Amanda Barrera, the Downtown Long Beach Alliance’s (DLBA) new Administrative Assistant, chose to settle down in Long Beach after a childhood spent moving with her family all over Southern California. Growing up, Barrera attended five elementary schools and four high schools, but a constant throughout her youth was her twice-monthly visits with her Dad, who lived in Downtown. She grew to love Long Beach, and has lived here for the last eight years. “Long Beach was the place I always wanted to come back to,” she said.

Barrera, who has been working since ninth grade, brings a solid resume of office management, scheduling, and other work experience critical to the needs of a fast-paced office such as DLBA’s.

Inprogress artworks by Amanada

Some of Amanda’s works in progress.

Born in the South Bay, Barrera has lived in Torrance, San Pedro, L.A.’s Koreatown, and San Diego. After attending multiple schools throughout her education, she received her high school diploma from Pacific View Charter School in Oceanside, and went on to take some courses at Mira Costa College.

Ready to concentrate fully on her career, Barrera moved to Downtown Long Beach, got her first local job and immediately felt at home. “I loved that everything — job, shopping, recreation — was within walking distance,” she said.

Last March, Barrera moved to the Retro Row area and has enjoyed the brief morning commute to the DLBA office in the heart of Downtown. “It’s been great to see Downtown small businesses open up again,” she said. “I’m excited to see vacant storefronts filled soon; There’s so much small business potential in Downtown.”

Even when she’s not working, Barrera loves to spend lots of time Downtown, often skating with friends and cousins on the beachfront path, then grabbing a meal at a favorite Downtown eatery such as Lola’s or The Breakfast Bar. She’s always on the lookout for the many special events — concerts, festivals, tastes– that Long Beach offers year-round.

Barrera also loves to draw and sketch in her free time. She has received commissions to create artworks and collaborate on tattoo designs for friends.