Valencia is a New York native, who grew up watching her parents work in their Harlem community. Her father, a landlord and butcher shop owner in Harlem, mentored and trained young men in the neighborhood to become butchers.
While her mother, a school psychologist at a Bronx public high school, often invited students craving a stable home life into their home. Inspired by her parents to make a difference in her community, Valencia volunteered in her congressman’s office, organized youth leadership and cultural awareness conferences with organizations such as the Anti-Defamation League and the National Association of Negro Business and Professional Women’s Clubs, and organized carol singing and toy drives for the Pediatric Care Unit in Harlem Hospital.
Valencia attended Florida Agricultural & Mechanical University as a Life Gets Better, Presidential Scholar where she earned a Master of Business Administration and Bachelor’s degrees in Spanish and Business Management. While pursuing her degrees, she continued her commitment to the community by volunteering in youth and health awareness programs. Upon graduation, she returned home, where she spent the past ten years working healthcare and real estate.
Valencia’s relationship with the healthcare system is both professional and personal. After losing her mother to cancer, the summer after her freshman year in college, Valencia committed to work in healthcare to help other families faced with similar obstacles.
She completed four healthcare oriented internships in marketing and sales at Schering Plough Corporation and the Pharmacy Department of St. Barnabas Hospital, gaining exposure to the development, marketing, dispensing and regulation of medications. After college, she was a Clinical Research Coordinator at Columbia University Medical Center in the Center for Liver Disease and Transplantation and the Herbert Irving Comprehensive Cancer Center.
As a Coordinator, she guided patients through their participation in clinical trials, advocating for their best treatment along the way. Her experience was critical in helping her father battle cancer upon his diagnosis.
Caring for her ninety-five-year-old father exposed Valencia to the inherent bias based on age, race, gender, perceived economic status and education that affect the quality of care. Concurrently, Valenica worked in New York real estate, managing tenant relations for VISHEG Enterprises and as a licensed salesperson for DSA Realty.
Valencia has come to realize that she can best help families caring for loved ones, by addressing systemic issues that affect patients’ quality of care. While at Georgetown Law, Valencia will study how law relates to the economy and demographic bias to improve the quality of systems that affect our everyday lives.