Our speaker for our Project MALES March Plática was Maria Campos, Program Director, at Southwest Key Programs.
As Program Director, at Southwest Key Programs Maria oversees several community based programs that focus on youth mentoring, alternatives to incarceration, wrap around services, and case management that includes the entire family. Prior, she served on the Performance Quality Improvement team, where she oversaw and developed the database programming that Southwest Key uses organization-wide, while also assisting in grant-writing and research. María also led the development of the first ever young Latina toolkit, Mi Hermana’s Keeper, which will develop evidence based curriculum for system involved Latina youth utilizing the voices of Latina youth.
Prior to Southwest Key, María has held positions in program evaluation, data management, legislative policy and social services. She has worked for members of Congress and the State Legislature and has been an advocate for the Austin community locally and statewide. She holds an MPA in Non Profit Management and Public Policy from the CUNY-Baruch College, where she was selected as a National Urban Fellow.
María currently serves on the Texas Mentor Partnership Advisory Council. She has also served as a mentor for over nineteen years, has mentored Texas interns on Capitol Hill and has volunteered as a tutor and mentor in the four states in which she has lived.
During the plática Maria shared that one of the things she does as a Program Director is, she works with both male and female youth that are involved in the juvenile court system and provides them a structured, rehabilitative program that holds them accountable for their actions and motivates them to abstain from delinquent behavior while allowing them to remain at home.
As a Latina who has been mentored throughout her academic and professional careers and as a mentor to youth herself, her message to our undergraduate student mentors was, “reach out to someone you look up to in your field and don’t be afraid to ask questions” (Maria Campos).
Thank you Maria for joining us and sharing your time with our students.