My name is Cesar Valdez and I am your Wellness Specialist. I grew up here in the Placentia-Yorba Linda Unified School district where I went to John O' Tynes elementary school, Kraemer middle school, and graduated from Valencia high school in 2010. I was involved in the AVID program, which sparked my interest to attend college and make something of myself--become a better me. I am the first person in my family to graduate from high school, attend a four-year university, and go to graduate school.
Once I graduated from VHS, I attended Cal State Fullerton where I earned my BA in Psychology and my BS in Child/adolescent development. Upon graduating from CSUF, I pursued a career in Behavioral Therapy. I was employed by Autism Learning Partners where I practiced behavior therapy on kiddos with special needs and taught parents the skills and techniques of Applied Behavioral Analyses. Growing up, I always wanted to work with children and adolescent youth so I decided to make some career choices that would ultimately lead me to become a counselor.
A year after I graduated from CSUF, I was admitted to Chapman University where I obtained my Masters in Counseling with a credential in school counseling and an emphasis in clinical therapy. During my program, I had the opportunity to work at Valencia high school, Tuffree middle school (both in PYLUSD), and Marshall elementary in Anaheim. It was in these settings where I was able to hone my mental health advocacy skills, create interventions for students, and practice counseling on a one-on-one or group basis. Now, I am fortunate to be a part of the El Dorado community as its mental health advocate and Wellness Counselor.
As this districts Wellness Specialists, our goal is to devote our time and effort into advocating for the mental health of our students. Through various interventions and evidence-based curriculum, we aim to aid in the treatment of our students' mental health needs and provide them with the appropriate skills and resources to overcome adversities.
How does a student get in contact with the Wellness Specialist?
Students can either schedule an appointment via the google chrome books/QR code up in the counseling center, or do walk-in appointment if the counselor is available. Referrals can also be made by a parent/guardian, teacher, counselor, or any other staff member via email, phone call, or conference.
Who would benefit from meeting with a Wellness Specialist?
Anyone! There is no level of misery one needs to be in order to talk to someone. I deal with many mental health-related concerns and students who may be struggling with or at-risk of the following would benefit from talking to me: stress or anxiety, grief and loss, thoughts of suicide, substance abuse, depression or feelings of sadness, issues with socialization, issues with family and/or peers, divorced parents, LGBTQ+ related concerns, or any other mental health issues.
I am very excited to start my journey here at El Dorado! Please come by the counseling center if you have any questions or concerns. Go Hawks!