Your Team

Everyone who goes through treatment for cancer needs a team. Your team will consist of medical specialists, mental health professionals, family and friends, and any others that you choose to be a part of your support network.

You will learn to navigate the many changes that can take place during your cancer journey, and your AYA community will be there with you every step of the way. We offer an AYA Council that is advocating for you by providing emotional support, organizing activities and events, and work to bring a sense of community to young people fighting cancer.

Julia Leavitt, MSW, LCSW, OSW-C

Julia Leavitt, MSW, LCSW, OSW-C

Program Manager

Julia Leavitt is a licensed clinical social worker and Psycho-Oncology Board Certified Specialist who serves as the Patient Navigator for the Adolescent and Young Adult Cancer Program. For over a decade, she has worked in primary medical settings, including New York University Hospital, as a social work intern in pediatric oncology. She then transitioned to Mount Sinai Medical Center, where she worked for seven years as a pediatric hematology/oncology social worker. Leavitt later returned to her Los Angeles roots and joined a group of psychotherapists at the Samuel Oschin Cancer Center at Cedars-Sinai. There, she provided therapy to children and adults facing active cancer diagnoses. These experiences allowed her to develop the extensive first-hand knowledge and skill set needed to support the unique needs of AYA patients. Leavitt is well versed in the intricacies of developmental stages and how distress impacts milestones of growth. She is also an active member of the Association of Oncology Social workers, serving as Co-Chair for the AYA special interest group.


Emma Vivian

Emma Vivian

Administrative Specialist

After serving as Chair of the UCLA AYA Advisory Board for over a year, Emma Vivian is honored to begin a part-time role assisting in the day-to-day organization of our program. She has a background in project management, writing and education, and looks forward to using her personal and professional experience to improve the quality of care for AYAs at UCLA.


Jessica Pappas

Jessica Pappas

Support Staff

Jessica is currently working towards a master’s degree in social work at USC and has been assisting our program since September 2021. She's most passionate about classes that allow her to assess programmatic and system improvements through a trauma informed lens.