Getting to Know: Micaela Camacho- Tenreiro


Micaela Camacho-Tenreiro. People call me Mica


LGBTQ+ Coordinator/Facilitator

How long have you been with JSDD?

I joined JSDD in January 2024

Was this the position you started in?


What is your first memory of JSDD?

Two things stand out. In November I got a call from Harry Klein to gauge interest and we spoke for about an hour. It was a wonderful conversation about what it means to facilitate and what it means to work with people with IDD. We talked about resilience, creativity and adaptability. The way Harry was talking felt really aligned with my hopes and how I work with people.

Secondly when I came into the building, I was blown away by the space itself. The windows, the bright colors are all amazing. I felt so excited it seemed like a place that didn’t just want the WAE Center members to create they wanted the space to be creative and inviting.

What has most surprised you about working with JSDD?

My opportunity to work with the broader JSDD community. My position is part time and mostly remote. It was refreshing and delightful to be included in a staff retreat. Anthonice invited me to host sessions in person and to attend Managers Meetings. To participate in the Keshet cohort to create a more inclusive environment for all. I am not just working with a small part of JSDD I am working and included across the board and that is how it should be.

What are 3 words to describe JSDD?

Creative, Collaborative, and Kind.

What do you find most challenging?

The hardest part is growing the LGBTQ group. I have been working with other like-minded groups and been doing outreach. I tell myself small and slow can be good. The size of the group does not get me down because the people there really want to be there and get a lot out of the group, and I learn from them and hopefully they learn from each other. I would still love to expand the community.

What do you wish other people knew about JSDD and or LGBTQ+ WAE?

I wish people knew there are so many ways to interact with the JSDD community. There are so many ways to be involved. People with IDD are so important to the LGBTQ + community. So many activists have disabilities. This community has so much to offer.

When your friends/ family find out that you work at JSDD, what do they say or ask?

Everyone I tell is super excited. They can tell it aligns with my identity and my interest in facilitating. They ask about how often I interact and the types of events. I would like to work on how I connect with the group not just in person, but online and by email, etc.

Is there someone who has influenced you while working with JSDD?

I love this question. Jaimie Rai is the Enrichment Facilitator and the Judaic Facilitator. We just recently connected about how we can collaborate. She said something that stuck with me. When you are with someone else, that person is the most important person in your life at that moment and vice versa. It can be applied to a group. It really was eye opening about how to prioritize time and inspired me to be present and engaged. It was a kind orientation to how we interact with each other. Made me realize how I can do a better job at holding space for other people.

What part of your job are you most excited about?

I love doing outreach and building community partnerships. I love collaborating and meeting new people. We have an event with an LGBTQ+ event in the works, that I can share too much about (but watch on our social media this summer for more news). I love building networks, connections, and building communities. I really appreciate ways this job allows me to connect with the broader LGBTQ+ community on a personal and professional level.

What is on your wish list for the next 5 years with JSDD?

Growing the LGBTQ+ WAE group. One wish is that we as a group becomes more present in the broader community both within JSDD and the larger community. I would like to host events, we invite the public to, and we attend events. Too often people with IDD live parallel lives. JSDD does a great job of creating connections and I would love to further that.

What would you tell someone who is thinking about working with JSDD?

You will love it here. You will feel supported. You will feel empowered and that is an especially great community if you are looking to create meaningful connections as you work.

Before working at JSDD what was the most unusual or interesting job you’ve ever had?

I was an accountability facilitator at my university. I worked with men who accused of perpetrating violence. When they were going through title 9 process or another type of disciplinary action. MY center was offered as a resource to help them through the process. It was very formative. It helped me to learn to remain accountable and how I can treat all people with respect despite my biases and judgment.

What is your favorite thing for Lunch?

I love food! I travel for work and there are so many options. I don’t have it often, but I love ceviche. I can’t make it, so I order it! I just had one that was so good this past Friday in Arizona.

What is something about you that is not on your resume?

I used to be a semiprofessional salsa dancer in Rhode Island. I was on a semi pro team. I hope to get more involved here in NJ.