My name is Camila and I was born and raised in White Plains, NY as a first-generation Latinx American. I walked into the White Plains Youth Bureau with hopes of finding a job. My first job was with the Greening Project, a group centered on environmental conservation. To this day, I continue to visit and support the areas in Westchester County where we helped, including Playland Park, the Greenburg Nature Center, Mount Beacon Park and many more.
When I was adjusting to high school, the Youth Bureau staffed an office located right in the cafeteria! I could visit Mrs. Spencer daily; I looked to her for everything including picking classes, staying organized, and continuing to stay motivated when life stressors seemed to cast shade on a bright future. There she was reminding me of my strengths, and my bright future. I know I’m not alone in this benefit. I know whole-heartedly that the YB staff fostered youth with the support they needed to springboard them into success.
The YB took me on my first college visit. They enrolled me in an SAT prep class. They taught me how to do a job interview. They gave me internship opportunities. They gave me a network. I will always work to serve that network to reciprocate those opportunities for the upcoming generations.
I am proud to say I have received my Bachelors in Psychology and Masters in Social Work at The University at Albany. I am now working for NYS as a Mental Health Specialist, and I am continuously working to be an agent of change in my community to serve those that have been underinvited and unrepresented.