SCLARC Consumer Advocate
A graduate of Dorsey High School in Los Angeles, California, Desiree Boykin attended El Camino College, Torrance Campus and then transferred to California State University, Dominguez Hills earning a B.A. in Human Services in 2008. While pursuing her college degree, Desiree volunteered many hours of service working with the elderly, fulfilling her desire to give back to others in the community.
The year 2001 marked the beginning of her journey as an advocate in her community. In that year, Desireeparticipated in a college summit at Cal State Dominguez Hills. Her participation in the higher education event was the catalyst to her work in empowering others. Eight years later, she was not only an active participant, but also an organizer of SCLARC’s first Consumer Advisory Committee (CAC) College Summit that was held in 2009. As part of the CAC Mentoring Program, Desiree has mentored countless others who are interested in attending college. Presently, she is mentoring a fellow CAC member whom she assisted in applying to El Camino College, Compton Campus. Wanting to be the best advocate she could possible be, Desiree has modeled the importance of getting an education.
She, along with other CAC members, helped to develop the format for the Summit. Approximately 12 community colleges participated and shared information with regional center consumers, parents and service coordinators. Desiree has been a faithful member of the SCLARC Community Advisory Committee since it’s inception in 2008 as well as a member of South Central Los Angeles Regional Center’s Board of Directors from 2006 to the 2011.
It should also be mentioned that Ms. Boykin was a member of SCLARC’s first Self Advocacy Group established in 1998. In that role, she attended SCLARC Board meetings in order to report on the Self Advocacy Group’s activities. An active leader, Desiree has represented SCLARC in Consumer Advocate Network (CAN) meetings and conference calls to discuss issues pertinent to individuals diagnosed with developmental disabilities throughout the state. Always at the forefront of the group, she presented the workshop “How to Make Friends” during the 2007 statewide Self-Advocacy Conference.
In May 2011, Desiree participated in “SCLARC Day” at El Camino College, Torrance Campus and shared her experiences as a student with college aged stakeholders who receive services from SCLARC. Today, Desi, as she is called by her friends, is employed by the SCLARC as a Consumer Advocate working on behalf of all consumers in the agency’s service area. In her position, Ms. Boykin strives to educate, empower and communicate the needs of consumers and families to staff and board members, corporate partners and the community at-large so that they are better informed and able to deliver the highest quality of services.