Dawn works with Bay Area non-profits organizations that serve children, youth, and their families. She began her career over 20 years ago providing direct services to the diverse populations of people in the Bay Area. As a social worker (MSW, UC Berkeley, 1992) she uses community service, media literacy and production, art making, and community forums/ dialogues as methods for young people and other community members to have a voice in their communities. She served as the co-founder for a nationally recognized AmeriCorps program, BAYAC (documented in the film, Everyday Heroes, 2000, Goldsmith & Ginzberg) in the San Francisco Bay Area. She serves on numerous community boards and advisory groups. Dawn is the producer and co-director on the award-winning documentary—CCH and ITVS funded, GOING ON 13 with Kristy Guevara-Flanagan. The film screened at film festivals around the world, on public television, and at community events, conferences, schools, and youth organizations. Dawn is in production on TURN IT AROUND (working title), a film about ex-gang members on a path to become teachers. She has lived and worked in San Leandro for over 18 years with her teen son, a really mean hamster, and way too many books.
Her consulting business, Valadez Productions provides fund development; grant writing; strategic planning; training; staff, board and program development; and communications and PR including multi-media and social networking tools to non-profit, education, and health organizations.