Role: National Authority Consultant
Areas of Expertise: Youth engagement, youth empowerment, cultural diversity, youth advocacy, transition planning
Years of Child Welfare Experience: 10+
As the Center’s Young Adult Consultant Coordinator, Athena Garcia-Gunn is responsible for managing, supervising, coordinating, and project-matching our Young Adult Consultants to federal service-delivery projects and products. Ms. Garcia-Gunn leverages her lived and professional experience to provide strategic solutions and coaching support on authentic engagement to enhance the work and the impact to better serve youth and families. Ms. Garcia-Gunn works collaboratively across the Center to provide coaching and guidance on lived experience implementation in the Center’s process.
Ms. Garcia-Gunn has more than 10 years of experience supporting youth development programs for transition-aged youth through project management, project coordinating, training, counseling, curriculum development, policy, and advocacy. She has served children and families directly in California through higher education readiness programs, transitional housing and emancipation readiness programs, and foster parent licensing programs both in English and Spanish capacities. Ms. Garcia-Gunn began her work in through advocacy at the state and federal level, including serving as a federal consultant and subject matter expert to support systems change and implementation nationally. Athena is also a strong writer and public speaker, and prior to her role at the Center, she leveraged her platform to provide insight, training, coaching, and advocacy to child welfare providers at the local, state, and federal level.
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The Center's National Authority Teams are child welfare experts with a deep understanding of the issues and challenges facing the child welfare field that comes from years of experience at the local, state, and federal levels.
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