Zarena M. Leblanc, MA is the Training and Engagement Manager at ALSO. In this role, Zarena supports ALSO’s overall technical assistance efforts by creating training content focusing on service provisions for underserved populations, engaging and planning with consultants and facilitators of varying expertise and supporting the programmatic and administrative activities for internal and external trainings at ALSO.  She manages and facilitates internal training for new staff and partners increasing agency capacity and is involved in growing ALSO’s niche area, the intersection between community violence and domestic violence.

Prior to her work at ALSO, Zarena taught English as a Second Language to migrant/immigrant professionals and youth for over 5 years. She also worked at various YMCA’s as an after school counselor, tutor and fitness instructor. Zarena received her Bachelor of Arts in Humanities from the University of South Florida and her Master of Arts in Latin American and Caribbean Studies from Florida International University. Her studies focused on representation of culture within Afro-Latin and Latin populations.

Zarena believes in relationship building as the foundation of meaningful interactions and positive change. She asserts that when individuals are able to listen and connect on deeper levels with a variety of people, healing occurs. When Zarena is not working she teaches and attends dance fitness classes, spends time with her family and friends, drinks copious amounts of tea and travels any chance she gets.