September 15, 2020
Gabe Teran, Friday Night Live
Building Up Our Community & Youth
Gabe Teran has been in the field of health, prevention, and youth advocacy since 2002. In 2008, he began working with the Ventura County Office of Education overseeing the statewide Friday Night Live (FNL) program. He expanded the program from eight students in one chapter countywide, to an annual average of over 400 youth who participate in nearly 30 chapters. He is the regional lead for Southern California’s eight FNL counties and sits on the statewide FNL Leadership Team – an elected position of six FNL leads from across the state. The work he has done throughout his career required him to understand the root issues that lead to social and emotional challenges faced by young people.
"It became apparent to me that the ‘weights’ that young people brought to counseling sessions, to school, or to FNL chapter meetings, had a lot of commonalities. Much of it came from their home experiences, which are influenced by the experiences of their parents or guardians, who are in turn influenced by the strengths and needs of the community. I recognized that our health and human services systems need to work together to build capacity in our youth, families, and community, all at the same time. Not as siloed systems, but as interwoven threads – all of our work being part of the larger fabric that is our community. This is why collaborative efforts are so important to me. All of our work is important, and all of our families and communities deserve high quality, coordinated services."
Gabe's professional life has also influenced what he does in his spare time. Much of his time outside of work is spent volunteering his efforts to get Oxnard residents more involved and better aware of the inner workings of the City of Oxnard, and how they can be part of influencing positive change.
“I have lived almost my entire life in Oxnard, I was born here and went to school here, my kids are fourth generation Oxnard residents. I have seen things change, but also seen some things stay the same – some good, some not so good. I believe that people getting involved in things, from volunteering all the way to participating in our local government, is one way that we can all take on more ownership and investment in our community. And as I had mentioned before, building up our community will build up our families, which will build up our youth. All of these systems and these lives are all interconnected. We all have a role in this, and each role is important and has the potential for influencing positive change.”
Gabe is currently an Operations Specialist with the Ventura County Office of Education. He holds an Associate’s Degree in Addictive Disorders, a Bachelor’s Degree in Information Technology, a Master’s Degree in Management and Leadership, and two state-recognized credentials in addictions counseling.