Board of Directors
Marta Rivera, President
A Mission Hill resident, Marta is a consultant for nonprofit management and program development. Marta has prior experience working with local youth and families as the Director of Capacity Building and Community Partnerships with the Boston Centers for Youth and Families. Marta has served on the Board of Directors since 2003.
Patricia, Senior Project Manager at Mission Hill Neighborhood Housing Services, lives and works in Mission Hill, advocating for positive community development that benefits low income and working class families in the neighborhood. Pat was recently honored for her tireless efforts by Boston’s Neighborhood Fellows program. Pat has served on the Board of Directors since 2005.
Jaime Lopez joined Sociedad Latina in 2002 and participated as a volunteer, a Youth Leader, a program assistant, and now as a member of the Board of Directors since 2012. He earned his bachelor’s degree in finance, accounting, and management from Northeastern University, and is pursuing an M.B.A. with a concentration in International Business from Suffolk University. He currently works as an Office Manager at the Barr Foundation since 2008 where he supports the day-to-day activities of the Foundation, as well as operations-related projects.
Cecilia Mendez is the Director of the Center for Art and Community Partnerships at the Massachusetts College of Art and Design. The Center works to cultivate innovative, sustainable relationships with the broader community to explore and expand the relevance of art in public life. Her work and passion has always been at the intersection of art, culture, education, and community, and she has worked in or with community arts organizations, galleries, and schools throughout Massachusetts and beyond. An artist, poet, and filmmaker, she lives in Roslindale, MA. Cecilia joined the Board of Directors in 2011.
John Smith is the Enforcement & Compliance Manager at The Fair Housing Center of Greater Boston, which challenges systemic racial discrimination in housing through policy advocacy, training and litigation. John previously served as the Network Coordinator of the Youth Policy Initiative and has valuable experience in creating and implementing faith-based and community initiatives. He holds a Master of Public Policy from Tufts University and is a resident of Dorchester, MA. John joined the Board of Directors in 2014.
Ramon brings his experience with intergovernmental relations to the Board of Directors. He is currently a Communications Aide for the Office of Mayor Thomas Menino. He previously served as a 2010 Census Liaison for the City of Boston. A Mission Hill resident, Ramon joined Sociedad Latina's Board of Dircetors in 2010.
Zakiya Thomas is the Director of Education and Community Initiatives for the Boston Ballet where she oversees the organization’s nationally-acclaimed education programs Citydance, Taking Steps, and Adaptive Dance. She is also responsible for the development of new programs and initiatives designed to engage the community with the work of the Ballet. Prior to joining the Boston Ballet staff, Zakiya worked for the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston where she managed the museum’s community programs and shaped new audience development initiatives that involved internal staff, external constituents and the museum’s board. Zakiya also worked for the Boston Symphony Orchestra, where her focus was on education research and development. Zakiya studied violin for over 20 years, including time spent at Rice University’s Shepherd School of Music in Houston, Texas. She holds an undergraduate degree from the University of Texas at Austin and a graduate degree from Boston University, having studied both journalism and arts administration respectively. She currently serves on the board of the Massachusetts Cultural Council. Zakiya joined the Board of Directors in 2011.
As the Assistant Coordinator for the Curtis Hall Community Center in Jamaica Plain, Noel brings to the Board extensive experience in developing and implementing programs that effect positive change among youth and communities. Noel has served on the Board of Directors since 2005.
Yorling participated as a Youth Leader at Sociedad Latina and was invited to join the Board in 2014.
Freddie Velez, Treasurer
A Roxbury resident, Freddie brings experience working with at-risk youth to the Board of Directors. Freddie works with Youth Options Unlimited Boston, a workforce development program primarily working with court-involved youth. Freddie has served on the Board of Directors since 2005 as the Board Treasurer.