Orange County Children’s Therapeutic Arts Center
Orange County Children’s Therapeutic Arts Center (OCCTAC) stands as a beacon of empowerment within our community. Committed to inclusivity, we provide access to services for families facing physical, cognitive, language, social, and emotional challenges. Over 23 years, we've diligently served Santa Ana and Orange County, prioritizing those with disabilities from diverse cultural and linguistic backgrounds. Many of the families we support are multicultural, monolingual, and low-income immigrants. OCCTAC's unique success lies in bridging the gap for underserved communities, often overlooked by traditional therapeutic avenues due to cultural nuances. Our bilingual/bicultural staff leverages expertise and experience to meet the unique needs of our community.
A world where all families have equitable access to exceptional arts, educational, and therapeutic programs that empower and transform lives.
Provide innovative arts, education, and therapy programs to low-income and special needs families that unlock potential, nurture creativity, and promote diversity, equity, and inclusion.
The journey of Orange County Children’s Therapeutic Arts Center (OCCTAC) began in 2000, founded by Dr. Ana Jimenez-Hami in loving memory of her parents. Fueled by a passion for children with special needs and inspired by her parents' legacy of humanitarian work, Dr. Jimenez-Hami established OCCTAC as a beacon of hope for at-risk youth and children with special needs in Orange County.
What started as after-school music and art classes for children with special needs soon expanded to include all youth, irrespective of their backgrounds, due to the pressing need in our community. Since then, OCCTAC has grown exponentially, extending its reach and impact through diverse educational, therapeutic, and support programs that serve families from various socio-economic backgrounds.
Dr. Ana Jimenez-Hami in the Press
Meet Our Visionary Founder
Dr. Ana Jimenez-Hami
Dr. Ana Jimenez-Hami, the Founder and Executive Director of the Orange County Children’s Therapeutic Arts Center (OCCTAC), has spent the last 35 years devoted to uplifting underserved communities and families with special needs students in California and Puerto Rico. Prior to establishing OCCTAC, she contributed her expertise as an educator at esteemed institutions like Chapman University, California State University, Northridge, Loyola Marymount University, University of Southern California, and the University of Puerto Rico. Dr. Jimenez-Hami's unwavering passion lies in bringing artistic access, educational and therapeutic programs to families with limited resources. Her commitment extends to inspiring youth and parents from underrepresented communities through educational empowerment, advocacy, and social justice, aiming to help them fulfill their highest potential in life.
Dr. Ana Jimenez-Hami's remarkable contributions have earned her continuous recognition in the community. Among her accolades are the (2020) OC LULAC Award, (2017) Women who Make a Difference in OC Award, (2013) OC Register Hero of the Year award, (2012) OC Department of Education Outstanding Contributions to Education Award, (2007) National Hispanic Business Women Association Award for Organizational Entrepreneurship, (2007) Faculty Award from Chapman University, (2006) City of Santa Ana Community Building award, (2006) Human Relations Award from the Orange County Human Relations Commission for promoting equality, human rights, and social justice, and the (2003) Arts & Culture Award by the National Organization of MANA, among others. Dr. Jimenez-Hami's unwavering dedication continues to inspire and uplift countless lives.
Board of Directors
OCCTAC is guided by a dedicated and diverse Board of Directors, committed to driving our mission of transformative change through arts, education, and community empowerment. Our esteemed board members bring a wealth of expertise, passion, and leadership to the forefront of OCCTAC's initiatives.