"Leslie Preston was a staunch community advocate working in the field of mental and behavioral health who always brought mission to the forefront of every conversation. Director of Behavioral Health at La Clinica de La Raza in Oakland, CA, Leslie was a partner in building a FACES program in the Fruitvale neighborhood; focused solely on supporting youth into community based careers in behavioral health. Leslie was passionate about her work, her family and equity. She was the kind of person who drove those around her to want to be better, and yet she did this with compassion and heart. We lost Leslie this year to breast cancer and we will miss her partnership and spirit very much. We can think of no better way to celebrate her life than to support a young person who is pursuing a career in mental health. Thank you, Leslie, for everything you brought to FACES, to the students and to those of us who had the honor working with you!"

Brooke Briggance, Deputy Director, FACES for the Future Coalition
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Donate to the Leslie Preston Memorial Scholarship for Mental/Behavioral Health!

Leslie Preston attended Columbia Grammar and Prep School, graduated from Bowdoin College, and earned an MSW from the Smith College School for Social Work.

Leslie dedicated her life to serving others. She started her career as a case manager for a foster care agency in Brooklyn. After receiving her MSW, she led a mobile crisis program and suicide prevention hotline in Phoenix. She moved to the Bay Area in 1998 to be closer to family and soon began her 19-year tenure with La Clinica de la Raza. Leslie served as the Director of Behavioral Health, working tirelessly to oversee programs that provided critical prevention and treatment services for thousands of vulnerable East Bay residents.

Leslie Preston at the FACES East Oakland program graduation in 2016.

In 2016, the Bowdoin College Board of Trustees honored Leslie with a Common Good Award in recognition of her "extraordinary, profound and sustained commitment to the common good, in the interest of society, with conspicuous disregard for personal gain."

In addition to her professional work, Leslie served on the Board of Directors of the Women's Cancer Resource Center and was an active member of the Berkeley Friends Meeting.

Leslie loved the water, traveling, visiting with family and friends, Broadway musicals, and, perhaps most of all, her cat, Tasmin. Leslie's friends all describe her as unflinchingly loyal, fair-minded, humble and generous. She had so many great friends because she was a great friend. There was literally nothing that Leslie would not do for you.

In memory of Leslie Preston, we honor her under a scholarship for a FACES student who is interested in pursuing a career in the mental/behavioral health field.

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Donate to the Leslie Preston Memorial Scholarship for Mental/Behavioral Health!

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