Sarai Gabriela Bentiez (She/Her/Hers) is a recent graduate with a bachelor degree in Music from California State University Northridge (CSUN) with a strong interest in community music therapy. Her family originated from the Central American country of El Salvador and came to the United States in search of refuge during the civil war. Raised in the Central American-Korean community of Pico-Union, Los Angeles, Sarai was impacted by the correlating immigrant experiences herself and others of different backgrounds shared. She found that all the people around her dealt with pain and suffering through overexertion and substance abuse. Seeing the effects of such a harsh lifestyle and the countless barriers that held her community behind, Sarai knew she had to become the change her community needed.
Her love for music blossomed as an adolescent through programs funded by non-profit organizations and foundations aiming to support low income students.These opportunities would spark a purpose in Sarai to get involved in community engagement similar to those she experienced as a child. With a full ride scholarship from The Colburn School: Community School of Performing Arts, Sarai learned to play the guitar, violin, and sight sing.
Today Sarai is passionate to break the mental health stigma in her community by providing interdisciplinary therapies and space to unlearn and grow beyond multigenerational trauma. Sarai is bilingual in English and Spanish and is currently learning Korean and American Sign Language (ASL) to widen her reach of support. Sarai enjoys spending her free time volunteering through multiple organizations in her community, including Reading to Kids, Koreatown Youth Community Center (KYCC), The Colburn School, Rhythm & Truth, and more.