Sociedad Latina Staff
For more than 20 years, Alexandra Oliver-Dávila has worked to create a community that supports young people, values their input, 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 number of youth and families served, expanded programming, and developed our Cultural Studies curriculum. Read more.
Lydia Emmons, Director of College & Career Pathways
Lydia Emmons earned her Bachelor’s in Urban and Community Studies from the University of Connecticut and holds certificates in Youth Trauma Response and Non-Profit Leadership. Lydia joined Sociedad as a Highland Street Corps Ambassador of Mentoring in 2009 before being hired as the Workforce Development Coordinator. As Director of College & Career Pathways, Lydia oversees the Education and Workforce Development programs, evaluates program components and liaises with partners.
Juan Maldonado, Director of Arts & Civic Engagement
Juan Maldonado earned a Bachelor’s in Professional Music, with a concentration in Music Education, from Berklee College of Music. Prior to joining Sociedad, Juan founded, launched 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. As the Director of Arts & Civic Engagement, Juan oversees all community arts and engagement initiatives, manages program staff and develops curricula and lesson plans. Juan is bilingual in English and Spanish.
Kelly Baker, Development Associate
Kelly Baker holds a Bachelor’s in Political Science from Skidmore College. Previously, Kelly was a Diversity Fellow (Highland Street Corps Ambassador of Mentoring) at Science Club for Girls and, before that, worked as a Research Associate at Harvard Business School. At Sociedad, Kelly implements the grant writing, reporting, and evaluation components of the organizational fundraising plan.
Jade Franco, College & Career Pathways Coordinator
Jade Franco holds a Bachelor’s in Multidisciplinary Studies from Stonehill College and is bilingual in English and Spanish. Prior to joining Sociedad, Jade worked at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Summer Search Boston and Patronato Beneficio Oriental in La Romana, Dominican Republic. At Sociedad, Jade provides college access and postsecondary pathways guidance to Mission Possible! youth ages 14-21, outreaches to community youth and coordinates the Alumni program.
Nadia Gandara, Manager of Workforce Development
Nadia Gandara earned her Bachelor’s in History and Spanish from Seattle University. Because of her previous work at a global corporation, Nadia knows first-hand how to identify and develop the skills needed to succeed in the 21st century workforce. As Manager of Workforce Development, Nadia implements skills training, career exploration and job readiness opportunities for youth.
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 ensures the smooth daily operation of the office, coordinates phone and IT systems and is a primary point of contact for Youth Leaders and families. Victoria is bilingual in English and Spanish.
Elliot Higger, Media Arts Specialist
Elliot Higger has a Bachelor’s in Film Production from Emerson College. Her previous experience includes teaching filmmaking at iD Tech Camps MIT and producing films for the “Public Transit Public Good” campaign and the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation. On the Arts & Culture team, Elliot teaches enrichment classes on film production and video editing.
Vickie Miranda, Health Education Assistant
Vickie Miranda is currently earning her Bachelor’s degree from the University of Massachusetts Boston. She has been active with Sociedad for six years – first in the Mission Enrichment Program and then as a Youth Leader in the Health Educators Program. Vickie uses her experience as an Alumna to aid current Youth Leaders in their work on various health and nutrition issues. She is fluent in Spanish.
Shynnah Monge, Opportunity Youth Assistant
Shynnah Monge has been involved at Sociedad Latina for more than five years, transitioning from a Youth Leader to an employee. While in high school, Shynnah was an intern at Brigham & Women's Hospital through the Jovenes Latinos Pro Salud and a Youth Artist. Currently, Shynnah supports Sociedad's efforts to engage opportunity youth ages 16-24 who are disconnected from school and employment. Shynnah is bilingual in Spanish.
Jenna Nackel, STEAM Coordinator
Jenna Nackel holds a Bachelor's in Education and Social Justice from Vassar College. Before joining Sociedad in 2014, Jenna worked for Cambridge Montessori School and Big Brothers Big Sisters of Massachusetts Bay. She coordinates the daily implementation of our middle school STEAM Team, liaises with families and works closely with our partner schools. She is proficient in Spanish.
Carolina Prieto, Health Education Coordinator
Carolina Prieto earned a Bachelor’s in Organizational Communication Studies from Northeastern University. Previously, Carolina coordinated Northeastern’s Farmers Market, supported the “Go Local” movement in Boston and co-chaired “Breaking Ground 2012” – a conference uniting students across the US to bring healthy food to schools and campuses. Carolina is fluent in Spanish and coordinates all health education and advocacy initiatives at Sociedad Latina.
Wilmer Quinones, Alumni Engagement Assistant
Wilmer Quinones is currently earning his Bachelor’s degree from the University of Massachusetts Boston. At Sociedad, he has previously been a Youth Community Organizer, Student Facilitator for the ELL Student Youth Advisory and Program Assistant for the Saturday ELL Academy. Bilingual in English and Spanish, Wilmer now assists Sociedad’s Alumni engagement efforts.
Jonathan Rodrigues, Civic Engagement Coordinator
Jonathan Rodrigues holds a Bachelor’s in Political Science and Latin American Studies from the University of Chicago. He is multilingual in Portuguese, Spanish and French and has significant political organizing experience in South Florida and Greater Chicago. At Sociedad, Jonathan implements daily programming, oversees recruitment and supports community partnerships for the Youth Community Organizing program.
Laura Simocko, Grants Manager
Laura Simocko has an M.Phil. in Race, Ethnicity, Conflict from Trinity College Dublin and a B.A. in Peace & Conflict Studies from Colgate University. Her previous experience includes program and development roles at the Immigrant Legal Advocacy Project of Maine, Catholic Charities Maine and Academia Europea Dominicana. At Sociedad, Laura is responsible for all aspects of raising support from institutional funders and oversight of evaluation and marketing.
Josh Snyder, Music Coordinator
Josh Snyder holds a Bachelor's in Jazz Composition from Berklee College of Music. Prior to joining Sociedad, he worked for six years as a private guitar instructor and was a guitar instructor at Yawkey Boys & Girls Club. Josh's skill set includes arranging and writing for ensembles and he has performed across Greater Boston and central Ohio. At Sociedad, Josh coordinates the Youth Artists program and teaches school-day music classes with BPS partners.