Adriana McKinnon - LPC
President and CEO
Where most would see an insurmountable need, Adriana McKinnon sees hope and a reason to take action. This approach, combined with her years of experience as a bilingual survivor’s advocate and her specialized expertise as a licensed professional counselor, allow Adriana to shepherd the healing journey of sex trafficking survivors through the Youth Center of Texas.
Growing up in a Mexican American family with little formal education, Adriana was the first in her family to seek an alternative to generational poverty by attending college. She committed to earning her associate degree shortly after the loss of her husband, balancing school with raising her young daughter and working nights as a caregiver for Exclusive Home Health and Hospice in Beeville.
She exhibited a compelling interest in helping others — which fuels her work now as President and CEO of the Youth Center of Texas — early in her career as she studied psychology at the University of Houston-Victoria and began child advocacy for CASA of the Coastal Bend. After graduating, she advanced to the role of human resources director for Exclusive Home Health and Hospice before transitioning to the Women’s Shelter of South Texas in Corpus Christi, where she eventually became the outreach services director.
Because of her ability to speak Spanish, she advocated for survivors of human trafficking and sex trafficking from Mexico, Central and South America as they sought aid at the Women’s Shelter. Observing a dire lack of Spanish-speaking counselors to work with these survivors, Adriana earned her Master of Science in Counseling from Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi.
Soon after earning her master’s, Adriana opened a 64-bed emergency shelter in Victoria for unaccompanied children, funded by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of Refugee Resettlement.
Adriana joined the Youth Center of Texas as President and CEO in 2021 and soon implemented on-site, evidence-based counseling services for sex trafficking survivors. The counseling component addresses the complex trauma that many of the young women have experienced. This healing journey begins as the Youth Center team welcomes each survivor into the eight-bed residential facility in San Antonio and continues to rebuild hope for the future as they transition to independent living.
LMSW – Program Director
Alexandria is a licensed master level social worker and has worked with our program since its inception in October 2019. She obtained her Bachelor’s Degree in Criminal Justice from Texas A&M at Corpus Christi and her Master’s Degree in Social Work at Our Lady of the Lake University. Alexandria has extensive experience working with victims and survivors of sexual violence experiencing complex trauma. Her extensive experience as a victims’ advocate has provided the Youth Center staff with invaluable insight and knowledge about CSEY and how survivors of sexual assault and exploitation change, both in treatment and on their own. Her studies and leadership experience provide the skills and insights needed to effectively oversee the day-to-day operations of the Youth Center of Texas.