The Village Family Services was established in 1997 by Hugo C. Villa, LMFT, and Irma Seilicovich, LMFT, to provide a one-stop shop for Latino children and families needing critical bilingual and bicultural social services. Today The Village welcomes clients at three Valley locations.
Tell us about your background.
After I earned my psychology degree, I came to the United States from Argentina in the late 1980s to do an internship in an East Los Angeles clinic. As a young professional, I found my passion in child welfare. During my years working as a social worker in the foster care system, I became an advocate for immigrant families involved in the child welfare system, helping them reunite with their children and in some cases working with their kin so children wouldn’t have to grow up in the system.
What services do you offer?
We have multidisciplinary programs for mental health, foster care and adoptions, transitional-age youth services, housing, a drop-in center for unhoused youth, and a program for unaccompanied children.
Have you had mentors who influenced your career?
During this journey, I have had great mentors and role models. I thank my colleagues and other CEOs of some of the best community-based organizations in Los Angeles County for their guidance and support. These mentors have helped me identify skills I believe good leaders should have, such as strong communication skills, passion and optimism, constant learning, inclusivity and transparency.
Tell us about your team.
I have a world-class leadership team that manages the day-to-day operations of the organization. With their dedication and passion, we can meet our challenges and take advantage of opportunities to help those most in need for many years into the future.
What are some key qualities of leaders?
I believe the role of a great leader is to lead and deliver projects, encourage initiatives, build a sense of common purpose, and empower others to achieve their dreams.
Photographed by Jeffrey Fiterman