Words from the Executive Director
Hello Staff and Supporters,
We are excited to announce the relaunch of D’Veal Family & Youth Services’ Quarterly Newsletter! Here you will find updates on our programs, initiatives, collaboration with other organizations, upcoming events and important dates.
For our first relaunch issue, we felt this would be the perfect time to highlight some of our outstanding employees.
John McCall, LCSW, ACSW
Chief Executive Officer
Intake, Clinical Supervisor
Lizette Ayala, LCSW is an Intake Clinical Supervisor who has been employed at D’Veal since July 20th, 2015. A graduate of Chapman University in Orange, California, she studied Psychology and Education with an emphasis in Disability Studies. What she most values about her time at Chapman University is their emphasis on learning about educational disparities related to race and socioeconomic class. This included learning about racism (critical race theory) and microaggressions in school environments and community settings.
She went on to obtain her Masters of Social Work degree from the University of Southern California. While learning about psychosocial and behavioral theories of assessment and treatment for children, adolescents, and adults, she also gained knowledge in Military Social Work. This provided her with skills and treatment approaches to the common experiences and needs of military personnel and their families.
Building upon Chapman University’s emphasis on leadership and managing groups, she also took courses that enabled her to learn about business models, employee assistance programs, corporate social responsibility, and consulting or developing a business in social work
Looking towards the future, professionally Lizette sees herself continuing to grow as a supervisor and advancing into bigger roles as an Executive Manager within an organization. She also looks forward to having the opportunity to teach.
Lizette says that her experience working at D’Veal has far exceeded her expectations helping her grow in ways she never imagined. She can still remember being in her first interview and feeling a strong connection to the organization’s mission of working with families and immersing themselves in the community, particularly with at-risk families that otherwise might not have access to resources. This is the primary reason Lizette feels she has found a home working at D’Veal and looks forward to many more years of being an employee and a member of the D’Veal family.
Where was Lizette born and raised?
Born in Los Angeles, CA and raised in various cities throughout LA County until her family settled into Azusa, California when she was in middle school.
Lizette’s favorite food?
Lizette’s favorite hobby?
Spending time with her family, especially her niece.
QA/QI, Clinical Manager
Yesenia Ruiz, LCSW, having been employed at D’Veal since 2017, is very passionate about “Helping remove the stigmatization” surrounding mental health. Through her personal and professional experiences, she has seen the limitations that negative belief systems around seeking help have placed on people of color. While enjoying her current work as a QA/QI Clinical Manager, in the future, she looks forward to working on more macro level projects aimed at providing services to underrepresented populations. Through innovative macro level projects, she believes that new approaches can be identified to help remove the stigmatization surrounding mental health.
Born in downtown Los Angeles, Yesenia was raised in Culver City, California. Initially attending Santa Monica Community College, she transferred to UC Riverside where she received her Bachelors of Arts in Sociology and Women’s Study. Returning to school five years later, she attended USC where she received a Master’s in Social Work with a concentration in Health.
Strongly believing in the mission of D’Veal, she states that, “In their 28-year history, I love that the agency has continued to maintain its commitment to serving and advocating for the needs of underrepresented populations.”
Yesenia’s favorite food?
Salmon and Grilled Vegetables.
Yesenia’s favorite hobby?
Mark Logan joined the D’Veal family in 2020 serving in the role of Nurse Practitioner. As a Board-Certified Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (PMHNP-BC), he provides an invaluable perspective as part of D’Veal’s multi-disciplinary and holistic approach to treatment. Interestingly, during his undergraduate studies, prior to earning his Maste’s degree and post-master’s certificate (PMHNP), Mark earned a BA in Advertising with a minor in Art History.
When asked “What are his future professional goals?” Mark shared that what’s most important to him is “To continue learning and growing; I never want to stop. There’s always more to know and room to grow.”
When asked what he loves most about D’Veal, Mark stated it’s “The client and family advocacy demonstrated countless times every single day.”
Mark’s favorite food?
Mark’s favorite hobby?