Top row from left to right: Victoria Alvarado, Fernando Antunez, Liz Cabrera, Karen Galicia. Middle row from left to right: Jaime Gomes, Guadalupe Hernandez, Kimberly Ibarra, Pricilla Natalie Martin. Last row: Carlos Joaquin Rivero Gomez, Jaqueline Zavala, Xitlalli Najera. Missing: Melina Machuca.
For over 30 years, IFR’s Internship Program has been an essential part of the organization. Each year, recent Masters graduates from various Psychology or Social Work programs seek internships to complete the requisite number of hours required to obtain their licenses from various institutions and eligible organizations. Through this program, IFR has been able to share culturally infused clinical approaches and traditional community practices.
Over the past three decades, it is estimated that IFR has trained 300+ clinicians. For several reasons, we hope to increase the number of interns we train. First, we know our cultural relevant models work and are well-received in the Chicanx/Latinx/ Indigenx community. Second, the shortage of Latinx clinicians and social workers is a very real nationwide concern. Those who will suffer most from this shortage are those most in need of mental health and other supports. And third, past interns have come back and told us the training they received at IFR has been among the most lasting and relevant of any they’ve received.
IFR’s Internship Program offers internship applicants one of several tracks from which to choose within IFR’s various programs, including unique subpopulations (e.g. Latinx youth) or clinical models (e.g. therapy or mental health consultation). In addition to tracks for aspiring clinicians, IFR also offers a Macro Internship for Social Work graduates interested in working on one of IFR’s current community projects (i.e. Latino health disparities or a neighborhood safety plan).
This year, IFR was able to bring on twelve talented and committed aspiring clinicians and social workers. We are excited to introduce to the community IFR’s Internship Class of 2022:
Victoria Alvarado, La Clinica: “I chose IFR because I wanted to continue serving my community.”
Fernando Antunez, Roadmap to Peace Macro Intern: “I chose IFR…to learn about program development in an environment that builds deep engagement with community partners from organizations to neighbors. That’s exactly what I’ve found in my time at Roadmap to Peace thus far!”
Liz Cabrera, La Clinica: “For me, interning at IFR feels like a pivotal moment in both my clinical training and as a part of the San Francisco community… I feel happy about the choice I made to pursue work that was meaningful to me, where my community is at the center, and located at a place where "buenos dias", the smell of copal, and sometimes the sound of some laughing children… greet everyone who walks through its doors.”
Karen Galicia, Sana Sana: “I selected IFR because I used to work as a preschool teacher, so I used to have plenty of support from the mental health consultants. I always admired everything they did for the families, the children and us as educators.”
Jaime Gomez, La Clinica/Si a la Vida: “IFR’s emphasis on incorporating culture and family into therapy is the most crucial reason I applied to this site.”
Guadalupe Hernandez, La Clinica: “I chose to work at IFR because I wanted to learn about San Francisco’s Latinx mental health. As a person who identifies as Chicanx, I wanted to better learn how to serve Latinx individuals and our history of healing.”
Kimberly Ibarra, La Cultura Cura: “I wanted to be immersed in a community that incorporated and honored culture and spirit in their healing practices.”
Priscilla Natalie Martin, La Clinica/Si a la Vida: “I selected IFR…because of its sense of community. I was drawn to the importance placed on culture at IFR and the intentionality behind the work that is done here.”
Carlos Joaquin Rivero Gomez, La Clinica: “One can rapidly tell that Instituto is a special place. On my first day on site, the smell, the warmth and the smiling faces greeting me already made me feel like home. I still feel the same way every time I am here. I’m very grateful to be interning here!”
Jaqueline Zavala, La Clinica: “I chose to intern at IFR because I wanted to work at an agency that took on a holistic, culturally-relevant approach to providing mental health services. As a first generation Mexican-American, there is nothing I wanted more in an internship experience than to work with my community and learn from other Latine clinicians.”
We wish the Intern Class of 2022 a great learning experience this year, and thank them for their continued commitment to our community.