I believe that you
can be anything
you set your mind to.
If you can think it,
you can achieve it.
I am proof.
Awards & Recognitions
If it doesn't challenge you, it won't change you.
For you to understand what I can do for you, you have to know who I am and how I got here. I have always believed that the sky is the limit and that I can always move forward towards my goals and continue to better myself. My journey is proof that this process works.
As a child, I was extensively bullied every day in school for being multi-cultural, speaking another language at home and "looking" different from the other kids in my class. Every day I would come home defeated and upset and each day, my mother would work with me to build my self-esteem back up and help me find the courage to return to school the next day with my head held high, ready to face another day in that negative environment. The more I was treated poorly and excluded by my peers, the harder I worked academically. I excelled at school but I was very lonely and this left me with the sense of "never quite fitting in". Although I had more opportunities for healthy friendships as I got older, it wasn't until I went to Italy to study abroad at age 20, that something significantl changed for me.
Even though I wasn't familiar with the culture, couldn't speak the language and didn't know anyone in Italy, I had the immediate sense of belonging. The experience allowed me a safe space to 'become me" and develop into the person that I liked being. Feeling welcomed gave me the freedom to figure out who I am, thrive in that sense of being myself and truly growing to my full potential without interruption and distraction. Today, I consider that opportunity a true gift because it allowed me to separate myself from the previous experiences that were inhibiting me from developing areas of myself and provided me the chance to explore my passions and become who I wanted to be.
I lived abroad for most my education, studied architecture, learned multiple languages and continued expanding my cultural understanding and communication skills. I volunteered to build an affordable home with Habitat for Humanity, immediately followed by a unique opportunity to study abroad in Cuba. Through these experiences, I got to see the extent of poverty, lack, struggle, and suffering and the love that lives simultaneously through cooperation. It made me realize that I had much more to offer than my background in architecture. I was inspired to do more, learn more, and be more. An emotional connection within me was awakened and I felt compelled to use my skills to help people in a more meaningful way so I went back to school again to expand my competency.
After living abroad for years, I returned to my hometown of Santa Barbara, California with a master's degree in architecture and urban design, and a wide variety of international work experience including community development, teaching languages and life appreciation courses, and leading leadership and mentorship programs. With this collection of knowledge, I founded a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization called Worldhealer which focuses on sustainable community development and youth empowerment. The purpose is to inspire participants to take action towards the great things that they want to experience in life with a positive and open-minded attitude. The programs encourage respect and understanding of the world, its people and cultures and current events. With it, the programs promote appreciation, self–worth and community–based service inspiring long–term systemic and behavioral change. Participants develop their sense of ownership and responsibility in the changes they want to see in themselves and in the world.
Worldhealer was the culmination of all my acquired passions and skills. It has formed my biggest achievement to date by allowing me to learn about myself, my abilities and my ingenuity. Sharing my knowledge to empower others enables me to share my positive energy, my love for learning and my belief in others by being a light to those who are in need of inspiration to see their own potential and path to progress. By helping other be active in developing how they think, feel and perceive the world, they surpass their limiting beliefs and other obstacles and in doing so, achieve sustainable and exponentially greater success.
Change Maker is my way of offering my expertise to a wider audience and making myself available to anyone who would like inspiration, forward-movement and a champion toward self-betterment. Through dedication, hard work and trial-and-error, I have discovered my passion for helping people find their passion and their path to progress.
Let me use my passion to help you find yours.
2016 - Top Female Executive Award for Excellence in Sustainable Development from the International Women’s Leadership Association (IWLA) Award for outstanding professional excellence and dedication
2014 - International Delegate Award from the International Women’s Leadership Association (IWLA) Award
2014 - Featured Leader Award, representing Non-Profit Organization Management from the International Women’s Leadership Association (IWLA) Award
2012 - The Woman of Outstanding Leadership Award from the International Women’s Leadership Association (IWLA)
2012 - Mentor Appreciation Award from the UCSB Alumni Association Award in honor of contribution and service to UCSB students and outreach
2011 - Mentor Appreciation Award from the UCSB Alumni Association Award received by Roxana Bonderson in honor of her contribution and service to UCSB students and outreach
2010 - VIP Woman of the Year Award from National Association of Professional Women (NAPW) Award