Our Team


Jesse Gould - Founder

Founded Heroic Hearts Project after attending an Ayahuasca retreat in Iquitos, Peru on February 2017. During the week long retreat he instantly saw the healing potential of the drink and knew that it could be a powerful tool in healing the mental struggles of his fellow veterans.  Jesse was born in Santa Fe, New Mexico and grew up in New Smyrna Beach, FL.  In 2009 he graduated from Cornell University with a degree in Economics.  After working in investment banking for a short time he enlisted in the Army and became an Airborne Ranger for four years and three combat deployments. Most recently, he worked in finance in Tampa, FL  After struggling with severe anxiety for many years, he finally decided to go to an ayahuasca retreat which has had a profoundly positive effect on his anxiety and daily life.

'I know what it is like to be at the mercy of uncontrollable elements in your own head.  I also know the extreme relief of finally having these elements under control.  Ayahuasca provided this. We have the ability to help thousands who are suffering but we let politics and ignorance get in the way.  This is unacceptable.

I started this foundation because the therapy works,  I will risk what I have to ensure my fellow veterans get the treatment they deserve and a new chance at life.'  

I hope you join us in this fight

Yuriy Blokhin - Director of partnerships

Since his very first ayahuasca ceremony 6 years ago, Yuriy knew that this potent medicine has to be studied and responsibly shared with the world to address the current global mental health epidemic. 

Over the following years, Yuriy combined academic studies of psychology with professional work on helping launch a nationwide mental health safety net. The result of that work is a technology solution for proactive detection, risk triage, and real-time assistance for teens going through a mental health crisis on social media. 

Yuriy currently splits his time between running a business development consulting practice for tech firms and working with Jesse on the Heroic Hearts Project.


Krista Lajara - Marketing/Communications Director

Having a personal connection to the military and it’s veterans through her husbands years of service, Krista understands the very real need for expanding treatment options for those veterans suffering from PTSD. 

She brings her years of experience in Marketing and Communications from managing start-up companies and photographers in the fashion industry from New York City. Krista is thrilled to be partnering with the Heroic Hearts Project working to spread the word on the exciting new scientific developments of using Ayahuasca as a successful therapeutic treatment in the fight against PTSD.


Jared Rinehart - Integration Coaching

After attending his first Ayahuasca retreat in in 2016, Jared knew his mission was to help others through the plant medicine process.

Jared has worked as an ayahuasca facilitator in Peru and has a wealth of experience not only with working with plant medicines but helping people integrate their experiences as well. He is a certified Transformational Recovery and Integration Coach through Being True To You, as well as a former Infantry Marine. With his experience in these fields, he works one on one with veterans to help them reach their personal goals for healing and success in their everyday life. He has made it his mission to help others cross this bridge and, with gratitude, see their full potential through it all.

‘Ayahuasca has given me all the tools I will ever need, to get through any process I may be experiencing.  With these tools and integration, I am living in the best version of myself. I want nothing more than to share and help others see and experience this for themselves.‘


With a Special Thanks!