AUSTIN, Minn. (KTTC) – Parenting Resource Center (PRC) in Austin has hired a new Executive Director.
According to PRC, Sara Salas Ramirez left Austin to start her path as her family’s first-generation college student more than a decade ago.
Salas Ramirez excelled at St. Cloud State University, graduating in 2014, and started her professional career in that community.
This fall, the PRC’s leadership position opened, and Salas Ramirez applied.
Salas Ramirez started today Thursday, Dec. 22 as PRC’s executive director. She is excited and grateful to be back in Austin.
“This is where my family has established roots and where the community has cared for and supported us,” Salas Ramirez said.
As executive director, Salas Ramirez now oversees the PRC’s programming for families along with The Welcome Center; Seibel Family Visitation & Exchange Center; Catherwood Child Care; Austin Positive Action Coalition (APAC); Partnering with Parents; Rainbow Route busing; Helping Homes; and the Diaper Program, among others. Nearly a year ago, the PRC merged with The Welcome Center, whose staff became PRC employees.
In the coming weeks, PRC expects to open its new Austin Community Action Building (CAB) that has been under construction for more than a year as a major addition to the PRC headquarters in the Seibel Center near Austin’s U.S. Post Office.
The new facilities will house the PRC offices, The Welcome Center and Children’s Dental Health Services.
In her most-recent job based in Oakdale, Minnesota, Salas Ramirez worked in adult and child case management. She has more than seven years of experience with children and adults who have experienced substance abuse, domestic abuse, trauma and the justice system.
“I believe in empowering people by connecting them to the appropriate resources to help them achieve their goals,” she said. “I believe that the most effective way to address a larger problem is by approaching smaller hurdles one step at a time.”
Salas Ramirez succeeds Gema Alvarado-Guerrero, who led the PRC the past six years and worked for the nonprofit for nine years overall. In recent months, Alvarado-Guerrero opted to step down from the leadership role but agreed to work in a part-time capacity to help with the leadership transition, including training Salas Ramirez for the job.
Salas Ramirez said she is “overjoyed” to have been selected for PRC’s leadership role, saying she wants to help the organization expand, offer more opportunities and continue to have a positive influence on the individuals served by it.
With the CAB facilities, PRC will serve even more as the community’s “front porch” in that it will offer multifaceted programs and resources to everyone, Salas Ramirez said.
Parenting Resource Center is an Austin-based nonprofit created in 1977 to serve Mower and Freeborn counties with a mission to provide resources, services and prevention education to promote healthy, safe lifestyles families.
Along with the Seibel Center, the Parenting Resource Center runs the Catherwood Childcare Center; Rainbow Route Program for young students; parenting programs; Helping Homes; and other services.
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