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Leading From Where You Are

The Progreso Latino Fund (PLF) is pleased to present the series: Celebrating Latino Leaders. While the individuals profiled represent a diverse group of men and women from many countries, professions and age groups, each is united by his or her commitment to social change through giving back and creating opportunities for others. PLF seeks to expand the definition of leadership to promote the leadership and advancement of Latinos.

We hope you are inspired by the profiles below of Latino leaders in our community.

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Celebrating Latino Leaders: Domingo Medina ›

"I was happy to learn about the Progreso Latino Fund because I was able to see people … that are second, third or fourth generation Latinos that are leaders in their communities: they're in finance, they're in education, they're in health, they're making an impact..."

Celebrating Latino Leaders: Maria Elena Oliva ›

"I was fortunate to learn that there was such a thing as the Progreso Latino Fund because it highlights a population of people that sometimes do a lot of tireless work quietly and they are doing some really big things."

Celebrating Latino Leaders: Maritza Bond, MPH ›

"I know that I represent a lot of voices that otherwise cannot be heard. I consciously try my best to know that when I'm at the table that I have the influence to create positive change."

Celebrating Latino Leaders: Ingrid Canady ›

"I'm a strong believer of shared leadership; this is not about positional leadership, it's about individual leadership. If I, as a member of the community, get the information that they're providing, I connect, I network, I leave that session empowered knowing that I am part of a community group that is willing to engage in these conversations and support my growth."

Celebrating Latino Leaders: Martin Torresquintero ›

“Many people, particularly many in less privileged neighborhoods, thought that people like us don't go climbing, don't go skiing, don't go scuba diving. We need to find a way to convey the message that everybody can do this.”

Celebrating Latino Leaders: Mavi Sanchez-Skakle ›

"We are now doing civic engagement with our youth, showing them how to connect with their community and how to give back and all of this is because of the sport of tennis."

Celebrating Latino Leaders: Boni Candelario ›

Boni Candelario is on a mission to empower staff to take charge of their career, believe in their abilities and secure professional success.

Celebrating Latino Leaders: Monica Maldonado ›

"When you get to that place where you feel like you can’t do anymore…do one more thing, write one more paragraph, spend one more minute and watch as the momentum energizes you to get things done!"

Celebrating Latino Leaders: Sergio Rodriguez ›

“The greatest influencers in my life were my family and mentors. The greatest joys in my life are my family and our family created through fostering and mentoring many, many children.”

Celebrating Latino Leaders: Addys Maria Castillo, M.S., M.P.A. ›

“I hope that my legacy shows how valuable it is to have a commitment to ensuring that all children have a nurturing and safe forever home.”

Celebrating Latino Leaders: Enna Garcia ›

“I hope that my legacy shows how valuable it is to have a commitment to ensuring that all children have a nurturing and safe forever home.”

Celebrating Latino Leaders: Dr. Abie Benitez ›

“I remember the beginning of PLF, when things started we didn't know enough about our potential as a community. I think what PLF has done is informed us and shown us that.”

Celebrating Latino Leaders: Daniel (Danny) Diaz ›

"No matter your background, no matter your ethnicity, no matter the obstacles that you find in life — if you work very, very hard and give back, you will be rewarded."

Celebrating Latino Leaders: Luiz Casanova ›

"We work for the community, they are ‘our boss.’ There has to be some controls put in, but, I think oversight by the community needs to happen.”

Celebrating Latino Leaders: Marta Moret ›

"We’ve made a commitment in the five years we have been doing this to use the resources of Yale for the needs of New Haven. It has been a wonderful blend of our commitment to the community and the wonderful resources that Yale University has."

Celebrating Latino Leaders: Grace Guidet ›

"Seeing the different abilities among my students motivates me to help them obtain their goals. I encourage them to set high standards for themselves and to not give up. I want them to challenge themselves and learn that they can overcome obstacles."

Celebrating Latino Leaders: George Logan ›

"When you pull together the strengths of individuals collectively you can get a lot more done."

Celebrating Latino Leaders: Sara Lulo ›

"For many reasons I find New Haven to be civically engaged, very switched on in many ways, very accessible to become involved with, very smart and active on issues that I care about."

Celebrating Latino Leaders: Kica Matos ›

"I think despite the many advances we made in this country; we still have a long way to go. All of us need to step up and do everything that we can to protect the most vulnerable and protect our democracy."

