Tera Leiva

Tera has lived in Southern California all her life. She grew up in a house with multiple dogs, birds, and a rabbit. She studied Political Science and Intercultural Communications at California Baptist University in Riverside. Studying Political Science inspired an interest in outreach programs and the individual’s role in contributing to the well-being of their community. Studying Intercultural Communications gave her an understanding of how to connect with people of diverse backgrounds and needs.

After graduating from Cal Baptist, Tera went on to work as a Trail Guide with fifth and sixth grade students at an outdoor science school in the San Bernardino Mountains. Here, she learned to enjoy teaching and working with young people. Next, Tera worked with a wilderness therapy program on the big island of Hawaii. Participants in this program were struggling adolescents who needed guidance to live healthier lives. She went on to work with students in after school programs and one-on-one with students with special needs.

In August of 2014, Tera had the wonderful privilege of adopting a dog from spcaLA. She was excited to learn how spcaLA was serving the community and wanted to help. She decided to become a volunteer and spent her time working with shelter dogs. When Tera noticed an open position in the Humane Education Department, she discovered a career that would incorporate her passion for making a difference in the lives of young people as well as animals. Tera joined the department in 2016, and she is happy to be part of an organization that values the role of empathy and compassion in our world.