2022 GIL Cohort Members

Alex Castillo

Anayely Moreno

Anayely Moreno was born and raised in Gainesville, GA. Thanks to her mother’s hard work,  support and sacrifices, Anayely obtained a bachelor’s degree of International Affairs from the  University of Georgia. She is currently a Development Administrator for No Longer Bound, a  non-profit addiction treatment center.

Bianca Landeata

Bianca Landaeta was born in Lilburn, Georgia though she has family roots reaching from Bogota, Colombia and Arecipo, Puerto Rico. She graduated from Chattahoochee High School in Alpharetta, Georgia then went on to follow a Track and Field scholarship to Georgia Regents University for a year. She later graduated from the University of North Georgia with a Bachelor of Science where she majored in Psychology and minored in Criminal Justice.

Danny Arencibia

Danny Arencibia was born in Los Angeles, CA, to a Cuban-born father and a Mexican-born mother. Growing up in a multi-cultural environment with different customs and traditions has made Danny uniquely qualified to speak of immigration influence from the East and West of our southern border. As a first-generation college graduate from Harding University in Searcy, Arkansas, and studying abroad at the InterAmerican University of Puerto Rico, he has expanded his cultural appreciation.

Dr. Nelva Lee

Dr. Nelva Lee is the founder and developer of the Medical Interpreting and Translating Institute Online (MiTio). Dr. Lee is a native of Panama and speaks fluent Spanish as certified by the Language Testing International.  Dr. Lee was the Director of the Grady Health System’s Interpreter Program in 2002. Dr. Lee was a Subject Matter Expert in the creation of the CMI exam for the NBCMI and was respectively its first Chair. Dr. Lee has over twenty years of Healthcare experience and has worked in various medical settings.

Eduardo Zamora

Eduardo Macias Zamora obtained his bachelor’s degree in Biology and Agriculture from The University of Georgia. After realizing that helping others was his true passion and seeing a significant need for improvement in his community, he decided to use the education he received to serve others. Hoping to curb the challenging learning experience he faced growing up, he works to be a staunch advocate for Latinos and Hispanics.

Enrique Borjas

Enrique was born in Honduras but moved to Orlando, FL, with his family when he was seven years old. He graduated from the University of Georgia in 2019 with a degree in Economics and German Studies. While at the university, Enrique took active roles in multiple organizations such as the Hispanic Student Association, Goizueta Ambassadors, and Student Toastmasters.

Eric Benavidez

Eric Benavidez is an executive recruiter for a top global executive search firm and is based in Atlanta, GA. He is originally from California and grew up in a Mexican-Salvadoran household. He graduated from the University of Southern California with a BA and later from Kennesaw State with an MPA. Although he was the first person in his family to graduate from undergrad and graduate school, he works hard to make sure he isn’t the last. 

Jacqueline Garcia

Jacqueline Garcia is a First generation Mexican-American student. Born to immigrant parents from Michoacán, Mexico, she is pursuing her goals to make her family proud and pave the way for her younger siblings. Jacqueline is currently a Junior, pursuing her Bachelor’s degree in Nursing at Kennesaw State University.

Jennifer Silva

Jennifer Silva (She/Her/ Ella) is a Mexican-American Spring 2022 Intern for GALEO. Jennifer is currently a senior at Kennesaw State University pursuing her degree in Public Relations with a minor in Marketing. Born to immigrant parents from Jalisco, Mexico,  Jennifer is a sister of Lambda Theta Alpha Latin Sorority Inc. at Kennesaw State where she has served as chapter secretary and parliamentarian for the Multicultural Greek Council.

Jesse Perez

Jesse Perez is a proud Hispanic born in Dallas, TX. At age 3, Jesse relocated to Georgia with his parents and three siblings. He studied to be a certified Emergency Medical Technician, then a Certified Nurse, and lastly a Licensed Practical Nurse. This drive to find his niche in the world led Jesse to change his career. Now, Jesse serves as the Leader of the Georgia Powers Bilingual Team. Also, he serves as a Committee Member in Community Engagement with Georgia Power’s AMIGOS employee resource group and Hispanic Leader Network.

Jimena Somilleda

Jimena Somilleda was born and raised in Athens, Georgia, and is the first-generation Mexican-American student in her family. Through her immersion in her rich culture and the inspiration from her parents’ sacrifices, Jimena has found a passion for advocating for Latinx and minority communities. Jimena is currently a second-year honors student at the University of Georgia, pursuing a Bachelor of Art in Public Relations from the Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication.

