Born and raised throughout impoverished cities in Los Angeles County, Cadrena always questioned the poor living conditions of the communities in which she inhabited. Cadrena is a first generation college graduate, an accomplishment she attributes her leadership development to. She is a fierce HBCU alumni of Grambling State University where she earned a BS in Social Work. While studying at Grambling, Cadrena worked as a Mental Health Specialist, and interned as both a Life Skills Specialist and a Clinical Therapist. While at Grambling, Cadrena became fully immersed in the culture of Blackness; contributing her love and appreciation of Black womanhood and manhood from her experiences at Grambling. She was surrounded by mentors who developed her confidence, tenacity, and self-identity.
After returning home to California, Cadrena pursed and earned her MSW at CSULB while working full-time as a College Readiness Advisor. It was during her MSW program where she developed the knowledge and skills of political advocacy, policy reform, research analysis, organizational leadership, and community organizing. With over 9 plus years of providing direct micro services, she came to CoCo to exercise her new found interest and passion for Macro work. From both personal and professional experiences, Cadrena has a keen understanding of how systemic oppression severely affects an individual, family, and community. Believing that representation matters in the field of mental health, Cadrena will begin pursing her LCSW where she plans to contribute research on the pathology of trauma in both Black and Brown communities and families.
Fun Fact: Cadrena draws motivation and inspiration from artists Jay-Z, Erykah Badu, and Beyoncé.