On October 26, 2018 the First 5 First Steps (First Steps) system came together to celebrate five years of serving children and families throughout San Diego County. The celebration focused on resilience, a characteristic that is shared First Steps’ staff members, the families they partner with and the children being raised.

During this celebration, First Steps was honored to welcome three impactful guest speakers to the event.

  • Bertha Loaiza ~ a community leader and mental health advocate
  • Alethea Arguilez ~ the Executive Director of First 5 San Diego
  • Mr. and Mrs. Ricketts ~ graduates of a home visiting program where Ms. Arguilez was their home visitor.

Each guest spoke to the power of resilience and exemplified why we do the work we do in First Steps.

The inspirational morning was followed by a panel of Family Support Specialists who shared their own stories and skills in resilience. The panel shared their stories of strength, survival and skill, and then small groups took the conversations to their table to continue to build connections.

The icing on the cake was the chance to share all of this with many of our community partners. Carol Skiljan, Vice Chair of the First 5 San Diego Commission, took time out of her busy schedule to join the celebration and salute the good work happening in the field. The First Steps Central Administration Advisory Group members also put a pause on their own transformational work to get to know the program through the eyes of the frontline staff. The day even brought the blessing of familiar faces like Chris Walsh and Kim Flowers whose vision and skill in reflective practice laid the groundwork for First Steps’ excellence in reflective supervision and developing reflective capacity.

In the season of giving thanks, this day represented so much to be thankful for in all that First Steps’ teams bring to the families of San Diego County. Happy Birthday, First Steps!


The First 5 First Steps Home Visiting program provides home visiting services for pregnant women and families with children ages 0-3. First Steps promotes positive parenting and enhances child health and development for families who may face hardships and stressors that place them at increased risk for poor health and developmental outcomes. Our services are offered over the long term to prepare children to enter school as active learners, and ensure that all children are healthy, loved and nurtured. To find out more about First Steps click here. To find out more about other First 5 San Diego Programs click here.

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