Desireé Gorbea-Finalet, MA joined Disability Rights North Carolina in September 2021 as the Traumatic Brain Injury Justice Initiative project manager. Her work focuses on developing and implementing an innovative Traumatic Brain Injury screening and supportive services initiative program in North Carolina’s criminal justice recovery court system.
Desireé’s background includes providing direct service to marginalized communities including immigrant-refugees, Latinx, Indigenous, Domestic Violence Survivors and Title-1 school students. She also has experience in paralegal work, and Human Resources. Her passion for disability rights and public service stems from her lived experience with multiple disabilities. Being a multiple TBI survivor, Desireé has seen and experienced firsthand how people who have sustained a TBI are often isolated and de-humanized through misunderstanding that accommodations are needed. Too often people mislabel brain injury symptoms as the person being ‘non-compliant, disorderly, and mentally or emotionally unstable.’
Desireé holds a Master of Arts in Peace and Conflict Studies with a focus in International Peace Development from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro and a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and Minor in Criminal Justice from the Universidad Interamericana de Puerto Rico, Recinto Metro. She is originally from Puerto Rico and came to North Carolina in 2017. Desireé absolutely love cats, and is always open to hearing from other feline fans!