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Virginia Moreno,
Drug Diversion
Program Coordinator

Zona Seca, Inc., Choice Educators for a Drug-Free Life

Zona Seca, Inc., a Santa Barbara based non-profit providing substance abuse services for over thirty years, reports that its successes are stronger than ever as evident in over 60,000 people who have resolved their drug or alcohol dependency problems. Zona Seca – or dry zone – launched in 1970 as a grassroots public health campaign and today offers the same promise of healthy living to the Southern California community it serves. Starting small like most community based agencies, this non-profit now focuses on four areas of service: the Youth Offenders Program, Drinking Drivers Program, Family Violence Treatment Program, and the Drug Diversion Program. Virginia Moreno, Drug Diversion Program Coordinator, says one of the greatest things about Zona Seca is its ability to offer comprehensive individual and group counseling in both English and Spanish. Like her agency, she believes staying healthy, educating oneself, and connecting with others around you are the optimal ways to find daily fulfillment and peace of mind. Find out more about the history and services of Zona Seca, Inc. as you read on in this week’s Non-Profit Spotlight.


Zona Seca, Inc.


November 1970



Name, Title

Virginia Moreno
Drug Diversion Program Coordinator




Santa Barbara, CA.

Current residence

Santa Barbara, CA.


California Lutheran University, Marriage Family Therapist, 1997

Work Experience

Zona Seca, Inc. Drug Diversion Program Coordinator, 2000-Current

Clinicas del Camino Real, Marriage Family Therapist Intern, 97-2000

Coalition to End Sexual and Domestic Violence, Marriage Family Therapist Intern, 97-2001

Healthy Start, School Based Counselor, 97-2000

Santa Ynez High School, School Based Counselor/Migrant Education, 89-98



About the non-profit

The mission of Zona Seca, Inc. is to help Santa Barbara, California, in the struggle to become a drug-free community. We believe that our participation in this effort provides the community of Santa Barbara with a safer environment in which to live. We accomplish our mission by providing professional and cost-effective substance abuse counseling, intervention, and prevention services for all people in need.

What are your day-to-day responsibilities?

My day to day responsibilities is to manage the clients’ services offered by my program. I conduct and supervise intakes, I provide therapeutic sessions on an individual basis as well as group sessions. I review all the case files to insure county and state compliance. I supervise part-time employees as well as provide training to them.

Most notable milestones

Attaining my Masters Degree in Marriage and Family Therapy. Promotion to the position of Drug Diversion Coordinator.

What’s the niche?

My bi-lingual and bi-cultural approach in providing therapeutic counseling.

What’s the biggest challenge?

My biggest challenge is to persevere in attaining client success. My other challenge is to continue my educational goals. I want to enter into the administrative role in this field.

What’s in store for the future?

I would like to become an executive director of a treatment program.

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Best way to keep a competitive edge

Stay healthy, continuing education and networking.

Guiding principle in life

Meditating every morning and maintaining a smile.

Yardstick of success

Meeting daily challenges by finding good in everything.

Goal yet to be achieved

Shaping a positive character.

Best practical advice

Mastering the skill of listening instead of just hearing.

Supportive words from a family member or friend on your venture

Keep your head high and one foot in front of the other. From my best friend, Virginia Gray.


My best friend was my mentor. She was very sophisticated and intelligent.

What motivated you to get started?

Seeing the need for my services in our Latino community.

Like best about what you do?

Knowing that I am helping people.

Like least about what you do?

Lack of client motivation.

At age 10, what did you want to be when you grew up?

An Attorney because my father was real interested in this profession.

What was your first job?


Biggest pastimes outside of work

Running to stay healthy, a little golf and reading.

Person most interested in meeting

Hillary Clinton because of her intelligence and appears very grounded. I believe she is a great roll model for all women.

Leader in business most interested in meeting

David Bach. Because he is a great author and has given solid financial advice for woman.

Three characteristics that describe you

1. Caring
2. Good sense of humor
3. Optimistic

Three greatest passions

1. Cooking
2. Watching the sunrise
3. Positive relationship with my only child

Favorite book

Smart Women Finish Rich

Favorite cause

Prevention and awareness of Cancer.

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Interview by Saba Nasser
Introduction by Sara Ortega
Edited by Sumaya Kazi

Also this week

Jonathan LorenzoSadiya Ahmed

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