Darlene Rivas is a driven and dedicated social worker who holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Sociology from Cal State Northridge and a Master of Social Work degree from USC. Darlene is currently a Psychiatric Social Worker for the second largest school district in the nation. She began her career at the Los Angeles Child Guidance Clinic where she provided a variety of mental health services to culturally diverse populations in the South Los Angeles Community. She also dedicated 7 years to providing Family Preservation in Home Services through partnership with the Department of Children and Family Services. Over this time, Darlene assisted families through an integrative approach to strengthen, mitigate risk factors, and identify family protective factors. Darlene harnessed an in depth experience from servicing two large region areas in Los Angeles County, and witnessing the disparities in various communities and the impact on families. Darlene was raised in South Los Angeles, California. From personal experience, she can recall the issues that existed such as gang violence, drugs and addiction, limited resources, and educational inequity. This has been a motivating force for Darlene to continue servicing the same community she grew up in, and raising awareness about mental health. And, advocating for the integration of education and mental health.