I joined MCI after being part of the Adoption Promotion and Support Services (APSS) Program within Children's Bureau’s Foster Care & Adoptions Department. Prior to that, I was a Para-educator and Lead Program Aide for an after-school program, both of these roles with the Los Angeles Unified School District. The MCI hope and dream statement resonated with me and I was drawn to the idea of being able to improve the well-being of a community as a whole not just one family at a time. Moving from more direct family services to community level work made sense in order for me to take a step towards the goals of MCI. I was born and raised in south Los Angeles and attended schools both within and right outside the borders of the MCI catchment area. I have experienced firsthand both the challenges and benefits of this community and strive to help make positive changes for all who visit, work and live in it.
I came to MCI because I wanted to be able to make a difference in our community. I loved the idea that we can think "big picture" and try to make changes that not only affect the families we serve, but everyone they can come in contact with and that the overall community would be better for it. I immigrated from Paraguay at the age of 9 and was raised in the Los Angeles area attending schools and being part of the overall community right outside the borders of the MCI catchment area. Many of my friends lived within these borders and I attended community events and activities there. Having been part of this community for over 30 years, and having been an immigrant, I have experienced many of the similar struggles that these families have. I have also seen the amazing support that initiatives like MCI and other community based programs have provided and am excited to be part of the changes, resources and support system for the community members.