Former Trainee- Making A Difference in the Latinx Community

November 23, 2020

Recent Va-LEND graduate Fiorella Carrillo-Kimbrough volunteers with Caminos, a Richmond-based support group that works with Spanish-speaking families with children who have autism or other neurodevelopmental disabilities. The group incorporates the use of cultural brokers and provides culturally appropriate education and support. Carrillo-Kimbrough who both has a Masters' in Social Work from Virginia Commonwealth University and speaks Spanish helps to ease the language and cultural barriers that often affects those who do not use English as their primary language. Carrillo-Kimbrough noted the importance of being able to guide, support and educate families. This allows the families to increase their parental skills, their knowledge of complex systems to support their children and gives them a sense of empowerment and feeling of belonging, she said. "I learned about Caminos through an educational webinar that was offered through the Va-LEND program. As a LEND Trainee, I wanted to learn more about autism and other disabilities and to be more involved with my community. My role as a volunteer is to help facilitate the support group, provide information to families, and to direct them to resources." She continued, "I'm often out in the community providing educational workshops, sharing information about preventative services, and talking to community members and families. I think having the knowledge and sharing everything that I have learned from the Va-LEND program helped me to better understand family needs in order to guide them to service providers who can help them.Most families served are from the Richmond Metropolitan area; however we have families from all of Central Virginia." Caminos has continued its activities, transitioning from an in-person group to a virtual platform during COVID-19. We look forward to hearing more from Carrillo-Kimbrough and Caminos as they work to empower parents through a culturally and linguistically competent model.