I am the Program Coordinator for the Monterey County Friday Night Live Program. I was born and raised on the Monterey Peninsula. In 1996 I decided to attend school to get my Drug and Alcohol Counseling Certificate and started working in group homes in Monterey County and Santa Cruz County. From there I was asked to help create an afterschool program that would pilot at a Salinas Middle School (that program is still around today in quite a few different schools in the county). After many years of working with middle school students, I choose to take a step back from working with youth and went into the family business of Real Estate. I stayed in Real Estate for 15 years and one day got an offer to come back to work with youth at the high school level. I jumped at the offer because it was something I always loved to do. For the last five years, I have been working in the youth development field in for two different agencies. The work that we do and the high school-aged youth we serve is what drives me to keep going. The youth who we work with want to make a difference in their community and we are the ones who get to stand beside them and watch as they grow within themselves and help their community grow and make changes.