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Ebony Montgomery 

Founder of Self Determined Futures LLC/CEO

Ebony Montgomery is a trailblazer in the disability services sector, bringing forth a potent blend of academic expertise and heartfelt advocacy to drive meaningful change. Armed with a BA in Sociology, with a minor in applied psychology, from UC Santa Barbara and a Masters of Science In Organizational Leadership and Business Innovation from UWLA, Ebony's journey toward becoming a beacon of empowerment for individuals with disabilities began.

Her academic foundation laid the groundwork for a career defined by compassion, innovation, and unwavering dedication. Ebony's commitment to understanding the intersectionality of social dynamics and psychological well-being propelled her to pursue a Masters in Business/Innovation and Organizational Leadership, further honing her ability to effect systemic change.

 

For the past decade, Ebony has been a steadfast advocate for individuals with disabilities, holding various influential positions within the sector. From grassroots initiatives to executive leadership roles, Ebony has consistently championed the rights and dignity of those she serves. Her passion for empowerment and inclusivity permeates every aspect of her work, inspiring those around her to join in the fight for a more equitable society.

Ebony's leadership is characterized by her ability to bridge the gap between theory and practice, leveraging her academic background to inform practical solutions to complex challenges. She is a visionary leader who fosters innovation, encourages collaboration, and empowers others to enact meaningful change. Under her guidance, organizations have flourished, programs have expanded, and countless lives have been touched by her unwavering advocacy.

 

Beyond her professional accomplishments, Ebony's impact is felt on a personal level by the individuals she serves. She is a trusted confidante, a tireless ally, and a source of unwavering support for those navigating the complexities of life with a disability. Her genuine empathy and unwavering commitment to social justice make her a true force for positive transformation in the lives of those she touches.

 

As we look to the future, Ebony Montgomery stands as a shining example of the profound difference one person can make in the world. Her journey from student to advocate to visionary leader serves as an inspiration to us all, reminding us of the power we each hold to shape a more inclusive, compassionate, and equitable society for generations to come.

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Program Managers

Meet the dedicated individuals who drive our mission forward. Learn about the passionate administrative team committed to empowering our community.

Meet the Team 

Discover the compassionate individuals who drive the mission of Self Determined Futures L.L.C. forward. Each team member brings a wealth of experience and dedication to our organization. Get to know them below!

ILS Specialists & CFS Case Managers

Mary Rodriguez

Mary Rodriguez

ILS Specialist 

Hi my name is Mary Rodriguez and I am part of the Self-Determined Futures Team.Being able to work for Self-Determined Futures gives me the opportunity to help and empower those who need an extra push to get ahead and integrate into the community and find their own paths and feel proud of their lives. It's all about believing in themselves and having the courage to go after what they want. I feel incredibly lucky to be welcomed into the homes of those I support. It's a big honor for me. I'm there to celebrate their successes and support them through tough times. Challenges are just opportunities for us to show how strong and brave we can be. My approach is all about kindness and understanding. I want to create a safe space where people feel confident to make choices that make them happy. By offering support and encouragement, I hope to help them become more independent and confident in themselves.I believe everyone deserves a fair chance to succeed, no matter what challenges they face. I'm excited to learn and grow, and to help others do the same. To conclude, I enjoy watching movies, taking walks in parks or at the beach, and playing piano and singing. These hobbies bring me joy and relaxation, and I love exploring new creative avenues through them. I hope to keep growing and excelling at my job.

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Mariana Vega

Mariana Vega

CFS Case Manager 

My name is Mariana. I am a Coordinated Family Supports case manager. My role focuses on aiding families in accessing essential resources and assistance. Specifically, I assist individuals with disabilities in navigating the maze of available resources, empowering them to maintain their independence. Beyond merely locating resources, I emphasize the importance of pursuing activities and supports that not only foster physical well-being but also align with personal aspirations and interests. With a background in psychology, I became acutely aware of the systemic barriers faced by individuals with disabilities during my college years. Witnessing this disparity fueled my commitment to advocacy.My journey began as an ABA technician, where I worked closely with children on the autism spectrum. Through this experience, I facilitated the development of crucial life skills and emotional regulation, laying the groundwork for their future independence. Ultimately, my overarching goal is to ensure that everyone, regardless of ability, has the opportunity to achieve fulfillment and success.

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Susana Martinez

Susana Martinez 

ILS Specialist

My journey into the field of supporting adults with intellectual disabilities at Self Determined Futures has been marked by a profound commitment to helping others. With a background in the medical field and a current pursuit of nursing education, I have a genuine passion for making a positive impact on the lives of those I serve.
My transition into this field was sparked by innate desire to help people, coupled with my experiences in healthcare settings, where I witnessed firsthand the challenges faced by individuals with intellectual disabilities.

