Skylaer Palacios, Council Member
Born to a Mexican father from Guerrero, and a Dominican-Puerto Rican mother, Skylaer’s family moved to Healdsburg in 1995 into the Grove St. apartments. Skylaer later attended Foss Creek Elementary, Healdsburg Junior High School, and Healdsburg High School graduating in 2011. After high school, she worked at Dry Creek Kitchen and later SHED while attending Santa Rosa Junior College before transferring to Sonoma State, where she graduated cum laude with her degree in Liberal Arts and a concentration in Performing Arts at the age of 20. Due to her diligence and the help of her community, Skylaer was able to graduate free of student debt thanks to the Hispanic Scholarship Fund, 10,000 Degrees, the Van Ornum scholarship, and the Warren E. Olsen Scholarship.
Skylaer also won the prestigious Miss Sonoma County Scholarship Competition which presented her with a unique opportunity to enter the world of established business and politics in Sonoma County. She observed and spoke at every city council meeting across the county, as well as numerous chambers of commerce and business organizations. Skylaer was a member of the Sonoma County Alliance where she learned about various policy changes and how social, environmental, or economic issues directly affect Sonoma County’s business community.
Upon graduating from SSU, Skylaer worked for the City of Santa Rosa’s Recreation and Parks Department helping manage city-owned buildings and understanding how building use affects the surrounding neighborhoods. Ultimately, her passion to work with children led her to take on various roles as a public educator including: teacher's assistant, substitute teacher, nursery coordinator, and creative movement instructor.
She has shared her love of arts with foster and at-risk youth while also having the opportunity to train in trauma-informed care and non-violent communication in her current role as a youth counselor with TLC Child and Family Services. Skylaer’s experience working with diverse people, her training to respond calmly in crisis situations, and her ability to listen to the needs of others, process requests, and take action make her a well-rounded, empathetic, and creative leader.
Skylaer has always enjoyed giving back to her community by participating in various charitable activities including Dancing with the Stars, in support of Healdsburg's iconic Raven Theater, coaching the Healdsburg Bulldogs cheer team, repainting rooms at the YWCA shelter, being a math tutor for ESL students, and volunteering at a variety of local food banks.
As someone who formed her identity here, Skylaer attests that Healdsburg is a very unique place with many loving and caring residents. She also acknowledges that we are not immune to the various social issues which challenge cities all over the country. As an Afro-Latina woman growing up in Healdsburg, she has experienced situations that made her feel like she did not belong in her own hometown.
As a leader, she acknowledges the city of Healdsburg is sustained and uplifted by our diverse community, specifically our Latino community. During her time on council, she wants to help find a harmonious balance to ensure that our tourism-based economy does not take precedence over our residents and create a more equitable Healdsburg for all.
During her free time, Skylaer is committed to artistic self-expression. She is a disciplined ballet dancer, singer, songwriter, and musician. She enjoys sharing her skills with local youth to bridge arts education with social justice and cultural awareness.