I grew up in the southwest catching horny toads and counting stars in the small-town Arizona sky. Amidst the cacti and tarantulas, the struggle for the American Dream was a worry from the start. You see, my parents knew adversity well: my father was born physically disabled and my mother immigrated to the United States from Mexico as a child. They taught me that never giving up is necessary to succeed. It was a tough lesson, especially as a shy kid who struggled to make friends.
My perseverance certainly helped me out of poverty. But, the relationships I cherished in my youth were the most important to my success. I am lucky that I enjoyed many dedicated teachers in my life who genuinely cared about me.
Relationships are powerful. Connection is a potent force against adversity.
I have been paying these lessons forward since my first job as a peer counselor with the Boys and Girls Club at the age of 16. I am thankful for a professional life committed to young people in the years that followed. I spent summers teaching kids how to draw and get along. I connected families to resources to meet their basic needs. I visited families in their homes to help create peace and safety. I supported college students during their first year away from their communities. I assessed children with psychological concerns to help clarify the services they needed.
Today, I continue the child and family therapy work I began over a decade ago as a mother, wife and Alaskan. I feel privileged to create an affirming space where young people can work through challenges and their caregivers can learn new ways of supporting them. I look forward to connecting with you and your child!