An interesting tidbit about me is my unwavering dedication to continuous learning and personal growth. I have a busy schedule as a nursing student, but I actively seek out opportunities to expand my knowledge and skills, ensuring that I can provide the highest quality care and support to those in need.

What I find most fulfilling about this position at Self Determined Futures is the opportunity to make a tangible difference in the lives of adults with intellectual disabilities. Whether it's assisting them in daily tasks, advocating for their rights, or simply offering a listening ear, I take immense pride in being able to empower individuals to lead fulfilling and independent lives. I hope I can combine my love for nursing and the love I now have for supporting adults in this field and make something bigger and better in the near future. For me, the joy of knowing that I am positively impacting the lives of others is the greatest reward of all.

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Virginia Hooper

Virginia Hooper

ILS Specialist/CFS Case Manager

My name is Virginia Hopper but I also go by Ginny. I am a Coordinated Family Service Case Manager and Independent Living Service Specialist at Self-Determined Futures LLC. My journey into this field was unexpected but makes sense considering the previous career path and the pure joy I feel when witnessing the growth and confidence in others as they thrive. Prior to working with Self-Determined Futures, I was a Behavioral and Rehabilitation Specialist for the youth around San Diego. Since my time with them typically ended once they graduated high school or turned 18, witnessing their growth was lost, leaving me to wonder what would happen to them. My belief is that we are life-long learners, so the space to grow and learn is continuous as long as we are alive, capable, and willing to. The mission of Self-Determined Futures is to empower intellectually disabled adults and their families through consistent education, collaboration, and practices with the goal of the participants to achieve independence. I am fortunate to be a part of a passionate team of people who resonate and contribute to the growth of adults with intellectual disabilities. Something that brings me a sense of fulfillment since being in this position is witnessing the progress of the participants and the confidence they gain with each accomplishment.    When I’m not working in the field, in my free time I am dedicated to learning more about myself and the world around me through experiences and applying my background knowledge in Psychology.

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Danya Dominguez 

CFS Case Manager

Biography Coming Soon! 

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Emma Covarrubias

Emma Covarrubias

CFS Case Manager 

I am privileged to serve as a Coordinated Family Support Case Manager at Self Determined Futures LLC. I have a Bachelor's degree in Psychology and a Minor in Counseling and Social Change. My journey commenced as an Assistant Manager Medical Assistant within an Internal Medicine practice, where I cultivated invaluable experience in patient care and operational management over a distinguished five-year tenure. Driven by a deep-seated passion for effecting positive change, I transitioned to the behavioral health sector as a Registered Behavior Technician. For over three years, I dedicated myself to providing applied behavioral analysis (ABA) services to individuals and families across various settings, including in-home, clinical, and educational environments. The educational institutions provided me with the opportunity to collaborate with students and educators from diverse backgrounds and challenges. Once I progressed into a supervisory role, I was responsible for training Early Behavior Interventionists and establishing parent education initiatives, further solidifying my expertise in the field. My personal experiences, particularly my encounters with childhood bullying, have instilled within me an unwavering commitment to fostering a culture of kindness, respect, and inclusivity. This philosophy serves as the cornerstone of my profession, driving my endeavors to serve as an ally and catalyst for social change and justice.Joining Self Determined Futures as a Case Manager is a tremendous honor, as it aligns seamlessly with my mission to empower individuals in need, and facilitate their journey towards self-expression and fulfillment. I firmly believe in the unique abilities of individuals with different abilities and advocate for a society that embraces diversity and celebrates individual strengths. In essence, my vocation is rooted in the belief that with encouragement and empowerment, we can forge meaningful connections and collectively navigate life's challenges with compassion and understanding.

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Erik Hernandez 

ILS Specialist/CFS Case Manager

Hi, I'm Erik Hernandez. I decided to join the Self Determined Futures team because of my background in community and social advocacy. I spent most of my teenage years advocating for change in the community of City Heights with an organization called Mid City CAN. There, I focused on addressing issues such as creating a safe place for skateboarders, starting a bus pass pilot program for youth to have access to reliable and free public transportation, and hosting various community events to expose the community to available resources. 

I quickly learned that I had a passion for social change by seeing how my work positively affected the lives of those in the community. In high school, I was exposed to their health academy. Once enrolled, I was able to volunteer with different organizations that worked with people with disabilities, and I really enjoyed being part of a team of professionals that helped bring joy and care to this community. My goal in life is to become a firefighter and continue to care for and serve my community. 

