Updated April 21, 2014
Xiomara A. Sosa is a clinical mental health – forensic counselor, a mental health and physical health coach, a nonprofit executive, and a United States military veteran. Xiomara practices a progressive, innovative path to integrative health by combining behavioral and primary health care. As an integrative health and social change advocate, she works with individuals, couples and families of mixed ages and genders and is bilingual (Spanish), providing 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 (LGBQQTI) communities. Her passion is in counseling/coaching and positive social change advocacy with a focus on community relations and healthcare advocacy. 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 is also a humanitarian passionate about human rights and works for social welfare initiatives through volunteerism and altruism. She is an active member of the American Counselors Association and The American Mental Health Counselors Association and serves in leadership positions for both. 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. Xiomara’s forensic specialization is in child custody evaluation and divorce mediation. Her mental health coaching is focused on coping skills; emotional health; family conflict; life and work balance; living well; personal growth; and relationships. He physical health coaching is focused on healthy lifestyle. Xiomara founded two nonprofit organizations, The Get-Right! Organization, Inc. and You Are Strong! Center on Veterans Health and Human Services Organizations, Inc., to effect positive social change through innovative and purposeful advocacy campaigns and initiatives that serve communities extremely well. Xiomara earned her BS in psychology and her MS in Clinical Mental Health – Forensic Counseling. In April 2014 she took the National Counselor Examination for Licensure and Certification (NCE).
Professional, Nonprofit, and Military Work
Xiomara is the Founder and Principal of XAS Consulting, LLC (XAS), a private practice she founded in 2005 to integrate the role of behavioral health, primary health, and human services efforts in providing culturally competent services to the Hispanic, veteran and sexual and gender minority (LGBQQTI) communities. She provides clinical mental health-forensic counseling; community relations; disaster mental health; healthcare advocacy; mental health and physical health coaching; and service to the armed forces.
Xiomara is the Executive Consultant of the XAS Advocacy Network Series (ANS), a series of six national advocacy networks she created and launches in partnership with prominent social media and coalition partners. 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 is also the Founder, President and Chief Executive Officer of The Get-Right! Organization, Inc., a social change advocacy national nonprofit organization she founded in 2010 whose mission is to educate families, teach children, and support communities about mental health and physical health. 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 six 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.
She is also the Founder, President and Chief Executive Officer of You Are Strong! Center on Veterans Health and Human Services, a social change advocacy national nonprofit organization she founded in 2011 whose mission is to combat stigma and provide health and human services information to veterans and their families. Xiomara is the Executive Creator and Co-partner with Latina Lista of the National Hispanic Veterans Advocacy Network (NHVAN), the first in a series of six 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.
Xiomara is also a Bilingual Medical Case Manager for the Emerging Communities program at Lowcountry AIDS Services, Inc. (LAS) as of July 2013. She facilitates support groups, provides 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 provides a client-centered service that links her clients with medical care, psychosocial and other needed services, such as housing, nutrition, dental care, legal services, support groups and transportation. She conducts Initial Intakes and Reassessments used to assess the client’s needs, level of care, creates Service Plans and reviews ongoing progress. Xiomara educates clients about HIV/AIDS, is informed about resources, and listens to and supports clients through an on-going relationship.
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 the Client Services Coordinator/Bilingual Case Manager/Intern Therapist at My Sister’s House, Inc. (MSH) August 2012 – February 2013. 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.
Xiomara has over twenty years of experience in the nonprofit sector where she developed her expertise in the helping field. She also 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.
Professional Memberships and Service
Xiomara is a member of the American Mental Health Counselors Association (AMHCA) and its Florida, South Carolina and North Carolina chapters. She is also a member of the American Counseling Association’s (ACA) and ACA’s Veterans Interest Network (VIN). She serves as a Mental Health Officer on the Semper Fidelis Health and Wellness Advisory Board, serves on the Military Partners and Families Veteran Initiative, and on the board of directors of Women Veteran Social Justice. She is an American Red Cross Disaster Mental Health volunteer and American Red Cross Service to the Armed Forces volunteer. Xiomara is also a member of the FemFessionals Charleston, SC chapter.
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.
Awards, Certificates, Ribbons, and Medals
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.
Media and Reviews
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 visit XAS News and Announcements.
Xiomara has a Master of Science Degree in Mental Health – Forensic Counseling from Walden University (CACREP Accredited) and earned her Bachelor of Science Degree in Psychology from the University of Phoenix. In April 2014 she took the National Counselor Examination for Licensure and Certification (NCE). Xiomara 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.