Brenda Del Castillo, Director of Contracts and Compliance

Please describe your current work and career highlights.

Before working at CLARE|MATRIX, I was a supervisor at a café in Westwood. I went to school part-time while working and raising my two young daughters. In October 2010, I became a Certified Alcohol and Drug (AOD) Counselor after completing courses at the International Career Development Center. After receiving my AOD Counseling certification, I was hired at the former CLARE Foundation as a part-time overnight counselor in the Women’s Treatment Program. During this time, I decided to continue my education, and in May 2012, I graduated from California State University, Northridge with a Bachelor of Arts degree in psychology with a minor in family consumer science. Since starting my journey with this organization, almost nine years ago I have filled the following roles: counselor, program manager, call center administrator, assistant director, clinical operations manager, electronic health record system, manager, and now director of contracts and compliance.


What attracted you to the field of substance use treatment?

I knew early on in life that I wanted to work in a field that would help people. I grew up in Santa Monica and attended John Adams Middle School, where I participated in after school programs that focused on helping troubled kids by creating positive learning and recreational experiences. At Santa Monica High School, I was able to mentor and assist peers that struggled with drugs, alcohol and gang affiliation. I also have experience dealing with a loved one who was suffering from addiction and this encouraged me to learn more about the disease. While achieving my AOD Certification, I was able to be a part of my loved one’s transformation when he decided to get help. In this process, I learned so much not only about addiction, but also about myself and what type of person the world needed me to be. I experienced a fundamental shift in perception that has served as the foundation for the career I have today.


What is the most fulfilling part of working at CLARE|MATRIX?

In the various positions I’ve held at CLARE|MATRIX, the fact that everyone is working toward the same mission of saving lives through recovery has always stood out to me. Being able to help the people in our programs from a different angle is meaningful to me. I am able to support our staff members by ensuring that they have the tools needed to continue providing high-quality clinical care.


What is something you have learned in this field that you have applied in your day to day life?

When working toward my AOD Certification, I was required to attend 12-step fellowship meetings where I was introduced to the Serenity Prayer. This is a prayer of courage, acceptance and wisdom, and it helps to keep me grounded.


What is a fun fact about you that not many people know about?

I am the youngest of three children and the first to finish high school, graduate college and purchase a home.