Celebrating Latino Leaders: Andrea Martinez ›

"I always thought about the people who didn’t have access to education and how lucky I was that despite our struggles, I always had school as my stable place."

Celebrating Latino Leaders: Angel Fernández Chavero ›

"I believe that leaders, real leaders, are people who at a time and a place decide that they have to help push to make a difference; and when they’re confronted with moments of doing something expedient or doing something that is self-aggrandizing, that they make the choice that is neither those, but what is best for the long term."

Celebrating Latino Leaders: Frances Padilla ›

"With education, we can get better jobs and we can create businesses. We’re able to have better healthcare and stay healthy. We’ll be able to grow the future generation."

Celebrating Latino Leaders: Michael Negrón ›

“Networks are key. But we need to ask ourselves, how well are we promoting and publicizing the things we have, and leveraging the resources and opportunities for Latinos in our community?”

Celebrating Latino Leaders: Tara Sanabria Davila, MSW, LCSW ›

“I believe that this is a time when true leaders emerge and when ‘sparks’ - voting, mentoring, educating, leading policy changes – can ‘light a hundred fuses’ and ignite the fires of change for our city, state and country."

Celebrating Latino Leaders: Lourdes Alvarez ›

“There need to be more role models and more diversity among people in places of power and prestige. I think in a way, success is when it’s so normal that people see diversity in leadership and don’t question where the Latinos are."

Celebrating Latino Leaders: Sandra Trevino ›

“We do need more Latino leaders in order to address and advocate for the different needs in our community. In my opinion, promoting cultural traditions as well as accepting other cultures is vital and necessary.”

Celebrating Latino Leaders: Jorge Luis Jimenez ›

"There is still so much possibility and so much opportunity in this country. You can have your voice be heard - now more than ever before - and really let that voice blossom. We need more leaders to keep pushing that collective voice, to keep the momentum going.”

Celebrating Latino Leaders: Alicia Caraballo ›

"I believe we as individuals and as a community have the passion, desire and urgency to work to make this a better place. I feel this is the time for our Latino community to be recognized as a powerful force in our region and in the nation.”

Celebrating Latino Leaders: Yolanda Caldera-Durant ›

"An important part of my continued success is giving back to young people, helping them understand that they deserve success as much as anyone else."

Celebrating Latino Leaders: John Padilla ›

"No matter where you go in life, you have to get involved and give back. That’s our personal tax for being on the planet."

Celebrating Latino Leaders: Raquel Santiago-Martinez ›

“If you live by a certain set of values and people respect you for those values, 90 percent of your success is achieved.”

Celebrating Latino Leaders: Norma Rodriguez-Reyes ›

“I’m a strong advocate for role models.”

Celebrating Latino Leaders: Pedro Soto ›

“I love being responsible for making something."

Celebrating Latino Leaders: Jordy Padilla ›

“It’s a duty of mine, as an educated individual, to fight for the people who didn’t have the same opportunity as me.”

Celebrating Latino Leaders: Luz Catarineau Colville ›

“We need to start reconnecting with our heritage and bring it into how we’re raising our kids. We need to be building each other up not tearing each other down.”

Celebrating Latino Leaders: Saul A. Cardenas ›

"Success is when you inspire others to create opportunities for themselves."

Celebrating Latino Leaders: Kyisha Velazquez ›

"I am meant to help make change and give a voice to those who feel their voices are not being heard."

Celebrating Latino Leaders: Ricardo Henriquez ›

"You do not always have to understand what someone is asking you to do if there is trust in the middle."

Celebrating Latino Leaders: Yadira Duran Ijeh ›

"It’s easier, as a young person, to see yourself doing something when you see that somebody else is doing it."

Celebrating Latino Leaders: Jorge L. Perez ›

"There is no difference than with any other ethnic group. You have to get educated. You have to work hard. You have to consistently improve yourself. To me it’s doing the right thing, trying to make a difference in somebody’s life."

Celebrating Latino Leaders: Evelyn Robles-Rivas ›

"It’s important that we as leaders understand that Latinos are coming from different places. They have different cultures and different ways to approach the educational system."

Celebrating Latino Leaders: Fernando Muniz ›

"I think that education is the key. Even though job prospects aren't great, we have to encourage kids to look at opportunities where there are jobs. In STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math education) and for anyone who is bilingual and bicultural, there are great opportunities."

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