Cyndi RivasCindy grew up in San Clemente so her love of this community runs deep. She left SC in 1979 and returned in early 2013. Little did she know her life journey would perfectly prepare her for the mission of COA.

She is a certified counselor in Reality Therapy through the Choice Theory Connection/Loyola Marymount, William Glasser Institute. She is a state certified HIV Educator, having taught in substance abuse programs for 14 years. Upon her return to SC to care for her parents, she learned of the growing drug problem in South Orange County.

After reconnecting with old high school classmates, Cindy joined Pondo Vleisides in his vision to make a difference and has been a member of COA since its inception. Cindy re-enrolled in college to pursue a degree in Human Services with an emphasis on drug and alcohol studies. Having no children of her own, Cindy recognizes that it truly does take a village to raise a child. She has a passion for photography, often capturing some of COA’s most memorable moments.