The experience of community advocacy, enjoying helping others, and learning about compassion through my EMT schooling ultimately led me to apply and, thankfully, become part of this growing team. A fun fact about me is that I play rugby for a semi-professional International Gay Rugby team.

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Belinda Salvador 

CFS Case Manager

My name is Belinda Acosta Salvador, and the vibrant streets of South Central have always been my home, weaving themselves into the very fabric of my identity. From the bustling markets to the close-knit community gatherings, every corner holds memories of my upbringing. It was amidst this rich cultural tapestry that I discovered my passion for higher education, embarking on a journey at California State Dominguez Hills. Here, I immersed myself in the study of Communications and Chicano/a Studies, using these disciplines as lenses to understand the world around me and the power of effective communication in fostering community engagement.

The tumultuous events of 2020 served as a catalyst for my journey into the realm of service. Amidst the uncertainty of the pandemic, I found purpose in the mission of City Year, an organization dedicated to uplifting urban communities like Watts. As an AmeriCorps member, I stepped into classrooms filled with eager minds, committed to guiding students through the complexities of academics and social-emotional development, even as the world shifted to remote learning. Witnessing their resilience in the face of adversity fueled my dedication to educational equity and community empowerment.

In my second year with City Year, I assumed the role of Team Lead, leading a cohort of AmeriCorps members in educational outreach efforts throughout South Central. Together, we forged strong connections with students, families, and community leaders, fostering a collective commitment to student success. Transitioning from City Year, I continued my journey as a Behavior Technician, providing invaluable support to students on the autism spectrum, helping them navigate the challenges of classroom dynamics and fostering their social and academic growth. Now, as a Coordinated Family Support Case Manager, I remain dedicated to empowering families and individuals through personalized advocacy and resource coordination, guided by the philosophy of Ubuntu — the belief in the interconnectedness of humanity and the power of collective action to create positive change.

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Jorge Martinez

Jorge Martinez 

ILS Specialist/CFS Case Manager

I am Jorge Martinez, I’m privileged Self Determined Futures anorganization dedicated to empowering individuals with intellectual disabilities toleas self-directed and fulfilling living is Coordinated Family Support Case Manager and an Independent Living Specialist. The journey into this field began with a deeply rooted desire to make a positive impact on the lives of others. Inspired by personal experiences and encounters with individuals facing unique challenges, I embarked on path of education and advocacy to support and uplift marginalized communities. My first hand experience in community outreach was when I attended San Diego Mesa College and had the opportunity to work in the Outreach department. My hand on experience in community outreach programs and support servicessolidified my commitment to this noble cause and fueled my determination to create a more inclusive society. Whether it’s witnessing a breakthrough moment of self discovery in a client or celebrating small victories along the journey towards independence, every interaction reinforces my belief in the transformative power of compassion and empowerment. In my role at Self Determined Futures, I find immense fulfillment in fostering a supportive and inclusive environment where individuals with intellectual disabilities are valued, respected, and empowered to define their own futures. From facilitating skill-building workshops to providing personalized guidance and support, I am continually inspired by the resilience, courage and determination of the individuals I have the privilege to serve. My Journey into this field has been guided by a steadfast commitment to advocating for social justice, equity, and inclusion. Through my work at SelfDetermined Futures, I am dedicated to empowering individuals with intellectual disabilities to become independent, discovering their strengths, pursue their passions.

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ASL Team

Madison Gonzalez

Madison Gonzalez

DHOH Grant Specialist 

I'm Madison Gonzalez, the DHOH Outreach Specialist at Self Determined Futures, where I focus on empowering the Deaf+ community in San Diego. My journey began in high school when I enrolled in my first ASL class, sparking a deep connection with Deaf culture and its language. Working closely with Deaf individuals, I've witnessed firsthand the challenges they face due to societal barriers rather than innate differences. My role involves bridging these gaps by facilitating access to crucial services, all while fostering a deep respect for Deaf culture. I am committed to ensuring that Deaf+ and hard of hearing individuals not only have access to services in ASL but the services they need to thrive independently. My dedication stems from a lifelong passion for equality and inclusion, cultivated through personal experiences and engagement within the Deaf community.


What fulfills me most is knowing that I am making a tangible difference in the lives of those I serve. By providing access to essential resources and promoting awareness of Deaf culture, I am breaking down barriers and fostering a more inclusive society. Every day, I am inspired by the resilience and strength of the Deaf community, and I am honored to play a role in their journey towards empowerment and self-determination. Beyond my professional endeavors, my heart lies in the realm of literature. I avidly collect captivating editions of the classics, indulging in various genres to explore the depths of storytelling. Fiction pieces, in particular, hold a special place in my heart, whisking me away to imaginative worlds crafted by talented authors. Supporting small bookstores isn't just a pastime; it's a way to foster community and preserve the unique charm of independent bookselling. Through my love for literature, I find both escape and solace, immersing myself in narratives that enrich my life and ignite my imagination.

