Esther Izquierdo-Hemmen, MSW

Executive Director

Raised in cities throughout South America, Esther spent her childhood and adolescence continually readjusting to new environments as she bounced around different homes, schools, and living situations. In August of 2002, at the age of 20, Esther left South America and moved to San Diego, California. While pursuing her bachelor’s degree at the University of California San Diego, Esther worked with refugees and asylum seekers during a yearlong internship with the International Rescue Committee (IRC). Though she had several prior volunteer experiences, Esther’s IRC internship channeled her passion of helping others into a specific career path. Upon graduation, Esther worked with organizations focused on provision of social services to adolescents and children. Esther also continued to advance her education, earning her Masters at San Diego State University in 2012. Her professional career has afforded her the opportunities to work with youth and their families in a variety of social work environments, including administrative, forensic, school, mental and behavioral health settings.


Esther is an avid book reader who loves books almost as much as she does chocolate. She has been lucky to travel a bit, but dreams of continuing to explore the world.
In 2014, Esther honored her lifelong desire to begin a social services organization dedicated to youth by co-founding Mending Matters.