Xiomara A. Sosa – Founder Bio

Xiomara-Sosa final

Updated 1/17/15

Xiomara A. Sosa is Founder and Principal of XAS Consulting, LLC (XAS), an integrative mental healthcare and holistic wellness private practice consulting firm she founded in 2003 to integrate the role of healthcare and wellness efforts in providing culturally competent services to all communities but especially to the Hispanic, veteran, and sexual and gender minority (LGBTQQIA) communities.

Xiomara is a clinical mental health – forensic counselor, a nonprofit executive, a social change advocate, and a United States military veteran. She provides clinical mental health-forensic counseling; community relations; disaster mental health; healthcare advocacy; service to the armed forces; and therapeutic life coaching.

Xiomara practices a progressive, innovative path to integrative mental healthcare and holistic wellness by combining psychology, clinical mental health, forensics, human services, and public health.

As an integrative healthcare provider she works with families with divorce or custody issues; community businesses, American Red Cross staff and disaster victims; healthcare patients; individuals; and military service members, veterans and their families.

Xiomara works with mixed ages and genders. She is bilingual (Spanish) and provides services in private consultation, by telephone or electronically. As a multicultural counselor her cultural competency is especially focused on working with the Hispanic, veteran, and sexual and gender minority (LGBTQQIA) communities.

Her passion is in social change advocacy, and as a social entrepreneur her goal is to promote social policy that protects the wellbeing of all people through public policy/action and community outreach initiatives.

Xiomara’s key advocacy issues are prevention and intervention of bullying and suicide. Xiomara’s clinical focus is on anxiety disorders and mood disorders. Her areas of expertise include coming-out and externalized and internalized homophobia; crisis intervention; disaster mental health; and trauma. Her treatment and theoretical orientations are affirmative therapy, cognitive behavioral therapy, family systems therapy, and solution focused brief therapy, amoung others. Xiomara’s forensic specialization is in child custody evaluation and divorce mediation. Her therapeutic life coaching is focused on coping skills; emotional health; family conflict; life and work balance; living well; personal growth; relationship; and healthy lifestyle.

She is the Executive Consultant of the XAS Advocacy Network Series (ANS), a series of 8 national advocacy networks she created in 2012 through XAS and launches in partnership with prominent social media and coalition partners through her national nonprofit social change advocacy organizations, Get-Right! and You Are Strong!. These networks help shed light on issues affecting diverse communities through a series of articles about their needs, resources, spotlights, interviews and critical legislative, government, and military initiatives. The campaign includes Town Hall Meetings and Legislative Days with representatives and community stakeholders to educate, raise awareness, and advocate for the needs of those communities.

Xiomara founded two national 501©3 nonprofit, social change advocacy organizations; The Get-Right! Organization, Inc. (Get-Right!) in 2010 and You Are Strong! Center on Veterans Health and Human Services Organizations, Inc. (You Are Strong!) in 2011 to effect positive social change through innovative and purposeful advocacy initiatives that serve her communities.

Get-Right!’s mission is to educate families, teach children, and support communities about mental health and physical health. Through Get-Right! she is the Executive Creator and Co-partner with New Latina of the National Hispanic Mental Health Professionals Advocacy Network (HMHP), the second in a series of 8 advocacy networks, which launched during Hispanic Heritage month of 2012. HMHP’s mission is to promote education, awareness and advocacy for the mental health services needs of U.S. Hispanic communities. HMHP’s vision is to create a well established, organized, active, and strongly connected community of Hispanic mental health professionals by improving culturally relevant communication and advocacy for the mental health needs of the Hispanic community.

You Are Strong!’s mission is to combat stigma and provide health and human services information to veterans and their families. Through You Are Strong! she is the Executive Creator and Co-partner with Latina Lista of the National Hispanic Veterans Advocacy Network (NHVAN), the first of the series of 8 advocacy networks, which launched on Memorial Day of 2012. NHVAN’s mission is to provide culturally competent advocacy for the health and human services needs of U.S. Hispanic military veterans. NHVAN’s vision is to create a well-established, organized, active, and strongly connected community of Hispanic veterans by improving communication and advocacy for their health and human services needs that is culturally appropriate. Through You Are Strong! Xiomara is the Executive Sponsor of the Borinqueneers Congressional Gold Medal Alliance whose mission is to achieve the Congressional Gold medal for the historic Puerto Rican American 65th Infantry Regiment and serves on their Steering Committee.

Xiomara is also a Wrap Advocate for the South Carolina Youth Advocate Program’s Wraparound Program where she provides therapeutic interventions and treatment services for emotionally disturbed children who are clients of a South Carolina State agency. She provides rehabilitative behavioral health services, works with their Youth Opportunities Program, and provides transportation, tutoring, and/or therapy and therapeutic intervention services that relate to the client’s treatment goals.

