MariaEsther Izquierdo-Hemmen,
  • MSW

CEO

Chief Executive Officer & Co-Founder of Mending Matters

MariaEsther was born in Puerto Rico and grew up in South America where she spent her childhood and adolescence continually readjusting to new environments as she bounced around different homes, schools, and living situations. MariaEsther realized that her individual story empowered her to stand up for herself and take action. She learned how to move forward with courage, in spite of the weight of her past. In 2002, at the age of 20, MariaEsther and her little girl left South America and moved to San Diego, California. MariaEsther earned her bachelor’s degree at UC San Diego, and worked with refugees and asylum seekers at the International Rescue Committee. She founded Mending Matters in 2014 to develop accessible, youth-driven mental health supports after earning her Master’s in Social Work at San Diego State University. In addition to serving as the Executive Director of Mending Matters since its initiation, MariaEsther has served in each organizational role (i.e. Mental Health Therapist, Family Resource Coordinator, Program Manager) to remain connected with youth and their needs.

Contact Info


  • Therapists can only be reached during the hours of 7.30AM-3.30PM. In the event you are feeling unsafe or require immediate medical or psychiatric assistance, call 911 or go to the nearest emergency room. You can also call the Access & Crisis Line for 24/7 assistance at (888) 724-7240.