Employee Spotlight: Liliana Sanchez

Where are you from originally?
I was born in Chihuahua, Mexico, and raised in Yuma, Arizona. I got my BA degree in psychology with a minor in business administration. Then, I went on to get my master’s degree in social work from Arizona State University.

Why did you choose social work as a career? I started out as a business major but then, when I started to take psychology courses, I just really loved them. I especially loved the child psych classes. I did an internship with the Children’s Advocacy Center, which I enjoyed. Then, I had a job in a crisis shelter as a child care worker. Unfortunately, you can’t do much except to help meet the children’s basic needs. I decided I wanted to make a difference in children’s lives so that’s when I changed my major. I was a case manager for a while and wanted to really make a difference for the children without having to work with the parents.

So, I became a therapist and did a lot of cognitive behavior therapy. I went from child care worker to case worker and then to therapist. I left therapy for two years and went into business. I had two smoothie stores and I was doing the accounting and managing the employees and the store. One day I got a call from my former employer to come back and work as a child therapist. I had missed doing it so I decided to come back. After doing that for a few months, I came to VQ where they had the long-term foster care which makes more of a difference. It’s more one-on-one.

What inspired you to go into social work as a career? I always just knew I wanted to make a difference in people’s lives. I also have a private practice.

In your role as a Program Director, you are able to make a difference in more lives on a daily basis. What is the largest challenge you face in your position? There are a lot of regulations that need to be followed from various government organizations and making sure they all coordinate with each other can be very challenging.

What ultimately makes it all worth it for you? Making that positive difference in a kid’s life. When you see reunification with their families or you see the positive changes in the kid and see how they’ve grown. It’s rewarding.

What do you like best about working at VQ? My opinions are valued and taken into consideration. I appreciate being able to reach out to the founder and CEO if I need to. I also appreciate the opportunity to grow and how multiple employees who have been with VQ for a long time are open to take the time to teach me.

If you had the opportunity to meet anyone, who would it be? Mother Teresa or Gandhi.

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