Mayra Plascencia is a project specialist with the Steven A. Cohen Military Family Clinic at USC.
Prior to joining the clinic, Plascencia worked as an outreach coordinator at New Directions for Veterans, a nonprofit agency that works specifically with homeless veterans. She was tasked with identifying, screening and processing women who had served in the military. Her work included collaboration with the VA, local community agencies and correctional facilities to connect female veterans to resources.
In addition, she is active in the veteran community and spends much of her free time working with other organizations, including connecting veterans with resources in education, housing and financial assistance. She is co-chair for the Women’s Veterans Empowerment Center at Holman Community Development Corporation, where she assists in providing a safe and welcoming space where women who have served can support each other and share resources.
Plascencia served in the United States Marine Corps for five years active duty as an engineer. Sgt. Plascencia served for four years completing a tour to Okinawa, Japan, and was also stationed with Weapons and Field Training Battalion at Camp Pendleton, California, where she transitioned out of the Marine Corps. After two years, she was recalled into the Marines to support the surge in Iraq. Plascencia participated in the Lioness program, an all-female Marine Corps search team, while deployed and received Navy and Marine Crops medals of achievement from all three of the units she served in.
Plascencia received a bachelor’s degree in political science and sociology with a specialization in social welfare from California State University, Northridge. She is currently completing a Master of Public Policy and Administration from California Lutheran University.