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WPI
LEADERSHIP
TEAM

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Aja Ramos

Chief Operating Officer

Over the past 19 years, Ms. Ramos has been inspired by the countless individuals she has served. As a Licensed Clinical Social Worker, Ms. Ramos has worked in various roles with youth and families from diverse backgrounds. She has helped build resiliency of individuals who face barriers including trauma, abuse, chemical dependency, severe behavioral health disorders, developmental disabilities, homelessness, and domestic violence. Prior to her position with WestCare Pacific Islands, Ms. Ramos worked for the largest behavioral health organization in Washington State. While there she delivered crisis intervention, therapeutic counseling, case management, interdisciplinary team facilitation, and client advocacy services. In 2019, Ms. Ramos was selected as the "Social Worker of the Year" by the Guam National Association of Social Workers. In addition, she served as Chair of the Guam Board of Social Work where she led the charge in launching Guam’s first licensure for social workers. Ms. Ramos uses her experience in program development, collaborative partnerships, human services administration, program evaluation, and community capacity building to enhance WestCare Pacific Islands. WPI has benefitted greatly from her experience and leadership in the field.

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SAMANTHA ELIPTICO

Director of Administration

Samantha joined WestCare Pacific Islands in 2014 and currently serves as the Administrative and Financial Manager. In this role, she oversees all the administrative needs of WPI and assists our Foundation office with financial activities for the organization. Samantha has over 20 years of experience in accounting.

Samantha also pursued an interest in counseling and received a Certificated Substance Abuse Counselor certification. She provides individual and group counseling to those experience substance misuse.  Samantha is also a Risk Reduction Counselor providing testing and counseling services to those at risk of HIV/STI.  
 

LAVINA CAMACHO

Director of Clinical Services

A daughter of Guam, Lavina is passionate about bringing hope and healing to her island's people.  In her current role, she provides clinical and programmatic oversight of the youth and adult outpatient behavioral health and substance use treatment programs. Lavina earned a Bachelors in Psychology from the University of Guam and later obtained a Masters of Science from Capella University in Counseling Psychology.   She has worked in the mental health field since 2004 in community mental health, public health, private practice, and non-profit settings.  In 2014, she became a License Professional Counselor (LPC) and Marriage & Family Therapist (MFT) and later obtained her certification as a Master Addiction Counselor (MAC).  A

major focus of her work is to increase access and standard of care of behavioral health and substance use services for vulnerable and underserved populations.  Trained in various evidence-based practices and embedded in Guam's collective culture, Lavina's expertise expands to working with early childhood populations, children, adolescents, and transition age youth who experienced abuse and neglect, been placed in foster care or shelters,  adults experiencing mental health, substance use, or co-occurring disorders, individuals incarcerated or involved in the criminal justice system, veterans, unhoused persons and their families, and survivors of trauma. Through her dedication to cultivate holistic mental health and substance use treatment in Guam, Lavina led efforts in program design of WPI's Adult Outpatient Mental Health and Substance Use Treatment Program resulting in Guam's first Non-Profit to earn international accreditation for Outpatient and Intensive Outpatient Treatment with the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF). Through her calling as a clinician and experience as a program manager, Lavina continuously strives to promote positive wellbeing for all those she serves and works alongside with.

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CHRISTINA CRUZ

Program Manager, SSVF

Christina Cruz is a Lead Veteran Advocate who works with Veterans and their families at-risk of or experiencing homelessness to find safe and stable housing. As a daughter of a Vietnam Veteran, a sister of an OIF/OEF Veteran and ally to all those that served, she believes her life’s mission is to helping those in need regain a sense of purpose, pride, and joy. With over 10 years in both private and voluntary (nonprofit) sectors, Christina has experience in professional development, team building, strategic implementation and community-wide collaboration. She is also a trained Mediator and Restorative Justice Facilitator. Finally, she holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Child & Family Studies from Portland State University.

