I'm proud to announce our newest student, who will be starting University in May. Geovanny de la O Avalos will be pursuing a degree in Psychology. Many of you already know Geovanny Avalos. Please let me know if you are interested becoming a sponsor or would like more info. Karen Rosenberg is the Captain of Team Geovanny.
From Geovanny: My name is Geovanny De la O Avalos and I am 40 years old. I was born on Isla to a family with a long history on Isla Mujeres, with my family being pioneers and fishermen of the island. My grandfather was one of the first chief of police elected by the local people. He taught me how to become a fisherman. I have been married to my wonderful wife for 21 years and have two children, a daughter age 20 and a son age 16 years old.I went to primary and secondary public school on Isla and stopped my education while in secondary school for financial reasons. I started to volunteer for the Red Cross in 1992 when I was 14 years old. For many years I worked as a fisherman and waiter, in the tourism industry and as a property manager, but as I became older and watched my children get their education, I decided that I needed to receive my high school diploma. I studied in a program in Cancun for adults getting their GED and after 150 hours of preparation, I took the examinations for a high school diploma. I successfully passed with some of the highest grades of the 50 students in the program. I received my GED in 2016.
I have had personal experience in mental health as a member of my family was diagnosed first with depression, then bipolar disease and eventually schizo-affective disorder. During this process of exploring mental health options, I went with my family member from one medical doctor to another, from one hospital to another and realized that not many medical professionals are prepared to deal with the impact of mental illness on patients and their families. Also, as a long time EMT for the Red Cross, I realize that not even paramedics are trained to deal with people in trauma and in mental health crises.
In March 2017 I started working with the Family and Social Services Agency (DIF) and this marked the first time I worked as a social service worker helping people. DIF sent me to take courses in Quintana Roo and the Yucatan in the areas of children’s services, senior services, psychology, case management, crisis intervention during national disasters and with clients who have experienced trauma such as rape, abductions and kidnapping.
I am particularly proud of my work currently providing health prevention and intervention at all events of DIF, including the senior’s cachibol team. One of my players is my primary school music teacher!
My goal is to create a protocol for first responders such as police, EMT’s, paramedics, doctors, etc. in order to help families and patients who are in crisis on Isla Mujeres. Even though we are a small island with 17,000 people, there is a great need for this kind of service.
I am a husband and father, a fisherman and paramedic, and most important a humanist. I love my family and my community and find purpose in collaborating with many people and projects, including being the President of the Board of the Club Pro-Paciente Diabetico Isla Mujeres AC, a non profit group that supports the Isla Diabetes Clinics. I am an active volunteer with the Red Cross unit in Cancun and recently was fortunate to take a course at the medical school in Mexico City for treatment of burn victims. After graduating with a degree in psychology, I plan to give back to my community where there is a need for my services and continue to spread the philosophy of humanism and service to people that I so strongly believe in.
Geovanny at an Isla Diabetics Clinic
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I am Jackie Conlon. I have been an active student sponsor since 2007. I have personally seen how this program has changed the life's of the students and their families.