Liz Gomez received her undergraduate degree in social work from Syracuse University in New York, and her Master’s Degree in Social Work from California State University, Long Beach. Before coming to Sober College, Gomez served as a consultant for youth programs across the country. Her experience in training and technical assistance, coupled with her expertise on trauma, informed approaches to working with runaway and homeless youth, the operation of a transitional living and independent living programs, and on administrative operations for programs providing services for youth—expertise she gained by serving as Executive Director of Los Angeles Youth Network (LAYN) for 17 years. She joined the LAYN staff in 1989, bringing with her nearly 10 years of experience working with juvenile offenders, homeless youth, and other high-risk youth populations. She has served on the boards of the California Coalition for Youth, the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce, and the advisory board of The California Wellness Foundation’s Violence Prevention Initiative.
In addition to working at Sober College, Gomez currently serves as a board member for The California Wellness Foundation and has been actively involved in the leadership of numerous youth-serving, philanthropic, civic, and community organizations. Gomez shares, “What drew me to Sober College was their niche in serving young adults seeking recovery. Through my work over the years with this population of young people, it is clear they have unique needs and not everyone is equipped to provide quality services for them as Sober College is.”
Oriana has shown passionate dedication to those who struggle with addiction issues through her extensive studies and over 14 years of experience in the fields of addiction and mental health treatment. Oriana earned her Masters of Social Work from the University of Southern California and completed a Masters of Arts in Psychology with a specialization in Addiction and Certification as a CADCII Counselor. She has experience working in all aspects of the field, both residential and outpatient settings, and is well known and respected throughout the Southern California recovery community. Over the past couple years Oriana has shifted her focus from direct client care to programmatic oversight. As Associate Executive Director, she supervises the counseling, clinical, academic, and operations departments, oversees communication and coordination of care with families, and is responsible for ensuring quality services in Sober College’s Five Core Competency Model.
One of Oriana’s passions is professional development, and she is thrilled to be a professor at Sober College School of Addiction Studies. Being able to assist budding counselors on their way to pursuing their own dreams is a huge motivator and her excitement is reflected in the courses she teaches.
Lisa began her career at Sober College in 2012 as a Mentor for the Women’s Program. Later she was promoted to Lead Mentor of the Women’s Program and is now in her current role as Women’s Sober Living Counselor & Coordinator. Through her own experience with recovery from substance abuse and addiction, she has found that her true passion in life is helping others who are currently struggling as she once was. “Simply being able to listen, offer advice, and provide guidance for our young adults through the difficult times they may be going through brings me great joy and happiness,” explains Lisa, “I am so grateful that Sober College allows me to be a part of their path to recovery.” Lisa completed her Chemical Dependency Counselor Training from the Institute of Chemical Dependency Studies and is now in the process of completing her Bachelors of Science in Psychology. She hopes that her involvement at Sober College will impact the lives of young adults and lead them toward a path of peace and long term sobriety.
Lena Sheffield is a licensed psychotherapist and addiction counselor in Miami, FL. She received her Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Counseling Psychology from the University of Miami. Lena received her Florida Certified Addiction Professional and ICRC certification in 1988. Since that time, Lena has earned certification as Master Addiction Counselor through NAADAC, and has been recently become recognized as a Certified Eating Disorder Specialist through IAEDP.
With over 30 years of experience in mental health and addiction, Lena has held various positions in the following areas: child and adolescent psychiatry, residential treatment for eating disorders, substance use disorder, process addictions, and community-based counseling. In addition to teaching for SCSAS, Lena operates her own private practice and she actively volunteers for multiple advocacy organizations.
Mentoring and training have been an important part of Lena’s career. She has lead numerous workshops and taught classes for professionals, academic institutions, and community groups.
As an experienced professional in the field of addiction, counseling and mental health treatment, Lena brings both expertise and experience to her position as an instructor for Sober College School of Addiction Studies.