In 2014 Xiomara received the Mujeres Destacadas Award for Mental Health from El Diario. In 2013 she was nominated for The Trailblazer Award by WEGO Health for their Health Activist Awards and The Mobilizor Award by the Social Revolucion at SXSW. In 2011 and 2012 she was nominated for The Woman of Worth Award by L’Oreal Paris. CATALINA Magazine awarded Xiomara the 2010 Deloitte Groundbreaking Latina Leader of the Year award for her work that consistently promotes a positive image of Hispanics and their culture, and to promote her accomplishments as one of the nation’s leading Latinas. She was also awarded the Northern Virginia Family Service Special Foster Care Certificate of Approval and Certificate of Appreciation in recognition of valuable contributions as a Therapeutic Foster Parent. Xiomara is a recipient of the Campaign Air Force Training Ribbon, the Campaign Army Service Ribbon, the Army Achievement Medal for Meritorious Service, and the Department of the Army Certificate of Achievement for Meritorious Service.

Xiomara was featured as a leader on the Fabulosamentelatina.com Success channel and as a Personal Consultant on their advice channel. She was also featured on the AOL Latino Icons channel as a Latina Leader and on Latinas Inspire as an Inspirational Latina. Xiomara was named “Latina de la Semana” by El Tiempo Latino and was featured in the Latinas Today section of Latina Style Magazine. Her reputation has attracted media commentary by such outlets as the Sun Sentinel, Catalina Magazine, and Careerjournal.com/The Wall Street Journal Executive Career Site. She’s also been sought after to review books written by Hispanic authors such as Profound CrossRoads by Anthony Ramos. To read additional articles and features on Xiomara please visit the Media tab on the XAS Consulting, LLC website.

She is a member of the American Mental Health Counselors Association (AMHCA), the American Counselors Association (ACA), and the Charleston SC Tri-County Counseling Association. She is a leader in ACA’s Veterans Interest Network (VIN). Xiomara serves on the Florida Mental Health Counselors Association Military Service Committee, the LGBTQQIA Affirmative Counseling and Social Justice Committee, serves as a Mental Health Officer on the Semper Fidelis Health and Wellness Advisory Board, is a board member of Women Veteran Social Justice, and serves on the Military Partners and Families Veteran Initiative. Xiomara is an American Red Cross Disaster Mental Health volunteer and American Red Cross Service to the Armed Forces volunteer. She is also a humanitarian passionate about human rights and works for social welfare initiatives through volunteerism and altruism. She is also an author for New Latina.

Xiomara earned her Bachelor of Science Degree in Psychology from the University of Phoenix (Accredited) and her Master of Science Degree in Mental Health – Forensic Counseling from Walden University (CACREP Accredited). She is currently a doctoral student working on her Doctor of Philosophy in Human Services – Public Health. She passed the National Counselor Examination for Licensure and Certification (NCE) and is a National Certified Counselor (NCC) and Licensed Professional Counselor-Intern (LPC-I Application Pending). She attended The United States Air Force (USAF) University – Community College of the Air Force, is a graduate of the USAF Military Training Center, the USAF Technical Training Center, and the United States Army Training Center.

PAST

Xomara has decades of experience in the nonprofit sector where she developed her expertise in the helping field. She developed her skill and knowledge in creating and implementing programs in communities that target social welfare work. Her passion for humanitarian and human rights issues began as a child born and raised in New York City, which grew through her volunteerism and altruism.

Xiomara left New York and served a military tour of duty with the Air Force Reserve, United States Army, and United States Army Reserve. She was selected to serve in a prestigious position at The Pentagon in Washington, DC where she worked directly for the Brigadier General at the United States Army Research Institute for Behavioral and Social Sciences, Headquarters, Department of the Army, Personnel Programs Analysis Office, and Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff for Personnel. Through that experience she polished her skills on how advocacy interconnects with humanitarian efforts.

Her budding passion for humanitarianism landed her a position at the Academy for Education Development (AED), a nonprofit organization working globally to improve education, health, civil society and economic development, the foundation of thriving societies. At AED she worked in the Center for Youth Development and Policy Research supporting the Director in their mission to create and strengthen the infrastructure that supports the positive development of all youth.

At the National Coalition of Hispanic Health and Human Services Organizations (COSSMHO) she worked closely with the President and CEO and the Vice President of Policy and Research on a wide range of advocacy issues related to health and human services with Congress, Community Based Organizations (CBOs), the Department of Health and Human Services, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, the Food and Drug Administration, and the National Institutes of Health. She also supported organizational initiatives with the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and other philanthropic foundations on behalf of COSSMHO. Xiomara served as COSSMHO’s liaison with other national nonprofit organizations on outreach efforts and for The National Hispanic Health Network, a 30 Community Based Organization HandsNet electronic communications system. She also worked tirelessly to promote the President’s book on Latina’s health, The Latina Guide to Health, a consumer’s health guide for overall health and wellness for Latinas.

Her evolution in social change advocacy progressed as she moved on to MANA, A National Latina Organization where she worked with members and chapter leaders on empowering Latinas through leadership development, community service and advocacy.

