4. GRASSROOTS ORGANIZING: ROOM 411
Cradle to Career
Aracely Contreras is the Live Oak Cradle to Career Family Engagement Coordinator at Del Mar Elementary School. She recently completed her BA in Community Studies at UCSC and is a mother of two children. She has over 15 years of experience working with youth, most recently as the supervisor for the City of Santa Cruz Parks and Recreation summer programs. Aracely is passionate about her work and the Live Oak community and brings that passion to her job as a parent advocate with Cradle to Career.
Gabriela Sanchez Ramirez, Community Impact Coordinator
United Way of Santa Cruz County | Jóvenes Sanos
Gabriela Sanchez Ramirez is Jovenes SANOS Program Coordinator / Community Impact Coordinator. She works with Watsonville youth, helping them grow into powerful skilled young leaders working towards creating a culture of health and a thriving Watsonville community. After spending five years being an active member of Jóvenes SANOS, Gabriela knows the value of youth being at the frontline of change and strongly believes in empowering youth within the community to shift policy for the well- being of all; and ensuring youth have the platform/opportunities to thrive professionally.
Gabriela holds a BA in Sociology and a minor in Latin American and Latino Studies.
Kassandra Flores, Community Impact Coordinator
United Way of Santa Cruz County 211
My name is Kassandra Flores. I work at United Way; I am the 211 coordinator for Santa Cruz and San Benito Counties. I received my BA on Business Management Economics from University of California Santa Cruz.
Leslie Goodfriend, MPH, Senior Health Services Manager
County of Santa Cruz Human Services Department (HSD)
Leslie Goodfriend began working with the Santa Cruz County Human Services Department (HSD) as a Senior Health Services Manager in 2014. Leslie oversees the Community Relations Unit which is responsible for administering the county’s coordinated entry system for people experiencing homelessness, locally named, Smart Path to Housing and Health; the Benefits Collaborative, a monthly meeting for service providers building capacity and understanding about CalFresh and MediCal eligibility; Thrive by Three, an initiative aimed to support families with 0-3 year olds but strengthening the early childhood support systems; and Cradle to Career, a collective impact initiative in the Live Oak school district, supporting families to help their children reach their full potential.
Prior to her work at HSD, Leslie spent 23 years working for the Santa Cruz County Health Services Agency in the Public Health Department. She managed the County’s community health and prevention programs, including Tobacco Prevention, Traffic Safety, HIV/AIDS Services and Teen Pregnancy Prevention. In January 2012, Leslie launched the Low-Income Health Program, a county-run health insurance program for very low-income residents. As part of the Affordable Care Act, all individuals with this coverage, transitioned to MediCal on January 1, 2014.
Leslie received her Master Degree in Public Health from the University of Michigan and served 2 years in the Peace Corps in Honduras.
Leslie is committed to improving the health of her community by influencing policy decisions to ensure the healthy choice is the easy choice.
Yadira Flores, Parent
Cradle to Career
● I am a mother leader from Cradle to Career from Del Mar preschool
● I am the youngest daughter from a family of nine.
● I am a wife and mother of four.
● I’ve been in the Live Oak community for 14 years
Magalí Morales, Coordinator
Sanctuary Santa Cruz
Magalí Morales MSW has been doing social work with immigrant communities and trauma survivors in Oregon and California for two decades. She is a mother, writer and activist in social and climate justice, and is the coordinator of Sanctuary Santa Cruz, a coalition of organizations that protect and advocate for the rights of immigrants and the most vulnerable members of our community. Sanctuary Santa Cruz includes the following groups:
Muslim Solidarity Group, supporting Muslims and non-Muslim Arabs from around the world in the struggle to be understood and honored.
Tenant Sanctuary, a legal-aid organization by tenants for tenants.
Your Allied Rapid Response (YARR), using non-violent direct action to protect community members against ICE, bullying and harassment.