2017 GALEO Institute for Leadership Profiles
Aldair Delibrado’s passion lies in law and immigration advocacy. The proud son of two Mexican immigrants, his drive is fueled by his first-hand experiences and a desire to fix a broken immigration system. Currently, in his final year at Georgia State University, Aldair expects to earn a Bachelor of Science in Managerial Sciences this upcoming spring. Following his graduation, Aldair plans to attend law school and use his abilities to be a voice for the immigrant community.
Angelica Diaz was born in Houston, Texas, and she was two years old when her parents moved to Georgia. She attended Georgia State University and graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Political Science. She currently holds a broker’s license selling real estate under Keller Williams Realty. She volunteers teaching English as a second language to adults and hopes to help her community through her work and volunteering. In her free time, she enjoys time with family and friends, especially if it’s going out to a good restaurant or playing guitar and singing.
Alfredo Corona Jr.
Alfredo Corona Jr. was born in Atlanta, Georgia to Immigrant parents from Mexico and El Salvador. In 2013, he graduated from Central Gwinnett High School and started attending Georgia Gwinnett College. He is currently pursuing a Bachelors Degree in History Education to become a high school teacher. It was in college where he instilled an interest in helping out his community, joining organizations like the Organization of Latin American Students (OLAS) and taking internships in the Latin American Association. He is very passionate about the Chicano movement and Hip Hop culture and plans to implement that into his future teachings to motivate younger generations.
Aline Resende Mello
Aline Mello was born in Brazil and moved to the US as a child with her parents and sister in 1997. She graduated from Alpharetta High School in 2007. After a couple of years attending Georgia Perimeter College, she transferred to Oglethorpe University where she graduated magna cum laude with two degrees—Comparative Literature and Spanish Language. While attending university, Aline began volunteering at the Latin American Association’s Youth Department. Over time, her duties at the LAA expanded to include internships, tutoring, mentorships, and volunteer training. She still volunteers with the organization as a mentor for high schoolers. Aline works as a digital editor for a magazine and is a published writer, her work focusing on fiction and creative nonfiction. She also uses her knowledge of reading and composition to tutor high school students for the SAT. In her free time, Aline enjoys traveling to new places, reading, and cuddling with her elderly dog.
Asma Elhuni is a college student working towards her bachelor’s degree in Political Science with a minor in Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies at Georgia State University. The recipient of the university’s 2016 MLK Humanitarian Award, Asma tries to listen to and uplift the voices of groups often marginalized by society. Asma interns for Rep Brenda Lopez at the Georgia Assembly. She’s currently the Outreach Director for the Council on American-Islamic Relations in Georgia and an organizer for the United Students against Sweatshops at Georgia State University. As a volunteer with GA Close UP, a nonpartisan educational organization, Asma helps educate students, teachers, and citizens about public policy in Georgia. She also volunteers her time with many other grassroots organizations, most recently with NAACP voter protection monitoring.
Camilo Andres Hernandez was born in Atlanta, Ga at Grady Memorial Hospital. His parents (Carlos and Deysi Hernandez) immigrated from Colombia. He graduated from Grayson High School in 2013 and enrolled at Georgia Gwinnett College, GGC, to major in General Biology. With his major, he intends to become a pediatrician after attending Emory School of Medicine and work at Children’s Health Care of Atlanta ER. In his free time, he likes to weight lift, volunteer with the Organization of Latin American Students, play soccer with some friends, and loves to dance.
Originally from Medellín Colombia, Catalina Ortiz moved to Atlanta from New York City 8 years ago. She has a Bachelor’s degree from Hunter College in NYC and is currently working as a Corporate Immigration Specialist for Manhattan Associates. Catalina enjoys volunteering at various non-profit organizations such as mentor for young women refugees, provide local delivery services to Senior Citizens, process voter registrations for new citizens at Naturalization Ceremonies with GALEO and served as a PTA Vice President at her local Elementary school. She has a passion for working with the Latino community in Atlanta, especially advocate to raise awareness for the need to increase more diverse representation in our local government. Catalina also enjoys running, hiking and camping with her husband and eight-year-old son. She is also working on expanding her public speaking and interpersonal skills through Toastmasters International and plans to enroll in law school in the fall of 2017.