Following that she managed a $980,000 budget at NLGJA, an organization of journalists, media professionals, educators and students working from within the news industry to foster fair and accurate coverage of LGBT issues, and to advance their mission in opposing all forms of workplace bias and providing professional development to its members. There she developed the National and Regional Leadership Development Institutes designed to meet training needs in fiscal management and program development and implementation for NLGJA’s leadership. These series of trainings ultimately led to the crafting of goals set forth in NLGJA’s Strategic Plan. Xiomara was instrumental in acquiring the $100,000 grant from the Ford Foundation to fund this initiative.

She then managed close to a million dollar Department of Labor grant at the National Student Partnerships, an organization whose mission is to combat poverty and expand opportunity for all people in the United States.

Xiomara then served as President and Chief Executive Officer of the National Society for Hispanic Professionals (NSHP) where she strengthened NSHP’s infrastructure and solidified NSHP as a viable and noteworthy presence in the Hispanic professional community that includes over 20,000+ members.

Xiomara was the Client Services Coordinator/Bilingual Case Manager/Intern Therapist at My Sister’s House, Inc. (MSH). She coordinated client services, provided case management, individual counseling and facilitated counseling groups at MSH, a shelter-based program serving domestic violence victims and their children. She provided referral services, intake, crisis intervention, advocacy, and developed a support services program for MSH. Xiomara also provided linkage with community services and coordinated financial assistance services through the Department of Social Services. In addition, she developed support services programs that included life skills training, employment assistance, job skills training partnerships, and needs assessments. She also provided victim advocacy services with the judicial and law enforcement systems, which included court accompaniment, participated in and conducted speaking engagements, health fairs, workshops, etc., and was lead with community resources listing.

She was a Family Support Specialist and Intern Therapist for the Family Strengthening Services program at Carolina Youth Development Center, Inc. (CYDC) June 2013 – November 2013. She provided home and community based services to families at risk of child maltreatment. Xiomara provided assessment, service planning, short-term counseling, intervention, and development of a family’s resources.  Based on family needs, Xiomara monitored the families’ progress, conducted home visitations, and provided parent education and community referrals. In addition, she provided child development support, case management, conducted parenting interventions and assisted with family support services.

Xiomara was a Bilingual Medical Case Manager for the Emerging Communities program at Lowcountry AIDS Services, Inc. (LAS) from July 2013 – August 2014. She facilitated support groups, provided bilingual case management services, advocacy, nutrition education, and prevention and education services to the Hispanic, veteran, and sexual and gender minority (LGBQQTI) communities about HIV/AIDS. Xiomara provided a client-centered service that linked her clients with medical care, psychosocial and other needed services, such as housing, nutrition, dental care, legal services, support groups and transportation. She conducted Initial Intakes and Reassessments used to assess the client’s needs, level of care, created Service Plans and reviews ongoing progress. Xiomara educated clients about HIV/AIDS, informed them about resources, and listened to and supported clients through an on-going relationship.

Xiomara served as AMHCA’s Southern Regional Liaison of the Graduate Student Committee, AMHCA’s Public Awareness, Advocacy and Marketing Committee, and on the board of the AMHCA NC chapter -LPCANC. Xiomara was a member of ACA’s Florida, South Carolina and North Carolina chapters. She served as President-Elect of the Florida chapter’s (FCA) Florida Association for Marriage and Family Counseling (FAMFC); was a member at large of FCA’s Florida Association of Multicultural Counselors Division (FAMCD); and of ACA’s LGBTQQIA Affirmative Counseling and Social Justice Committee. She was also a member of ACA’s Counselors for Social Justice Division and the International Association of Marriage and Family Counselors. Xiomara was also a member of the National Coalition for LGBT Health.

Xiomara served as a member of the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy’s National Youth Media Campaign’s Partnership Development Expert Panel. She also served on the Senate Republican Conference Task Force on Hispanic Affairs Advisory Committee. She was a participant in the Department of Health and Human Services Substance Abuse Treatment Month Planning Group, and the Social Security Administration’s Outreach Planning Group. Xiomara was appointed to serve on the Arlington, VA Multicultural Advisory Commission, was a member of the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation’s Latino Survey Planning Group, served on the Arthritis Foundation’s Speaking of Pain Advisory Council and Diversity 2000 Committee, and was a member of the Women in Military Service for America Memorial Foundation, Inc. Xiomara also served on the HandsNet Editorial Board, the Newspaper Association of America’s Diversity Committee, and was a member of the Center for Media Education’s Children Media Policy Network. Xiomara also served on the Health Promotion and Disease Prevention Committee of the Consortium for a Healthier Miami-Dade.

She also served on the Sexual Minority Youth Assistance League’s (SMYAL) Board of Directors, served as a SMYAL Youth Group Facilitator, and as an appointed member of the Whitman-Walker Clinic’s Mental Health and Addiction Treatment Services Board of Directors on behalf of SMYAL. She also served on the Bridge Builders Fund Board of the Directors and the Gente Latina de Ambiente Board of Directors. Ms. Sosa was a Cultural Competency Trainer for the Mautner Project for Women with Cancer, a member of the Potomac Executive Network, and the Women’s Health and Wellness Network. Other prior professional affiliations include membership in the Alliance for Nonprofit Management, the Greater Washington Society of Association Executives, the American Society of Association Executives and the Florida Society of Association Executives.