For more than 20 years, Alexandra Oliver-Dávila has worked to create a community that supports Latino youth, 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, creative youth development organization. Under her leadership, Sociedad Latina has increased and diversified its budget, expanded board membership, increased the number of youth and families it works with and expanded programming.
Through her grassroots community-based approach, Alex has forged cross-sector collaborations with dozens of partners, including colleges, hospitals, businesses, foundations and schools. This broad network of partnerships has enabled Sociedad Latina to leverage resources and offer youth greater access and opportunities to thrive. In addition, Alex serves as a Community Advisory Board representative for Children's Hospital Boston, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, New England Baptist Hospital, Beth Israel and Boston After School and Beyond. Alex also serves as the Vice-Chair of the Boston Public School Committee, a trustee of Emmanuel College, a board member of the Coalition of Schools of Educating Boys of Color (COSEBOC) and the Co-Chair of the Greater Boston Latino Network (GBLN).
In recognition for her hard work and dedication to the Latino community in Boston, Alex has received a number of honors and recognition over the years. In 2018, Alex was selected by The Partnership to participate in the Next Generation Executive Leadership program and was named one of Boston’s Most 100 Influential People of Color by Get Konnected. In 2016, Alex was named one of YW’s 150 Women of Influence. Alex has been honored several times on El Planeta’s Powermeter 100 Most Powerful People for Massachusetts’ Latinos. In 2012, Alex received an Honorary Doctorate from Emmanuel College and the Hispanic Heritage Leadership Award from the National Football League. In 2007, Alex was honored as a Barr Foundation Fellow – a program that recognizes Boston’s most gifted and experienced leaders. She also received the Freedom House Community Leader Award in 2006 and the Boston Celtics’ Hero Among Us Award in 2002. During her career, Alex has also received honors from Mayor Thomas Menino, the Boston Police Department, and Boston City Council. Alex holds a Bachelor’s Degree from Emmanuel College and a Master’s in Public Policy from Tufts University.
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 AmeriCorps Ambassador of Mentoring and was then hired as a Workforce Development Coordinator. As Associate Director, Lydia oversees all of our Pathway to Success programming, evaluates program components, and liaises with Boston Public Schools and higher education partners.
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 Program Director, Juan oversees all of Sociedad Latina’s programming, manages program staff, and develops curricula. He is bilingual in English and Spanish.
George Barreras is currently pursuing double major in Political Science and Economics from New England College. Prior to joining Sociedad Latina, he worked with charities like Amnesty International and Heifer International, while earning licenses/certificates in mortgages, life insurance, health insurance, and a public notary certification. At Sociedad Latina, George coordinates our ¡emprende! Youth Entrepreneurship Program, working to create the next generation of Latino entrepreneurs.
Victoria Garcia earned her Associate’s Degree in Integrated Studies, with a concentration in Science, from Endicott College. She is currently pursuing her Bachelor’s Degree in Education from Endicott. Victoria joined Sociedad Latina in high school as a Youth Leader from 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. At Sociedad Latina, Victoria manages the day-to-day operations of the organization and the Executive Director, as well as supervises the Office Assistant. She is bilingual in English and Spanish.
Andrea Gilbert is currently pursuing an Associate’s Degree in Business at Bunker Hill Community College and plans to continue her studies in Finance at the University of Massachusetts, Boston in the near future. Before joining Sociedad Latina, she volunteered for various nonprofit organizations in Peru and was a translator for the Boston Housing Authority. At Sociedad Latina, Andrea supports our Office Manager and Finance Department and ensures the successful day-to-day operations of the organization. She is bilingual in English and Spanish.
Maria Grande received her undergraduate degree in English Language/Literature and Creative Writing from Providence College. She joined Sociedad Latina in 2015 as an AmeriCorps VISTA ServiceWorks Program and Development Leader. After her service year, Maria became a full-time staff member at Sociedad Latina as a Development Associate, writing grants and reports for our Arts & Culture and Civic Engagement programs and overseeing the organization’s marketing and communications.
Sarabjit Kaur earned her undergraduate degree in Management, with a double concentration in Accounting and Management Information Systems, from University of Massachusetts, Boston. She is currently pursuing her Master’s Degree in Business Analytics at Northeastern University. Prior to joining Sociedad Latina, Sarabjit was employed at UMass Boston in various positions, including serving as an Administrative Assistant at Osher Lifelong Learning Institute and tutoring undergraduate students in the College of Management. As Bookkeeper/Operations Manager, Sarabjit manages the daily operations of the finance department of the organization.