Dalila Vazquez Herrera
Dalila Vazquez Herrera was born in Yucuquimi de Ocampo, Oaxaca, Mexico and moved to Brunswick, GA with her family when she was 14 years old. She graduated from Emory University in 2015 with a B.A. in Biology and Spanish. While at Emory she conducted sponsored research on the importance of effective communication in healthcare, focusing on her own Mixtec community in Mexico and Latino communities in the United States. She works as an assistant at Vazquez & Servi, P.C., an immigration law firm, where she feels privileged to have the chance to learn more about the needs of Atlanta’s immigrant community and see the passion that everyone in the law firm has for helping others. She is interested in expanding her knowledge of the intersection of law and public health in order to further serve her community.
He is a junior at Georgia State University majoring in Public Policy. He is a member of Lambda Theta Phi Latin Fraternity, Inc. His main goal is to help those who have not been as fortunate as he has been. He is excited to be a part of this program and learn how to be more actively involved with the community.
Daniela Ramon is from Bogota, Colombia. She came to the United States when she was only 9 years old. She is a senior at Oglethorpe University studying Business Administration and Accounting. She has been a volunteer, mentor, and an Intern at the Latin American Association for five years. Her hobbies include reading and tutoring students.
David Garcia was born in Los Angeles, CA to immigrant parents from El Salvador. He moved to Georgia with his family at the age of 13 and lived in Marietta until he reached the age of 17 when he enlisted in the United State Marine Corps in 2001. David served six active-duty years as a Supply Administration Clerk and as a U.S. Embassy Guard. Upon his separation from the Marine Corps, David worked as a contractor for the U.S. Department of State for four years in various U.S. Embassies and Consulates. David is also a first generation college student, and he holds a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from American Military University and a Master of Public Administration from Georgia State University. He currently works as the campus Military Student Advocate at Georgia State where his job is to advocate on behalf of military-affiliated students and to connect them to university and community resources.
Diana Chavez was born in Cuernavaca, Mexico. Her family moved to Atlanta in 2000. She earned an Associate of Arts in Journalism and Professional Writing from Georgia Perimeter College (GPC). She’s a member of Phi Theta Kappa Honors Society, and she was the Public Relations officer for the school’s chapter during her studies in GPC. She was the communications intern for the Latin American Associations. Currently, she’s the Spanish Content Coordinator for In Touch Ministries. She has experience as a Technical Producer and event coordinating. In her free time, she volunteers for faith-based organizations and likes to spend time with family and friends.
Eduardo Aviles was born in Los Angeles, California and moved to Atlanta, Georgia with the rest of his family when he was three years old. He graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science from Georgia State University in 2016 and is currently pursuing a Master’s degree in Political Science at Georgia State University. While in school he served as Vice President of the National Society of Leadership and Success where he worked alongside other students to better the surrounding community and encourage others to do the same. In his free time, he enjoys exploring new cuisines or having a quiet morning round of golf.
Elena Carné was born and raised in Venezuela until she had to flee the country as a political refugee, with her husband, to relocate to the United States 14 years ago. Since then, she has been working hard to earned her Associate’s in Business Administration and Public Relations and Bachelor’s in Supervision and Management at Miami Dade College, in addition to her Fashion Design degree from The Art Institute of Fort Lauderdale. Having to leave her small but successful bathing suit business back in Venezuela, she knew her passion was still in fashion, and she finds gratification on being an entrepreneur and living her passion of designing a product and seeing it touch the lives of others women in a positive way.
