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

As Program Administrator, CJ is responsible for the proactive oversight of various units within IRC, including Community Management, Service Access and Equity, and Training and Development. CJ's oversight extends to Language Access and Cultural Competency (LACC), Community-Based Organizations (CBOs), equity in the Purchase of Service (POS), and the National Core Indicator (NCI) project. Furthermore, CJ is tasked with managing the IRC's Performance Contract with DDS and overseeing Emergency Services.

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