Team

Claudia Gonzalez Escobedo

Claudia Olivia Gonzalez-Escobedo Claudia has served as an educator for Los Angeles Unified School District for the past twenty years. She received her Master’s in Multicultural Education and Administrative Credential from California State University Dominguez Hills. When Claudia is not teaching she enjoys helping out with various community programs and services.

Ilda Villalobos

Ilda Villalobos is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker at LAC-USC Medical Center and works with Women’s Health Programs & Innovation. She received her B.S. in Child Development from the University of Cal State Fullerton and her Master’s in Social Work from USC. She has worked in the mental health field for last seventeen-years and has provided individual therapy to children, adolescents and family sessions. She has a passion for creating change for women and empowering them to become self-sufficient individuals. Ilda is an advocate for immigrant women and provides them with the most appropriate resources in the community.

 Ilda has conducted various support groups for both children and adults such as women’s depression groups, art therapy and relationship groups throughout the years. Ilda is certified in Trauma Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and Interpersonal Psychotherapy. She volunteers her time at children’s charity events, enjoys going to the theatre and gardening. She is a sports fan and enjoys cooking for family gatherings. Currently, she plans to travel to Spain and Costa Rica in the summertime.

Maria Martinez

Maria (Mia) Martinez is a Bilingual Case Manager at Occupational Therapy Training Program (OTTP)/ Special Service for Groups (SSG). Mia provides high risk, intensive, family-centered, support services to probation youth and their families. Mia also facilitates Loving Intervention for Family Enrichment (LIFE), a program designed to work with parents and youth to improve the quality of the parent-child relationship and teach parents the skills necessary to manage their child’s behavioral challenges. In addition to being an advocate and organizer in her community, Mia is co-founder of Downey H.E.L.P.S. (Housing, Education, Living, Protection, Sustainability), a grassroots community organization dedicated to advocating for the needs of the most vulnerable population in the community.
Mia received a Bachelor in Arts degree in Sociology from California State University Dominguez Hills (CSUDH). She has extensive previous experience as a teacher’s assistant and after school as a Program Site Coordinator. In fact, almost all her previous jobs have perfectly aligned with her passion for working with youth. Working with others fills her with a true sense of purpose and accomplishment. Mia believes giving back is one of the greatest gifts in life we have at our disposal. She currently resides in Downey, CA.

Cynthia González

Dr. Gonzalez is a proud product, parent and principal in LAUSD. She grew up in the southeast city of Huntington Park and attended Bell High School. As a high school principal and an LAUSD educator for 17 years, Dr. Gonzalez is committed to transforming our educational systems to improve access to all students. As a former teacher, Dr. Gonzalez chose to work in some of the district's most underserved communities. She did this because she believed, and still does, that all schools deserve passionate and committed educators who believe they can make a difference in the lives of our most marginalized students and families. Dr. Gonzalez has two Masters in Education and a Doctorate in Educational Leadership from the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA). Most recently, she was a candidate for the LAUSD School Board and received the coveted Los Angeles Times Endorsement. Her desire to have a powerful impact on the world of education led her to begin her educational consultancy company, Just Ed. Through this work, she hopes to expand and support educational knowledge and awareness to communities, schools, and districts.

Carmen Reynoso

Hello, my name is Carmen Vanessa Reynoso and I am a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist that has been working in the field of Behavior and Mental Health for over 18 years. In 2003 I received my Masters Degree in Marital and Family Therapy (Emphasis in Art Therapy) from Loyola Marymount University and in 2001 I received my Bachelors Degree in Psychology from California State University of Fullerton. I since 2002 I have been working in various Nonprofit Behavioral and Mental Health Agencies serving Los Angeles County and Orange County communities in their home and schools. In 2011 I started working in Kaiser Permanente in the Behavioral Health Clinic and have been working with a variety of individuals that are being challenged with Depression, Anxiety, Trauma and other mental health difficulties. I also like to incorporate into my work art activities, meditation and other creative ways to help individuals accomplish wellness.

