Staff & Trainers

Liza Bray, Executive Director    

Liza is both a visionary and hands-on leader. In her role as Executive Director, she oversees all aspects of PCSLA, including operational, fiscal and governance management; fund development, strategic planning; staff supervision; partnership development; evaluation; cross-agency care coordination; and external communications.

She has been instrumental in spearheading PCSLA’s evolution and growth and is a sought-after expert on strategic collaborations that deliver sustained impact. Liza has over 28 years of non-profit experience, working specifically with at-risk youth and families in the South Los Angeles community. She grew up and still resides in the very community that she has committed her life to supporting. When she is not working, Liza enjoys spending time with her two cats, watching documentaries, and painting.

 

Grisel Morales, Project Director

Grisel has dedicated her life to working with families and children in the South Los Angeles  community and possesses deep experience in early childhood education and social service programs. As Project Director, Grisel oversees the Early Childhood System of Care and works closely with PCSLA’s Partners to ensure that families get the support services they need. She has also been instrumental in the development and implementation of the agency’s data management and tracking system, which has resulted in improved data collection and usage by PCSLA Partners. What motivates Grisel every day is her belief that children thrive when they feel safe and loved. When she’s not working, Grisel enjoys reading and spending time with her family and fur babies.

 

 Jennifer Lara, Special Projects Manager

Born and raised in Los Angeles, Jennifer grew up to be a resilient woman. She learned early on what it means to be the eldest child and be responsible for her siblings. Growing up in a kinship household, Jennifer has strong bonds with her family, and her past experiences allow her to connect with clients on a personal level.

Jennifer joined PCSLA in 2017 as a Care Coordinator for one of PSCLA’s partner agencies. Throughout the years, she has demonstrated the value she places on teamwork and life-long learning. Jennifer was promoted to Faith-Based Project Manager/Family Advocate in 2018, where she played a crucial role in launching the project at PCSLA’s three original sites. Now, as a Special Projects Manager, Jennifer continues to demonstrate her commitment to the children and families PCSLA serves by taking on new assignments that address both current and emerging needs.

 

Cynthia Vergara, Faith-Based Project Manager/Family Advocate

Cynthia began her tenure at PCSLA as a temporary Care Coordinator. Her determinacy, passion, and care for families gave her the opportunity to become the Faith-Based Project Manager. She now oversees several Catholic School sites in the South Central community. Prior to joining PCSLA, Cynthia worked within the medical field for five years, where she was as a certified Medical Assistant. She continued her education at Long Beach City College and also received her certificate of Achievement for Computer Science. Helping people achieve their optimal well-being is her passion and is what brought her to PCSLA. Cynthia loves to spread joy and enjoys writing poetry, dancing, listening to music and spending time with her son Leonardo.

 

Tinaya Richardson, Faith-Based Project Manager/Family Advocate

For several years, Tinaya Richardson served in leadership at the St. John’s Well Child & Family Center. She is best known for her role as the Pharmacy Administrative Supervisor, where she was instrumental in starting St. John’s Specialty Pharmacy and in the success of The Black Aids Institute Project, which resulted in the opening of “A Clinic For Us.” While working on the project, which is located near Skid Row, she saw first-hand the need for resources beyond medication. It was that realization that led her to her current role as a Faith Based Project Manager/Family Advocate with PCSLA.

 

 

Nathaly Tigrero, Faith-Based Project Manager/Family Advocate

Nathaly is passionate about helping families in her community. As a manager for PCSLA’s Faith-Based Program, she ensures that families have the resources they need to meet their goals. Before joining PCSLA, Nathaly served in the medical field for five years, where she was a care coordinator for a worker’s compensation mental health facility. She holds a bachelor’s degree in public health from Cal State University, Northridge. Nathaly enjoys volunteering at food banks, hiking, and spending time with family and her fur babies outside of work.

 



TRAINERS

Our trainers are community members who have been certified to provide Community Resiliency Model (CRM)®️ training to our partner agencies’ staff, parents, and other key stakeholders.

CRM’s goal is to help create “trauma-informed” and “resiliency-focused” communities that share a common understanding of the impact of trauma and chronic stress on the nervous system and how resiliency can be restored or increased using this skills-based approach. Once trained, individuals are able to help themselves and others within their social network.

Adrian Acosta

Adrian’s experience teaching special education in South Los Angeles brought to light the need to build stronger connections between schools and communities. Adrian spent the following decade in Watts serving in a variety of community service positions. The lessons he learned throughout his journey led Adrian to establish The Ed Agency (TEdA), an organization that is reimagining education for children who face barriers outside of the classroom. TEdA’s innovative approach includes “Ed Agents” who work directly with students and families to ensure they access the resources and support needed to succeed in school and maintain overall health and wellness. in 2016, Adrian was selected to join the UCLA Watts Leadership Institute where he is now a Fellow, peer mentor, and advisor. He is a certified community-based Community Resiliency Model (CRM) trainer.

 

Blanca Gonzalez

Blanca came to this country at the age of 15 and has established deep roots in the community. As a single mother, her community involvement began by volunteering in her children’s schools and grew from there. At the Gonzaque Village RAC (Resident Advisory Committee), she offered classes and events to the community to keep residents informed and offer them support. She was honored to serve as the RAC President for three years. She recently took on a role in the Housing Authority Resident Advisory Council (HARAC), where she has an audience with decision-makers and can give voice to the community’s needs. Blanca has been a proud member of the UCLA Watts Leadership Institute since 2019. She has a certificate in child care and elder care, and in 2020 she obtained her Community Resiliency Model (CRM) training certificate from the Trauma Resource Institute.

 

Shekalia Johnson

Growing up in South Los Angeles, Shekalia developed a passion for working in her community to serve those in need. This led her to help form Your Special Day, where she continues to serve as Program Director. Your Special Day is a non-profit dedicated to providing support for parents with chronic conditions so they can continue bringing up bright and beautiful children. Prior to forming Your Special Day, Shekalia worked in a variety of local non-profits serving underrepresented groups and worked extensively in the field of animal rights. In 2019 she joined the UCLA Watts Leadership Institute, and in 2020 she obtained her training certificate from the Trauma Resource Institute as a community-based Community Resiliency Model (CRM) trainer.