I received my undergraduate degree in Psychology at California State University, Long Beach. As a part of my undergraduate studies, I was part of a research team studying how the presence or lack of social support following rape and/or sexual assault affects a survivor’s well-being and ability to heal. During this time, I was also the coordinator of the children’s program of a local homeless shelter for families. This program offered afterschool and weekend educational and recreational activities for the children and adolescents who lived in the shelter. Throughout both of these experiences, I had the opportunity to work with individuals of various ages and racial and ethnic backgrounds who had experienced trauma. These two experiences served as the catalyst for my decision to dedicate my life to serving those in need.

Following graduation, I was offered an Academic and Public Service Fellowship at the University of Indianapolis, which is where I earned my Masters and Doctoral Degrees in Clinical Psychology. During my time in Indiana, I acquired experience working in a university counseling center, community mental health center, as well as conducting psychological evaluations. I continued my interest in serving at risk populations by writing my dissertation on maternal risk factors for child maltreatment where the goal of my research was to decrease and even prevent child abuse and neglect.

Once I completed my classes and practica in Indiana, I was on the first plane back to our beautiful beaches and weather, and completed my Predoctoral Internship at the County of San Bernardino Department of Behavioral Health (DBH). While an intern at DBH, I completed two 6-month rotations: the first at another community mental health center, and the second at a juvenile detention center. During and after internship, I continued to work with individuals with more complex histories and severe mental health issues. A couple of years after completing my internship, I returned to DBH for an administrative position where I oversaw two countywide programs for at risk children between the ages of 0 and 5. 

The clinical experiences that I have acquired throughout my education and career have provided me with the skills and knowledge to work with a wide range of clients and mental health issues, which I describe in more detail in the Who I see, What we do, and How I Can Help sections.