Many Firsts to Look Forward in 2015

2015 is off to an exciting start for us here at GPS! Among the many new things on the horizon is our first family social event of the year – a St. Valentine’s Day-themed tea for moms and daughters in Renton’s Kiwanis Park building, on Friday, February 6th! During February, we will also continue our collaboration with Atlantic Street Center in their SE Seattle/Cloverdale Family Center where we’ll present parent classes on the IEP process and on how to work with law enforcement to ensure families receive support when in crisis and youth are not traumatized or otherwise harmed in the process.
On Thursday, March 19th, we’ll host the first of our quarterly education enrichment events for mental health and chemical dependency peer supporters in Seattle at the 2100 Building. Our Board, staff, and families will travel to Olympia on Monday, March 23rd, where we’ll invite our policymakers to ‘Stand In Our Shoes’. We are going to increase awareness of the daily realities youth and families face in the struggle with emotional, behavioral, and substance abuse disorders, and advocate for the legislative priorities that will help ensure King County’s families receive the mental health and substance abuse programs and services crucial to recovery and wellness.

I am looking forward to this year’s many opportunities to share, act, learn, grow, give – in supporting youth and families . . . especially opportunities to support growing numbers of Latino youth and families throughout King County. The hire of a new Parent Partner allow us to address these opportunities.
According to a SAMSHA blog on December 14, 2014, there are many misperceptions about behavioral health in the Latino community that can prevent people from seeking services. Our Parent Partner Mina Alvarado will lead us in using culturally and linguistically appropriate outreach and engagement strategies to better understand and support the needs of Latino youth and families.

It is with great pleasure that I introduce you to Mina today!



Guided Pathways welcomes Parent Partner Guillermina Alvarado. Mina has five years of experience providing parent support and facilitating family access to public and private resources. Mina earned an AA Degree in Early Childhood Education from Lake Tahoe Community College and studied Sociology at California State University, before gaining experience as a Social Work Aide for El Dorado County (CA) Department of Human Services. She served as a Bilingual Family Support Specialist for South West Human Development in Phoenix, AZ and as a Comprehensive Community Support Services Provider for Team Builders Counseling Services/Agave Health, Santa Fe, NM. Upon moving to Washington State in 2013, Mina became a Community Resource Navigator for Sea Mar Community Health Clinic.
“ I have assisted families understanding documents from educational institutions, probation officers, psychosocial evaluations, medication management and agency policies and procedures, “ Mina said. “I am pleased to share my knowledge, empathy and personal struggles as a parent with lived experience on ways to achieve resiliency.”
Mina lives in Kent with her sons and husband Oscar.