Now all her hard work and dedication, besides rising as she called “her best creation” her three young girls, goes into her new company, Tepuy Activewear. Her activewear apparel not only has a stylish twist in its’ fashion taste inspired by her South American roots, but she has another unique quality to her company as well; all her products are Designed and Handcrafted in Americus, Georgia. That’s a way she is giving back to the country that provided her everything when she most needed it. In her free time, she enjoys giving back to her community, even joining the Sumter County Chamber of Commerce to stay involved and up-to-date with her local town.
Elton is a young man raised by Mexican immigrants who run a local business in Gainesville, Georgia. He graduated with an Associates degree in Business Administration from the University of North Georgia. He is now seeking a Bachelors in Finance from the Terry College of Business and a Legal Certificate at the University of Georgia. Elton firmly believes that higher education is the key to success and with the knowledge obtained he can be a better help his community. He is a young, charismatic individual who enjoys playing his trumpet and is fond of the following quote, “It is not the years in your life that count. It is the life in your years that do!” -Abraham Lincoln
Ernesto Castillo was born in Tamaulipas, México and moved to Georgia in 1996. He graduated from Central Gwinnett High School in 2013 and is currently studying to acquire a Bachelor degree in Business Administration from Georgia Gwinnett College. He is involved in various student organizations throughout campus, one of them being the Organization of Latin American Students. He is also President of the Accountancy Student Organization at Georgia Gwinnett College. Ernesto volunteers at different events that benefit the Hispanic communities, including the Latino Youth leadership Conference as well as the Hispanic Organization Promoting Education.
Fanny Rivera is from Honduras. She moved to the United States at the age of 7 and has been residing in Kennesaw, GA ever since. Fanny is a sophomore at Oglethorpe University where she pursues a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration. Fanny aspires to become an immigration lawyer because she wants to help the immigrant communities. She has previously volunteered at the Latin American Association. During her free time, she enjoys being outdoors, playing with her sister, reading a good book, and watching movies.
Gabriela was born in Puerto Rico and is currently a graduating senior studying Political Science at Georgia State University. She currently serves as the Chair of Student Life for the Student Government Association (SGA), The Logistics Chair for the SGA Election Commission, and the President of Lambda Theta Alpha Latin Sorority, Inc.- Delta Beta Chapter. She is actively involved with her community, and is passionate about immigration and human rights issues. After graduation, she hopes to attend law school to become an attorney, so that she can use her voice to help her community. In her spare time, she loves to go to the movies, enjoy art performances, spend time with her family, and hike beautiful trails.
Guadalupe Mora was born in Moroleón, Mexico. She moved to Cumming, Georgia when she was 8 years old and has been living there ever since. She is currently a third-year student at Georgia State University majoring in Political Science and minoring in Women’s Gender and Sexuality Studies. She does an extensive amount of volunteer work at Saint Brendan’s Catholic Church, and one day she aspires to make a difference and better the lives of the Latino immigrant community in the United States. On her free time, she enjoys traveling, going to concerts, socializing and learning how to speak Italian
Humberto Orozco was born in Michoacán Mexico and was brought to the United States when he was eight years old. He was raised in Gainesville, Georgia and attended the University of Georgia, becoming the first in his family to obtain a college degree (B.A. Geography ’11). Upon graduating, Mr.Orozco moved to Atlanta after landing a job in the financial services industry. As a son of immigrants, and once undocumented himself, he recognizes the importance of advocating for the immigrant community. Because he is passionate about improving the communities that have embraced him, especially the metro Atlanta area, he volunteers his time to organizations that seek to improve the lives of Latinos and other underserved communities. Those organizations include Latino LinQ and GALEO (Georgia Association of Elected Officials) where he serves as treasurer and as co-chair of the Georgia Latino Vote committee, respectively. He is also part of the Advisory Council for the ¡Vida Life! Project. Previous experience includes volunteer work with the North Georgia AIDS Alliance and Junior Achievement. As part of the GALEO Institute of Leadership cohort of 2017, Mr. Orozco is looking to broaden his skill set to more effectively serve as a community leader.