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Sarah Meyer

ILS Specialist/CFS Case Manager 

I'm Sarah Meyer, a Child of Deaf Adults (CODA) whose first language was American Sign Language (ASL). Growing up in a Deaf household sparked my lifelong passion for serving the Deaf community. After high school, I pursued my dream of becoming an ASL interpreter, where I had the privilege of working with a company that served Deaf individuals. Along the way, I've expanded my expertise to better meet the needs of those with developmental disabilities.

 

Although my previous job ended due to COVID-19, I'm now fortunate to work as an ASL Independent Living Skills (ILS) Specialist & CFS Case Manager at Self Determined Futures. Helping others has always been fulfilling for me, especially advocating for the Deaf community. I firmly believe that Deaf individuals, regardless of any additional challenges they may face, are capable of achieving anything they set their minds to. Beyond my professional life, I'm a proud mother of three and live on a ranch in the mountains. Taking care of my family and our animals is a big part of my life, and I cherish the time I spend with them. Despite the challenges of being a working mom, I'm dedicated to providing my children with enriching experiences and opportunities.

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Azucena Ceja

Azucena Ceja 

ILS Specialist/ CFS Case Manager

In 2023 I graduated from the Interpreter Training Program at Palomar college. A fellow classmate invited me to join her at her new job at Self Determined Futures. Now I’m an Independent Living and Coordinated Family Service Specialist with Self Determined Futures. I primarily work with our Deaf+ clients and their families. Through Independent Living Services I help each individual stride towards a self-sufficient way of life. While working with families in Coordinated Family Services, I help alleviate some pressure that comes with taking care of a loved one with intellectual and/or developmental disabilities. It has been a pleasure seeing our Deaf+ clients move toward their goals. As well as being the support they and their family need. I always enjoy helping people in any way I can. Receiving sincere gratitude from our clients and their families reinforces my motivation to help them through our services.Outside of work, I enjoy hanging out with my friends and family. Right now, we are interested in visiting various businesses located in San Diego County. Our most visited spots have been Balboa Park and Seaport Village. Another recent endeavor of my friend and I has been creating a book club. We have read two books so far, which include “Ugly Love” by Colleen Hoover and “The Last Letter” by Rebeccca Yarros. We are currently reading “It Ends with Us” also by Colleen Hoover.

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Andrea Scott 

ILS Specialist/CFS Case Manager 

Hello, I'm Andrea Scott, a dedicated ILS/CFS Case Manager specializing in assisting Deaf+ individuals and their families in sunny San Diego. My journey with American Sign Language (ASL) began with a spark of curiosity during high school, where I immersed myself in the vibrant Deaf culture. Over the years, this initial interest blossomed into a profound passion as I pursued further education and actively engaged with the Deaf community.

In May 2024, I proudly graduated from Palomar College’s Interpreter Training Program (ITP), equipped with both theoretical knowledge and practical experience to effectively support future clients. With over a decade of experience in ASL and four years of hands-on involvement in the Deaf community, I am committed to helping clients achieve their goals and promote independence through effective communication and cultural understanding.

Beyond my professional endeavors, I find joy in exploring local coffee shops, maintaining an active lifestyle at the gym, and cherishing moments with my dog Sokka and my husband Riley. Lately, I've developed a fondness for Mystery Mondays at Regal Cinema, where the element of surprise adds an exciting twist to my leisure time.

Looking forward, I am enthusiastic about collaborating with Self Determined Futures to transform aspirations into realities for individuals and families in need. Each day brings new opportunities for learning and growth, and I am eager to contribute to our collective journey of advocacy and empowerment.

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SLS Team

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Jasmine Campos 

SLS Specialist

Biography Coming Soon!

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Katie Brown 

SLS Specialist 

Biography Coming Soon!

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Crystal Hall 

SLS Specialist

I have been dedicated to working with people with disabilities for over 20 years. Throughout my career, I have served in various roles, including as a Behavioral Technician, Registered Behavior Technician, Facilitator, Residential Care Specialist, and Direct Support Professional (DSP). I have worked in diverse settings such as group homes, assisted living, supportive living, and day programs, and have also provided tutoring services.

I am committed to making a real difference in people's lives by helping them discover their strengths and potential. I believe that my empathy towards my patients significantly enhances their well-being. I always maintain an open line of communication to better understand and support the individuals I work with, ensuring their needs are met with care and respect.

My extensive experience and unwavering dedication make me a valuable asset in the field of disability support, continually striving to improve the lives of those I serve.

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