Lalaine (Lainey) Sevillano is a doctoral student at the Steve Hicks School of Social Work. She immigrated to the United States when she was three years old and grew up in Los Angeles. She obtained her MSW from California State University, Northridge in 2018 and earned her bachelor degree in psychology (with a minor in education) from the University of California, Los Angeles in 2007. Lainey is a California State University Sally Casanova Pre-Doctoral Scholar and Chancellor’s Incentive Doctoral Program Fellow. Lainey was also the recipient of the Jean E. Daniel’s award and Michael R. Daley Endowed Presidential Scholarship for Doctoral Students.

Lainey has extensive experience in working with youth as a high school teacher, advisor and mentor. She is well versed in advocating for students with different backgrounds, identities and abilities. Lainey’s work and life experiences have informed her of how important the adolescent stage is for youth’s social, emotional and behavioral development. Her research primarily focuses on youth empowerment amongst youth of color, LGBTQIA and systems involved youth. Lainey believes that empowering youth during this critical period can mitigate negative social determinants of health, and reinforce strengths that lie within the youth themselves. She is interested in utilizing community-based participatory research methods such as Photovoice, and interventions rooted in the strengths perspective such as narrative and solution-focused therapies. Her secondary research interests include issues on diversity and social justice. She is particularly interested in colonial mentality and critical consciousness.

Her article Trans-specific IPV is published in Pacific University’s “Master of Social Work Journal of Human Rights and Social Justice.” She was selected to present Creating Liberation-based Learning Spaces: Deconstructing Colonialism in Edukasyon at the Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health’s Filipino Well Being Training Summit. Lainey most recently presented From our perspectives: Untold Stories of LGBTQ Youth in the Los Angeles Foster Care System at the 2018 Council of Social Work Education conference. Lainey is currently working on several research projects through the Texas Institute for Child and Family Wellbeing including the Texas Youth Permanency Study and the Safe Babies Program Evaluation. She is also serving as the doctoral student representative on the Committee for Diversity and Inclusion.

Professional Interests

Youth empowerment; community-based participatory research; strengths based interventions; youth of color; LGBTQIA, systems-involved; colonial mentality; critical consciousness; mixed-methods