Verónica Vargas-Paredes

Dr. Vargas-Paredes is a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist at Kaiser Permanente in the Department of Psychiatry.  Dr. Vargas-Paredes is currently working on her Psychologist license. She is the current President of the California Latinx Psychological Association.  Dr. Vargas-Paredes is a Certified Sexual Assault Counselor and Certified Domestic Violence Counselor.  Previously, she maintained a private practice in Los Angeles and worked at UCLA Counseling and Psychological Services as a Staff Psychologist and Sexual Assault Specialist.  Dr. Vargas-Paredes received her M.A. and Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology with an emphasis in Multicultural Community Clinical Psychology from the California School of Professional Psychology at Alliant International University, Los Angeles.  Her clinical training includes a practicum placement at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center Dual Diagnosis Treatment Program, a predoctoral internship at CSUDH Student Health and Psychological Services and an APA accredited predoctoral internship and postdoctoral fellowship at UCLA Counseling and Psychological Services.  Dr. Vargas-Paredes graduated from the University of California, Irvine with a B.A. in Psychology and Social Behavior and another in Sociology.  She also received an M.S. in Counseling from California State University, Fullerton.  Dr. Vargas-Paredes has provided individual, couples, family, and group psychotherapy for over twenty years.  Her areas of interest include Latinx mental health, mood disorders, trauma, women’s issues, parenting, multicultural and diversity issues, and students of color in higher education including first generation student issues.  Dr. Vargas-Paredes is involved in the following professional organizations: the American Psychological Association (APA), the California Psychological Association (CPA), the National Latinx Psychological Association (NLPA), the California Latinx Psychological Association (CLPA), the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy (AAMFT), and the California Association of Marriage and Family Therapists (CAMFT).  She is also a founding member and former Chair of the Latino Student Psychological Association (LSPA) at Alliant International University, Los Angeles.  Dr. Vargas-Paredes is married to her husband of ten years and they are the proud parents of  a 7-year-old boy and 4-year-old girl.

Sandra Ortiz

Sandra Ortiz, is the Founder and CEO of Inspirational Leadership Group, a consulting firm dedicated to unleashing human greatness into the world by delivering high impact leadership development programs and executive coaching services for employees inside organizations. Sandra is a passionate, dynamic, and visionary leader that brings her vast experience in leadership and team development to achieve breakthrough results for leaders and organizations alike. ​ Sandra holds a Master’s degree in Human and Organizational Development and is a certified professional coach. Her experience includes serving as an advisor to Fortune 500 C-Suites and senior executive teams in global and matrix organizations operating in the US, Europe, Latin America, and Asia. Additionally, she is certified in several leadership development tools, including DiSC, MBTI, ESCI (Emotional Intelligence), and 360 assessments. ​ Her personal hobbies include diving deep into personal development work and traveling the world on extended personal journeys, both amplifying her natural curiosity for people’s diversity and increasing her ability to understand and work with people from diverse cultural backgrounds.

Katya Martinez

Hi. My name is Katya and I am a mental health therapist at Kaiser Permanente. I enjoy working with kids, teens, and transitional-aged youth.  Most of my experience has been in non-profit organizations and with crisis management. I love to dance Latin music and expressing myself through body movement. Dancing has been healing and therapeutic in my life and has taken me out of my shell in the last 8 years. 

Ariel Escobedo

Ariel is a graduate of Los Angeles Unified School District public schools (i.e., Dyer Street Elementary, Olive Vista Middle School and Francisco Bravo Medical Magnet). He obtained his Bachelors in Social Welfare from California State University Northridge (CSUN) in 1997 and Masters of Social Work for the University of Southern California (USC) in 2002. He’s worked as a community social worker at nonprofit community agencies and child protective services between 1993 to 2001. He’s worked as a Licensed Clinical Social Worker in private practice, nonprofit and for-profit agencies since 2002. He founded South Gator Basketball Club in September 2017. He’s dedicated to strategically unify varied professionals and businesses to collaborate in an effort to empower women and youth living in underserved communities. He’s proud to collaborate with highly talented individuals to develop a multicultural women empowerment movement, which is a concept of South Gator Basketball Club, we call TRIBE (Together-Rising-Infinitely-Boldly-Endlessly). He’s committed to empowering underserved communities with hopes of expanding the mission of empowerment and social justice throughout Southern California and beyond. He’s proud to have been born and raised in the San Fernando Valley. He loves spending time with his wife and two boys. He’s been a resident of South Gate, California since 2002. He loves to read self empowerment and autobiographical books, he loves enrolling in varied enrichment classes, travel, attend music festivals, garden, and visit botanical gardens around the world.

