I am an African American and Latina immigrant. I was born in Panama City, Panama in 1963, where I grew-up in a bilingual, multicultural family and country. My parents moved to the U.S. in 1972 and I went through the challenging process of immigration and cultural adjustment. At home, my parents taught me the critical values of respect for self and others, along with hard work and integrity. As a result of my multicultural experience, I have learned to respect and value differences and similarities. This allows me to easily and comfortably bridge many barriers. I attended Florida A&M University, one of the nation's top HBCU (Historically Black Colleges & Universities) on a full basketball scholarship. I graduated cum laude in 1988 with a BA degree in Psychology. I earned a Master of Business Administration degree from the University of Phoenix.I moved to the Bay Area in 1989 and have worked as a counselor, youth educator, client advocate, crime prevention specialist, housing case manager for the homeless, and mental health specialist for 20 years. I currently work as a Mental Health Specialist for Contra Costa County- Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services. In this position I lead teams of professionals who provide the support necessary to improve the quality of life of children and their families. I create strong collaborative working relationships with all those who are critical to the well being of the clients?the families, schools, Social Services, local homeless shelters and advocates and juvenile probation. My goal is to keep young people educated, alive and free from a life of incarceration and substance abuse through violence prevention and reduction, self-esteem building, and academic improvement. For more information: www.ci.richmond.ca.us
I share the sense of urgency experienced by families of homicide and violent crime victims, kids with asthma, and depressed parents of depressed teenagers. These difficult problems cannot be solved by individuals alone. We have to act collectively to make our city better, healthier, and more just. We must honor our differences of age, race, sexual orientation, class, religious or spiritual beliefs, and stand together as one to work for the common good. One Richmond!