meet Our

Contigo Wellness

Board of directors

 Guiding the Path to Mental Health Equity

Welcome to Contigo Wellness where we are dedicated to advancing mental health equity for all individuals and communities. Our Board of Directors plays a pivotal role in shaping our mission, overseeing our initiatives, and leading us towards a more equitable future in mental health care and support. Get to know the passionate individuals who drive our organization’s success.

The Contigo Wellness vision is to end the stigma around mental health issues in BIPOC communities by providing access to much needed resources to this community in a holistic approach. Our entire BIPOC Board represents the community and is responsible for establishing policies that carry out the educational and mental health programming by providing high-level guidance and leadership to ensure Contigo Wellness meets the needs of the communities served.  Our Board also continues to serves this purpose through their daily work, and we are honored to have them. 

We’re transforming lives and actively looking for Board Members who can help us continue to fulfill this mission!

Our Board Members

Meet the esteemed members of our Board of Directors, each bringing a wealth of experience, expertise, and dedication to the cause of mental health equity.

Contigo Wellness

Blanca Valencia, M.Ed

board Chair

Blanca Valencia was born and raised in Brownsville, Texas. Understanding the intersection of education and border life, her time obtaining her Bachelor’s degree in history at the University of Texas at Austin demonstrated the need for more equity-minded, high quality educators to enter urban spaces, particularly among larger concentrations of communities of Color. Blanca has been an educator in alternative education settings in Central Texas for ten years, working to contribute to and create safe and empowering educational spaces for young people of color. After returning to the University of Texas at Austin for a Masters degree in Curriculum & Instruction with a research focus on social justice and equity in schools, Blanca is now a school administrator. She aims to expand capacity building and empowerment of teachers in reforming curriculum building, disciplinary practices, and mental health practices in order to create innovative, equitable, and empowering spaces for youth.

Cy Herrera

Cynthia "Cy" Herrera, JD

Board treasurer

Cy Herrera is a driven, creative, and compassionate leader, who utilizes her legal skills as an attorney to advocate for whole person and whole community wellness. She currently serves as Executive Director of ASHwell Sexual Health + Wellness, enhancing queer health in Austin through clinical, holisitic, and social wellness initiatives, and formerly as CEO of Project Transitions where she spearheaded a successful $3.5M capital campaign to build 101 new units of affordable housing for people living with HIV in Central Texas. 
 
In the years preceding, Cy restlessly advocated for survivors of domestic violence, stalking, and sexual assault as an attorney with the Texas Advocacy Project. She founded a medical-legal partnership initiative to collaborate with local health providers to identify and prevent ongoing intimate-partner violence against their patients, training hundreds of health providers on how the upstream medical-legal partnership model of patient-client care saves money, time, & lives. In 2018, she established a free community legal clinic, centering LGBTQ+ community members in partnership with Community Health Empowerment and was published in the Texas Family Physician magazine. 
 

Cy graduated from Loyola University Chicago, School of Law with a Juris Doctor and a Certificate in Health Law from the nationally acclaimed Beazley Institute for Health Law and Policy. Her interest in public health began as a psychology major, when she served as a volunteer at The University of Michigan Law School Pediatric Advocacy Initiative, and she has been a staunch advocate for public health equity ever since.

 
In May of 2022, Cy graduated from the 43rd Essentials Class of Leadership Austin. In addition to serving on the board of Contigo Wellness, Cy’s current community involvment includes serving as the Chair of the JEDI (Justice, Equity, Diversity and Inclusion) Committee of Pease Park Conservancy and Co-Founder and board member of The Mexican-American Experience, a nonprofit working to preserve, promote, and celebrate Mexican-American culture and heritage. She also co-founded and is currently serving as Co-Chair of the ECHO Affinity Group to End HIV Homelessness where she helps coordinate and advocate for a more complete and thorough community response to achieve functional zero homelessness for our community members living with HIV.
 Cy loves her people, culture, music, family and community. She is a member of the all-womxn Selena tribute band Las Chicas en 512 and you can catch her banging on timbales on East 6th or chasing after her bubbly 6-year old Yselia at local parks and Austin festivals and markets. 

Samantha Benn, LCSW-S

Board secretary

Samantha is an Indigenous & Latinx, queer psychotherapist in Austin,TX that specializes in helping black, indigenous, and people of color heal from trauma and step into their power. She is a Hood Feminist informed by Mikki Kendall’s book “Hood Feminism” that spells out how mainstream feminism has left women of color behind by not first ensuring that all women have their basic needs met. Samantha graduated from The University of Texas at Austin in 2014 with her Master’s in Social Work and has since provided therapeutic services to the most vulnerable people in Austin–those experiencing homelessness and trimorbid health concerns. Samantha also worked at the local mental health authority treating severe mental illness and volunteering to co-facilitate monthly discussions about health disparities negatively impacting people of color in mental health care. Samantha is an activist that spends her free time disrupting systems of oppression. She founded her private practice, Culture in Mind, in 2021 with the intention of delivering psychotherapy in a anti-racist way that draws on culture for self-healing and self-discovery. Social Justice, racial equity, and destigmatization of mental illness are a few of Samantha’s priorities in life. Samantha values creating space and deepening connection with others–animals and humans alike. 

