Coronado SAFE (Student And Family Enrichment), a community education and counseling nonprofit founded in 1998, proudly announces its latest hire as it continues to meet the needs of the Coronado community by adding a new full-time licensed staff member. A native San Diegan, Gia Del George, LCSW, has joined the Coronado SAFE team as Director of Programs and Clinical Counseling to help lead the organization’s efforts to improve the emotional and behavioral health of youth and families in Coronado.
The Center for Disease Control (CDC) continues to report increasing national trends of high levels of anxiety, debilitating depression and suicide in youth. These trends have reached over the bridge to our small Coronado community. The immediate need to support our youth and their families who are struggling with these complex issues led to the hire of Ms. Del George.
As the Director of Programs and Clinical Counseling, Ms. Del George will oversee all of the organization’s youth, parent, and community educational programs as well as counseling and support services. She will also help Coronado SAFE to foster an inclusive learning environment in which parents, guardians, educators, youth leaders, and policymakers can come together to advance their understanding about the dynamic development of emotional, behavioral, and mental health in kids and teens. Ms. Del George will join Georgia Chakos Ferrell, Executive Director of Coronado SAFE, at monthly Coronado SAFE Coalition meetings where they will facilitate ongoing roundtable gatherings with Principals of Coronado’s public and private schools, Superintendant of CUSD, Coronado’s Police Chief and School Resource Officers, representatives from churches, Navy Base Coronado, parents, and more to collaborate on best practices, resources, and effective community services that support struggling youth, and their families. Ms. Del George is also available for speaking engagements in the community to share evidence-based intervention strategies that help youth who are struggling with emotional and behavioral problems, and teach practical skills in preventing negative emotions from leading to harmful behaviors.
“As the Executive Director of Coronado SAFE, a parent, and a second generation Coronado community member, I am excited about the direction SAFE is going by hiring Ms. Del George,” said Ms. Ferrell. This will be the first time since the organization’s 20+ years in existence that we will have a full time licensed staff member. The Coronado community has an incredible resource at its fingertips. My hope now is that the City of Coronado continues to fund SAFE at a level that will allow us to support youth and families at this professional level that best meets their needs.”
Ms. Del George noted some goals for the year, “As I enter my first year as the Director of Programs and Clinical Counseling, I look forward to continuing to develop successful program offerings that strengthen Coronado’s families, and ultimately strengthen our community. I am absolutely committed to delivering the exceptional education and resources that Coronado SAFE’s young clients — and those who are raising them — well deserve.”
Ms. Del George spent her undergraduate career pursuing psychology at the University of San Diego until leaving for Colorado to obtain her Masters in Social Work at the University of Denver. Since returning to San Diego in 2009, she has provided direct service to children and their parents for over ten years with a variety of populations including foster youth, low income families, and LGBT teens. After becoming licensed in 2014, Ms. Del George worked both in a group private practice providing psychotherapy to children, couples and families and as an MFLC (Military Family Life Counselor) in the Coronado School District. Her passion for social justice from both a clinical and community lens, coupled with her dedicated experience in building resilience in youth make Ms. Del George a perfect fit for Coronado SAFE’s vision.
For more information about Coronado SAFE, please contact Danielle Maske.