As a Latina and first-generation US citizen, the notion of freedom to pursue one’s happiness has always carried a deeply significant meaning for me. I was born to immigrant parents who exercised an impeccable work ethic to secure a life of opportunity for their children. My parents were my first examples of how important hard work and integrity are to the overall successful pursuit of the American Dream. I was raised to value education and to work hard in everything I did in pursuant of my own happiness. The power of the mind always fascinated me and so I naturally gravitated towards psychology. I achieved my Bachelors of Science degree in Psychology from the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA) in 2005. During my time as an undergraduate at UCLA, I had the opportunity to work on several research projects, one of which placed me in a school setting, working with children and families to support struggling readers. My love for the mind combined with my newfound passion for helping children find academic success led me to the field of school psychology.
In 2007, I was accepted into Brigham Young University’s (BYU) Education Specialist graduate program and thus began my training in school psychology. Working with school personnel and children to help them unlock their full potential has been a passion of mine since I first learned that school psychologists help advocate for children in educational settings. In 2010, I graduated from BYU and began my career as a school psychologist in the Nebo School District. I served as a practitioner in Nebo for over 10 years and in that time worked closely with countless families including multicultural and immigrant families, whom I grew a deep devotion for supporting. As a native Spanish speaker, I have used my language skills to support bi-cultural, multi-lingual, families who overcome language and cultural obstacles to become better advocates for their children.
As my career in Nebo grew, so did my little family. My husband and I have welcomed three beautiful children into our lives in the last 13 years, one of whom was born with social and language difficulties which were diagnosed as non-verbal Autism at the age of 18 months. As a mother to this beautiful (now 9-year-old) boy, I have found so much joy and fulfillment in helping him find his voice. As challenging as it has been to raise a child on the Autism spectrum, it has also brought incalculable understanding, growth, and pure love into our home. In my efforts to become our son’s best advocate, I have sought out Autism specific learning opportunities to enhance my professional training and have donated my time to serve on several boards for non-profit organizations who support families of special needs children. Currently, I serve on the board of directors for Kids Who Count, an early intervention program, and on the Utah Association of School Psychologists board who works to support school psychologists in Utah. I am deeply committed to helping families find social and academic success for their children.
In 2013 my career and community involvement led me to an evening teaching opportunity at BYU, which then, in 2019, blossomed into an invitation to serve as full-time faculty in the Education Specialist program (the same program that once trained me). Currently, I serve as Assistant Clinical Professor and Internship/Practicum Coordinator for the Education Specialist program at BYU. In addition to my regular teaching load at the university, I also work closely with various school districts in Utah as we collaboratively train and support future school psychologists. I am extremely fortunate to do fulfilling and meaningful work on a state-wide level through my employment with the university.
Today, my work with Dr. Aaron Allred at Utah Excel Psychology has given me an opportunity to expand my reach even further, to support both adults and families of young children across various settings as they seek evaluations to help them understand and support their loved ones. Utah Excel Psychology performs important work in our community and I am so grateful to take part in that noble endeavor.
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