Director of Program Evaluations
As far back as I can remember, I always dreamed of and wanted to be in an occupation that partnered with individuals on positively transforming their lives and by extension the world one life at a time. This desire has only been strengthened throughout my life as I have experienced my own life challenges and as I have supported countless others with theirs upon their specific and individual recovery journeys. My path to RI International was not specifically what I envisioned for myself as a child; but life’s twists, turns, and imperfections had a way of turning out perfectly for me and far better than I possibly could have ever imagined.
I was born and raised in Mesa, Arizona and I have lived almost my entire life in this beautiful State. Growing up I was an avid reader of everything I could get my hands on and I was specifically fascinated with Psychiatry/Psychology. In fact, my childhood dream was to be a Psychiatrist when I grew up. I graduated from Mesa Mountain View in 1992 with Honors and with a Presidential Scholarship in hand. I began my collegiate career at Mesa Community College majoring heavily in Science and Math and I ultimately graduated from the University of Arizona in 1997 with Honors and with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Psychology with a split minor in Biology and Chemistry. I entered the Maricopa County Public Non-Profit Mental Health field shortly thereafter to directly partner with and support individuals within their most challenging life moments and I have been doing so ever since. I have been very blessed and fortunate to partner with a myriad of individuals in a variety of settings (i.e., homeless outreach, residential facilities, case management, crisis opportunities, courts/prisons, etc.). I say blessed and fortunate because every individual that I have had the honor and privilege to partner with has tremendously and positively impacted my own recovery as well as my own personal growth and development.
It was by partnering with one of these specific individuals that I learned about and became highly motivated to join and become a part of RI. I partnered with this specific individual for three years prior to my arrival at RI International (then Recovery Innovations) in 2005. This specific individual had been secluded and restrained for his own safety by mental health professionals. During his seclusion and restraint, this individual not only experienced a tremendous amount of new trauma but also suffered a major stroke on top of it. Part of my occupational duties at that time was to partner with him on learning how to live again and to do those things that I took for granted on a daily basis (i.e., eating, talking, walking, cooking, cleaning, caring for oneself, brushing of teeth, etc.). This had such a profound and tremendous impact upon me, that when I learned RI did not use any force (i.e., seclusion and restraint) in its inpatient services I immediately became intrigued and wanted to be a part of that specific system transformation. This dream became a reality and it has been nothing short of a miracle ever since. Over the years I have been very blessed to work with Recovery Innovations in a number of different recovery environments (i.e., crisis, housing, information and referral, employment, research, and outcome opportunities). My professional vision for the future is to help facilitate total system transformation worldwide to one that utilizes peer based services in all areas that focus on and respect each individual’s choice as it relates to their holistic wellness and recovery. It is my further hope that by virtue of my efforts that I can help create a recovery system that facilitates individuals achieving self-sufficiency to the point of graduating out of their local mental health system if they so choose.