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Juan Araque - USC Suzanne Dworak-Peck School of Social Work. Los Angeles, CA, US

Juan Araque Juan Araque

Clinical Associate Professor of Social Work | USC Suzanne Dworak-Peck School of Social Work


Dr. Araque is an expert in leadership, education, community development, diversity, violence prevention and positive youth development.


Dr. Araque has worked more than 20 years in the fields of leadership and management, education, community development, diversity, violence prevention and positive youth development. His interests include the research and design of public, private and non-profit system structures to support positive child and adolescent development, and robust child-adult-community relationship building.

Dr. Araque is the lead author (along with Dr. Eugenia Weiss) of the book entitled: Leadership with Impact: Preparing Health and Human Service Professionals in the Age of Innovation and Diversity (Oxford University Press, 2019). https://global.oup.com/academic/product/leadership-with-impact-9780190932428?cc=us&lang=en&

As executive director for the University of Southern California TRiO Programs, he oversaw the college access programs, which help motivate and support low-income and first-generation minority students through the academic pipeline from middle school to college.

Prior to joining USC, Araque oversaw funding allocation, programming implementation and advocacy efforts for Orange County United Way. He has served on multiple boards, including the Orange County Business Council's Latino Educational Attainment Initiative; the Orange County Department of Education's Institutional Review Board; Jewish-Latino Roundtable; Orange County Workforce Investment Board, Health Funders Partnership of Orange County; and Orange County Emergency Food and Shelter Program.

Additionally, he served for five years as a board member of the California Governor's Child Abduction Prevention Task Force (Amber Alert) and the California School/Law Enforcement Partnership. Araque led the implementation of the nationally recognized Youth Development Framework School-Based Pilot Program. He has authored numerous reports and program evaluations in community resources and gaps, positive youth development, parent involvement, academic achievement, need assessments and community resource mapping.

Education (3)

University of Southern California: PhD, Public Administration 2005

California State University: MA, Political Science and International Relations 1998

California State Polytechnic University: BA, Political Science 1995

Areas of Expertise (11)

Leadership, management and social policy in the public and not-for-profit sectors

Amber Alert

Adolescent Development

Violence Prevention

Youth Development

Inter-organizational Relationships

Organizational Development

Youth Development and Resiliency

Parent Engagement

Child Development

Child-Adult-Community Relationship Building

Industry Expertise (2)



Accomplishments (5)

US Congressional Recognition (professional)

2014 Awarded by the United States Congress for Providing Exceptional Educational Support.

Certificate of Recognition (professional)

2014 Awarded by the California Legislature Assembly for Providing Exceptional Educational Support.

Corporate Champion Award (professional)

2012 Computers for Families Program Evaluation Los Angeles Opportunities Industrialization Center

Program of the Year Award (professional)

2010 USC TRiO Programs WESTOP Association

Estrella Education Award (professional)

2009 Latino Educational Attainment – Initiative Chairman, Orange County Business Council Orange County Hispanic Chamber of Commerce

Affiliations (3)

  • Council on Social Work Education (CSWE)
  • Society of Social Work and Research (SSWR)
  • Network of Social Work Management (NSWM)

Languages (2)

  • Spanish
  • English


Research, Publications & Presentations (4)

Leadership Capacity Building Project: Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA)

Opioid Reduction Network


Leadership capacity to the ORN managers throughout the US.

Trauma- and Resiliency-Informed (TRI) Long Beach Initiative

Long Beach Health and Human Services Department, City of Long Beach


Evaluation support to the TRI LB Initiative

Executive Leadership Capacity Building Project

Orange Coast Community College District


Leadership capacity support to the community college district executives

National Fellows Leadership Institute

National Latino Behavioral Health Association


Executive leadership capacity support to the NLBHA fellows across the US

Research Grants (5)

HoopStars Research Study

USC Suzanne Dworak-Peck School of Social Work $5000

2015-2016 Child Development and Children Services Research Cluster

Project Access Inc. Longitudinal Research Study

USC Suzanne Dworak-Peck School of Social Work $6000


Lego Robotics Upward Bound Program

Los Angeles, USC Neighborhood Outreach Program $15000


Educational Talent Search

Los Angeles, USC TRiO Programs $1000000


Job Corps Program

Los Angeles, Job Corp Center/Odle Group $20000


Research Articles & Publications (6)

Leadership with impact: Preparing health and human service professionals in the age of innovation and diversity

Leadership with impact: Preparing health and human service professionals in the age of innovation and diversity. New York: Oxford University Press.

