epilepsy Advisor

Our Advisors

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Michael Panion

Financial Advisor

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Molly Lorenzi

Legal Advisor

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Chris Koutsogeorgas

Programs Advisor

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Ashley Panion

Marketing Advisor

Our Team

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Hannah Ruark

Artist in Residence


Jordan Werner

Grant Writer

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Abigayle Weitl

Peer Support Intern


Chels Scantland

Digital Marketing Contractor


Caroline Lahti

Grant Contractor

YAWE Goals

Educational Excellence

To provide comprehensive, up-to-date educational resources that demystify epilepsy and inform young adults, their families, and the broader community about the condition, its management, and its impact on daily living.


To empower young adults with epilepsy to lead fulfilling and independent lives through self-advocacy training, skill-building activities, and opportunities for personal growth and development.

Sustained Support 

To offer continuous support that addresses the physical, emotional, and social needs of young adults with epilepsy, helping them navigate life transitions and overcome challenges.

Community Building

To cultivate a compassionate and understanding community that actively supports young adults with epilepsy, promoting social inclusivity and reducing stigma associated with the condition.

Resource Access

To facilitate easy access to a wide range of resources, including healthcare services, educational materials, and vocational opportunities, thereby enhancing the quality of life for young adults with epilepsy.

Awareness and Advocacy

To champion the rights of young adults with epilepsy and promote public awareness and understanding of the condition through community outreach, partnerships, and advocacy campaigns.

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