COOS DROP PROGRAM MANAGER | coos COUNTY
Gabi was born and raised in Hillsboro, Oregon. In high school, she was a competitive cheerleader but was always very shy and quiet. After graduating in 2011, Gabi went to Portland State University to study art, sociology, and social work. Midway through, Gabi got accepted into PSU's Social Work program but ultimately decided to choose a very different path. She moved to Atlanta, Georgia with a friend to pursue photography and experience a different side of the country. After living in Atlanta for three years, Gabi moved to Louisville, Kentucky for an internship with the editorial photographer Clay Cook. After two years in Louisville, she needed to get out of a toxic relationship, so she packed up and drove to Lansing, Michigan, to stay with her dad. They had not been close for years but reconnected for a few months before she moved back to Oregon.
In the years she spent living on her own in the South and the Midwest, Gabi had extremely emotionally traumatic relationships, which resulted in her developing anxiety- and trauma-induced Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. Throughout her journey of recovering from the trauma, she aimed to find healthy practices to get through times of crisis and maintain good mental health. Now, she uses her passion for art, writing, mindfulness, positive self-talk, and walking as tools for managing OCD and anxiety.
When Gabi moved back to Oregon, she moved in with her mom in Florence. She started searching for jobs, but she was tired of working in restaurants and retail as it did not make her happy. She wanted to do something more impactful and fulfilling. Gabi came across an open position for a Youth Peer Support Specialist and knew right away that she didn’t want to do anything else. After a few months with Youth Era, Gabi moved to Coos Bay to be closer to the Drop and live in the community she would be serving.
Gabi enjoys spending her free time outdoors, with her family, and her rescue poodle. On the weekends she does as much fashion, portrait, and wedding photography as she can.