For over 20 years, Alexandra Oliver-Dávila has worked to create a community that supports and values young people and believes in their ability to create positive social change. Serving as Executive Director since 1999, Alex has transformed Sociedad Latina into a cutting-edge, data-driven youth development organization. Under her leadership, Sociedad Latina has quadrupled its budget, expanded board membership, increased the total number of youth and families served, broadened programming, and developed our Pathways to Success model. In 2003, Alex initiated a community needs assessment to identify specific issues facing members of the Mission Hill/Roxbury community. The assessment revealed an increase for youth programming that would provide skills in four key areas: Education, Workforce Development, Civic Engagement, and Arts & Culture. Informed by these areas of need, Alex led the planning and implementation of our youth development model--Pathways to Success. Alex has also led the organization through strategic planning processes from 2000-2016. Read full bio
Lydia Emmons, Director of College & Career Pathways
Lydia Emmons earned her undergraduate degree in Urban and Community Studies and Public Policy from the University of Connecticut and she holds certificates in Youth Trauma Response and Non-Profit Leadership. Lydia was a participant of the 2016 Massachusetts Education Policy Fellowship Program through the Rennie Center for Education Research & Policy. She joined Sociedad Latina in 2009 as a Highland Street Corps Ambassador of Mentoring and was then hired as a Workforce Development Coordinator. As Director of College & Career Pathways, Lydia oversees the Education and Workforce Development programs, evaluates program components, and liaises with Boston Public Schools and higher education partners.
Juan Maldonado, Director of Arts, Culture & Civic Engagement
Juan Maldonado earned his undergraduate degree in Professional Music, with a concentration in Music Education, from Berklee College of Music. Prior to joining Sociedad Latina, Juan founded and directed a music school near Boston. Juan is a skilled musician, appearing in events such as the Monterey Jazz Festival, Bean Town Jazz Festival, Duke Ellington Jazz Festival, Sarasota Jazz Festival, and Heineken Jazz Festival. In 2014, Juan was awarded the Berklee Urban Service Award for his outstanding work with youth in Boston and was recently selected as a chair for Boston Creates--a community-wide effort to harness creativity and build a shared vision for arts and culture in Boston. As the Director of Arts, Culture, & Civic Engagement, Juan oversees all community arts and engagement initiatives, manages program staff, and develops curricula. Juan is bilingual in English and Spanish.
email@example.com x 107
Laura Simocko received her undergraduate degree in Peace & Conflict Studies from Colgate University and an M.Phil. in Race, Ethnicity, Conflict from Trinity College Dublin. Her previous experience includes direct service and development roles at the Immigrant Legal Advocacy Project of Maine, Catholic Charities Maine, and Academia Europea Dominicana. At Sociedad Latina, Laura is responsible for fundraising, oversight of evaluation and marketing, and supervising development staff.
Flor Bluthgen, Development Associate
Flor Bluthgen received her undergraduate degree in Communications from Universidad Austral in Argentina and an MA in Sustainable International Development from Brandeis University. She previously worked in nonprofits in Argentina, Colombia, and Haiti. At Sociedad Latina, Flor implements the grant writing, reporting, and marketing components of the organizational fundraising plan. Flor is bilingual in English and Spanish.
Shynnah Cueto-Monge, Workforce Development Coordinator
Shynnah Cueto-Monge is currently pursuing an Associate’s Degree in Human Services at Bunker Hill Community College. She has been involved with Sociedad Latina for more than seven years, transitioning from a Youth Leader to a full-time staff member. While in high school, she was an intern at Brigham & Women's Hospital through the Health Careers for Youth Program and a Youth Artist. At Sociedad Latina, Shynnah is the Workforce Development Coordinator, placing senior Youth Leaders in internships across the Longwood Medical Area and overseeing the implementation of the Work Readiness Curriculum for all of the Youth Leader Programs. She is bilingual in English and Spanish.