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JENNIFER VICENTE

Program Manager, I Lina'-la Hu (My Life)

Jennifer Vicente joined WestCare Pacific Islands in January 2017 as the programs Case Manager, and is now currently the Program Manager and is responsible in ensuring continuity of the day-to-day operations. She moved back to Guam in 2011 after graduating from the University of Hawaii at Manoa with her Bachelors of Science in Family Resources. Prior to her position at WestCare, she was at Guam Legal Services Corporation, a non-profit organization in which she advocated for victims of family violence, sexual assault, stalking, or dating violence, and advocated for individuals with disabilities. In addition, she has experience with working within the early childhood field from volunteering at an elementary school for two years and has also worked with a group of adolescent girls during her internship at the Drug Free Coalition in Hawaii. Furthermore, she has training and experience with working with evidence based programs such as the PREP 8.0 curriculum and Triple P – Positive Parenting Program.

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KATHLEEN AGUON

Program Manager, Thrive: Coalition for a Drug-Free Dededo & Maolek Na Lina'la

Kathleen Aguon has committed the past 15 years to helping youth in the Micronesian region. She has extensive experience and training in youth programs, local and regional collaboration, group facilitation, policy advocacy, program planning and training. Ms. Aguon has led model practices including an effort to have youth develop and manage a limited liability corporation (LLC) establishing an initiative to help teens learn marketable skills through entrepreneurship. She has worked in various aspects of youth services to include prevention and diversion, positive development, and socio-economic development programs. Ms. Aguon was one of the key staff at a local nonprofit organization who provided primary support to the accreditation of the region’s first accredited non-profit organization in 2009. She then brought her knowledge to assist in WPI youth program’s accreditation in 2017. She is a staunch believer in the possibilities of change in people and communities.

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Program Manager, Cheberdil Belau

Before starting at WestCare, Tublai has spent several years working as an educator. She previously worked at Palau Community College where she was a Transfer Counselor, helping youth who wish to pursue higher degree. While working with them, she started to develop a love for working with youth. She graduated from Eastern Oregon University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science, Philosophy, and Economics. Tublai began working at WestCare Palau in March 2016.

TUBLAI ILILAU
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LESLIE ESTRELLA

Program Manager, Steer

Leslie Estrella has served the island of Guam as a social worker in the non-profit and government arena for over 13 years. Ms. Estrella is a Licensed Social Worker (LBSW) with a Masters in Legal Studies and a Professional Masters Degree in Business Administration. Her educational and work experience prior to joining the WestCare Family includes being an Advocate and Special Projects Coordinator assisting Individuals with Disabilities and Mental Illnesses under Guam’s Protection and Advocacy Program, working alongside attorneys advocating for special education rights and individual decision-making rights, as well as working as a Court Appointed Investigator. She also worked as a Policy Analyst for a senatorial office in the local legislature. And most recently, Ms. Estrella worked as a Special Projects Coordinator providing legal advocacy and assistance for victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, and stalking to obtain restraining and protective orders. She first joined WestCare Pacific Islands as the research Assistant and Recruitment and Outreach Coordinator for the Spark program in 2016. Her passion for social justice, policy and most importantly, her belief in the importance of prevention education led her back to WPI where she returned as the Program Coordinator for the Project Isa-Ta: PREP PATHways program – working with her team to prevent risky behaviors, reduce teen pregnancies and HIV/STI incidences, and build leaders within our local youth.

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SONIA TAIJERON

Program Manager, Path to Freedom

Sonia Taijeron began her journey with WestCare Pacific Islands in 2017 when she accepted the Program Coordinator position for I Guma-ta (Subsidized Housing Program for Veterans).  She then continued her work as a Veteran Advocate with Supportive Services for Veteran Families, by assisting Veterans and their families who are experiencing homelessness or at-risk of homelessness obtain and maintain permanent housing.  In her new role as the Program Manager for the Path to Freedom program, Sonia continues to help veterans.  Prior to coming to WestCare, she worked for over 13 years with persons experiencing behavioral health issues at Guam Behavioral Health and Wellness Center.  In her work with children and adolescents, she was able to empower youth and families to self-advocate by creating plans that were client-driven utilizing the Wraparound approach through a Systems of Care modality.  In addition, Sonia received her Bachelor of Social Work from the University of Guam in 2012.

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