Ivan was born and raised near Gainesville, Georgia, in a small town named Oakwood. He is currently an information technology major at Georgia Gwinnett College with a minor in business, about to enter his senior year of college. Ivan is heavily involved in HoPe, which is the Hispanic Organization Promoting Education, leading as the Director of Technology and Logistics. He also participates in his school’s Latin American association called OLAS as an avid volunteer. During his leisure time, Ivan enjoys reading books, bicycling, and spending time with his younger sisters.
Jacqueline Rendon moved from Los Angeles, California to Atlanta, Georgia at the age of 15. She attended UGA where she pursued an education in Paralegal Studies while also attending Georgia Beauty School for Cosmetology. After obtaining her Cosmetology License she decided to further her education by obtaining her Cosmetology Instructors License. Her passion is to enhance natural beauty and to teach women a new trait that can become a profession. With encouragement from close friends and family, Jacky along with her friend who shared the same passion started the company known as Bella Image International. On her spare time, Jacky likes to go to the gym or unwind with a good movie. She also likes to contribute to the Hispanic community by offering them interpreting and transportation assistance. She strives to assist all women in need, in any way possible. Her goal is to better herself in every way possible in order to better assist others. Her future plan is to return to school and study immigration law. Jacky is driven by compassion, integrity and the word of god. She believes that God is the steering wheel of her life and one step at a time things will come in place.
Jaquelin Solis was born in Peru and has been living in Georgia for a bit more than a decade. She is the youngest of 3 siblings. She recently graduated from Young Harris College, and received her Bachelors of Science in Biology and minor in Chemistry. She is currently working at the hospital, interning with the Latin American Association (LAA) in the Latino Youth Leadership Academy (LYLA) after-school program, serve as a HOPE Leadership Academy (HLA) Agent, and she is also the Georgia President of MiMentor (non-profit organization with the mission of diversifying the healthcare workforce and mentoring the next generation of healthcare leaders in our community to serve the underserved; Georgia also became the first southeast state to have a MiMentor board). Her hobbies include craft-making, baking, and watching movies!
Javier Gonzalez Reynoso
Javier Gonzalez Reynoso was born in Michoacan, Mexico and raised in Flowery Branch, Georgia. He graduated from Johnson High School as part of the Class of 2016. Javier is currently enrolled at the University of North Georgia. There, he is a Goizueta Legacy Scholar and was nominated for membership to the National Society of Collegiate Scholars due to his academic, leadership, and service accomplishments. Passionate about education and believing that quality education is a right for all people especially children, Javier hopes to one day work for UNICEF. He currently devotes himself to helping his Hispanic community, and hopes one day the BRIDGE act will become a reality. Additionally, he spends his free time supporting Real Madrid C.F. and playing basketball.
Javier Velazquez is 21 years old and calls Calhoun, Georgia home. He is the son of first generation Mexican immigrants, student at Georgia NorthWestern Technical College, and a entrepreneur. He is currently studying business management and marketing alongside with running his online marketing business. He likes to refer to himself as an DACAprenuer as he is one of the 800,000 DACA recipients who have benefited from this program. Through his upbringing and environment, he has developed a passion for entrepreneurship and leadership. With an organization like GALEO he hopes he can develop and incorporate new skills to help his community.
Ms. Jessica Palacios received her bachelor’s degree in International Relations from Boston University in 2014. In college, Ms. Palacios got to opportunity to study in Israel and Morocco, where she learned Arabic. Because of her love for other cultures, she aspires to one day visit all fifty states in the U.S. as well as visit all seven continents of the world. She now works for Georgia Tech as an Administrative Professional at the Sam Nunn School of International Affairs. In her free time, she likes to volunteer with GALEO’s voter registration drive and spend time with her seven-year-old daughter, Natalie.
