My name is María Cruz Torres, born in 1984 and raised on the Isla del Encanto Puerto Rico. Through this space, I would like to introduce you my personal and professional aspects. I have characterized myself as a resilient person who seeks to grow day by day as a mother, a woman and professionally. The commitment I feel for my family, for my children and for myself, is what has motivated me to have aspirations and to fight for them throughout my life. For four years I have lived in the state of Connecticut with my children. This experience of emigrating to another country, as a Hispanic minority and with another language; It has given me the opportunity to offer myself and my children better opportunities in life. At the academic level, I have a bachelor’s degree in Social Work from the University of Puerto Rico in Humacao and a Master’s degree in Education with a Specialty in Professional Counseling from the University of Turabo in Gurabo, PR. My passion for the study of human behavior and its complexities is what has led me to work with people in need of support in the area of mental health. On a professional level, I am preparing to revalidate as a Professional Counselor in the state of Connecticut. In my work experience, I have the opportunity to work in risk and low-income communities. These professional experiences have allowed me to gain knowledge not only in the clinical area, but also at the administrative level in terms of developing proposals and establishing strategic plans to achieve tangible goals for participants, programs and the community in general. I currently work for a nonprofit organization, serving minority populations as a Community Health Worker and Family Support Provider. Both experiences have been offering services to pregnant women and their families. Most of these women are undocumented and need to be linked to health resources in the community. The program for which I work is aimed at offering educational services (in the area of parenting), mental health (emotional stability of families) and physical development (physical, emotional and sexual changes before, during and after pregnancy). The families we impact by being low-income and lack access to a stable level of education. There are participants who do not have educational resources in the area of sexuality; as well as on the subject of family planning. This lack of knowledge also occurs with the youth and minors we serve. We have come across participants where their knowledge of sexuality is zero. Being able to have the Certification in Clinical Sexuality would also provide me with the necessary tools to acquire a broad knowledge on issues of human sexuality and thus be able to help participants with specific learning problems and/or cognitive deficiencies and who are currently recipient mothers of our services. Given all the need that I can perceive from the participants of the program I serve, it is that a great need arises in me as a health professional to help the community that is served. Currently we do not have any professional in the area of Human Sexology at the agency level. It is for this reason that I am ready to start my Certification in Clinical Sexology, Sex Therapy Training Institute (STTI) because it will be of great benefit, not only for me how a professional and personal level, but also for the agency, participants and community at an individual, family and group level. Our Hispanic community, specifically the undocumented population, has a great need for information and access to resources. It is very sad to point out, but it is a reality that there is still a lot of discrimination and marginalization against ethnic minorities due to not having an education to guide them and not having access to community resources. I aspire to expand myself as an educational resource and at a clinical level as a professional to help break the stigma and taboos that the topic of sexuality carries in society. It is necessary to break with stereotypes and discourses that exacerbate social problems such as unplanned pregnancies and acquisition of sexually transmitted infections due to lack of education on the subject and problems due to lack of equity and access to community resources. I enclose the internet address of the place where I will start studying. (https://www.therapycertificationtraining.org/certification/sex-therapy-training) Very grateful for the opportunity to address you! María C. Cruz, MEd.
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