Today we’d like to introduce you to Krista Driver.
Krista, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
The first four years of my life were spent in Foster Care. My birth mother was just 15 when she had me. Despite her best efforts, she just was unable to care for a baby. I was adopted just before my 4th birthday. My family always let me dream of my future and encouraged every goal I ever set for myself.
I eventually went on to earn a doctorate in Psychology and became a licensed Marriage & Family Therapist. I opened my private practice in 2006 and also worked in an inpatient facility and in 2011 decided I just wanted one full time job. So, I applied for a Director position at Mariposa Women & Family Center. This nonprofit’s mission fit for everything I believed in ~ empowering women and families to make positive changes in their lives. Shortly after joining the Leadership Team at Mariposa, the CEO left and they had some significant financial struggles. With the possibility of closing the center, I agreed to take the CEO position. I’ve been here 6 years now… and in that time, we have served about 18,000 individuals and we have strengthened our financial core.
We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
Life has challenges and yet the life of a nonprofit has a particular set of challenges… primarily around funding. We are heavily dependent on government contracts, grants and donations. So, it’s a constant struggle to find the money we need to keep our doors open and continue to provide counseling services for so many vulnerable women and their families.
So, as you know, we’re impressed with Mariposa Women & Family Center – tell our readers more, for example what you’re most proud of as a company and what sets you apart from others.
Mariposa is a nonprofit counseling center in Orange County. For 40 years we have provided services to many disadvantaged women and their families. Much of our work is around such issues as domestic violence, sexual assault/trafficking, substance abuse and many other mental health issues. We provide a safety net for OC’s “working poor”. There are people that qualify for services because their income is so low and then there are people that can afford services because their income is higher than average, but there are people in the middle on that spectrum and those are the people we serve.
I am proud of Mariposa on so many levels… We are a small nonprofit that’s had some rough patches and yet was always manage to land on our feet. Our staff are truly incredible and they go above and beyond on a daily basis.
One of the things that sets us apart from other counseling centers is that we offer gender specific services (we have women’s groups and men’s groups). Also, we offer free childcare onsite. Oftentimes, lack of child care is a barrier for, particularly women, getting help. Either they can’t afford it or they don’t trust anyone with their children. So, we provide that in both of our facilities.
So, what’s next? Any big plans?
We are looking forward to continuing the services we offer at our Orange and San Juan Capistrano office(s). In addition, we are planning expanded services and building additional services to meet the needs of our community.
One significant (immediate) challenge for us is that the building in Orange we currently rent has been sold and there are plans to demolish the space. So, we need to move. A move is very costly and so… I’m just looking at all creative solutions to find the money for this eminent move. That’s really going to consume most of my focus in the next 6 months to a year.
- Address: 812 W. Town & Country Rd., Orange, California 92868
29222 Rancho Viejo Rd., San Juan Capistrano, CA 92675
- Website: www.mariposacenter.org
- Phone: 714 547 6494
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org