Born to migrant Mexican parents, Susana and her two siblings were raised in East Los Angeles before settling in Montebello. She attended St. Benedict Elementary and graduated from Our Lady of Miraculous Medal. Following her sister’s footsteps, she joined the Mission family in 1994 and graduated with honors in 1998. In search of independence and full of an insatiable curiosity, Susana ventured to northern California, thus graduating from San Francisco State University with a major in Social Science and minor in Women's Studies.
Susana's career began with one of the most challenging populations in need: survivors of domestic violence. She served abused women and their children for several years and realized that she wanted to support families at an earlier stage, a stage of prevention. Understanding the power of education, Susana transitioned into the academic world and became a counselor for Immigrant families in San Francisco's school district. Working with immigrant families ignited her desire to further her own education and pursue her Masters Degree in Social Work. Susana received her Master's Degree from New York University and immediately after graduating, became a founding member of Brooklyn High School for Leadership and Community Service. In her first year, she assisted the most truant and impoverished youth of New York City. By the second year, Susana was promoted and became the youngest Director of a Transitional High school in New York City.
Unsurprisingly, after 12 years of being far from her beloved family, Susana decided to return to the community she owed so much to. Since her return, she has worked as a Supervisor and Director of Education in a Foster Family Agency and currently, she spearheads Long Beach Unified School District's first Foster Youth Program. Her new endeavor is a culmination of 15 years of dedication to children and families that lack the opportunities she is grateful to have, thanks to her hardworking and supportive parents. Today, Susana joins her Mission sisters with the same enthusiasm and curiosity in which she left. Her only hope is to inspire your daughters to be limitless, to explore the world, and to know they are powerful agents of change.
I am a young woman of Depth and Integrity; both these moral values were infused in my high school education, but redefined during my tenure in the Bay Area. I was placed in a university environment that contradicted its purpose and mission: to preach diversity, social equality, and serve world communities. In the midst of the most challenging time in my life, my surroundings cemented my fervency in social awareness, activism, and justice for the voiceless. I am indebted the Mission values of Depth and Integrity that inspired a strong sense of reverence for all individuals and thirst for the truth in any given situation. These values will infinitely be a part of my purpose to spread global equality and thirst to change the world.