Mariana Chavez-Picazo is a native of San Francisco and a product of the San Francisco Unified School District (SFUSD) public school system. She received a bachelor of arts in liberal studies at San Francisco State University and a master’s degree of arts/PPS credential in counseling psychology from the School of Education at the University of San Francisco. Prior to counseling, she worked in youth development for five years providing programs to youth ages 6-18 in the areas of health education, fitness & nutrition, athletics, and academic support & enrichment. Mariana has been a counselor with the SFUSD for over a decade at both the middle & high school levels, though her passion and focus area is high school counseling.
She currently works as a head counselor for the Counseling & Post-Secondary Success Department of SFUSD where, in collaboration with the department, she provides professional development and support to counselors and interns including site support, coaching, and resources to enhance practice and services. She also serves as a liaison to post-secondary activities and initiatives and collaborates with City College of San Francisco (CCSF) on their Bridge to Success partnership. Through her current work with SFUSD, she and her team are moving counseling in SFUSD towards a comprehensive school counseling program model that focuses on transformative counseling that is proactive and data driven. She strives to work collaboratively with the district teams and schools to make systemic change in counselors’ roles, to increase access and equity for multicultural and underrepresented groups, and to improve college and career readiness for all students.