Araque, J. C. & Weiss, E.


Leadership book

White males like them: Views on diversity

White males like them: Views on diversity. In Kim Finney and Terence Fitzgerald (Eds.) The reality of diversity, gender, and skin color. New York: Cognella Academic Publishing

Araque, JC


Book chapter

Instilling empathy in the virtual learning environment

Instilling empathy in the virtual learning environment. In R. Paul Maiden (Ed.). The transformation of social work education through virtual learning (pp. 79-99). Boston: Cambridge Scholars Publishing.

Araque, J. C. & Zaleski, K. L.


Book chapter

Effectiveness of service-enriched programs in affordable housing to low income Latino families: It is about quantity and quality

Journal of Sociology and Social Work

Araque, J.C. & Vergara, A.S.

2016 The California Tax Credit Allocation Committee awards select financing to affordable housing developers based on an accrual of points during an annual bidding process. Project proposals which include a service- enriched model of affordable housing amass more points, and are thereby more likely to be awarded the tax benefits. This study examines the effectiveness of the service-enriched affordable housing model in Southern California. Onsite health, nutrition, and educational programs in three low-income complexes were evaluated on the bases of effectiveness and service dosage. This longitudinal research design included both qualitative and quantitative methods and followed three sample groups corresponding to each site. Variables included participating subjects’ health, nutrition, education, and quality of life perceptions. Although crime and occupancy rates in the three complexes yielded no significant differences over a 3-year period, the data results indicate that residents receiving full-time programs (experimental group) increased health and nutritional knowledge and developed a greater sense of community than the group receiving part-time services (comparison group) and the group receiving no services (control group). Comparisons between preliminary (year 1) and final results (year 2) also suggest that cultural competency and quality of services is a determinant factor and may contribute to more favorable program outcomes.

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Empathy in social work education

Contemporary Behavioral Health Care

Kristen L. Zaleski, Juan Carlos Araque, Kimberly Finney, Bianca Harper, Jennifer Lewis, Michal Sela Amit, Caroline Tamas, Jennifer McCrea Steele, and Jessica Castronuo

2016 Empathy is at the core of the provider-consumer relationship in social work; without it, successful outcomes for psychological treatment are unlikely (APA Presidential Task Force, 2005). The use of empathy is considered an essential part of the professional encounter and a standard in providing ethical care. Therefore it is expected and assumed that the mental health practitioner possesses the ability to be empathetic and that s/he is capable of providing empathetic social work services to clients who are experiencing physical, psychological, and/or emotional pain.

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Computer usage and access in low-income urban communities

Computers in Human Behavior

J.C.Araque, R.P.Maiden, N.Bravo, I.Estrada, R.Evans, K.Hubchik, K.Kirby, and M.Reddy

2013 The purpose of this study is to examine the effects of home computer access on low-income families participating in the Computer for Families program. The study focused on participants (1) general computer usage, access and knowledge; (2) employment; (3) education; and (4) their children’s-computer access, usage and academic performance. The study methodology consisted of a quasi-experimental design using qualitative and quantitative approaches, including focus groups, pretests and post-tests, and self-reported surveys with experimental and control groups. Statistically significant findings suggest that participants in the Computers for Families program were more likely than non-participants to have access to the Internet from home, use a computer for more than 1 h per day, complete online job applications, and submit job applications and resumes electronically. Social and behavioral implications regarding computer access and usage in low-income urban communities are discussed.

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