I am honored to now be the Executive Director at CDF. My academic work is in government and Latin American studies. I have had a number of exciting opportunities which have allowed me to combine my interest in community with policy. I served as a community organizer for the Dade County Housing Authority in Florida, and the Puerto Rican Institute in New York.
My work with the developmental disabilities community brought me to Atlanta to serve as the State Citizen Advocacy Director for the Georgia Advocacy Office. As branch director of the DeKalb YWCA for many years, I was fortunate to develop long lasting relationships in Scottdale and Clarkston. I had the privilege of serving as Deputy Director for Policy and Program with Quality Care for Children. Most recently, I coordinated SPARK (Supporting Partners to Assure Ready Kids), an initiative of United Way.
Who do you admire? Who are your idols?
I admire Eleanor Roosevelt, Cesar Chavez, and Martin Luther King, Jr. because of their leadership skills, their commitment to peace, justice, and equality, and because they have provided great quotes for speeches and presentations.
What qualities do you value most in a friend?
I love friends who are inquisitive, ask important questions, think about and know a lot of things, like to laugh, and make me stretch intellectually.
If you had the choice, would you rather go to outer space or to the ocean floor? Why
I would definitely go to outer space and not to the ocean floor because I don’t like to be wet, fish are slimy, and I would rather go up than down. We know more about the ocean floor than outer space, and I would love to explore.
Do you consider yourself to be more of a scientist or an artist?
I am more of an artist than a scientist, since I like big blank canvases. However, science as well as art is creative, guided by principles and best practices, and both pursuits encourage practitioners to “think outside of the box.” I don’t have any artistic talent except that I like all kinds of art. (I can’t sing a note either, but I love music, especially music from different cultures and jazz.)
What values do you consider most important in your approach to your work?
A quote that says: “Keep your feet on the ground and your eyes on the moon” sort of defines my approach to my work. I like to meet people, listen, and strive for a common goal that may have practice as well as policy implications.