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Hellena Ruiz is the state program coordinator for California Justice Leaders-Americorps (CJL). A first-of-its-kind program, CJL offers leadership and training opportunities to young people who have experienced the state’s juvenile justice system and increases awareness and access to California’s Honorable Discharge petition.

Hellena has spent the past several years in the gender-based violence movement, working for organizations including Bay Area Women Against Rape and Ruby’s Place. She brings experience facilitating trainings, trauma-informed care, harm reduction, and program coordination. Originally from Los Angeles, Hellena received her bachelor’s degree in criminal justice in 2013. She plans to earn her LCSW and continue serving underserved communities.