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HRSA Project TeamUP Alumni Spotlight: Andrea Trejo

HRSA Project TeamUP Alumni Spotlight: Andrea Trejo

Andrea Trejo graduated in 2019 from USD’s Marital and Family Therapy Program. Andrea is currently pursuing her PhD in Human Development and Family Science at the University of Georgia.

Q: What did you gain from being a Project TeamUP stipend recipient during your time at USD? 
 
A: As a bilingual provider, it is rare to find programs that provide clinical resources on how to give care in Spanish and other languages. Some takeaways from my time with Project TeamUP, were the trainings I received on how to present concepts and clinical vocabulary in Spanish. This served to better equip me in caring for my current client population. Through Project TeamUP, I was also given the opportunity to participate in a simulation that gave me a glimpse of what working in integrated care would look like; something I am interested in pursuing. Project TeamUP changed the trajectory of my career in numerous ways. Being a recipient helped me get into my doctorate program, and financially supported me throughout my second year at USD. 
 
Q: What population do you currently work with, and can you speak to your experience in working with that population? 
 
A: I currently work with solely Spanish-speaking clients. As a member of the Latinx community myself, it is an honor to work with this population. It feels like I am working with family. Through working with this population, I have learned so much about resilience and gratitude. My clients are so grateful to receive services in the language they need it in. This community isn’t going to reject mental health services, we just need enough providers to offer it. I’ve also learned that there is a significant need for training in evidence-based practice. The gap between people able to offer services, and those who need services, is extremely large. Spanish-speaking providers need to know how to do EBP for anxiety, depression, PTSD, and beyond. There are simply more issues at-hand in these communities, such as lack of access to healthcare, racism and discrimination, immigration, and more. Spanish-speaking providers need to be adequately prepared to support individuals and families facing these difficulties.
 
Q: What are you passionate about when it comes to your career as a Marital and Family Therapist? 
 
A: Although it may sound like a cliche, I am passionate about simply making a difference. I want to be a part of the solution in training more providers to work with this community, and bringing more Latinas into higher education and the MFT profession. I am also passionate about the intersection of mental health, and immigration and medical care. This is what drives my current research and clinical practice. I am not exactly sure where this will land me in terms of a future job, but I do know that I will be intentional about being somewhere where these passions of mine can be best utilized. 
 
Q: What is your advice to future and current students? 
 
A: Take advantage of everything you can! In an academic setting such as USD, there are so many people with vast experience all around you. Take advantage of the knowledge faculty has; all you have to do is ask. Be intentional about what you want your career to look like; don’t let two years go by without doing so.
begin quoteTake advantage of everything you can! In an academic setting such as USD, there are so many people with vast experience all around you. Take advantage of the knowledge faculty has; all you have to do is ask. Be intentional about what you want your ca
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Chris-Marcus Kitchings
ckitchings@sandiego.edu

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