Candice Ann Moraga (a.k.a. Divalicious Candi) serves as President of Divalicious Candi Productions (DivaliciousCandi.com), benefitting Divalicious Candi Wildlife Habitat & Songbird Sanctuary (certified by National Wildlife Federation), & is a Charter Member of the National Women's History Museum in Washington, D.C.
Candi "vocalized nonstop" since her birth on a military base in Germany, according to her parents- both members of the US Army. Candi's Dad, a Bolivian immigrant, was an aviation mechanic & pilot so he took her on her 1st flight was when she was still "in utero." He purchased a stereo amplifier in Germany & passed it on to Candi, along with many of his treasured vinyl records. Candi's Mom balanced her "Top Secret" work in the Intelligence Community with her love of music & theater. A lifelong instrumentalist, she inspired & encouraged Candi's classical musical training as an instrumentalist & vocalist.
Throughout her life, Candi balanced a combination of musical & creative pursuits with an endless pursuit of knowledge. A natural performer, Candi's 1st public performance was when she was only 5 years old. She continued performing as an instrumentalist, vocalist, actress, dancer, & poet in school, community, & church organizations during her upbringing while excelling in academics & working after-school jobs. She sang, danced, & recited her environmentally-conscious poetry as a State Finalist (New York) for the Miss American Teen pageant, won awards for her academic achievements from US Presidents Ronald Reagan & George Bush, earned a Certificate for leadership training from GE Aerospace, & won an award for her studies in science from Mount Holyoke before transitioning to the State University of New York- Binghamton at the age of 16 on the strength of her 7th grade SAT scores (surpassing college-bound seniors), administered by a Johns Hopkins University talent search for the gifted. Candi concurrently completed her high school diploma while performing as a vocalist, working after-school jobs & studying at SUNY with a scholarship from the Mohawk Valley Latino Coalition & a Robert C. Byrd Scholarship. Upon graduation, she attended the University of Oklahoma on a full scholarship as a National Hispanic Scholar & National Merit Scholar! There, she earned her Bachelor's Degree in Business Administration (BBA) while balancing musical studies & performance with after-school jobs & aviation/skydiving pursuits.
Candi proceeded to work at offices in a variety of industries while continuing to compose original poetry & song-lyrics, performing & recording HUNDREDS of songs. While living in New York City at the turn of the millennium, Candi's poetry was published in hardbound, she sang at a club in Times Square, & produced financial events- including a conference on the 107th floor of the World Trade Center (North Tower) on 9/11/00. A year later, terrorist attacks prompted Candi's relocation to the American Southwest, where she continued working in office & academic environments by day while performing & modeling by night!
As her musical career "took flight," so did Candi- adventurously piloting sport aircraft, powered parachuting, hot air ballooning, skydiving, kayaking, cliff-diving, zip-lining, mountain climbing, canyon hiking, wilderness camping & surviving as an ARTIST! Candi performed as a vocalist in Spanish, Italian, French, German, Welsh, English, Hebrew & Latin; her linguistic skills also earned her certifications in Spanish, German, Italian & Portuguese! After performing at the State Fair, she was hired by an organization in Germany to perform at an International Conference- it felt like a "full circle" moment.
Meanwhile, Candi's Dad began dialysis for end-stage renal disease, was diagnosed with diabetes, multiple myeloma, prostate & skin cancer! Candi frantically researched medical journals, while finding alternative relief from injuries sustained in an automotive accident through chiropractic care. Candi was accepted into the Doctor of Chiropractic program at Parker University, where she studied until professors advised her that the same genetically mutated collagen & hyper-mobile tissues that gifted her with flexible vocal cords were an injury waiting to happen as a chiropractor.
Yearning to lay down "roots," Candi established the Divalicious Candi Certified Wildlife Habitat & Songbird Sanctuary in the Finger Lakes of New York while earning a Certificate from the AOPA (Aircraft Owners & Pilots Association) Air Safety Institute before embarking on more healthcare studies. Candi was recognized by New York State Department of Health as a leader in Public Health for her studies at Cornell University, earned Certificates from Yale University (Global Health)/ Duke University (Neuroscience)/ Johns Hopkins School of Public Health/ Stanford Medicine & a Career Diploma With Honors from Ashworth College in Medical Billing & Coding- earning a 4.0 GPA at ALL these institutions, achieving her acceptance into Delta Epsilon Tau International Honor Society for Distance Education Learners!
However, during these studies, TRAGEDY struck! 1st Candi's Paternal Grandma succumbed to renal disease, then her Maternal Grandma (who spent 25+ years as a Medical Coder) passed away during a global pandemic, & finally, Candi's Dad became a casualty of COVID-19. Unable to perform during lockdown, Candi persisted in her studies, passing the Certified Professional Coder exam through AAPC (formerly the American Academy of Professional Coders) before contracting COVID-19 herself, enduring a prolonged struggle with asthma. Upon recovering, she passed the exams to become a Certified Coding Associate through the American Health Information Management Association & a Certified Billing & Coding Specialist through the National Healthcareer Association.
Candi continues to juggle her creative pursuits with Continuing Education & her role as "Forest Fairy Godmother" to a menagerie of furry & feathered co-habitants!