IRC Announces New Cultural Specialist – Maria Isabel Rodriguez

Dr. CJ Cook, DBABlog, Employees

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IRC’s Community Engagement Team welcomes their new Cultural Specialist – Maria (Mari) Isabel Rodriguez!

Mari’s passion has always been to help those individuals who experience language and/or cultural barriers. She has been a defender of individuals with disabilities, empowering families and clients to advocate what is necessary for the individuals to obtain their independence.

Mari attended Riverside City College and received her Associate of Arts in Social & Behavioral Studies. She then continued her studies and received a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology, and finally a Master of Public Administration. After college, she worked as a tutor and ABA therapist. Mari has been with the Inland Regional Center for approximately 7 years, working as a Consumer Services Coordinator in the Riverside South Transition Unit. She has advocated for Spanish-speaking families while being at IRC. She has assisted as a Sponsor/Mentor for her team, as well as a liaison for the local partnerships with the Department of Rehabilitation and the school districts of Temecula, Murrieta, Hemet, Perris, San Jacinto, and Moreno Valley.

She is looking forward to becoming the Cultural Specialist for the Inland Regional Center– impacting and serving those clients and families with disparity and diversity.

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Dr. CJ Cook, DBA

CJ Cook is the Program Administrator of Community Engagement. He oversees the proactive management of all special events, outreach efforts, public relations, public input meetings, Service Access and Equity (SAE) efforts, and brand management. He also has oversight of Community-Based Organizations (CBOs) that receive grant funding from the Department of Developmental Services (DDS), Language Access and Cultural Competency (LACC), equity in the Purchase of Service (POS), and the National Core Indicator (NCI) project. Finally, he also oversees the IRC's Performance Contract with DDS and Emergency Services.

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