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CDA Student Spotlight: Marisa Flores

Posted by on Friday, May 6, 2016 in Current Students, .

Marisa was born and raised in the great state of Texas.  She attended Texas Tech University, where she studied Human Development & Family Studies with a minor in Psychology before pursuing my EC-6 Elementary Education Post Bac at Lubbock Christian University.  After working at a local summer camp for several years, she took over as the Director of Camps & Entertainment Operations.  Later, she moved to Louisiana to be a live-in, full-time nanny.  Marisa remained a consultant for her previous company, but spent three lovely years with her three sweet littles.  After a year of living in Louisiana, her family moved back to Texas—where she began a serving as the Youth Director for middle and high school students at a local church.

Studying human development, family studies, psychology and education created a holistic understanding of the individual—but Marisa now wanted to explore the broader, systemic issues that affect communities, and begin to understand the ways that organizations can operate to address these multileveled needs and barriers to change.  The CDA program was exactly what she was looking for—helping her build the skills and understanding needed to engage with communities in ethical, sustainable and impactful ways.  The combination of a theoretical foundation, community focused research and practical application through community placement has helped her to build on my understanding of the individual and allow for a more practical understanding of the community aspect involved in fostering social change.

Marisa is interested in positive youth development, mentoring as a prevention strategy, camp circles and youth outside of the traditional classroom.  She is pursuing a career in program evaluation, consultation and leadership training to help create sustainable, effective, ethical and empowering community focused development programs and organizations.

Her favorite class has been Paul Speer’s class Community Development Theory.  Her practicum is through Nashville After Zone Alliance (NAZA), serving alongside one of the Zone Directors.  She has just begun my new placement with Act Like A Grrrl where she will be implementing a program evaluation plan through the summer.  She currently serve as an AmbasaDORE for incoming and prospective students and have recently been named PGSA Co-Vice President and Social Chair.

Outside of school, she plays on a volleyball team with several classmates and other Nashville friends.  She loves saying yes to adventures and finding the joy in each day.  Marisa loves to write and share stories.  A campfire is her happy place.  Skills include lingering, snowman building, face painting and convincing my friends to take group pictures.   Her advice:  Be kind.  Be with people.  Life is better full of whimsy.



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