A native Angeleno and daughter of immigrants launches her company with over 25 years of experience in the youth development world. During the span of her career she has designed and started new programs as well as restructured and revitalized struggling sites. She has connected with and learned from youth from diverse backgrounds including foster, English Language Learners and refugees. Her programs have encompassed preschool age to high school and centered around project-based learning, real-life application, elevation of youth voice and community empowerment. Her innovative and responsive approach has resulted in her sites maintaining an average of more than 85% daily participation from youth and over an 80% retention rate with staff.
As a youth and student herself, in the Los Angeles Unified School District, she had the unique experience of attending institutions that ranged from local under resourced neighborhood schools to gifted/magnet schools in affluent neighborhoods on the other side of the city.
As a young adult navigating the pursuit of higher education, through a private university and junior colleges in the Bay Area and Los Angeles, she always found her work dictating her learning and not the other way around.
Throughout her career, Cindy has worked with organizations such as Head Start, Parks and Recreation, NIKE's P.L.A.Y. Program, LA's BEST, and After-School All-Stars. In this time span, she has taken on the roles of Community Liaison, Lead Teacher, Site Director, Program Specialist, Program Coach, and most recently Regional Program Manager where she supported afterschool programs across the western United States including the Bay Area, Seattle, Las Vegas, and Hawaii.
Her personal experiences with the stark difference in all levels of educational opportunities, access, and representation, have informed the work she began and continues to do. Her practical experiences have dictated the knowledge and information she continuously seeks and applies to the work. Her intersectional communities and cultures- from her indigenous roots and bilingual upbringing to hip hop and sci-fi influences, shape the lens and values through which she defines her identity and life purpose.
Through this lens she has deduced that access, opportunity, belonging and the ability to define success for oneself are rights of all youth and her work will continue to focus on being a bridge for youth and community.