OUR FOUNDER

 

Cheryl Aguilar is a licensed clinical social worker, LICSW, LCSW-C, who has been working with DC area residents since 2006. She has held several roles as communicator, facilitator, advocate, case manager and currently as mental health therapist. She is the founding director at Hope Center and serves as lead therapist, trainer and clinical supervisor. She focuses on working with youth, young adults, adults and families.


She believes in a holistic approach to wellbeing and utilizes evidenced based interventions such as CBT, EMDR, Mindfulness, Trauma Informed Care. She addresses issues related to depression, anxiety, trauma, stress, grief and loss, adjustments, addictions, family reunification, among others.

 

Chery believes in a micro, mezzo, and macro approach to wellness, which leads her to advocate for the communities she serves.

 

Prior to launching Hope Center for Wellness, LLC in 2017, she served as bilingual mental health therapist at La Clinica del Pueblo, where she became the organization’s first TeleMental Health Therapist to expand mental health access to Latinos through video. She has also worked for other direct services organizations and agencies including the Latin American Youth Center and Maryland Multicultural Youth Centers, where she served in several roles including program coordinator and Prince George’s County Health Department, where she served as bilingual counselor.

 

While Cheryl works with people from all walks of life, she has a specialization working with immigrants and refugees. She has designed and implemented several culturally competent groups including Emociones y Politica, a support group for immigrants facing anxiety due to political climate and Mi Familia Unida, a workshop on family reunification for families who have been separated and reunited due to immigration. She is a speaker and trainer on culturally competent work with Latinos, immigrants and refugees, TeleMental Health, Trauma Informed Care, Self-Care, Mindfulness, Healthy Work Environments, among other topics. She has presented nationally at the National Association of Social Workers and the Latino Social Workers Organization, and locally in her community. She has provided training to hundreds of social workers, behavioral professionals, teachers, other professionals and community members through national, regional, local entities on a verity of topics.

 

Community Involvement

Cheryl volunteers with the Latino Social Workers Organization (LSWO) and serves as appointed committee member of the National Association of Social Workers (NASW) Mental Health Specialty Practice Section. Cheryl founded and co-leads Social Workers United for Immigration, a DC based group of social workers committed to the well-being and the advancement of immigrants and immigrant rights. Because of this work, Cheryl was selected by Social Work Today magazine as 1 of 10 dedicated and deserving social workers making extraordinary impact across the country. In her spare time, Cheryl enjoys writing articles on mental health to raise awareness and help decrease stigma.

Fun Facts

Before embarking in the social work profession, Cheryl worked in the journalism and public relations fields for over a decade. After a fulfilling career in media, Cheryl decided to shift careers in 2012 to better respond to the mental health needs of community members she was working with. She obtained her Master of Social Work from The Catholic University of America in 2014. Cheryl migrated from Honduras at 14 and was raised in New Brunswick, New Jersey. After graduating from high school, she obtained a bachelor’s degree in journalism and political science from Rutgers University in 2003. Her immigration experience has shaped her mission to uplift communities, give back and empower others to reach their full potential. Committed to her mental health and overall well-being, Cheryl enjoys practicing self-care activities like hot yoga, walking, biking, mindfulness meditation, candle making, spending time with family and friends.

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Founding Director, Therapist, Trainer and  Supervisor

CHERYL AGUILAR

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