Virginia Valencia

Team Lead and Outreach Specialist

Virginia is the Outreach Team Lead and Mental Health Specialist at Friends In Deed. She has a passion for self-development as it pertains to helping others. Virginia is a firm believer that in order to facilitate growth and healing in others, one needs to cultivate self-awareness, self-compassion, and love for oneself. After obtaining a psychology degree from Occidental College in Los Angeles, Virginia decided to study Traditional Chinese Medicine at Yo San University in Venice, California. She changed paths before graduating and attended the Kushi Institute in Massachusetts to study macrobiotics, which is plant-based, Japanese-inspired cuisine. When she returned to Los Angeles, she initiated a career of becoming a Nature Foods Chef for over 10 years.

After many years of helping individuals with their health via cooking, Virginia decided to change career paths. Virginia was trained as a Mental Health Recovery Specialist by participating in the Jump Start Fellowship, a post-baccalaureate program at Mental Health America of Los Angeles. Virginia fulfilled various positions throughout the years, working with chronically homeless individuals, LGBTQ, and co-occurring populations at Union Station Homeless Services and Los Angeles Centers for Alcohol and Drug Abuse (L.A. Cada). Recently, Virginia returned to Azusa Pacific University to obtain a Masters Degree in Social Work. In her free time, Virginia enjoys taking care of herself by eating healthy, running, watching documentaries, and walking her dog.

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