061621 SYV PHP Reyes

Adriana Reyes takes the helm as program coordinator for diversity, equity and inclusion with Santa Ynez Valley People Helping People.

Santa Ynez Valley People Helping People recently selected Adriana Reyes to the role of full-time program coordinator for diversity, equity and inclusion in an effort to address an increase in hate crimes, racial slurs and various forms of discrimination and bias in the community.

The role was created when People Helping People administrators and the steering committee for local nonprofit INCLUSION SYV met and unanimously passed a resolution to adopt INCLUSION SYV as a program of People Helping People, including the establishment of the new coordinator position. 

Board Chair Francisca Escobar described the organization's new program "as an opportunity to promote diversity and equity in all aspects of our organization and guide our work to raise consciousness in our community.”

Reyes, a Santa Ynez Valley native, previously held the role of case manager with People Helping People. In that role, she advocated for underserved and underrepresented individuals and families that reside in Solvang and Los Alamos, and those locally who have been most impacted by COVID-19 and the economic shutdown.

“Throughout her career, Reyes has removed barriers and created greater access for members of the community” CEO Valerie Kissell said. “Previously employed by the county and most recently as a case manager, Adriana has proven to be an industrious advocate for our most vulnerable neighbors.

The Classic, which is sponsored annually by local nonprofit Santa Ynez Valley People Helping People (PHP), aims to raise much-needed funds for social programs dedicated to improving the lives of adults and children in the Santa Ynez Valley and Los Alamos.

"Even during the most trying times of the pandemic, she has earned the respect and trust of clients and community partners alike. This new role requires cultivating relationships and building community, and I have great belief she will flourish,” Kissell said.

People Helping People was founded in 1992 and is dedicated to improving the lives of men, women and children in the Santa Ynez Valley, Los Alamos and surrounding communities by addressing emergency and basic needs, furnishing comprehensive family and individual support services, and acting as a catalyst for positive change.

To learn more about People Helping People, visit www.syvphp.org

Lisa André covers lifestyles and local news for Santa Ynez Valley News and Lompoc Record. 

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