Monica was born in Cambodia and moved to SF Bay Area with her family when she was 9 years old. Coming to America was a dream come true, but she also struggled to learn English and assimilate to the foreign culture. Growing up watching her single mother struggle to support three kids on her own. Monica learned that college would help her become financially stable in the future, but she did not believe it was possible at the time. In high school, she found a job interning at the California Academy of Sciences in San Francisco. The internship program changed her outlook on her future and helped her get into college. She attended UC Santa Cruz and majored in Psychology and minored in Education. She was interested in studying coping mechanisms, impacts of trauma in early childhood development, and individual motivation. Since college, Monica has worked at summer camps, tutored low-performing students in classrooms, taught ESL in an Elementary school, and supported kids on the Autism spectrum with social, emotional, and academic skills. Her favorite part of working with kids is being able to help teach and guide them through making sense of their emotions and regulating their responses to the outside world. She believes that learning these skillsets from an early age can help children grow up to be resilient and empathic adults.
She is excited to have this opportunity to work for Friends of the Children, to mentor kids one-on-one and help positively impact their lives in meaningful ways. Outside of work, Monica enjoyscooking with her mom, reading self-development and historical fiction books, attending Zumba classes, and going on fun adventures with her friends.