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  • Writer's pictureLa Voz Latina

Franco Cabrera

Escrito por: Dulce Ortiz 🇬🇹

Franco Cabrera standing in front of McKeldin library on April 18, 2024. (John Valencia)

Franco Cabrera was born in Washington, D.C., and raised in Prince George’s County to Costa Rican parents. Through his sincerity and determination for his community, he’s accomplished much for the Latino population of Prince George’s County — and he’s only getting started.

He attended Montgomery College from 2014 to 2016 before transferring to the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, specifically UMBC at The Universities at Shady Grove. There, he graduated in 2019 with a political science degree and a history minor. 

While in college, he made it a goal to find and unite the Latino communities at his institutions. He became president of the Latino Student Union at Montgomery College. Then, when he transferred to UMBC at Shady Grove, he founded and became president of their Latino Student Union. 

After graduation, he sought to give back to the community that supported his neighborhood, peers and family during his youth. He joined CASA, an advocacy group that provides empowering support to immigrant families throughout the mid-Atlantic area of the U.S. He joined CASA in 2021. 

“Seeing the impact that CASA has had in my community, and me being such a big activist trying to empower my community, it was like a no-brainer to come work for CASA,” Cabrera said.

While at CASA, Cabrera worked in the Communication Department before beginning his new position in the Education Program. As an Education Program Specialist,  he meets many people, practices becoming a better professional and discovers unique ways to improve his ever-changing neighborhood.

With an emerging population of African-American and Middle Eastern communities in the area, Cabrera wanted to find a way to unify and support different groups at once.

“All our struggles are one united struggle… to support one is to support all,” Cabrera said.

In partnership with the University of Maryland Extension Family & Consumer Sciences (FCS) program, Cabrera combined his professional mental health techniques with his personal passion for soccer to create Familias Activas. 

The program teaches youth and their parents the importance of mental health through various soccer practices. It also provides parents, who are often burdened by the cultural differences of their immigrant past, with grounding and coping mechanisms. The successful program is in the works of expanding to Montgomery County and partnering with UMD.

In April 2024, he began a new position at Employ Prince George’s as a bilingual career coach, where he helps students discover their career paths and reach their goals.

He also works for Allen-Ayuk Behavior Health Center as a psychiatric rehabilitation program coordinator, helping youth and young adults living with mental illness reach a higher level of independence to improve their overall quality of life. 

No goal is too big for Cabrera. In the future, he hopes to attend UMBC’s School of Social Work to earn his master’s in social work or become involved in a program that allows him to become a school counselor to continue working with kids.

Through his own experiences and wisdom, Cabrera shares with readers, “Don’t be afraid to reach out,” as it can be the beginning of something new.

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