Jessica Colotl was born in Puebla, Mexico. She moved to the United States when she was 11 years old. She attended Kennesaw State University and graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. She currently works as an immigration paralegal at Kuck Immigration Partners. Her future ambitions are to go to Law School and continue to be a passionate advocate for the Latino community. During her free time, Jessica enjoys spending time with family and friends, learning and making a difference.
Jhonny Lorenzo was born in San Pedro Sula, Honduras. He came to the United States when he was five and have been here ever since. Jhonny Lorenzo is a junior at The University of Georgia in the Biology and Pre-Med program. He aspires to be a surgeon one day. He works at Best Buy Mobile as Lead Sales Consultant. He can truly confess he is living the American Dream. He believes that educating yourself is very important because we make the best decisions when we know all of our options. In his free time, he enjoys spending time with family and friends. Jhonny loves FIFA, vacations, and my dog Sammy.
Josue Valencia was born in Gainesville, Ga, in 1994, at the age of twelve his parents moved to Forsyth County, Ga, At the age of 20 he began to become actively involved in my community through the youth ministry at his church in Forsyth County, his passion for empowering and guiding others both in their own spiritual lives and secular. By helping provide civic engagement, he found myself becoming a member of Forsyth County drug awareness council helping advocate for drug-free communities and also helping bridge the gaps of the Hispanic community in his city. In his spare time, he enjoys hiking throughout North Georgia and mentoring young adults.
Juan Carlos Quijada Ocampo was born in Durango, Mexico and rise in a beautiful little town in the state of Hidalgo. At the age of 13 he moved to Atlanta G.A. He Currently works as an interpreter and medical assistant at Chamblee children’s clinic while pursuing his bachelors degree in Health science and spanish. He plans to apply to a college of osteopathic medicine after completing his bachelor’s degree. He enjoys spending time helping the community through volunteering. Also he is involved in his church youth group and spends quality time with his family. lately he enjoys his free time practicing his new love which is playing the guitar.
Karín C. López
Born in São Paulo, Brazil, Karín C. López comes from a multicultural background. Her father is Peruvian-Inca and mother Brazilian-Italian-Austrian. Her parents migrated to the US when she was 11 in search of a place for their daughters to achieve dreams and become professionals. This sacrifice and work ethic has driven Karín personally and professionally throughout the years.
Karín is now a corporate leader who specializes in bridging strategy to operational execution and is an expert at creating cultures of commitment, collaboration and trust. She continues to have increasing levels of responsibility as the “go-to” person for achieving desired results. Her areas of expertise include: business enterprise transformation, system implementations, technical project management, supply chain, business process improvements and optimization. She is completing an Executive MBA with a focus on Strategy from Emory Goizueta Business School sponsored by a scholarship received for leaders of the Georgia Hispanic Chamber of Commerce.
As a corporate and motivational speaker, Karín’s delivery is powerful and engaging. It’s inspirational and packed full of relevant, life-work balance information. Karín’s comments resonate with her audience. She has a clear understanding of the corporate environment and its challenges from a woman’s perspective and being a minority.
Karín is motivated by challenging stretch goals and business problems that seem impossible. She has a very successful track record developing strategy plans, executing and delivering measurable results. Karín is a multi-cultural, multi-lingual leader committed to team development and motivating team members to reach their highest potential. Her personal mantra, “Failure is not an option, so let’s figure it out together.”
Karín has advanced Global Negotiation Training / Leadership & Managerial Training and she’s a native Portuguese & Spanish speaker and beginner level French & Italian. is a single mother of four who resides in Atlanta, Georgia.
