Call Us: (323) 454-6221
My name is Syuzanna Shirinyan and I am from Glendale, California. I earned my BA with honors in Sociology from the University of Southern California. In the fall of 2018, I began my Masters in Social Work at the University of Southern California. I am expected to graduate by the year of 2020 with a MSW degree (emphasis in Social Change and Innovation). Upon graduation, I want to work towards becoming a LCSW and ultimately offer my services through my own private practice.My hobbies include spending time with my puppy (Nina) and interior designing.
CHRISTINE SHIAU, Program Manager
MSW, University of Southern California, 2016
BS, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 2013
Christine Shiau has earned a Master of Social Work with the concentration of Community Organization, Planning, and Administration from the University of Southern California in 2016. She is passionate about serving disadvantaged youth. She has mentored underserved students at a nonprofit, Little Lights Urban Ministries, in Washington, District of Columbia along with provided mental-health services to high-risk high-school students at a Green Dot Public School in South Los Angeles. She is currently the Program Manager of Visionary Youth Center, in which she facilitates the growth of the organization, aids with weekly programming, and helps with the Master of Social Work and Bachelor of Social Work internship programs. As Program Manager, Christine Shiau utilizes macro-practice skills and knowledge of mental health issues, all in which she has developed through her aforementioned experiences, and her past roles as research assistants within the Psychology Department at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and as an intern at the American Psychological Association.
My name is Mark Magana and I am a 2nd year Master of Social Work student at the University of Southern California. I lived in South Los Angeles for about 12 years and currently reside in San Pedro (where I’ve lived for 15 years). I attended the University of California, Santa Barbara where I obtained my Bachelor's of Arts in Psychology. I chose to pursue a career in Social Work to address the injustices and hardships my family and friends have experienced (e.g. poverty, substance abuse, lack of opportunity, etc.). Additionally, I’ve developed an interest in employee rights and public assistance policy. In my free time, I enjoy watching basketball and American football and trying new foods.
Jessica Y. Martinez
Hi everyone! I’m Jessica Martinez, Social Work undergraduate student from California State University, Los Angeles. I am a first-college generation student. I was born and raised in South Los Angeles. I enjoy watching television series and variety shows, going to amusement parks, and spending time with family and close friends. I am excited to be an intern at Visionary Youth Center. I am looking forward to a successful and engaging year.
My name is Jimmy C. Guevara and I was born and raised in East Hollywood. I went to LeConte Middle School and earned my high school diploma from Hollywood High School. I lived in the neighborhood throughout my school years until I left to the Marine Corps in 2002. After the Marine Corps I earned a double bachelor in Psychology and Central American studies. I am currently working on my Master of Social Work from University of Southern California (USC) in the Social Change and Innovation (SCI) department. I aspire to lead a non-profit organization that works with teens or veterans returning home.
Our interns are a collaboration with Cal State LA and USC. The Universities are located in the heart of Los Angeles. We have a diverse group of interns working toward their Bachelor of Social Work (BSW) and Master of Social Work (MSW). Our interns come from all walks of life and with several different backgrounds.
Rose Isounts , Project Manager
MSW, University of Southern California, 2019
BA, California State University, Northridge, 2017
My name is Rose Isounts and I am a 2nd year Master of Social Work student at the University of California. I grew up all around the San Fernando Valley and attended California State University, Northridge where I obtained my Bachelor's of Art in Psychology with a minor in Gender and Women's Studies. I fell into social work because I have always been passionate about social justice and policy reform. I spent the first year of my graduate program fieldwork at VYC and I am excited to be back for another year. During my free time, I enjoy watching films and exploring LA.
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FAYE ALTOBAR, Director of Operations
MSW, University of Southern California, 2014
BA, California State University, Dominquez Hills, 2002
I am an MSW with over 15 years experience working in Human Services. Prior to social work, I have 8 years of management experience for several financial institutions, and I am now looking to focus my career by fusing my two passions: non-profit organizational management and community relations. I am passionate about empowering my community and helping others to reach their greatest potential. As an MSW, I have focused on macro social work practices, which includes fund-development, program development, non-profit organizations, advocacy, and community relations.
I am currently the Director of Operations at Visionary Youth Center (VYC), where I oversee all aspects of non-profit organizational operations, fiscal management, programming, and fund development. VYC is a non-profit start-up that I am fortunate to have been a part of from the beginning as I implement strategies to nurture the growth of this grass-root agency. I am dedicated to promoting healthy youth development and advocating for their higher learning. As an MSW at VYC, I’ve also had the opportunity to oversee BSW and MSW interns from CSULA and USC for as their Certified Field Instructor.
I've have joined an amazing team at Reliance Hospice, whose focused on innovation while providing compassionate hospice care. As a medical social worker and community liaison, I am able to utilize my true passion for human service while involved in business development. I have also been employed with the Institute for Applied Behavior Analysis for the past 12 years, working with adults with severe developmental disabilities and their families. I am also co-chair of the Youth and Education Committee for the East Hollywood Neighborhood Council. In the past year, I have served as Director of Development at Housing Works, working with the homeless and permanent supportive housing services in greater Los Angeles.
ROBERT HERNANDEZ, Founder & Executive Director
MSW, University of Southern California, 2007
BA, California State University, San Jose, 1999
ROBERT HERNANDEZ aims to educate and engage in practice-driven research to address critical areas of society that continue to hinder communities from flourishing. His areas of interest include vulnerable youth populations, adolescent social issues, adolescent gang intervention, strength-based/resiliency and youth empowerment models of practice. In particular, Hernandez's work examines risk and protective factors within communities that are associated with vulnerable youth populations residing in trauma-exposed communities. His focus is on advancing marginalized populations through a range of practical approaches addressing violence-related trauma through violence reduction, prevention, and intervention strategies. His area of emphasis is exploring violence related-trauma due to urbanization and rapid development and its impact on healthy youth development as well as the implications on urban communities as a whole.