Hathaway-Sycamores’ Cynthia Garcia Williams Receives Outstanding Service Award

Posted by on May 25, 2021 in News | 0 comments

Hathaway-Sycamores Cynthia Garcia WilliamsWe are proud to share that Cynthia Garcia Williams, Lead Peer Support at our El Nido residential campus, received the Mark Pearlman Outstanding Service Award earlier this month at the California Coalition for Youth (CCY) Virtual Youth Empowerment Summit. Timothy Lin, Hathaway-Sycamores Clinical Director of STRTP and TSCF, nominated Cynthia for the award and introduced her at the CCY’s virtual event, “When looking at the qualifications for this award, Cynthia’s name immediately came to mind because she truly embodies all that it represents, including a commitment to improving the lives of children, youth and families. She is a motivational and inspiring spirit; a leader, teacher and networker; and a supporter of youth and family empowerment. Cynthia is all these things and more. From the bottom of my heart, I can’t think of anyone more deserving of this award.”

In her role as Lead Peer Support, Cynthia supervises Parent Partners and Youth Advocates. They are individuals who have lived experience – they have been in the system, whether it is child welfare, the court system or juvenile justice system. They have navigated the system and now share their knowledge from personal experience, providing practical assistance that helps youth and families navigate the system.

In accepting the award Cynthia said, “I am humbled and so grateful to the CCY Youth Advisory Board for choosing me for this award. I consider the work a gift. It has been a path to healing my own family.” Cynthia continued and shared her personal story, “Over twenty years ago I was one of the parents that I so often work with. My children were placed in the system due to many years of substance abuse on my part. The day that I lost my kids, I arrived at the Children’s Court in Monterey Park with my kids, my little daughter in a stroller. I left with an empty stroller and no kids. As I walked down that hill I talked to the Universe or God and promised that if I could find a way out of this, I would dedicate my life to working with families. Receiving this award is a full circle for me and super emotional. I am incredibly grateful to do this work. I get so much more out of it – I get to fulfill that promise that I made. It is one of the greatest joys of my life and doing the work has definitely helped to heal my family. Today we are wonderful examples of hope, resilience and healing, and I am able to share that with the families that we work with.”

Cynthia has been with Hathaway-Sycamores over 10 years. In that time she has risen through the ranks and become a major voice in the national peer support scene. She has spoken to and shared her experiences in trainings locally and nationally.

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