Health & Wellness/Early Childhood Development

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Health & Wellness/Early Childhood Development 2017-09-28T17:03:57+00:00
Saray Rios Hacegaba. Saray was born in sunny Southern California. She moved to the Bay Area with her family when she was nine years old. She discovered her passion for working with the community in 2008 when she began working as a group leader in the After School Program at Chavez Elementary School. She heard about the opportunity through a friend and quickly began to build relationships with parents, students and the principal. Saray is currently Health and Wellness Coordinator with Building Blocks for Kids Richmond Collaborative. Her favorite things to do are spending time with her family, walking her dog Izzy, and watching the LA Dodgers!


Brenda Romero, born in San Francisco CA, has lived in Richmond since 2005. Her involvement with children began early in life when at the age of 8 she would co-facilitate catechism classes with her grandmother at St. Peter’s church in San Francisco. Her education at City College of San Francisco further developed her passion to continue her work with young children. She sees the need for kids to grow up with love and support, this is why she is part of the Early Childhood Learning and Development Team at Richmond’s Building Blocks for Kids Collaborative. Brenda’s area of interest is mental health, and she is currently finishing up her undergraduate work in psychology at the University of California, Berkeley. She expects to receive her bachelor’s degree in the summer of 2016. Brenda enjoys art and music, and hopes to travel to different countries in the future.


Maria Garcia. My name is Maria Mercedes, but I like people to call me “Gaby.” I first moved to Richmond twenty-one years ago and have four beautiful children. I’ve studied early childhood education in multiple settings, including City College of San Francisco, Skyline College and Contra Costa College. I’ve been working with children since 1988, beginning with Head Start. For the last eight years I have been working with preschoolers with special needs, which I greatly enjoy. I also provide support for different tasks at Peres Elementary, such as teaching Spanish in the after school program and tutoring children in the learning center. In addition to this work, I enjoy teaching children as a catechist. I am blessed to have many opportunities to watch children progress through their development. I have a healthy creative streak and love to work with anything that includes craft activities. In my spare time, I collect miniatures like elephants, and I am taking guitar classes.


Daneisha Clemons. I have lived in Richmond for fifteen years. I have had a child care practice in Richmond for a decade and obtained an associate’s degree in early childhood development. I am currently attending Contra Costa College to obtain my transfer units in order to go to California State East Bay for my BA in Human Development. As a pre-school teacher for the past seven years, I believe that if we as teachers pour into children in our community love, joy and peace, then we are setting a foundation that they are able to emulate, and they will become loving, productive citizens. I am happy to be at BBK now as a Child Care Specialist, spreading love. In my spare time, I love swimming, camping and cooking.


Maria Guadalupe Villalobos
Español: Mi nombre es Maria Guadalupe Ortega de Villalobos, pero la mayoría de las personas me conocen como Lupita. Soy de Jalisco, México, pero llegue a los Estados Unidos hace 22 anos. Vivo en San Pablo, Ca con mi esposo de 23 años y mis dos hijas, Natalie y Evelyn. Me gusta mucho cantar, bailar, escuchar música y ser sociable. Mi deporte favorito es Volibol. Me gusta mucho trabajar para la comunidad, hago servicio voluntario cuando puedo. Ahora he comenzado a trabajar en BBK, en algo que me gusta, que es cuidando a los niños. Me emociona trabajar para ellos, pues al ensenarles algo que les pueda hacer crecer su conocimiento. Me ensena a mí a valorar aún más la vida inocente de cada uno de estos pequeños.
English: My name is Maria Guadalupe Ortega de Villalobos, but most people know me by Lupita. I am from Jalisco, Mexico, but I arrived to the United States 22 years ago. I now live in San Pablo, CA with my husband of 23 years and my two daughters; Natalie and Evelyn. I really like singing, dancing, listening to music and being social. My favorite sport is Volleyball. I really like working for the community and I volunteer whenever I can. I have now started working with BBK in something that I really enjoy, which is caring for children. I’m excited to work with children because I can teach them something new that will help them develop their understanding of the world. It also reminds me to value life of the innocent when I am around them.

LaFrieda Attaway
LaFrieda is a long time Richmond native and proud of it! Lead by her compassion, she has worked in the medical field for over 20 years and holds a number of certificates including:
– Orthodontic Dental Assistant
– Certified Nurse Assistant
– Home Health Aide
– Mentor
LaFrieda loves working with children and has worked in Child Care for over three years, taking as many classes as she can along the way. She herself has 3 grandchildren.