Tonya El-Hendi, LCSW PPS
I have 20 years of experience in education; including time as a Teacher, Foster Youth Liaison, Guidance Counselor, Licensed Mental Health Counselor and this past year as a Community Schools Specialist with the county office of education.
My passion is school-based mental health to support every student’s overall wellness to further THEIR individual goals both academically and as people.
“There are two ways of spreading light: to be the candle or the mirror that reflects it.” ~ Edith Wharton
As parents and educators we are unable to fully understand the impact the school closures as a result of the COVID 19 pandemic has had on our children. If you have concerns or are not sure if you should be concerned about your child feel free to contact me via email or phone to have a confidential conversation of ways to support your child. We may be in different boats but we are in the same storm.
Chaltu Y. Hambissa, MSW Intern Cal State Dominquez Hills
I am very pleased to intern at San Marino High School and be a part of the Titan Wellness team. Currently, I am studying to pursue my master’s degree in social work at California State University Dominquez Hills. I have a bachelor’s degree in Psychology as well.
My professional profile in social work has been diverse and has had a broad outreach in terms of age and gender. I have previously worked as a research assistant and a teaching assistant for undergraduate students. I have also worked as a youth counselor for resident youths between ages 13 and 18 who had been victims of abuse, neglect, or were at risk of being exposed to these issues. For the past year, I have worked as a Social Educator with people with schizophrenia and intellectual disability.
I have discovered that I love helping people solve their problems and improve the lives of others. Now, I’m looking forward to work at San Marino and support students to succeed academically and personally, by promoting health and wellness!!
Berenice Fernandez, BASW Intern Cal State L.A.
I am excited to be interning at the high school by being a part of the Titan Wellness Center and getting to know everyone. I’m currently a student at Cal State Los Angeles, receiving my bachelor’s in Social Work. I decided to focus on this field because I want to guide individuals toward healthier social, emotional, and mental functioning. I look forward to gain experience to further my education and future career in social work.
This internship is an excellent opportunity for me to step into the field by working with an outstanding school and staff, engaging with students, and demonstrate the importance of mental health in a school setting. I believe there is tremendous significance in encouraging youth to stay emotionally and physically healthy. I will do my best to support and create a positive impact throughout my internship.
I am grateful for this opportunity and looking forward to a successful school year. I am looking forward in meeting everyone. Stay safe and have a wonderful day!
Emily Marmolejo, BASW Intern Cal State Los Angeles
It is a pleasure to be working as a social work intern for San Marino High school. I am very excited to be
a part of assisting students to achieve another successful school year. I want to introduce myself and break the ice by sharing a few things about me. I am pursuing my Bachelor’s Degree in Social Work at Cal
State University, Los Angeles, and will be graduating next year in May 2021. I chose to pursue a degree in social work because I know that life can sometimes be difficult, and we can all use a helping hand
every once in a while. My career focus is to become a high school Counselor to guide students positively, help them set goals for themselves, and serve as a supportive figure to them. I am very grateful to have the opportunity to intern at such an excellent school where faculty and teachers recognize the importance of working together to help students as early on as possible in their academic journey to grow to be happy and healthy members of society.
Debbie Mota, MSW Intern Pacific Oaks College
I am currently enrolled in the master’s program of social work at Pacific Oaks College. I am looking forward to interning at San Marino High School (SMHS) and be part of the Titan Wellness Center team.
I would like to share a bit of myself, and help you get to know me. About four years ago, I made the decision to change my career from banking to social services. The decision was tough, but the experience thus far has been a great one. I currently work with the homeless population and work with outreach teams to facilitate services on the streets. I have learned so much working with this population, but my goal is to transition into working in the education system as a School Counselor and utilize my skills to help and support students. I am grateful and excited to intern at SMHS and learn from my peers, facilitator, staff, and mostly importantly the students.
Noreen Lazo, MSW Intern Pacific Oaks College
I am a social work intern, pursuing a master's degree at Pacific Oaks in Pasadena. Professionally, I began in the field of child development as an assistant and then later a teacher. For the last five years I have served as behavioral support for students, ages 13-19, in a transitional period back into or out of school.
My experience with teens ignited my drive to pursue a career in social work. In this position I learned adolescence is an important epoch in human development that requires care, attention, and guidance as one transitions to adulthood. A strong educational foundation is important for better opportunities of success, but sustainability requires self-management skills to face and overcome challenges to maintain momentum in future endeavors.
I am happy to join the Wellness Center team and I look forward to meeting and supporting San Marino students while I am here.
Lindsay Snaer MFT Intern, Pacific Oaks College
Hi everyone! My name is Lindsay Snaer. I am 26 years old and working on my Master’s degree in Marriage and Family Therapy. My goal is to provide hope for students and their families, along with providing tools and resources to help manage everyday life and mental health. I want to give back to the community and become a support system for students and their families. I grew up in San Marino with my family and my dog, Bear. I am currently attending Pacific Oaks College, where I will be graduating in the Spring of 2022.
I am excited to work with a community that has helped me grow into the person I have become today. Having a strong sense of community and a solid support system can benefit our growth as individuals in our journey of mental health. I look forward to connecting with all of you and I am beyond grateful for the opportunity to do so!