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FTUIY Episode #71: Justina Ryan-Baldwin

Updated: Nov 27, 2023

Written By: Dr. Jaime G Raygoza

On a recent episode of Finding the Unicorn in You, host Dr. Jaime Raygoza interviewed Justina Ryan-Baldwin, a social worker with nearly 10 years of experience helping at-risk families.

Early Calling to Serve

Even in college, Justina felt drawn to spending time with and helping people, working with kids and families. She started in direct services to prevent child placement disruptions. After seeing positive change, she moved into supervision to have a broader impact.

Rewarding Moments

Justina shared a story that motivates her - helping a teen girl with a significant self-harm history go from daily cutting to months without. Creating even small changes for families is amazing. She says they get to see people at their best and most vulnerable.

Juggling It All

During the pandemic, while supervising full-time and pregnant, Justina completed her MSW. She credits community support for managing everything. She advises being vulnerable and putting yourself out there to network with classmates.

Growth Mindset

As a leader, Justina loves seeing her staff grow. She could promote two people after combining programs. Mentoring others to flourish motivates her. Justina emphasizes trying something small consistently to work towards goals.

Unicorn Lesson

Justina exemplifies perseverance through adversity in her journey to complete a master's program while working full-time, pregnant, and parenting during the pandemic. It would have been easy to become overwhelmed and give up.

However, Justina took things one step at a time - compartmentalizing roles, leaning on community support, and alternating self-care with diligent work. She advises trying something small consistently, and then building upon it. Progress compounds.

This method applies widely, whether furthering education, developing leadership skills, improving health, following passions or more. Set manageable actions aligned with your bigger vision. Trust the process and your capability to get there little by little.

Just like Justina, nurture optimism and faith in your purpose during hardships. Her resilience reminds us that bold dreams manifest through a tenacious unicorn spirit. Centering gratefulness and service to others also fuels motivation.


Justina Ryan-Baldwin exemplifies commitment to families through resilience and care. Her journey reveals the passion behind uplifting others. She urges starting small but steadily on the path to growth.

What inspiration do you take from Justina's experiences as a social worker and leader?

Find the full episode of the Finding the Unicorn in You Podcast on Spotify, YouTube, and all major podcast platforms

Connect with Justina:

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