Robert Hernandez, M.S.

Senior Lecturer of Social Work Dept. of Children Youth and Families

Robert Hernandez aims to educate and engage in practice-driven research to address critical areas of society that continue to hinder communities from flourishing. His areas of interest include vulnerable youth populations, adolescent social issues, adolescent gang intervention, strength-based/resiliency and youth empowerment models of practice. In particular, Hernandez's work examines risk and protective factors within communities that are associated with vulnerable youth populations residing in trauma-exposed communities. He has focused on advancing marginalized populations through a range of practice approaches addressing violence-related trauma through violence reduction, prevention and intervention strategies. As a practitioner and evaluator, Hernandez has worked with various street youth populations in areas ranging from San Jose, California, to his hometown of Los Angeles. He also served on the Community Engagement Ad-Hoc Committee on Gang Violence and Youth Development, headed by then-District 6 Councilman Tony Cardenas. He contributed to the creation of “Two Prong Approach,” the city's community-based gang intervention model. Hernandez currently serves on the National Juvenile Justice Network, which is composed of coalitions and organizations that advocate for juvenile reform. Much of his work centers on community violence prevention and intervention. He also is cofounder and executive director of Visionary Youth Center, Inc. At USC, Hernandez teaches Leadership in the Social Work Profession and Organizations: Theory and Practice; Policy and Practice in Social Service Organizations; Social Work Practice With Families, Groups and Complex Cases; Social Work and Law; and Adolescent Gang Intervention.


Nita Watson, M.A. 

The Self-Care Lab Boxing & Fitness Club 



Chief Robert N. Arcos 

Los Angeles Police Department 

Deputy Chief Robert N. Arcos was born in San Antonio, Texas. His family moved to the Northeast Area of Los Angeles, where he was raised. He graduated from John Marshall High School in 1979. Upon graduation from high school, he enlisted in the United States Army and proudly served for four years. He earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Criminal Justice from the Union Institute and University, and a Master’s degree in Organizational Leadership from Woodbury University.
Deputy Chief Arcos was appointed to the Los Angeles Police Department on September 12, 1988. He worked a variety of assignments, Areas and Divisions, as a police officer, which included Rampart and Communications Divisions. His experience included Patrol, Gangs, Vice, Narcotics and Senior Lead Officer. In 1997, he was promoted to Sergeant. His supervisory assignments included Van Nuys, Northeast and Management Services Divisions. His experience included Patrol, Community Relations, Gangs, Administrative Operations, Adjutant and Assistant Watch Commander. In 2003, Deputy Chief Arcos was promoted to Lieutenant and assigned to Wilshire Area as a Watch Commander. In 2005, he was selected as the Adjutant to the Commanding Officer, Operations-Central Bureau. Later that year, he was selected to serve as a Platoon Leader assigned to Metropolitan Division. While assigned to Metropolitan Division, he served as the Platoon Leader for the A, C and K-9 Platoons. His duties included directing the activities of the platoons to impact City-wide violent crime and City-wide response to requests for K-9 searches. He was promoted to Captain on November 20, 2011, and appointed as the Olympic Area Patrol Division Commanding Officer. On September 9, 2012, he was appointed as the 77th Street Area Commanding Officer. He was promoted to Commander on August 10, 2014, and was appointed as the Assistant to the Director, Office of Administrative Services. On January 25, 2015, he was appointed as the Assistant Commanding Officer, Operations-Central Bureau. As the Assistant Commanding Officer, Operations-Central Bureau, he also served as the Department Homeless Coordinator, as well as the Department Smart Policing Coordinator. On March 6, 2016, he was appointed to Deputy Chief, and Commanding Officer, Operations-Central Bureau.

Deputy Chief Arcos has been the recipient of numerous internal and external commendations, and was twice awarded the Meritorious Unit Citation. Deputy Chief Arcos has graduated from the Sherman Block Supervisory Leadership Institute, the West Point Leadership Development Program, the FBI National Academy–Session 225, and the Senior Management Institute for Police–Session 58.

Deputy Chief Arcos is a member of the Latin American Law Enforcement Association

(LA LEY), and the Los Angeles County Police Canine Association (LACPCA). He is also a member of the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP), and the Police Executive Research Forum (PERF).

Deputy Chief Arcos is a passionate advocate for community policing and youth development programs. He has a visible leadership style that is proactive and a results-oriented management style that strives for effectiveness.

Nita L. Watson is a Marriage and Family Therapist Registered Intern as well as a Certified Personal Trainer and a U.S.A certified boxing coach. She received her B.S. in Psychology and M.A. in Counseling Psychology with an emphasis in Marriage and Family Therapy from Argosy University, Inland Empire, before eventually becoming a supervisor of the Therapeutic Behavioral Services department with Ettie Lee Homes, Inc. After her eight-year career as a therapist and supervisor there, Ms. Watson accepted an independent contractual position with Heritage Homes, Inc. while she prepares to open her private practice (Watson Family Counseling Services). In addition to starting her own private practice, she is now working with victims of trauma at the Veterans Affairs office. In January 2017, she opened The Self-Care Lab Boxing & Fitness Club (Pomona, CA), a full-service boxing and fitness club, designed to target poor self-image, anxiety, depression and impulsive behavior.  Ms. Watson not only assist individuals with their personal fitness goal, but she also trains professional and amateur boxers as well.  

She was inspired to open The Self-Care Lab after her own struggle with anxiety lead her to seek a form of self-care. Refusing to give up on herself as well as on her goals and aspirations, Ms. Watson started boxing to try and improve her mental health. She quickly saw the benefits it had with her anxiety and wanted to help others discover the multitude of benefits that exercise has to offer. She purchased the space in November of 2016 but did not open until January of 2017 because she wanted to make sure it was the best it could be. Since opening The Self – Care Lab, Ms. Watson has trained over 500 individuals with mental health issues ranging from Depression and Anxiety, all the way to Schizophrenia. She is a pillar of her community and donates her own time and financial resources to improve the lives of everyone she interacts with. Ms. Watson and her team have hosted multiple workshops in and around the community of Pomona. She has presented at Chaffey College, Just Us 4 Youth, and the Pomona & Palisades School Districts, just to name a few.  Her ultimate goal is to shine a spotlight on self-care through her innovative approach of combining fitness and mental health awareness. Her goal of expanding and opening multiple gyms will bring additional community support to families, supporting foster and juvenile delinquent youth. 



Summit on Community Resilience, Intervention, Prevention, and Training