Kelley Jordan-Monné was born in Atlanta and raised in rural northwest Georgia. She double majored in History and French at Georgia Southern University, studied for a Masters of Arts in French at Auburn University, received her Master of Science in Applied Linguistics and ESL at Georgia State University and completed her Educational Specialist degree in Educational Administration and Supervision at Lincoln Memorial University. Kelley taught French, Spanish, ESOL as well as 2nd grade in Atlanta Public Schools. Fluent in Spanish with experience and knowledge of the public educational system has enabled Kelley to be an educational advocate for the non-English speaking community that surrounds her. As a teacher, she has been a cultural guide and support throughout the educational process for several families. On a personal level, she has helped parents on her sons’ Latino soccer teams advocate to get the legal education accommodations and modifications for their children with special needs. She also helped the son of a close non-English speaking friend enroll in the Chamblee High School academic magnet program. With her encouragement, he then applied for and obtained a Simon Family foundation scholarship that provided mentoring support during his high school years and a four year academic scholarship to college. Serving as a catalyst for generational change, she is continually inspired to pursue opportunities to use her language skills and professional knowledge, enabling others to benefit from her expertise and passion!
Libia Jiménez is Mexicana-Colombiana. She graduated from the University of Rochester with a double Bachelor’s degree in Political Science and Philosophy. She holds a Master’s degree in Human Rights from University College London in addition to professional certifications in the areas of project management, development policy, and fundraising.
Her background has primarily focused on building programs and partnerships within nonprofits, nationally and internationally. She is passionate about advancing human rights, furthering inclusive public policy, and strengthening capacity within communities and nongovernmental organizations.
Lina Bejarano was born in Cali, Colombia and came to the United States when she was 7 years old. Linais an AmeriCorps VISTA fellow and is currently placed at the Latin American Association, where she works as the outreach coordinator. She is also currently working with Athena’s Warehouse as their lead mentor for at-risk teen girls.
In 2015, she graduated with a bachelors in Criminology and a minor in Spanish from the University of West Georgia. She currently sits on the Alpha Gamma Deltas executive board as their campus relations officer. She is interested in repairing relationships between police and communities of color with an emphasis on youth development.
Mamie Dayan Vogel
A seventh generation native of Macon, Georgia on one side and a second generation born Syrian American on another, Mamie is the dichotomy & epitome of modern “America.”
Her mother’s side is French, Dutch, & German, having predominantly come from a lineage of Jews from Alsace-Lorriane, the Rhine River Valley, and Amsterdam while her father’s side is Syrian.
After completing an undergraduate degree in Political Science and Communications, and completing her Master’s coursework in Demography, her professional career led her to roles in both non-profit & for-profit sectors, among her focuses, running a children’s literacy organization, working in adverting at AT&T and developing a Big Data software product line.
Presently Mamie is running a Market Research & Innovation Division of a Berkshire Hathaway manufacturing subsidiary, She also just launched a children’s T-Shirt company, Constructive Kidicisms, which focuses on simple, empowering messaging geared to aide children explore their own aptitudes and identity.
Outside of work, Mamie is presently involved with several non-profit groups, including the AJC’s ACCESS Steering Committee & Executive Board, the Junior League of Atlanta’s Centennial Committee, and the Jewish Federation of Greater Atlanta’s LEADS program, among other roles.
Mario was raised in Miami, Florida by parents who fled Nicaragua during civil unrest in the 1980s. He graduated from the University of Florida with a Bachelor’s in Political Science and certificates in International Relations and Latin American Studies. He has resided in Atlanta since 2014, when he enrolled at Emory University to pursue a Master’s in Development Practice degree and Human Rights certificate. Currently, he works as an after-school and English as a Second Language coordinator at LaAmistad Inc. Meanwhile, in his free time, he enjoys exploring different cultures through books and travel, and staying physically and mentally active by exercising and meditating.a
Mishel Cabrera was born in Ecuador and currently resides in Atlanta, Georgia. Her passion lies in the beauty of art and its many different forms, ranging from photography, drawing and sculptures. She loves to learn about new cultures and to travel around the world to absorb different points of view. Mishel is a fourth year student at Georgia Gwinnett College working on attaining a Bachelor’s degree in International Business Administration. She is currently serving as a Senator for the School of Business in the Student Government Association and the Director of Communication for the Organization of Latin American Students at Georgia Gwinnett College. After graduation, Mishel hopes to continue her education by attaining a Master’s degree in Graphic Design. In her free time, she like to go on runs, hikes, have outdoor adventures, travel, take photographs, and hang out with her family and friends.
