Shortly after graduating from college, my focus on working with underserved populations developed while working at Vanderbilt University as its Summer Camp Director. As a result of my interactions with Nashville Family Shelter youth that participated in the Vanderbilt Summer Camp, I felt motivated towards a career that would allow me to assist families, specifically at-risk children, overcome the challenges they face.
Later that year I started in my first, full-time youth development position as an Assistant Youth Programs Director at St. Luke’s Community House, a family resource center in West Nashville that assists low-income families with a variety of services. After a short stint at St. Luke's, I re-located to Washington, DC for the opportunity to participate in the numerous professional development opportunities in non-profit management that the District provided.
Once in D.C., I started work with a new charter school, D.C. Preparatory Academy, that provided high-quality educational opportunities for inner-city middle school students with aspirations of attending college. Working as a program director with the school; writing grants, building community partnerships, and evaluating programs, I began to develop the skills that would allow me to have a greater impact on underserved communities. After three successful years with the school and seeing its mission come to fruition as a highly decorated organization, my work led me to a new role at a small, youth development organization that provided arts experiences for K-12 students in Southeast, D.C. The position allowed me greater growth as an agent for change and further sharpened my fundraising and program evaluation skills.
After a year with the D.C. Creative Writing Workshop, I chose to move back to my hometown of Miami, FL, to begin working in the community that I was most passionate about serving. Since coming to Miami in 2008, I've moved into the arena of public health, serving as Community Smiles’ Executive Director for over four years. During my time at Community Smiles I've had the opportunity to work with countless individuals committed to providing access to care for the underserved and uninsured residents of Miami-Dade County. I look forward to helping Community Smiles continue to serve an even greater number of patients in the coming years with high quality dental care and create sustainable impact in our community.