Building Our Communities


I currently work as a HIV Testing Counselor for AIDS Healthcare Foundation -Atlanta Public Health Division. I am a native of Miami, Florida and currently reside in Atlanta, Georgia. I have been on the front lines of HIV testing for the last 17 years. I am currently at Out of the Closet Thrift Store, which I have been for the last 5 years. I have been with AIDS Healthcare Foundation for 10 years, where I have worked in various departments such as Wellness and the Out of The Closet and have also helped develop plans for continuing testing and care, linking clients to managed care in all of the jails for The Broward County Sheriff's Office in South Florida. I am most passionate about giving back to the community and help empower all communities to being more understanding and accepting themselves even if they feel they are not equipped or confident to find that inner strength to stand proud. By assisting communities to find resources, I feel that I am helping to heal our communities that have been broken and devastated by this chronic illness. Working in the Atlanta Public Health Division has afforded me the opportunity to encounter many people who are suffering in silence and are made to feel shamed by their lifestyle, conditions, and status. So many people in the Metro-Atlanta area miss the opportunity to get the care they need before it’s too late. People miss the importance of getting tested and knowing their status. This has led to the misconception and misguided thinking that if they do not know that they do not have HIV. Many of the people I have the pleasure of meeting do not know why they engage in risky behaviors and often suffer from mental health and/or substance abuse. Through my experiences, one important thing I have learned is that you have to show people a reflection of themselves and meet them where they are in order to engage and connect with them to get them to commit to treatment plans. Through these experiences, C7AY Real Life Stories was born. It’s a short, intertwining tale of five people who are confronted with modern day problems and are suffering in silence. Along with the film I have had the opportunity to present my workshop “Baggage Claim Drop-Off or Pick Up,” which discusses and explores emotional psychological hang-ups that stem from early childhood development that often transition into toxic relationships and situations in life. In addition to that, AHF Pharmacy is highlighted for visibility in the community. These endeavors and experiences have also led me to create "Taste & Test with a Cause" to fill the gap of creating dialogue and engagement in the community. Taste & Test with a Cause is designed to motivate our community to get tested for HIV and to know their status. As a part of the campaign, restaurants in the area provide food samples and discount coupons in addition our fashion show and entertainment segments. This gives local designers and music artists the platform on which to showcase their work in front of the community and the world. As a result of my idea, creation, and my passion, Out of the Closet is now more recognized in the community. As a result, testing numbers have increased drastically, and more people are being linked to care. The increased participation and attendance during the Taste & Test with a Cause event has led to the need and subsequent approval for a bigger budget and venue for its fourth upcoming year. With my expertise and combined passion, I believe I am the perfect candidate to be on your team. I know that I can be a great asset to the Sean O' Keefe Event Planning company. By, having already built relationships and connections with other organizations, creating more community engagements at large, educating people through community events and making an impact in the world