Position: Clinical Intervention Specialist
What led you to your current position: I started working at Seneca’s SF Wraparound program in 2009, straight out of college and with no real experience in the mental health field. I enjoyed the work that I was doing with young people, and I was inspired by the training that I received in connecting youth in foster care to their biological relatives, which led me to becoming a Family Finder in SF. From there I went on to become a wraparound supervisor in Santa Clara’s wrap program when it was first getting started, and then a Mobile Response Counselor in San Leandro and Contra Costa counties. I went to grad school in 2014 to complete my MSW and had internships with different agencies in the Bay Area. After grad school I worked in Seneca’s Data and Evaluations department until I decided that I wanted to return to direct care. I had always been interested in working as a therapist at a school and All-In happened to have an opening for a bilingual clinician at my current site – Learning Without Limits in East Oakland. I have enjoyed making connections with kids, families, and staff members here and I’m in the middle of my fifth school year.
What inspires you to do this work: I feel inspired by the relationships I form with kids and families at my school and by watching students grow and be successful. I feel inspired when I can support caregivers in strengthening their relationships with their kids and when I help families move forward through a difficult time. Anytime I feel like I’ve built trust with a person feels meaningful.
What is a recent highlight you’ve experienced in the work or an important lesson you’ve learned in this role: An important lesson that I’ve learned in this role is that it can take time to feel competent as a school therapist. My first couple of years here I was not sure if my work was having an impact and I often wondered if there was more I should be doing because there was always more that needed to be done. Now I have a better understanding of where my role fits into the school (and its limitations) and I feel more at peace doing the best I can within that scope.
Share your life motto or something unique about yourself: I’m a competitive basketball player and have never lost a one on one game to anyone under 10.