Dan Davis, College & Careers Pathways Coordinator
Dan Davis received his undergraduate degree in Spanish Language & Literature and a Master's in Teaching from Clark University. Before joining Sociedad Latina in 2014, Dan taught high school Spanish in Grafton and Worcester. At Sociedad Latina, Dan supports with out Education program and works with Boston Public Schools to implement college and career access support.
Vitto Di Vaio, STEAM Team and Music Consultant
Vitto Di Vaio received his undergraduate degree in Economics from Brown University. Prior to joining Sociedad Latina, he worked in corporate strategy consulting at Bain & Company. At Sociedad Latina, Vitto is developing a core curriculum for the STEAM Team Program and assists with the Youth Artists Mastery Program, teaching electronic music production. He is also a passionate member of the local dance music community, where he participates in event production and business development capacity.
Victoria Garcia, Office Manager
Victoria Garcia is a former Youth Leader in our Health Careers for Youth Program. After completing high school, she joined Sociedad Latina as a temporary receptionist before being hired as a full-time employee. Victoria is currently working towards her undergraduate degree in Business Management at Endicott College. At Sociedad Latina, Victoria is the Office Manager and is receiving training within the Finance Department. She is bilingual in English and Spanish.
Maria Grande, Development Associate
Maria Grande received her undergraduate degree in English Language Literature and Creative Writing from Providence College. While in college, she developed and facilitated various workshops on diversity and cultural proficiency. Maria joined Sociedad Latina in 2015 as an AmeriCorps VISTA ServiceWorks Program and Development Leader, where she worked with youth ages 16-24 in developing college and career readiness skills while integrating community service. After her service year, Maria became a full-time staff member at Sociedad Latina as a Development Associate, writing grants, reporting, and working with our individual donor network.
Nyerrie Hale, STEAM Team Coordinator
Nyerrie Hale is currently pursuing a Bachelor’s Degree in English and Entrepreneurship at Salem State University. At Sociedad Latina, Nyerrie coordinates our STEAM Team programming for middle school students.
Emily Lewis, AmeriCorps VISTA ServiceWorks Recruitment and Outreach Leader
Emily Lewis received her undergraduate degree in Sociology from Emmanuel College. Prior to joining AmeriCorps VISTA, Emily worked with our middle school STEAM Team as the Program Assistant. As a Recruitment and Outreach Leader, she works with youth ages 16-24 to develop career and college readiness skills at partner organizations and develops youth-lead service projects across Boston.
Yamileth Lopez, Bookkeeper
Yamileth Lopez received an Associate’s Degree in Business Administration, with a concentration in Accounting, from Bunker Hill Community College. She is currently working towards her undergraduate degree in Business Management, with a concentration in Accounting, from the University of Massachusetts, Boston. At Sociedad Latina, Yamileth coordinates all billing, accounting, and human resources for the organization. She is bilingual in English and Spanish.
Lissette Melendez, Office Assistant
Lissette Melendez received her undergraduate degree in Communications, with concentrations in Public Relations and Sports Communications, from Lasalle College. Prior to joining Sociedad Latina, Lissette worked with youth in a variety of capacities, including tutoring and coaching soccer, and was the Administrative Assistant for the Integrated Learning Academy in Newton. At Sociedad Latina, she assists in the day-to-day tasks of running the office. Lissette is bilingual in English and Spanish.
Ornan Mendez, Program Assistant
Ornan Mendez is currently pursuing an Associate's Degree in Business Concentration at Bunker Hill Community College and plans to transfer to a four-year college to receive his undergraduate degree in Business. Ornan started working at Sociedad Latina in 2013 as a Youth Community Organizer. He was also an intern at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute through the Health Careers for Youth Program. At Sociedad Latina, Ornan is the Program Assistant for the Civic Engagement Program. He is bilingual in English and Spanish.
Jenna Nackel, STEAM Team Manager
Jenna Nackel received her undergraduate degree in Education and Social Justice from Vassar College. Before joining Sociedad Latina in 2014, Jenna worked for Cambridge Montessori School and Big Brothers Big Sisters of Massachusetts Bay. At Sociedad Latina, she coordinates the daily implementation of our middle school STEAM Team, liaises with families, and works closely with our partner Boston Public Schools. She is bilingual in English and Spanish.
