Kasandra A. Gandara was born in Silver City, N.M. where she began her social work career after receiving her bachelor’s degree in Social Work from New Mexico State University in 1989. She has spent the last 30 years living and working in the Las Cruces community with both the State of New Mexico’s Department of Health and its Children, Youth, and Families Department (CYFD). During her service with CYFD, Kasandra returned to NMSU for her graduate degree in Social Work that she received in 2013. Kasandra is now retired from the State of New Mexico. In her 27 plus years serving the State of New Mexico, she has served in many social work roles including case worker, medical case manager, social work supervisor and manager, community leader, program specialist, and agency administrator. Kasandra was elected as councilor for City Council District 1 in November 2015. In the last year, she has organized several district meetings to educate and inform her constituents about the City’s activities as it relates to family health, safety and resilience. In 2018 she launched the Resilience Leaders program to mobilize agency leadership and stakeholders around the prevention of family trauma.