Position: Bilingual Clinician
What led you to your current position? What brought me to this work is partly my idealistic side. What brought me to my current position is a deep sense of community, wanting to give back and being part of something bigger and meaningful. I started working at Seneca as a Mental Health Counselor knowing I wanted to become a therapist eventually. Once I got to see what Seneca had to offer, I created a career plan to become a well-rounded therapist. I started at JBA working with Middle schoolers, moved to CEC with MacSelpa at Tennyson High School, then Program Assistant & HIS with Mosaic Outpatient while I went to graduate school through the Seneca embedded program, did my internship with Mosaic Outpatient at Guy Emmanuel Elementary and I am now an All-In! therapist at Bridges Academy Elementary. It was the natural next step. It's been quite an exciting and adventurous ride! I have met truly amazing, knowledgeable people that inspire me to become a better therapist.
What inspires you to do this work? My inspiration to do this work comes from my family, my culture, and my ancestors. My parents and my sister are my biggest inspiration. My parents did so much for my sister and I; they were not just good enough parents, they gave us their all. They were not perfect, they made mistakes but in despite those mistakes, and life challenges they inspired us to persevere and to become helping hands to others. They intentionally broke intergenerational cycles of trauma, they worked multiple jobs and had side hustles to provide us with quality education and spent quality time with us, as much as possible. They migrated to the U.S. to keep us safe from terrorism, and to give us a chance at a better life. Against all odds, my sister and I went to Graduate school to be helpers/healers; my sister is an RN soon to be a Nurse Practitioner and I am an MFT. We were given so much love and support, we have a deep desire to give back to others, especially in our community, we want others to have a chance to have what we had and more. We want to be the people and professionals we needed when we were younger. The need for mental health is huge in the Latinx community and other communities of color, so I want to help break cycles of trauma, and poverty, I know I can do it through activism and quality mental health work. I want to help children become healthy and successful adults, be the best they can be, and I want to help parents heal so they can support their kids in that journey. I am a proud descendant of the Incas, and my inspiration also comes from my culture and my ancestors and all the ones that sacrificed and gave it all so I could be here.
What is a recent highlight you’ve experienced in the work? The most recent highlight in the work has to be my recent trip to Houston to support at an unaccompanied minor’s shelter. I am not sure I can put into words the enormity of the impact and the many lessons learned during that week. There is a deep sense of heartbreak mixed with hope and resilience, sprinkled with disappointment and rage, and topped with compassion and a sense of pride that I'm still working through. I met so many inspiring young girls that had gone through so much in their short lives; they are the definition of survivors, resiliency, and hope. I also learned that compassion for children doesn't come natural to everyone, and there's a lot of work left to do so children don't have to live through unimaginable trauma, and be treated so poorly by be ones that are supposed to help them. One of the highlights was being surrounded by other caring Senecans that were as committed to provide hope, support, and compassion to hundreds of kids in crisis.
Share your life motto: "Lo vivido y lo bailado no te lo quita nadie" (what you've lived and danced can't be taken away by anyone)