By: Jorlinis Centeno, CA DCSS
Every year, the Women in County Government chapter of San Mateo County presents a “Rookie of the Year” award to an individual who has been employed with the county for five years or less, and has exhibited exemplary performance and commitment to their department.
This year’s winner, Mariana Duenas, began her career with San Mateo County as a Child Support Analyst in September 2014. She was selected for this year’s award in recognition of her stellar performance and commitment to the department’s mission—ensuring that all parents share in the responsibility of providing for their children and raising them to be healthy and successful.
As a Child Support Analyst, Mariana helps families navigate the complicated and technical aspects of establishing, enforcing and collecting on orders for child support. Mariana has proven herself to be cooperative and trustworthy, and always goes the extra mile to provide excellent customer service.
During a recent effort to increase the reliability of child support payments and decrease the amount of unpaid child support, Mariana helped identify areas for early intervention and developed a “roadmap” that would help parents understand the steps in the child support process. Mariana has also worked to expand partnerships with community-based organizations to better communicate to the public what Child Support Services is and does through her work on the Community Building Committee.
Mariana is deeply committed to the success of children and families in San Mateo County. Because she understands that the healthier a child’s relationships, the more likely he or she will be able to thrive. She has spent the last two years volunteering in the Court-Appointed Special Advocate program of San Mateo County. As an advocate, Mariana works to ensure that the children she assists have their basic rights and essential needs met while in the child welfare system.
In addition to all of this, Mariana has somehow found time to enroll in a graduate degree program and will complete a master’s degree in Public Administration this spring. San Mateo County and DCSS congratulate Mariana, and feel very lucky to have her.