El Futuro’s Sabrina Aguilar-Simon almost decided against majoring in Spanish, her passion, while attending college in Ohio. She thought it wouldn’t be “practical.”

“I thought that all you could really do with it was either teach or do research,” she said, “and I wasn’t really interested in either of those things.”

Yet, as it turned out, it couldn’t have been more practical: majoring in Spanish ultimately led her to an entire career dedicated to what she called “social work-y work” with the Triangle area’s Latino communities “without really being a social worker.”

For over a decade, Aguilar-Simon has worked to connect Spanish-speaking families with the resources they need primarily in Orange county. Now, she’s just expanded her reach: she’s El Futuro’s newest clinical project manager — and the first to head the bilingual mental health clinic’s outreach in Chatham.

“We’ve been there at Chatham for many years providing services, but this is sort of a new effort to try to expand the reach of our services in Chatham and Orange,” she said, adding that she will be “doing some collaborative planning with others at El Futuro to plan how to spread the word that we can serve folks in Orange County and Chatham County even during the pandemic through our telehealth services.”

According to Kerry Brock, El Futuro’s director of advancement and strategy, Aguilar-Simon will also be working to monitor trends in requests for services from Chatham Latino families, “improve screening processes” to help families access services better and engage with partner organizations who also serve county Latino families. She’s still learning, but Aguilar-Simon said she plans to reach out to organizations like the Hispanic Liaison, Communities In Schools and Chatham-based health centers.

“Sabrina is perfect for this job because she is a Spanish-speaker, has lived in Latin America and can identify with the families we serve,” Brock told the News + Record. “She also has significant experience providing effective outreach and engagement with Latino families through other nonprofit programs, and ensuring service trends and goals are met so that more Spanish-speaking families connect with helpful resources in the community.”

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*Article made by Chatham News