Today we’d like to introduce you to Kelsey Barillas. She and her team share her story with us below.
Please kick things off for us with some background on Kelsey’s story.
Kelsey Barillas is a Mexican-American San Gabriel Valley native, who has recently relocated to the San Diego county. Kelsey is a first-generation college graduate who received her Master’s Degree in Clinical Psychology, with an emphasis in Marriage and Family Therapy with the Latinx Community from the Aliento Program at Pepperdine University. Kelsey is a Registered Associate Marriage and Family Therapist, who works at Achieve Medical Center Inc. in Eastlake, Chula Vista, CA. Kelsey Barillas is also the founder of Acá entre nos – A Spanglish Podcast, she transitions her passion for Mental Health through this virtual realm to communicate with the Latinx community and Psychoeducate with hope to be a part of the movement that diminishes the stigma behind Mental Health in Latinx community and our society. Kelsey is a writer, advocate, public speaker, coach, and workshop facilitator. She has facilitated psychoeducational workshops and presentations for many organizations and schools in the San Gabriel Valley, Orange County, and the Los Angeles County. Kelsey is very passionate about what she does and puts her heart in all of the projects, collaborations, volunteer work, and roles she holds with pride.
Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
Kelsey has not had a smooth road, at age twenty-three she lost her single mother to a battle of cancer and due to the circumstances, she had to take on the role of head of household and raise two teenage boys who at that time where only ten years old and fifteen years old. She had to work full-time, take care of her siblings, and still made effort to attend school to pursue her career and life goals. Kelsey and her siblings saw poverty for what they somewhat have always lived in, and on top of financial struggles, the entire household was grieving the loss of their mother and the trouble they were facing adjusting to a life without her.
Because everyone grieves differently, Kelsey had a very rough time raising her teenage brothers; however, she did the best she could and never gave up. Today, she and her siblings are in a better place, the oldest boy is living on his own and adjusting to life of adulthood, the youngest lives with their other sister and her family as he wanted to stay close to school to finish his last year in high school, and Kelsey now lives in San Diego where she is continuing to pursue her goals and dreams in her career at her new job. Her current life now is not to far from Los Angeles where she always goes back to visit her family.
Please tell us about Acá entre nos – A Spanglish Podcast.
Acá entre nos – A Spanglish podcast is a very special project for Kelsey. Acá entre nos is passion-driven, and every episode comes with the purpose of education, meaning, and connection. Kelsey hopes that all of those who listen to the show can take a little piece of each episode and find it relatable or can apply it to help themselves or others in their lives and communities. Kelsey specializes in mental health and is an advocate; she is bilingual, so each episode is special for its multi-language message and meaning that she hopes rightfully represent her Latinx Community.
Kelsey is most proud of Acá entre nos because it was a longterm vision of a project she always wanted to pursuit since since a very young age, and she is glad to see it unravel now at the beginning of her career along with the rest of her plans and goals.
If you had to go back in time and start over, would you have done anything differently?
Kelsey’s respond to this question is “No, I did what I did and lived through what I lived through for a reason and purpose.” Kelsey would do anything to have her mother back however, she knows that as unfortunate as the circumstances were and are, her and her siblings had to live through this to grow individually and united. All in all, Kelsey stated she believes her mother is watching over them and is present in different ways now that she is no longer here physically. Kelsey also stated that she wouldn’t be where she is without those around her. It takes a village, she said. As much as Kelsey puts her all in helping and representing for others, Kelsey has had a lot of help and support along the way. She wouldn’t be where she is without her mentors from her early education at Monrovia High School, her mentors at Pepperdine University as well as some specific mentors and professors from the Aliento Program at Pepperdine University, she is also extremely grateful for all the wonderful friends that are more like family and of course her family who she continues to fight for and think of as inspiration to better herself and the future. Lastly, Kelsey wouldn’t be the woman she is today if it wasn’t for the wonderful wonder woman that raised her, and who she hopes is watching from the heavens with pride.
“You can make a million plans, think you have it all figured out form the people that should or shouldn’t be in your life, to the dates and year of when you will have what or what not done but, god laughs. Not because your plans weren’t good plans or properly thought out but, because your pathway is filled with obstacles and wrong turns purposely so that you can hopefully come out in the end as the best version of YOU.” – Kelsey Barillas
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