 

In her free time she enjoys exercising, writing, volunteering with local nonprofits, leading bible studies, and hanging out with family and friends.  

Contigo Wellness

Daniel Hinojosa, MBA

Board Member

Daniel Hinojosa was born in Corpus Christi, Texas and moved to Austin, Texas to attend the University of Texas after high school. After college, Daniel served the East Austin community through education as a student advisor, physical education teacher, coach, and athletic director. After returning to school to complete his MBA at the University of Houston-Downtown, Daniel had the opportunity to pursue his lifelong dream and open a gym in the same East Austin community he has called home for the last twenty years. Today, Lift ATX is an open-air warehouse gym focused on providing an affordable opportunity for all people to improve health and wellness while building community. The gym’s motto is “Strength in Community. Community in Strength.” This motto and belief are core to the mission of Contigo Wellness.

Stephanie Bergara

Board Member

Stephanie Bergara is a native of Austin Texas. She grew up on the Southeast Austin and spent most of her early years living in the Dove Springs Neighborhood.

A music industry veteran of over 15 years, Stephanie has worked as a booking agent, artist manager, event producer and publicist.  She spent 10 years at the City of Austin’s Economic Development Department’s Music & Entertainment Division as an artist and industry advocate. In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, Stephanie facilitated the Austin Music Disaster Relief Fund, a microgrant program that provided direct financial relief to nearly 2000 members of Austin’s music industry. She also worked to set the City of Austin’s standard rate of pay for musicians to its highest amount to date, a minimum of $200 per musician per hour.
 

Currently she is serving as a Program and Event Manager at Waterloo Greenway Conservancy, a 1.5 mile park system located in the heart of Downtown Austin. Day to day she supports local events and initiatives including local talent buying, signature programming including Waterloo Greenway’s Earth Day Festivities, Rainbow on The Creek, Dia De Los Muertos and Austin’s renowned Creek Show.

 
Stephanie and her Award winning Selena Tribute Band, Bidi Bidi Banda have toured the United States for nine years and have performed alongside the likes of Taylor Swift, Joan Jett, Billy Joel and Neon Indian. In 2020, the band activated a diversity clause in to their contracting, opting to only accept shows that celebrate women, artists of color and members of the LGBTQ community.
 
As a public servant and philanthropist, Stephanie serves on the Board of Directors for Health Alliance for Austin Musicians, AVANCE’s Austin Chapter and serves as the Talent Director of Chingona Fest Texas. She is a Professional Member of the Recording Academy (Grammy’s) Texas Chapter and a graduate of The New Philanthropists Board Mentors of Color Program. She is an alum of The Leadership Austin Emerge Program and The Greater Austin Hispanic Chamber of Commerce’s Hispanic Austin Leadership Program.
 
Stephanie lives in East Travis county and is passionate about sharing her love for music and creativity with her 5 year old son, Andres, who often accompanies her on the road, visiting historic Texas venues, and meeting musicians and artists of all genres.
Contigo Wellness

Sarah Joyner, LCSW

Board Member

 Sarah Joyner grew up in El Paso, Texas, and came to Austin when her husband’s military career presented a new opportunity for them. Sarah holds a Bachelor’s in Social Work from New Mexico State University and a Masters of Social Work from Texas State University. Before moving to Austin, Sarah worked with refugees from various countries to include: Afghanistan, Iran, The Democratic Republic of the Congo, and Syria. and assisted them in adjusting to their new lives in America.  During Sarah’s time in Georgia, she won the title of Miss Georgia United States in 2019. She used her title to teach community members about the importance of inclusiveness and cultural awareness.
 
Sarah is pursuing her clinical licensure and provides therapy for adolescent girls and their families. In addition, Sarah enjoys volunteering, painting, trying new foods, and spending time with her loved ones in her free time.

Tk Tunchez

Board Member

Tk Tunchez is a full time multi-media artist, cultural producer and event organizer. She is the Creative Director and Founder of Austin-based Maximalist Accessory brand:  Las Ofrendas;   Local Marketplace and Cultural Event: Frida Friday ATX; and, creative nightlife venture: Fuego ATX.  From her artistic practice to her community work she is committed to creating spaces that amplify and promote WoC/ BIPOC/Queer and emerging artists, while creating resources to build wealth within economically marginalized communities

Thank You for Your Support

 

We extend our gratitude to our Board of Directors for their dedication and leadership in advancing mental health equity. Together, we are creating a world where everyone has access to quality mental health care and support.

 

Contact Our Board

 

If you have any questions, suggestions, or would like to connect with any of our board members, please contact us. We value your input and engagement.