My name is Jacqueline Ravelo (you can call me Jackie). I am a lover of Star Wars, travel, good food, and reality tv (my not-so-guilty pleasure/easy coping skill). I am a huge Star Wars fan and have loved the series since I was little. There are several photos of me dressed up as Princess Leia during my awkward phase.
I love traveling and exploring new places. I go on long weekends every few months and take two long vacations per year. When traveling, I like to go to museums, take in history, and eat lots of local food (I had a Jamon Iberico problem on my last big trip). I believe traveling helps us see more beauty in the world and helps us grow.
Perhaps what I enjoy most is getting in the kitchen and cooking (and most recently baking). I have perfected chocolate chip cookies and am trying out baking bread after a recent failed focaccia attempt. I enjoy cooking Comida Criolla as my grandmothers have taught me, but also like to try new things and get creative in the kitchen. I make a mean ropa vieja!
I was born in New Jersey. The northeast grit I have retained has been a point of pride for me as I relocated to Miami 8 years ago. Even in Miami, I remain a Jersey girl at heart.
Another core part of my identity is my heritage. I am the proud daughter of Cuban immigrants. I have had a complicated relationship with my identity as a Latina throughout my life. To make things easier for us in a predominantly white school, my parents chose to stop speaking Spanish at home and focus on assimilating so we would not be left behind academically. For many years, I didn’t know where my family was from or about our immigration story. I just knew my grandparents spoke Spanish and we ate rice and beans for dinner. As more Latine actors and musicians came to the cultural forefront, I remember learning more and getting more curious about our heritage. I was privileged enough to continue my cultural learning in high school, in a Native Speaking Spanish class where I was in class with other Latine students. Though I was teased a lot for not pronouncing things properly, I grew a lot through that experience. For so long, I did not feel like I fit in, and though I still didn’t feel like I fit in at the time, I was happy to be amongst people who understood my family and our culture and could share that knowledge with me.
I acknowledge I have the enormous privilege of being white-passing that not everyone in our community or my family has. This proximity to whiteness makes me ethically obligated to speak out against racism and injustice. I believe in the principles of social justice and actively incorporate them into my life and practice.
Like many Latine folx, my heritage is rich. According to our oral family history, my ancestors were Korean, Mexican, and European.
The work of therapy is important to me because of my identity. When I have had my therapy in the past, I worked with many therapists whom I had to educate on my culture, familial dynamics, and the intergenerational trauma of immigration. No one should have to teach their therapist these things! In my work, I ensure my clients never have to educate me. I believe your identity, orientation, culture, family history, and intersectionality are crucial and should be taken seriously by your therapist so they can best serve your needs. Having a therapist who understands your history is not a privilege, it’s essential to the work.
I fell into this profession by chance. I was at a crossroads after graduating college at the height of the recession. I had few options with my Women’s and Gender Studies degree, though I had a passion for social justice and helping others. I enjoyed working with children, so I got a job as a preschool teacher and was miserable. After two years at the preschool, I started exploring law school, a master’s in museum professions, a graduate program in education, speech pathology, and social work. After doing some research, I decided to take a risk and apply to graduate school. On my first day of class, after taking the A train to campus, I saw a social work historian talk about systemic racism in the United States and was inspired by her passion and knowledge of these systems, methods to dismantle them, and ways to empower others. I knew at that moment I had made the right decision.
If these principles go against your own values, we may not be the best fit for each other and I will be happy to provide you with a referral.
I am dedicated to ethical and best practice. I believe I can serve you and help you through this. We are a team. I believe in collaboration and being radically honest with you. If I don’t know something, I won’t bs you, I’ll help you find the answer. We will not solve every problem, but I know you will leave our sessions better than when you arrived.
New York University- Master of Social Work
Rutgers University- Bachelor's of Liberal Arts
Post-Traumatic Stress Management
Psychological First Aid
Trauma Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
FL- SW 14235