Special Education Manager & Senior Health Educator
Navigating the teen years without being able to discuss sexuality openly can be challenging. For DeAnna, topics around sex and relationships were taboo in her community, leaving her without vital resources and information. It wasn’t until years later when she attended university that DeAnna gained the comprehensive information about sexuality she had long desired, as part of a human sexuality course.
DeAnna’s passion for adolescent sexual health promotion was inspired by her work at the Centers for Disease Control early on in her career. There she gained a robust understanding of the barriers youth face in advocating for their sexual health - from lack of school-based education to cultural taboos to misinformation about accessing clinical services. DeAnna had faced these challenges first-hand during her own adolescence, and was compelled to drive positive change for the next generation.
DeAnna later honed her skills working with youth with special needs, first at Goodwill of Silicon Valley and later at Easter Seals Bay Area doing Applied Behavioral Analysis therapy with youth with autism.
Today, DeAnna continues her work serving youth with special needs as part of Health Connected, recognizing the importance of providing education to this population that is too often overlooked in the realm of sexual health education.
She is committed to providing all youth, regardless of ability, the resources they need to make empowered decisions about their own sexual health. When she is not teaching, she enjoys traveling and spending time with her family and friends.