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MIRNA M GONZALEZ
Mirna is an immigrant that came to the United States in 1988, having previously studied to become a Nurse Technician in her country of origin, El Salvador.
Since the year 2000, she has been working and volunteering her time and efforts through non-profits, as well as community-based outreach organizations. Her commitment and dedication with local communities was informed and inspired by her personal experiences with daily struggles as a single mother challenged by the socioeconomic and systemic disadvantages inherent as an immigrant woman.
Angelica Santiago was born and raised in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. She is married and has 2 children. Angelica has a passion for acting and was a part of the Paloma Players, Lancaster's first Latino theatre group. She joined LEP because she wants to raise food allergy awareness to her community.
JOSE GUILLERMO RODRIGUEZ PLAZA
Ever since he was young, José has sheltered on the arts as an emotional outlet. Through his creative writing, José externalizes his vision of an ideal world. Currently, he studies Caribbean literature in Temple University and manages Paloma Players, Lancaster’s first Latinx theatre company.
ROSA THOMAS PADILLA
Rosa Thomas was born in 1967 in the Dominican Republic. She migrated to the U . S. In 1981 . During her childhood she learned to honor God which made her passionate about serving and helping others, sharing her life experiences to serve as a motivation to others . Her dreams are to own a professional sewing machine and a Christian based center were seniors could share their skills and teach the youngsters.
Naiby Perez born November 24th 1991 in Lancaster PA. Naiby began her musical journey at the young age of 6 when she discovered her voice. Naiby began writing music when she was 12 and at the age of 15 she began performing.
Naiby has participated in things like, first Fridays in Lancaster , first Thursday latino, Lancaster’s teen idol, Lancaster’s got talent ,American idol and the voice. Naiby has performed for the barnstormers stadium, weddings, birthdays and festivals . Naiby has plans on releasing an ep mid spring and a full music project at the end of summer .
FRANCHESKA GONZALEZ LOPEZ
Marjorie Figaroa (Maya) graduated LEP in 2015 with diverse background and work experience being new in the area with a desire to help and be part of the community. Originally from Aruba at the age of 7 moved to Puerto Rico la Isla del Encanto “Caribeña.” Once graduated, High School at Dr. Gilberto Concepcion de Gracia moved to Florida. It was Spring 1996 enrolled Clearwater Christian College for Early Childhood Education and was part of the Mission Field Experience Travel team. Continuing to have a desire to be a bridge among the diversity year 2012 attended The National Center for Interpretation. 2019 graduated with double Major Business Administration and Biblical Studies at Lancaster Bible College with the recognition of Magna Cum Laude. A current student at Millersville University to earn a Master's of Science in Emergency Management expects to graduate in Fall 2020. I am working for CSL PLasma as a Quality Specialist. An active volunteer with the American Red Cross, Church Medical team Hobbies I enjoy cooking, outdoor activities, enjoy traveling to new places, music, writing, and learning.
Sandra Valdez, LEP alumni class of 2015 and Leadership Lancaster class of 2017-Best Class Ever! I am the Chief Operating Officer at the Spanish American Civic Association (SACA). I joined the vibrant SACA family back in August of 1999 (20.5 years ago). Currently I strive to share my expertise and be the voice at the table of several community boards. I Co-Chair the Campaign Against Sexual Exploitation of Children (C.A.S.E) through the Lancaster District Attorney’s Office, board member of Leadership Lancaster, the Crime Prevention Task Force, the Lancaster General Health Patient Family Advisory Committee, Hunger-Free Lancaster County, Penn State Latino Community Cancer Advisory Board, the Pennsylvania Prevention Directors’ Association and the Ryan White Clinics for 340B Access. Dedicate my time helping those in needs both professionally and personally. I enjoy family time, dancing, swimming, playing table games, shopping and my new hobby - doing my own acrylic nails.
MELISA M. BAEZ
Melisa has long known that her passion lies in creating social change through business and education. After experiencing life in Philadelphia and California, she knew Lancaster, where she calls home, was the place she wanted to focus on building a lasting impact.
Melisa served as the director of programs and Co-Founder for a college access program, where her focus was to motivate and guide at-risk youth on a path toward attaining a degree of higher education. Now, as the Director of Entrepreneur Training at ASSETS, Melisa has coached over 700 entrepreneurs, primarily women, empowering them to start and grow their own businesses. Beyond her professional experience, she continues to expand her personal connection with the local and global community. Not only does she volunteer her services in the greater Lancaster County as a guest educator, she also a Global Shaper Alum for the Lancaster Hub, and a Cordes Fellow focusing on global social issues. Melisa sits on the Board of Directors for the Stone Independent School, Lancaster County Community Foundation and sits on the diversity Committee for Girls on The Run. Melisa is currently an MBA in Sustainability candidate at Bard and will be receiving her masters the spring of 2020.
Director of Entrepreneur Training, ASSETS
Director of Information Technology At Saxton & Stump Lawyers and Consultants
Attended McCaskey High School and in 1980 dropped in my senior year. I served in the USARMY from 1980-84 highest Rank: Sergeant. Received a GED Certificate from Central Texas College and received an Associate’s Degree from Thompson Institute in Executive Data Management. Later on, I received a Bachelor of Science Degree from Central Pennsylvania College in Information Technology and a Master's Degree in School Business Leadership from Wilkes Barre university.
Twenty-six years in Public Education, until recently, I was the Director of Information Technology and Services for Delaware County Intermediate Unit in Morton Pa. I am currently the Director of Information Technology for Saxton & Stump.
Currently, the Chair of the Finance Committee at San Juan Bautista Parish. Board Member of La Plaza Board. I graduated from the Latino Empowerment Project in 2018. First Latino to have the privilege to Fund The Tirado Fund with the Lancaster Country Community Foundation.