Family and Student Specialist – Paloma was born and raised in Puerto Rico. At the age of 10 she had her first job stocking shelves at her school cafeteria in exchange for a hot lunch. At an early age Paloma understood the challenges of experiencing need, this began her journey to discovering her passion for working with underprivileged populations. She has dedicated most of her career to working with and strengthening vulnerable children and families. Paloma moved to NYC in 2013 to work with high-risk families to whom she provided Family Therapy with the end goal of stabilizing and strengthening them. Paloma worked with these families to avoid having their children removed and put into the system. She became an expert in Functional Family Therapy and subsequently supervised teams of therapists for three years. Paloma started working with kids in foster care in 2007 as a Counselor at Camp Felix. She led her team to create the Learn to Swim program the following year and subsequently served as their Aquatics Director for four years. This Learn to Swim program became a model that has afforded hundreds, if not thousands of kids the chance to learn how to swim. Paloma began teaching in 2007 for the Middle and High School of the Department of Defense Education Activity in Puerto Rico. She taught College Readiness, as well as coaching the teams of Track & Field and Cross Country. She has a master’s degree in School Counseling from Universidad del Turabo in Puerto Rico, in addition to a Bachelor’s degree in Business Marketing from the University of Puerto Rico. Additionally, she is a Licensed Professional Counselor. Paloma was overjoyed to join the Haven Family in 2019 as a Restorative Practices Specialist for Middle School and is now thrilled for her current role as Family and Student Specialist in the Elementary School. In her free time, Paloma loves paddleboarding, CrossFit, and traveling to spend time with loved ones.