Michal Anna Padilla
Director of Training, Licensed Guide Dog Mobility Instructor, Orientation and Mobility Specialist, Guide Dogs of the Desert
Michal Anna Padilla was introduced to the Guide Dog field in 2005 as a volunteer puppy raiser, preparing puppies for their future careers as guide dogs for blind and visually impaired handlers. In 2008, she was accepted into San Francisco State University’s Guide Dog Mobility Program – a one of a kind program that partnered a Special Education Masters with 2 years of an Apprenticeship with Guide Dogs for the Blind. In 2010, Michal Anna graduated from SFSU with a Masters in Special Education, with a special emphasis on Guide Dog Mobility and is one of only 10 individuals to hold this specialized degree. She also holds her Masters in Orientation and Mobility. She began her career at Guide Dogs of the Desert as an Apprentice Instructor. Upon completing the 3-year apprenticeship, she was licensed by the State of California as a Guide Dog Mobility Instructor in 2012. Since then, she has been an instructor in more than 30 classes and has facilitated the partnership of over 150 visually impaired student/guide dog matches. Currently, Michal Anna is the Director of Training at Guide Dogs of the Desert, where she not only continues training dogs and students, but also provides direct oversight to the daily operations of this organization.