Sandy Samudio

Sandy is a very talented and personable artist. She performs as a multilingual singer and entertainer. She's a passionate Colombian born Salsa singer and performer now living in Los Angeles. At the age of 15, she's started studying acting in different schools and participated in several plays. With the experience of these live performances, she gained the confidence to make a move to America, where she conquered her dream of performing the world over with some of the most famous Latin Bands in the world

Javier Samudio

Javier has 25 years of experience in branding and marketing. He has worked with some big brands such as Nike, Victoria's Secret, Macys, DirecTV, among others, but his passion is to help entrepreneurs succeed in the modern competitive market. Javier's work has been featured at different times in the United States and abroad, among the most recognized creative and marketing experts around the world. He has been invited to talk about branding and marketing in various colleges and companies such as UCLA, CSUN, NAHRREP, Latino Professionals, and Herbalife. He has been interview in some Radio shows and magazines such as Those Branding Guys, DJ Magazine Italy, and Alegria Magazine.

Monica Valdivia

My logo that I use as a Zumba instructor is “Zin Valdivia.” Zumba is a worldwide fitness dance, with various movements, passion, feeling, and a combination of several types of steps. For instance, Zumba uses karate, boxing, and other types of sports to encourage participants to have a lot of fun. It helps you to work on the development of your body and at the same time have good health. That's why I became a Zumba instructor. I love helping people and students succeed and be better people. Thanks Zumba! I love Zumba!

Beatriz "Betty" Valencia

Candidate for Orange City Council Beatriz “Betty”

Valencia is the Vice President of Operations in Business & Finance, a member of the Santiago Canyon College Foundation (SCCF) Board of Directors, a former City of Orange City Council candidate and the current Central Vice-Chair of the Democratic Party of Orange County. Betty is currently working on her Ph.D. in Leadership Studies. Betty was named (one of several) women of the year for 2019 and most recently named by the OC Register as TOP 100 Influencers in Orange County for 2019. Betty is a motivational speaker on civic engagement, education equity, immigration justice, environmental justice,and transformational leadership. Betty was born in Mexico City, she is married to her long time partner Laura Villa, and is the last of 12 children.

Emilia Lopez

Emilia Lopez is the Director of Group Sales for the three-time WNBA Champion Los Angeles Sparks. In her role, Emilia is responsible for generating group revenue as well as managing members of the sales department and Sales Academy Program. Emilia was a part of the Sparks most recent WNBA Championship in 2016 and led her department to back-to-back WNBA Ticket Sales Franchise of the Year honors in 2018 and 2019.

Yeni Hercules

Yeni has a B.A. in Interdisciplinary Art (focus on labor studies) from Dominguez Hills University and a Masters degree in Counseling (Marriage, Family and Child Therapy) from University of Phoenix. She worked in the counseling field for more than 4 years. She is the founder and co-owner of H&P Logistics Inc, a transportation company and the founder and owner of Yen Wellness, a Wellness company. She loves working in the community and is always looking for ways to be of service. ​Yeni Hercules is a certified Strategic Intervention Coach through Robbins-Madanes Trainings. She studied 2 years with top life coaches including Anthony Robbins, Cloe Madanes, Mark Peysha, and Magali Peysha.

Re’Aunna Henderson, MS

Mental Performance Specialist

Re’Aunna holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology from California State University, Northridge, and a Masters of Science degree in Kinesiology with a concentration in Sport and Exercise Psychology from California State University, Long Beach. Re’Aunna has experience working with all types of sports, including but not limited to volleyball, basketball, hockey, golf, baseball, softball, and military. Ms. Henderson has a profound method of building mentally indestructible athletes.

Website: www.mindumental.net

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