Nataly Morales Villa
Nataly Morales Villa was born in El Mezquital Durango, Mexico and immigrated to the United States when she was five. In 2014 she enrolled at the University of North Georgia where she is double majoring in Psychology and Political Science with a Certificate in Spanish Translation. As a third year recipient of the Goizueta scholarship, she has been able to aid students through the college process and co-lead various community service projects. She currently interns for the College Assistance Migrant Program and serves as the VP of Engagement for the Hispanic and Latino Association, a nonprofit that provides humanitarian assistance to migrants fleeing to the United States. She hopes her efforts lead her to one day forming a non-profit organization that benefits the indigenous communities of her hometown in Mexico. Through the GIL she wishes to input her own “granito de arena” and further advocate for her community. She enjoys baking, reading, and traveling on her free time.
Omar Alvarez Zuniga is the oldest of three children and is of Mexican heritage. He is a fourth year student at Georgia Gwinnett College studying to attain a degree in Biochemistry and is going to apply to the Emory School of Medicine following his graduation. He serves as a Senator for the School of Science and Technology and a Treasurer for the Organization of Latin American Students at Georgia Gwinnett College. In addition to his passion for Chemistry and Biology, he also invests his time volunteering on campus and helping host events off campus to help inspire middle and high school students to pursue higher education. Omar enjoys listening to Rock and Latin music, as well as relaxing outdoors and spending time with his puppy Alfie.
Pablo Picazo-Garcia was born in Los Angeles, California and moved to Gainesville with his parents when he was 6. Pablo graduated with his Bachelors in Psychology in 2016 from UNG while serving as Psych Club President from 2014-2015. Pablo was a member of the UNG Debate team from 2013-2015 and finished in 3rd place at the 2014 Pi Kappa Delta National Invitational Tournament. Pablo is currently a substance abuse and behavioral health counselor while working on his Master’s degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling at the University of North Georgia Dahlonega campus.
Paul Glaze was born at Fort Gordon Army Base in Augusta, Georgia. He became interested in community organizing through volunteering for GALEO in the city of Gainesville. He received his B.A. in Communications from the University of North Georgia. During that time he worked for the University’s Government Affairs Department, American Jewish Committee’s Atlanta Regional Office, and after graduation on the field teams for the Democratic Party of Georgia and the Daniel Blackman campaign for State Senate in Forsyth County. He enjoys theatre and plays music in his spare time.
Sandy Chavarria was born and raised in Atlanta, Georgia. She is the oldest of four siblings and a first-generation college graduate. Although always determined in attaining a higher education, she was undecided in what career path to take. Ultimately, she realized that she wants to dedicate her life to public service and being a positive agent of change. In 2015, she received her Bachelor’s degree in Public Policy from Georgia State University. Being a product of immigrant parents, raised in humble beginnings, and overcoming the many challenges tied to that, she believes she can contribute unique views and ideas to the realm of governmental/non-profit.
Currently, she is the Prevention Support Coordinator at the Georgia Center for Child Advocacy (GCCA). In this role, she assists in the promotion and coordination of GCCA’s statewide initiative to empower adults to prevent, recognize, and react responsibly to child sexual abuse. By delivering prevention education (and specializing on Latino communities) she aspires to get people talking about taboo conversations and make prevention practices part of our culture. Sandy has a 3 year old son, Yahir, with whom she spends most of her free time with (fun fact: during his time in the womb, he accompanied her to college).
