Promotional Spotlight: Ricardo Sigala

December 6, 2023

Ricardo Sigala, Transitional Age Youth (TAY) Program Manager

Our monthly promotional employee spotlights allow us to highlight our employees’ uniqueness and successes within the organization. In this month’s spotlight, I am pleased to highlight Ricardo Sigala, Transitional Age Youth (TAY) Program Manager. Ricardo was recently promoted to this role in October 2023, and leads a team of ten team members, working out of our Commerce Clinic.

Ricardo began his career at Penny Lane in March 2014 as a Child Family Specialist, then in November 2014 transferred to a Facilitator role at our Commerce. In his nine years with the organization, he has successfully linked our clients with community resources as well as collaborating seamlessly with other Penny Lane team members, from Therapists, Child Family Specialists, and Parent Partners to name a few to create plans to strengthen our clients and improve their lives. Since his time with Penny Lane, Ricardo has proven to be a natural leader and an integral part of the team’s success.  

Ricardo has a bachelor’s degree in Chicano/Chicana Studies, and a master’s degree in Humanities from California State University, Northridge. He is continuing his education and working towards his Marriage and Family Therapy degree.

Please help me congratulate Ricardo on his success!

-Lori Reid, Penny Lane Centers

What was your journey prior to coming to Penny Lane (PLC)? 

The person that encouraged me to apply to PLC was my wife. I graduated from CSUN with a BA and MA, I have a BA in Chicano/ Studies and an MA in Humanities. When I first started school, I was a math major. My plan for life and career was to become a professor or teacher. However, as I was attending school, I enjoyed the history classes that I was taking and decided to change my major. After graduating from school, I met my wife who was a Social Worker major. I was planning my career and was working as a supervisor for an after-school program. During the process of looking for a job, I sat down with my wife and discussed the jobs that were available and the direction that I should focus. During those discussions, my wife explained to me the mental health services field and explained the role of Social Worker (SW.) She encouraged me to explore jobs in the mental health field and she suggested starting in a lower position so that I can get familiar with the program. After applying and looking into different agencies, I came across PLC and decided to apply. PLC gave me the opportunity to apply my skills and see the potential that I had. The position was offered to me and after that, everything is history now.

What is your favorite aspect of working at PLC?

My favorite aspect of working at PLC is how great of an agency I am a part of. PLC has given staff the support and assistance that is needed to succeed. Of course, we always want more but PLC has taken the time to take care of their employees and make sure that they are able to provide the services that our clients need.

What was the path to promotion like for you?

The path to promotion was lengthy if I can say, this was the third time that I applied for a supervisory position. I understand the first two times I applied; I did not have the experience needed to be a supervisor. But those two times did not discourage me from seeking a higher position. It motivated me to continue to grow as a person and in the position that I wanted to have. When I first started at PLC, I was hired as a CFS, and then I became a Facilitator. I was a Facilitator for many years, and during that time, I decided to go back to school.

How did the PLC team help along the way?

PLC helped me in many ways, from being team-orientated to taking the time to listen to my needs. When I made the decision to go back to school, PLC did not tell me no or that I had to choose between work and school. Instead, my supervisors and management supported me with the decision to go back to school. I have heard a lot from other friends and family members that their company make them choose to go back to school or work, but doing both is not an option. With PLC, it’s the opposite, they encouraged me to go back to school and explained the benefits that I would have in exploring higher education. It was one of the reasons that I decided to go back to school.

What were some benefits that PLC offers that you took advantage of to further your education / career with PLC?  

One of the advantages that I took to further my career was to go back to school. I am currently doing my MFT program with a projected date to graduate in October 2024. I have also been applying for the educational reimbursement that PLC offers, and I have also applied for the new HCAI that PLC will offer to employees.

What has been the most difficult part of your new role thus far?

Adjusting to change is always a difficult step and challenge that we encounter. I must find a rhythm and a system that works for me. It’s been a month already and I am still exploring ways to make the role unique to me.

What would people be surprised to know about you?

One thing that people who do not know me will be surprised about is that I am a Jordan collector. I have been collecting shoes for about 15 years already. When I am not spending quality time with my family or exploring the world, I go back to my addiction to buying shoes.

What event in your life shaped you significantly?

Becoming a parent was something that has shaped me in many ways, everything from being responsible, progressing in my life, looking for better opportunities, and enjoying what I do in my career.

What’s the best piece of advice you ever got?

The best advice that I have gotten is to enjoy your PTO time and use your PTO, you deserve to take the time off for all the hard work that you do every day.

What do you appreciate most about Penny Lane?

I appreciate the support and assistance that Penny Lane has provided to me. Penny Lane has taken the time to listen to my voice and made me part of the agency.

Please share something you are grateful for. 

Giving me the opportunity to grow, Penny Lane took a chance when they first hired me and since then, I have not looked back.

-Ricardo Sigala, Penny Lane Centers