Celebrating Angela Ayora: 2024 Pillars of Change Honoree

Angela’s journey with Sanctuary for Families began in the fall of 2023, guided by her Internship advisor, who recommended the organization for her required field placement as part of her Master of Social Work degree. Drawn to Sanctuary for their commendable work aiding survivors of gender-based violence, Angela was eager to contribute her skills and learn more about the important mission. Currently serving as a Clinical Social Work Intern within the Children and Family Services Program, Angela manages a caseload, offering trauma-informed counseling services on a weekly basis. Additionally, she plays a key role in facilitating the Weyerhauser workshops for mothers of male-identifying children and co-facilitates a Social Emotional Learning (SEL) Club catering to children ages 8-12.

Angela shares,

“I believe that the work the agency does has a lasting impact. While I am just a part of a whole, I provide my clients with a safe space where they can feel comfortable and safe to share their stories. My goal is to be there for them, providing support and care throughout their healing journey.”

A particularly memorable moment for Angela was when a client expressed feeling safe and secure within the office environment. This validation underscores Angela’s commitment to creating a nurturing space for all her clients.

Angela’s contributions extend beyond her direct interactions with clients and far beyond the requirements of her internship placement. She has been instrumental in collaborating with various stakeholders, including family members, legal entities, schools, and other systems involved in a family’s life. Her dedication is further exemplified by her proactive approach to attending additional trainings and meetings, even on non-assigned days, showcasing her eagerness to learn and grow.

Katherine Roman, Angela’s supervisor, speaks highly of her work ethic and personal qualities, which include compassion, humility, humor, curiosity, and self-discipline. Angela’s calm demeanor in crisis situations and her ability to forge positive relationships with clients and staff stand out as her defining traits.

One of Angela’s most significant contributions was highlighted by a parent who shared that, due to Angela’s compassionate and dedicated counseling, their child’s frequent nightmares had ceased, and the child appeared visibly happier. Angela’s SEL group has also been a success among the children, offering them a platform to learn and bond over group activities.

Angela’s time at Sanctuary for Families will soon end with her upcoming graduation. The agency recognizes her invaluable contributions and hopes to retain her talent in the future. Her dedication, passion, and positive impact on the families she has worked with make her a deserving Pillars of Change honoree.

In conclusion, Angela’s journey at Sanctuary has been marked by her genuine desire to make a difference. From creating safe spaces for the youngest survivors to actively participating in workshops and group sessions, Angela’s impact resonates deeply with everyone she encounters. As supervisor Katherine Roman fondly recalls, their supervisory meetings, affectionately termed “spilling the tea,” will be dearly missed. Angela’s presence has undeniably enriched the lives of Sanctuary staff and clients alike, and her future in the field of social work will undoubtedly continue to change lives.

To learn more about Angela and her work, please join us on April 18th from 6:00-8:00 PM at Pillars of Change.