Chief Operations Officer
Cindy has over two decades of experience working in the nonprofit sector in different capacities. She's helped both individuals and families (most of whom lived at or below the poverty line) with navigating the system and obtaining appropriate educational assistance and disability resources for their loved ones. Her experience ranges from mentoring those living with an array of mental health diagnoses to assisting caregivers in finding creative ways to engage with their loved ones diagnosed with developmental delays.
Cindy served on the board of directors of the Autism Society San Diego from 2009-2016, and served as president of the organization after spending a year as president-elect. She went on to form the San Diego chapter of the Autistic Self Advocacy Network (ASAN) and served as president until the local chapter programs were discontinued by ASAN's National organization. She has been writing grants for years and has extensive experience with both active and passive fundraising as well as event planning.
Cindy is an autistic mother of two autistic sons, ages 20 and 10. Cindy has been married to a 13-year Marine Corps veteran since 2002, and during her tenure on Camp Pendleton, served on the Commanding General’s Advisory Committee for the Exceptional Family Member Program. She worked with military personnel to connect Camp Pendleton with the San Diego Sheriff's Department's Take Me Home program - a registry that uses facial recognition technology and surveys of caregivers who register their loved ones to locate missing individuals with limited communication skills, reuniting them safely with their loved ones. She also brought sensory friendly movies to the Camp Pendleton base theater, where they continue to run on a quarterly basis for individuals with sensory issues. Additionally, she helped collaborate on a program that helps military members with disabled dependents to make a smooth transition from the military life back into the civilian world.
She has had her writing published in several mediums, including Exceptional Parent Magazine, where she detailed some of the issues unique to the military community. Most recently, her poetry was published in an anthology called "All The Weight of Our Dreams," which was the collaborative effort of dozens of autistic individuals. She has also given interviews on both live and recorded television broadcasts, and has delivered speeches at live events on a variety of topics relevant to the autistic community.
Cindy has an extensive background in music herself, from competitive show choir to being a member of a touring band. Her passion for music and seeing fellow autistics lead successful and fulfilling lives has inspired her to come on board YIC and share her skills and experience with this innovative program."