I am thrilled to seek re-election for the San Juan Unified School District Board of Education. I am a proud product of successful public schools. I graduated from Mira Loma High School before attending the University of California, Berkeley. I was raised by a single-mother with an 8th grade education, and together we worked hard to make ends meet. I personally know the impact that a good school, good teachers, and good counselors have on becoming a successful adult.
While I was the first person in my family to graduate from college, my time at UC Berkeley wasn't the easiest. The winter of my Junior year I was diagnosed with a very aggressive cancer, where I was thrown into our challenging health care system while fighting for my life. This experience led to my work advocating for increased access to health care, including the Affordable Care Act, and for health insurance reform.
In addition to my role as San Juan School Board President, I serve as the Assistant Secretary for the California Health and Human Services Agency, where I help ensure that critical health and social programs are easy to access for Californians that need them. This includes coordinating the work that helps vulnerable Californians every day, including accessing fresh food and nutritional assistance through CalFresh, finding job training and unemployment insurance through CalWORKS, placing foster children with families through the child welfare system, and implementing our immigrant and refugee programs and services. I am first and foremost a public servant, and work hard to improve my neighborhood, community, and state. Prior to my role at CHHS, I was a Principal Consultant to the California Legislature where I advised on policy issues related to children's health, mental health, behavioral health, and substance use disorders and treatment programs.
During the summers, I enjoy coaching for the South Sacramento Junior Giants Baseball Program and volunteering as a Youth Counselor at Camp Okizu, which provides peer support and recreational programs to meet the needs of children and families affected by childhood cancer.