Hi! I’m QUETZAL FRANCOIS. I am an educator, therapist, mentor, and activist. I work with young people and adults, in groups and individually, all over the Bay Area.
As the Co-Director of LOVE YOUR NATURE, I work with young people as a girls empowerment coach, and contemporary rites of passage guide. I develop curriculum and facilitate programming for teen girls, LGBTQ+ youth and their families with a focus on navigating the complex landscape of adolescence, coming of age, identities of all kinds, and developing social, emotional and spiritual intelligence.
In another area of my life, I apply my passion for seeing multiple perspectives inside intimate relationships to my therapy practice with couples (and individual adults).
At the heart of what I’m up to is a sincere mission to create spaces for people to develop tools to be fully expressed, deeply connected to themselves and each other, and empowered to move through the world with boldness, vulnerability, and confidence.
How did I get here?
Like many who are drawn to this path, I struggled as a young person. A lot. I struggled around my identities as a queer, mixed race young woman. I struggled to know what I needed or wanted. I struggled with internalized shame about who I was and what I looked like. I struggled to navigate a fast moving, often unsafe, world all around me. I never quite felt like I was enough and spent many years hiding what was really going on, from myself and others.
And yet, despite the struggles I was one of the lucky few who found incredible mentors early on (who are still in my life to this day). They were a fundamental guiding presence to my healing and confidence as I transitioned into adulthood, and my inspiration to, in turn, support young people in need.
Upon moving to the Bay Area, I quickly found myself immersed in developing and teaching sexual health education for youth and educators. While I loved that, I found something was missing in what I was able to offer in the classroom environment. As I delved deeper in rites of passage, nature-based work, and feminist spirituality, I found my way home to Love Your Nature.
My work with young people is my one of highest form of gratitudes for the life I've been blessed with. My own awakening and healing journey led me right here… to my commitment to being an ally on the path, to helping young people in the radical act of self-love, to helping guide teen girls home to themselves as they walk through the fire of these times.
The Short Version:
Quetzal holds a Master’s in Marriage and Family Therapy from Cal State East Bay and a degree in Legal Studies with a focus on Social Justice from UC Berkeley. She is a certified Sex Educator with San Francisco Sex Information, a current student of the School for Transformational Facilitation yearlong training and she has a therapy practice for couples and adults as an Associate Marriage and Family Therapist through Heart In Balance Therapy.
She brings over 10 years of experience designing curriculum and facilitating programs for teens and those who work with teens. Her focus is on social, emotional and spiritual intelligence, social justice, communication skills, sexuality and gender, body image, self confidence, empowered sexual health education, building healthy and nurturing relationships (romantic and platonic), and LGBTQ+ matters.
The Long Version:
She has taught sexual health education and youth advocacy programs all over the Bay Area - including Oakland Unified Schools through her work with Girls Inc, as well as SF Unified Schools and City Colleges campuses. Over the years, she has presented at multiple conferences, including Gender Spectrum and Catalyst Con, where she taught professionals in the field how to provide inclusive sexual health education and ways to create curriculum that includes more than just the current dominant narrative. She’s also been a repeat speaker for San Francisco State University’s “Health and Sexuality” undergraduate course, as well as FemSex at UC Berkeley
She spent 5 years overseeing programming and all things staff related as the Staff Director for Girls On The Go and Monkey Business Camp. She is a former mentor of the Stepping Stones Project, offering long term mentoring and contemporary rites of passage to middle school youth and their families. She is also an ongoing mindfulness mentor for Spirit Rock and Inward Bound Mindfulness (iBme) Teen Meditation Retreats.
She couldn’t be happier to have combined forces with Emily Frost in 2015 to support a movement devoted to girls and women awakening to their inherent wisdom, power, and purpose.
- Director, Love Your Nature, 10+ years working with young people in classrooms, nature-based environments, camps, and nonprofits.
- Associate Marriage and Family Therapist, Heart in Balance Therapy
- Former Marriage and Family Therapy Trainee, Family Paths
- Certified Sex Educator, San Francisco Sex Information
- Former Rites of Passage Mentor, Stepping Stones Project
- Yoga & Social Justice Teacher Certification, Namaste Yoga Studio
- Trauma Informed Mindfulness Course: Deepening into the Heart of Insight,
- Certification in Sexual Health Education and HIV/STIs Prevention and Outreach
- Tutor, San Quentin State Prison
- Practitioner of counseling modality which centers healing from intergenerational trauma rooted in systemic oppression
- Current Student of School for Transformational Facilitation yearlong course
- Masters in Marriage and Family Therapy Master's - California State University, East Bay
- Undergraduate Degree - Legal Studies emphasis on Social Justice, Immigration Rights, and Prison Industrial Complex - Honors, UC Berkeley