Juan Carlos Ordonez

Karla DeSantos

Karla DeSantos is a Bi-lingual Research Nutritionist for Emory University and Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta. She is a Mexican-American first-generation graduate with a Master’s degree in Health Sciences with a Concentration in Nutrition, achieving cum laude. Her passion is to educate the parents and the Hispanic community on how to eat healthier as a family while considering our cultural preferences. Her goal is to bring awareness about cultural competency to all healthcare aspects.

Leslie Pinon Rodriguez

First-generation Chicana, Leslie is currently a 4th-grade teacher for Gwinnett County public schools. Leslie earned a Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education at the University of West Georgia in 2018. A strong love for education and the young population, Leslie has spent over 5 years working with youth in non-profit organizations and/or programs throughout the community such as the Boys & Girls Club, Latin American Association mentoring program, Trio Programs, and many more.

Maria Britez

Maria was born in Paraguay. She moved to the United States about ten years ago and has lived in Lawrenceville- Georgia. She graduated from the University of Georgia with a  Master of Public Health degree in Epidemiology and Biostatistics. She is currently working as an Epidemiologist at the Georgia Department of Public Health in District 2 -Gainesville. She is involved in helping and educating the Hispanic population about the COVID-19 pandemic and its impact on the Hispanic population. 

Marielena Gutierrez

Marielena Gutiérrez was born in Utah to Venezuelan parents and raised in Barquisimeto, Venezuela. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Environmental Studies from Yacambú University. Marielena is an experienced community professional who has worked on different projects with diverse populations, including farmers, rural communities, children, and Latinx immigrants in the U.S. and Venezuela, including Yacambu Hydraulic System and FUDECO and the Latin American Association.

Nancy Camacho

Nancy was born and raised in Moroleon, Guanajuato, Mexico. She moved to the U.S at the age of 17 and is currently a junior at the University of North Georgia pursuing a Bachelor’s degree in Human Services in hopes of one day using her degree to inspire and help others succeed in the face of adversity while promoting migrant and immigrant excellence. Nancy is a CAMP (College Assistance Migrant Program) alumni, and she was a mentor in the same program for other incoming first-year migrant college students at UNG. 

Nelson Romero

Nelson Romero was born in Lawrenceville, Georgia but his parents are from Honduras. He currently serves as an Information Security Analyst for a healthcare company but has been advocating and uplifting the Latinos and Hispanics of the state of Georgia since 2020. He is a proud son of immigrants, and he thanks his parents for their hard work and sacrifice for every chance he gets. Nelson enjoys fighting for his community and protecting their right to vote.

Olivia Rios

Olivia Rios is an Indigenous Latina born and raised in New Mexico.  Olivia moved to Georgia to attend college, eventually marrying and settling in Atlanta. Olivia is a marketing tech guru, data nerd, and master connector. While her career path was not traditional, it was always intentional. As a people person passionate about helping others achieve their goals, she launched her business – Cold Mountain Consulting – in 2019 to provide marketing and technology solutions to support companies focusing on the legal industry.

Selena Chavez

Selena Chavez-Gomez was born and raised in Gainesville, Georgia. After graduating from East Hall High School ‘17, she earned a bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice with P.O.S.T. Certification ‘20 from the University of North Georgia and a Master’s in Public Administration from Valdosta State University ‘22. She is pursuing a career in the non-profit sector, focusing on child abuse and related services. 

Shenita Binns

Stephanie Gomez

A native of Atlanta, Georgia, Stephanie Gomez holds a B.A. cum laude in Political Science with a minor in Philosophy and a concentration in Pre-Law from Georgia State University.  While attending Georgia State, she had the opportunity to expand her knowledge regarding politics, laws, and nonprofits by interning at the Georgia General Assembly, GALEO, and a law firm. She hopes to use this experience to help bridge the gap between the immigrant community and access to legal resources.

Olivia Rios

Viola Martinez is very passionate about diversity inclusion within Georgia Power and her community. Martinez has acted as an on-call Spanish interpreter for Georgia Power for nearly two decades. She started her career as a bilingual Customer Service Representative within the company. Martinez has made it her mission to mentor members of the Hispanic community by participating in career day at local schools and mentoring youth through her organization affiliations such as Junior Achievement and Boys & Girls Club of America.