Tatiana Otalora was born in New York. During her childhood she spent time moving between the United States of America and Colombia. She started setting roots in Georgia when she was in middle school. Eventually, she was the first to graduate high school in her family. In her quest to help her Latino/Hispanic community she obtained a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science with a minor in International Affairs from Georgia State University. After which she decided to focus on a more micro level and obtained a Master of Social Work degree from New York University. Upon graduation she works with Latino youth in the criminal justice system of NYC. In 2014 she decided to move back and is currently working with the Latino community at the only CARF approved bilingual outpatient clinic in Georgia, CETPA. Throughout her academic and career path she has been an active member of various Latino organizations such as: NYU Center for Latino Adolescent and Family Health, NYUDreamers, Georgia State Universities Latino American Student Association, and Georgia Latino Alliance for Human Rights.
Thalia Escobedo moved from central Florida to Atlanta, Georgia to follow in her mother’s footsteps to work for the Migrant Education Program. Five years later, she has found her niche in helping first-generation students through the first year of college at the University of North Georgia CAMP program. Working for the College Migrant Assistance Program ( CAMP) has no only helped her grow personally and professionally, but also fueled her passion for helping students succeed in their college careers. Thalia, a dog lover, takes her service dog, Meli, to work with her to provide emotional support to students and staff on her floor. Not only does she love her job and the students she helps, but also looks forward to being able to use her expertise and GIL experiences to help the Latino community in her new hometown, Athens GA.
Trinita Ervin is the Founder and Executive Director of the Ladybug for Girls™ Foundation, Inc. a 501 c (3) non-profit organization and healthy lifestyle brand. Ladybug empowers young girls to live healthier lifestyles. This is done via after-school classes, community workshops, fitness activities, mentorship, and the advocacy of legislative policies for girls’ health. Ervin received her Bachelor’s degree in Political Science from Spelman College and her Health Coach certification from Emory University. She is a respected community leader with an extensive professional career in healthcare and advocacy for community health and wellness. She has served on the Board of Trustees for Leadership Sandy Springs and on the Regional Board of Directors for the American Red Cross. For the National Coalition of 100 Black Women Metro Atlanta Chapter, Ervin was on the Board of Directors and served as Chair of Health Initiatives. She’s also furthered her leadership outreach in her roles as President of Northside Hospital’s Employee Leadership Council and the President of Northside Hospital’s Executive Board for United Way.
Udis Calderon Velasquez was born in La Union, El Salvador and moved to Gainesville, Georgia in 2009. In 2015 he graduated from Gainesville High School and is currently attending the University of North Georgia. At UNG he has the privilege of being a Goizueta Endowment Scholar and is part of the Student Orientation Leader Team. He is currently getting his license to become a Realtor and plans to own his Real Estate business. Udis enjoys being involved in his community and in the future hopes to go on mission trips and aid countries in need. He is an alumni of the Hispanic Organization Promoting Education and serves his community by being a facilitator for the HoPe Leadership Academy. He considers, “ la educación la llave al éxito.”
Victor Hugo Herrera was born in California and lived in Mexico for 3 years. He is currently pursuing a bachelor’s degree in Communication at Kennesaw State University. He is a navy veteran serving almost six years. He is involved in church helping the coordinators for the young adult group and confirmation class. He enjoys reading, walking, radio, helping the homeless, and serving the community. His future ambitions are to become an entrepreneur, media proprietor, and politics.
Viridiana Fuentes was born in Tlaquepaque, Jalisco and migrated to Atlanta, Georgia with her family at the age of 7. Since then, Viridiana was encouraged to become an active member of her community through leadership in the church or in school. Before graduating high school in 2015, Viridiana had earned the Atlanta Journal Constitution’s Best All-Around Senior for Pebblebrook High School as well as the Ray A. Kroc Youth Achievement Award. Since graduation, Viridiana has developed a passion for traveling, learning, and informing her community through her work in the Alianza Pro-Immigrate de el Condado de Cobb. She currently is an agent with State Farm, and plans to go back to school to receive her bachelors in Political Science and Psychology to further advance her activist career.
Viviana is an Advisory Board Member on the Georgia Governor’s Council on Developmental Disabilities, a former Advisory Board Member of the National Down Syndrome Congress, and a former Anchor and Producer at CNN En Espanol.