Raquel Navarro, Program Assistant
Raquel Navarro joined Sociedad Latina in 2012 as a Youth Artist and made her way up to a permanent staff position. She is a vocal performer and learned to play the bass and piano at Sociedad Latina. As a Youth Artist, she composed three original songs and performed at the Institute of Contemporary Art, House of Blues Boston, the Museum of Fine Arts, and various community events across Boston. She currently attends Roxbury Community College, where she is pursuing music. At Sociedad Latina, Raquel is the Program Assistant for our Youth Artists Mastery Program, instructing middle school music classes and assisting our Arts, Culture, & Music Coordinator with workshops, ensembles, and afterschool programming. She is bilingual in English and Spanish.
Wilmer Quinones, Civic Engagement Coordinator
Wilmer Quinones joined Sociedad Latina as a Youth Community Organizer in 2009. As a YCO, he was the Student Faciliator for the ELL Student Youth Advisory and the Program Assistant for the Saturday ELL Academy. After completing high school, he became a full-time staff member at Sociedad Latina as the Civic Engagement Coordinator. At Sociedad Latina, Wilmer leads the YCOs as they create and facilitate campaign and outreach efforts in the community, as well as cultural proficiency workshops and English Language Learner support services in partner Boston Public Schools. Wilmer will be receiving his Associate’s Degree in Business Technology and Management from Benjamin Franklin Institute of Technology in May and will be attending UMass Boston in the fall. Wilmer is bilingual in English and Spanish.
Fernando Rodriguez, ALAS College Access & Success Coach
Fernando Rodriguez received his undergraduate degree in Sociology and Psychology from Framingham State University. He moved back to Boston after college to advocate and create change within his community. At Sociedad Latina, Fernando provides transition coaching to youth through their first two years of college.
Abraham Sierra Jr., ALAS College Access & Success Coach
Abraham Sierra, Jr. is currently pursuing an Associate’s Degree in Human Services from Bunker Hill Community College and plans to transfer to a four-year college to receive his undergraduate degree in Expressive Arts Therapy. Prior to joining Sociedad Latina, Abraham was an AmeriCorps Vista ServiceWorks Member, working with youth ages 16-24 in developing college and career readiness skills while integrating community service. At Sociedad Latina, Abraham provides transition coaching to youth through their first two years of college. He is bilingual in English and Spanish.
Josh Snyder, Arts, Culture, & Music Coordinator
Josh Snyder received his undergraduate degree in Jazz Composition from Berklee College of Music. Prior to joining Sociedad Latina, he worked as a private guitar instructor and taught at the Yawkey Boys & Girls Club. He is currently completing a fellowship through the Music Educators and Teaching Artists program with the Massachusetts Cultural Council. At Sociedad Latina, Josh supervises the Youth Artists Mastery Program, providing youth with the tools to be creative and comfortable with expressing themselves through music and he teaches school-day music classes to middle school and high school students in Boston Public Schools.
Victor Velazquez, ¡emprende! Program Coordinator
Victor Velazquez received his undergraduate degree in Business Management and a Master's Degree in Technological Entrepreneurship from Northeastern University. He previously worked with the Bennington County Regional Communication, developing a plan for affordable housing in Vermont. He was also a Community Adviser at Southern Vermont College and was part of various startups and entrepreneurial endeavors. At Sociedad Latina, Victor teaches our ¡emprende! Program at partner Boston Public Schools. Victor is bilingual in English and Spanish.
Jose Villa, Program Assistant
Jose Villa is currently pursuing his undergraduate degree in Professional Music at Berklee College of Music. Before joining Sociedad Latina, Jose directed his own music academy in Laredo, Texas. He started working at Sociedad in 2014 as a Berklee work-study student, assisting our Arts, Culture, & Music Coordinator with the Youth Artists Mastery Program. At Sociedad Latina, he coordinates the Saturday Community Art Classes.