Jerry Gonzalez, GALEO Executive Director

Jerry Gonzalez is the founding and current Executive Director of Georgia Association of Latino Elected Officials (GALEO) and the GALEO Latino Community Development Fund (GLCDF). GALEO was founded in 2003 and is a 501(c)(6) statewide nonprofit and non-partisan organization; its mission is to increase civic engagement and leadership development of the Latino/Hispanic community across Georgia. The GALEO Latino Community Development Fund is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization affiliated with GALEO.

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Maria del Rosario Palacios, Policy Analyst & Leadership Program Coordinator

Maria del Rosario Palacios is the current Policy Analyst & Leadership Program Coordinator for GALEO. She was born in Mexico and has resided in Gainesville, GA for over twenty-two years. She is a current graduate student at the University of North Georgia as she pursues her Masters in Public Administration. Maria graduated Cum Laude from the same institution with her Bachelor’s in Business Administration in Finance.

Maria del Rosario has worked in various leadership roles as a community member and as a working professional. She co-founded Diplomats for Diversity while at the University of North Georgia and served in leadership roles in debate, entrepreneurship, student government, and diversity student organizations. Before completion of her degree she also served as the Coordinator for Multicultural Student Affairs and Latino Success at UNG.

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Jennifer Zenteno Pearce, Executive Associate

Jennifer Zenteno-Pearce is originally from Tlalnepantla, Mexico and proudly grew up in Zoquitlan, Puebla through the age of 7 before she was brought to Atlanta, Georgia in 2000.  After graduation Jennifer attended Georgia Perimeter College (GPC) and later transferred to Kennesaw State University to continue her Bachelor’s in Biochemistry.  During her tenure at GPC she served as a Senator for her school’s Student Government Association and was actively involved in the Latino Connections Club. She has also been involved with the Latin American Association for the past 9 years as a volunteer for summer camps and the Annual Latino Youth Leadership Conference.

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Morgan Copeland, 2018 Summer GLV Intern

Morgan Copeland is a fourth-year student at Georgia Southern University, double majoring in Political Science and International Studies with a minor in Spanish. She is the founder and CEO of Boxes of Beauty, a nonprofit organization in Atlanta, GA that severs young women in shelters across the metro area.


During her time at Georgia Southern University, she interns at the Downtown Statesboro Development Authority as a Community Liaison to provide a social bridge for the natives of Statesboro and the students at Georgia Southern to advocate for more inclusion. She is also the Public Relations chair on Georgia Southern’s Serve 912 Leadership Board where she is tasked with sustaining productive, positive relations between the students and leaders at Georgia Southern, along with promoting more involvement in the Statesboro community.


Her professional aspirations include going to Yale Law to become an International Lawyer to combat the injustice that has plagued the globe, along with practicing Immigration and Civil law in the United States. She found her desire for public service from observing the determination her mother possessed to overcome economic and social obstacles, so that she could provide her with the life she has today. She is extremely grateful and joyful for the sacrifices made for her to be where she is, and wants to help others experience that same joy.

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Angie F. Chermanz Monroy, 2018 Summer Intern

Angie F. Chermanz Monroy is a 4th year student at Emory University double majoring in International Studies and German studies. She was born in Colombia and lived there until she was 13 years old when she was brought to the United States to live with her father and continued her studies here.

She is very passionate about Immigration law and she interned last summer in the immigration department of the International Rescue Committee where she helped refugees and immigrants in their naturalization process. 

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Luis Otero, 2018 Summer Intern

Luis Otero is a rising third year student at The George Washington University. Born in Guanajuato, Mexico, he was brought into the U.S. at the early age of one. He grew up alongside his three younger siblings in Cornelia, GA before moving to D.C. in 2016 to pursue his collegiate studies. As part of the inaugural cohort of Posse Scholars at GW and a member of the University Honors Program, Luis is pursuing a Bachelors of Business Administration, double majoring in International Business and Business Economics & Public Policy.

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Samuel Luis Pittman, 2018 Summer Intern

Samuel Pittman is a rising second-year student at Georgia State University. He is currently pursuing a Bachelors in Philosophy with a concentration in Pre-Law, with the intent of going to law school post-undergraduate. In addition, he is also a student at Georgia State University’s Honors College. Born in Guatemala City, Guatemala has was adopted and brought to the United States as an infant and became a citizen through the naturalization process. While the process of being adopted was filled with depth to him at first, he realizes that the story of being brought to America is one that aligns with the diversity and spirit of the GALEO mission.

As a first-year student at Georgia State University, he was named as a Goizueta Scholar and is part of the Class of 2021 Goizueta Cohort. As a Goizueta Scholar, he found many ways to become involved on campus. During his first year, he was part of the White House acknowledged program, the Latino Leadership Initiative. During his time with the Latino Leadership Initiative, he worked through Gwinnett County Schools as a mentor guild with students. As a mentor, he worked with students one on one and assisted them with how to apply for scholarships, how to go through the college application process, and how to build a strong resume. As a Goizueta Scholar, he finds that there is no greater gift than the gift of helping empower others.

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Leslie Quintanar, 2018 Summer Intern

Leslie Quintanar is a rising fourth-year student at the University of Georgia double majoring in International Affairs and Political Science. A first-generation child and the first in her family to attend college, she values education and opportunity, as these were always instilled by her parents. After graduating, she wants to join Peace Corps to either work with a non-profit organization or to teach English to children. She plans to attend graduate school and eventually work in a foreign embassy or an international non-profit.

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Leopoldo (Polo) Vargas, 2018 Summer Intern

Polo Vargas was born in Mexico, and his parents brought him to the U.S when he was only 6 months old. An upcoming fourth year at the University of Georgia, Polo is double majoring in Political Science and Journalism. After undergraduate school, Polo is considering becoming a political journalist.

As a political science major, Polo has a passion for learning about how the U.S political and government systems work. Now in his fourth year at the University of Georgia, he has had the fortune of joining various organizations that have dealt with politics, but also another one of his  passions: journalism.

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