Term of Office: March 2020 - December 2020
"Family focused, Centrada en la familia"
I am a Latina mother of three, a restorative justice practitioner, former Monterey High soccer coach, and an active member in community development and volunteerism. “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful and committed citizens can change the world: Indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.”-Margaret Mead.
I moved to the peninsula in 2009 as a transfer student from Mendocino Community College. During my time at MCC, I sustained a 4.0 GPA as a student-athlete, member of Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society, MESA Historian, CAMP Honoree, and was a mother of a 3-year-old daughter (now a brilliant and artistic teenager). My aspiration to be a first-generation college graduate is due to my father, who immigrated from Mexico at 17 years and his first job was picking Strawberries in Lodi for long hours and made less than 20 dollars a day; and he was unable to read and write. I am proud of my story, a ranch girl inspired to work hard and thankful for support along the way; mi familia and some rock star teachers that I will never forget. It allows me to create opportunities from obstacles. I obtained my BA in Human Communications at California State University, Monterey Bay with a double concentration in Creative Writing/Social Action and Journalism/Media Studies in 2012.
I began my work at Restorative Justice Partners, Inc. in the summer of 2013 as the Victim Offender Reconciliation Coordinator. Restorative Justice focuses on harm and repairs that harm by allowing victims to have a voice, offenders to be accountable and valued support from the community. I manage juvenile cases from the Monterey County Probation Department. Our recidivism is 11%. My current leadership role provides me to support all services at RJP, Inc., including the Victim Impact Program and RJ in the Schools. My other responsibilities include strategic planning and development, social media outreach, newsletters, events, and fundraisers.
DIVERSITY OVER ADVERSITY: From training volunteer mediators in areas of effective communication and conflict resolution, facilitating classroom circles and respect agreements in various schools throughout the county, including MLK and Central Coast High School, training administrators and teachers at MPUSD and other local school districts in social and emotional support, instructing educational spaces with our local incarcerated women and men, to sitting on the Seaside Blue Ribbon Task Force for the Reduction of Youth Violence, these experiences through my work at RJP has given me education in diversity, mindfulness, empathy, resilience, and strength to do things WITH my community rather than to or for my community.
One of my proudest career achievements was in 2016 when The Nonprofit Alliance of Monterey County Awarded me the Innovation Award for my “thoughtfulness and dedication to my work.”
My greatest joy in life is spending quality time with my husband, who is just as passionate about soccer as I am, and our children ages: 15, 5, and 2. As a family, we strive to lift each other up to achieve our goals and hold each other close to overcome any adversities.