Friday, April 22, 2016

Promoted as Program Coordinator!!!!!

I've had the pleasure of being with Youth ALIVE! for 5 years.

The first time my family engaged with the agency was in 2006 when my brother was shot. He ended up at Highland Hospital and was assigned a skilled life changing Case Manager through Youth ALIVE!, his name is Emilio Mena. I remember sitting in my living room on a hot summer day in East Oakland just studying the way that Emilio was able to engage my hard-headed brother. A lot of "yes" head nodding and real discussion. First time I ever witnessed my brother grow love for a male role model. I knew the agency represented authentic community work.
Two years later in 2008 I would have the pleasure of opening my eyes and writing "Hello" (because I had a breathing tube pierced in my throat) to my guardian angel Case Manager, Tammy Cloud. She was assigned to me when half of my tender face was blown off by a random shooting. As many of you know...Tammy Cloud is badazz, hands down. Straight altered my life by providing me with trauma informed care, a strong system of support, and instilling hope in my heart. She is one of the main factors that has propelled me to go so hard in life. She is why I am working with Youth ALIVE! today. 

I began my career in the filed of Violence Prevention as a Violence Prevention Educator, I did that work for 3 years. After advocating tirelessly (because I wanted to be like Emilio and Tammy so bad) YA! changed my title to Case Manager. For the past two years Ive enjoyed learning the skills it takes to transform and inspire the lives of "AT- PROMISE YOUTH". Ive learned and grown so much professionally. This past month was a challenge for me because our Program Coordinator transitioned out of our program. Scrambling to keep a continuum of contract deliverables, training our young people, facilitating workshops, and case managing youth - I bravely stepped up to the plate and willingly took on added responsibility - like a boss. Through this experience I did a lot of self-reflecting and realized that Its time to move out of direct service work and step into management, a new level in my professional career. I interviewed for the position, went through a grueling hiring process, received the offer letter, negotiated my package, and after a satisfying conversation I accepted the position of Program Coordinator!

There is it.Today I completed my first official work week as management. It has been a busy but awesome ride. I anxiously look forward to building on to my professional experience, attending training, and learning management skills. 

Thank you to all of my mentors who groomed me for this position. I could've have done it without you! HOORAYYYYYYYYYYYYYY!!!

Pictures of my work at Youth ALIVE! over the years

Saturday, April 2, 2016

My story put together by UC Berkeley students

I worked with two talented UC Berkeley students to create this short documentary that features my personal story of overcoming gun violence. Not only do I share my testimony but I also talk about extremely helpful tools that I received from Youth ALIVE! to help alleviate anxiety, depression, and overall trauma. Check it out and maybe share it. The story and the tools can potentially help someone out there.

Below is the link !


Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Dear Life

So much has happened since I last briefly checked in. Im kicking ass in school, work is wonderful because I am growing within my agency and learning so much along the way, I'm still single and loving every moment of it :) SERIOUSLY. Caheri's Closet successfully gave birth to a swaggy season 4. My family is healthy ...cant complain. My older brother was released from prison last week.

I'm loving life and very thankful for every opportunity that has emerged.

Im working on a few blog posts ...stay tuned.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

searching for scholarships and grants

I'm searching for scholarships and grants that offer financial assistance to someone like me who is a first generation latina attending college, survivor of violence, a woman, a community leader, pursuing Nursing, attends community college , love's oprah and rihanna, is left handed ....etc LOL

Feel free to share this information with people who might have potential connections or resources.

I am willing to share my story, speak on a subject, facilitate a presentation, write essays, dance, sing, act, read a poem.

my contact info is

Thank You

Thursday, January 23, 2014

music by caheri

I'm into singing, everyone who really knows me, knows that. Ive been singing since about 5 years old. Anyways , i was looking through my old archives and found this little gem. This song was recorded in 2009 shortly after the shooting. If you listen closely you can hear my lisp. Back in 09 my mouth palatalization was worse than it is now. It was harder for me to make out precise sounds. Almost like Kanye on his "thru the wire" track.  The song isnt the best quality because it hasnt been mastered and maybe i would change some of my lyrics to make the chorus more complex but I must say that the message resonates with you because it is so poignant.
Singing is one of the things i do to release stress and to bring calming. I love singing just as much as i love volleyball. In fact in 2003 I was torn in between making the decision of staying and recording a demo with a talent agency named "Tengo Talento" or accepting the golden bear volleyball club offer. 
I chose volleyball, but i never lost the passion for my music.


Wednesday, November 20, 2013

its been 5 years!!!!

Today marks 5 years since the shooting that exploded my face, teeth, jaw and nearly killed me. I cant take away or downplay the seriousness of this particular day but what i can do is be grateful for what has manifested since that day. I must acknowledge that today feels very different than the last 4 other Nov 20ths. Last night I had so many other progressive thoughts and projects that i hardly had time to be melancholy. That energy has carried on with me today and i believe it will ride with me until the weekend is over.

The truth is ...there is nothing to be unhappy about anymore. I have found the true meaning of happiness and it isnt always driven by how i look or what i wear or how much money i have in the bank. I have learned so much from the real world , the books and the streets. I find cheer in knowing that I am still present to hug my family , I inspire people , I am on my way to become a nurse, and that i am making a difference in my very own community. Overtime those things are what have been the most rewarding.

I thank all of my family and friends who have been there to support me. My recovery would never have been possible without each and everyone of you. I promise that i will never forget who you are. I love you for caring about me.