Emily Lewis - Manager of Arts, Culture, and Civic Engagement
Emily Lewis earned her Bachelor's Degree in Sociology from Emmanuel College. Prior to becoming the Manager of Arts, Culture, and Civic Engagement, Emily worked as the Health Education Coordinator, Program Assistant with our middle school STEAM Program, and as the AmeriCorps VISTA ServiceWorks Recruitment and Outreach Specialist. At Sociedad Latina, Emily leads youth and families in our health initiatives around sexual health, fitness and nutrition, and supports the Youth Artist Mastery and Civic Engagement programming. She ensures programs are on target to meet deliverables, designing high quality programming, and engaging the Mission Hill community in community programming.
Heidi is a first-generation college graduate from Hamilton College, receiving her Bachelor’s Degree in Government and Hispanic Studies. Prior to joing Sociedad Latina, she gained experience working with low-income young people of color at Breakthrough Collaborative in Cambridge, MA and A Better Chance Program in Clinton, NY. At Sociedad Latina, Heidi coordinatates our STEAM Team middle school program at the Mario Umana Academy in East Boston, facilitating STEAM career exploration activities for Latino and English Learner youth.
Geryel Osorio is a bilingual educator, writer, and agent of change. Being an immigrant and a first-generation college student, she is passionate about human rights, equitable resources, STEM education, and is a co-creator of spaces for those that identify as women of color. Geryel's latin roots and passion for STEM education led her to earn her Bachelor's Degree from Florida International University in Miami. Prior to joining Sociedad Latina, Geryel served two years through the AmeriCorps City Year program at a middle school in East Boston. While in City Year, she provided academic and social-emotional support to students. As the STEM Pathways Manager, she oversees our middle school STEAM Team program and emprende! Youth Entrepreneurship Program. Geryel also collaborates with Boston Public Schools to evaluate program components and create more opportunities for Sociedad Latina's youth through hands-on STEM practices.
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 (ICA), House of Blues Boston, the Museum of Fine Arts, and other events across Boston. She is currently attending Roxbury Community College, where she is pursuing music. At Sociedad Latina, Raquel is the Program Assistant for our Youth Artists Mastery Program, instructing high school music classes and assisting our Manager of Arts, Culture, & Civic Engagement with workshops, ensembles, and afterschool programming. She is bilingual in English and Spanish.
Wilmer E. Quiñones Melo - STEAM Team Program Coordinator
Wilmer E. Quiñones Melo is an Alum of Sociedad Latina’s Youth Leader Program. He holds an Associate’s Degree in Technology Business and Management from the Benjamin Franklin Institute of Technology and two certificates: Certified Observer from the National Institute on Out-of-School Time and Get Real Educator from Planned Parenthood. As a Sociedad Latina Youth Leader, Wilmer was involved in our Youth Community Organizer program, English Language Learners Task Force, and the Young Men’s Advisory Council. Prior to his current role, he was the Civic Engagement Coordinator.
Currently, Wilmer coordinates our STEAM Team middle school program at the Timilty Middle School in Roxbury, facilitating STEAM career exploration activities for Latino and English Learner youth.
Kimberly Rios - ALAS College Access & Success Coach
Kimberly Rios received her undergraduate degree in Counseling Psychology, with a minor in Community Based Human Services, from Wheelock College. She joined Sociedad Latina in 2017 as the College and Career Pathways Assistant, working closely with the Escalera Program and providing high school students with support and knowledge on higher education and career opportunities. As the Highland Street Americorps Ambassador of Mentoring and Student Success Associate, Kim oversees our Mentores en Acción program, working to create meaningful, impacting mentoring relationships and opportunities for our young people. She is bilingual in English and Spanish.
Rebecca Sher has recently finished her Masters in Public Administration from the Middlebury Institute of International Studies in California. She moved to South America to study women's human rights, culminating in a thesis explaining femicide in Latin America. Prior to joining Sociedad Latina, Rebecca worked for various non-profit organizations with missions to combat violence against women, human trafficking, and other human rights violations.
A California native, Rebecca has also lived in Italy, Argentina, and Chile and speaks English, Italian, and Spanish fluently.
Tiffany grew up in the outskirts of Miami with a Bolivian mother and an American father. Her passion for helping youth stems from her graduate studies at the University of San Francisco while conducting her Master’s thesis research. She traveled through various villages of Bangladesh to analyze the causes of schoolgirl dropouts in the rural secondary school system by interviewing young girls, teachers, parents, and community leaders. She has experience working with women and youth who have suffered trauma as well as young teenage mothers who have been forced to marry. She believes that education can be a catalyst for social change, and she knows that the work and mission of Sociedad Latina is exactly that. She is bilingual in English and Spanish.