Arizona State University
I was granted the opportunity to grow up in many different places in diverse communities due to my father serving in the Army. When I was younger, I found myself working with children as a babysitter and a summer camp counselor. I knew I wanted to be a social worker after my experience as being a peer counselor when I was in high school. It was confirmed to me that helping people was something I wanted to do for my future career. While in college, I became interested in the emotional and mental health of young children. My professor guided me toward social work with an emphasis on providing behavioral health therapy services to children and families—as well as the field of infant-toddler mental health. I enjoy the integrated model Mountain Park Health Center provides our patients as it reminds me that we treat the whole person—including emotional and mental health—that impacts a person’s overall health. Mountain Park also appreciates culture and diversity in their everyday practice; which is something I love about the organization too. It is important to me as I am used to living and being among diverse communities.
I have one child and one dog that keep me active outside of my workday. Becoming a parent has allowed me to be a better social worker when working with patients that are parents. Self-care is very important to me. If I do not take care of myself, how can I take care of others? Most people do not know that if I was not in the healthcare profession, I would be a Panamanian Folkloric Dancer. When I was a child living in Panama, I participated in folkloric dance because I loved being a part of the culture, wearing a beautiful dress, and of course, dancing.
It is very important that patients feel respected, heard and understood when meeting with me. I want them to know they have my undivided attention so that I understand their world in order to provide hope for a better day and life journey.