As the first American-born child in her family, Angelica Sinajon struggled with a “dual cultural identity” and difficulties with her parents. Then, multiple pressures and stress in her life began to produce manic episodes that ultimately led to hospitalization and isolation. But, today, Angelica is a vivacious young woman living independently in a Jamboree supportive community who, in February, was honored with a 2016 Mental Health Community Service Award.
Hosted by the Mental Health Association of Orange County, the annual awards celebrate nominees who demonstrate dedication and commitment to changing the face of mental illness through education and awareness, volunteering, and by reducing the stigma often associated with mental illness.
Angelica set her course towards wellness in February 2015 when she first rented a room in a Jamboree transitional housing program with supportive services. By September, she was able to move into her own one-bedroom apartment at a Jamboree Irvine property with permanent supportive housing, where she continues to receive services through Telecare.
Angelica is shown here with Jamboree friends and supporters including Ben Sanchez, Jamboree Senior Resident Services Coordinator; George Searcy, Jamboree Vice President of Community Impact; Helen Cameron, Jamboree Business Development Analyst; and Raul Fernandez, Jamboree Operations Manager for Supportive Housing and the person who originally nominated her for the award. The one word Raul wrote on the nomination form as best describing Angelica: Resilient.
Today, Angelica works at Home Goods, and is a violinist in the Orange Coast College Symphony Orchestra; you may remember her performance at the Jamboree 25th Anniversary Gala. And, she recently added AutoCAD training through a STEM-related class to her repertoire. Angelica supports and encourages others, inspiring them to seek employment and pursue their goals. She’s a dedicated and successful example of the incredible impact permanent supportive housing with services can have on those living with mental illness.