Monique Rodriguez served in the US Army for 8 years along with her husband, Mario. She served on Active Duty with the 4th Psychological Operations Group, Fort Bragg, North Carolina and on Active Reserves with the 450th Chemical Battalion and 451st Civil Affairs, out of Houston, TX. While Monique never had the opportunity to deploy, her husband served for one year in Afghanistan with the 82nd Airborne. During that time, she also was pregnant and delivered her oldest son without her husband due to his inability to return to the States in time due to snow storms. After leaving Active Duty and returning home to Houston, they purchased their first home in the Deer Park School District with their VA Home Loan benefits. After much research, she knew it would be the perfect place to raise her new family. The community is safe, family-friendly, supportive, affordable, and with an excellent school district.
Experienced Social Worker
In the years since moving to Deer Park, Monique has earned recognition for her work ethic and service. Most recently being honored with the “Opening Hearts and Minds” Award from Studio Movie Grill as a real-life Wonder Woman for her work in serving veterans and the community of Greater East End Houston, the neighborhood she grew up in as a child. Other awards include The “U-Rock” Award and “The Star Award” both from Big Brothers Big Sisters Lone Star for her strong work ethic in serving children and adult mentors in their program. In November, she was recognized by the City of Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner for the “Proud Partner Award” for her collaborative work in the community in repurposing an abandoned railroad track into a walking trail in partnership with the Greater East End Management District. By utilizing her Post 9/11 GI Bill, she is a Licensed Master Social Worker in Texas serving many vulnerable populations over the course of her career including children, cancer and trauma patients, military veterans, and disabled adults. She currently works at Combined Arms, Houston’s veterans transition center, leading a team of social science interns, in helping veterans get connected to existing quality resources in the community. Previously, she worked with UTHealth’s STARS Clinic serving individuals suffering from trauma; Grace After Fire, serving women veterans; and Big Brothers Big Sisters Lone Star serving children and adult volunteers/ mentors. She has also worked in Houston, Galena Park, and Goose Creek ISDs in different roles for 9 years therefore she understands the complexities and challenges teachers and staff face daily.
At home, Monique has been married to her middle school boyfriend for 9 years and they have two boys, 8 and 6 years old. Both boys attend Carpenter Elementary, previously attended Deer Park’s Early Childhood Center. She continues to have a good relationship with the teachers, staff, and administrators of the schools. She plays an active role in her children’s education and attends monthly board meetings to stay abreast of the latest information in the district overall.
As a volunteer, Monique has an extensive service commitment. Currently, she serves as Houston 5th Platoon Leader with The Mission Continues, leading over 300 volunteers in service projects in the East End. During the past year, Monique and her team have completed many projects including: re-painting an underpass, revitalizing 2 parks, a street median, a butterfly garden, a school garden at her alma mater, converting a vacant field into a soccer field, and the award winning project of repurposing an abandoned railroad track into a walking trail. She has worked on community projects in much needed communities in cities across the country including: Philadelphia, Minneapolis, San Francisco, Detroit, and Chicago. She also serves as Co-Chair for the Women Veterans Empowerment Expo Steering Committee, which hosts an annual one day educational and social event for women veterans with over 100 women veterans in attendance. She has been serving on the committee for 4 years with 2 years having served as Co-Chair. Other organizations she has served as a volunteer include: The Joe Foss Institute, Mental Health America of Greater Houston, and Team Rubicon.
Monique earned her Master in Social Work from Our Lady of the Lake University in San Antonio, TX; Bachelor of Arts in Social Science from Edison State University in Trenton, NJ; and her Associates of Arts in Social Science from San Jacinto College. She is licensed in the State of Texas as a Licensed Master Social Worker (LMSW).