Sandra is originally from Texas and graduated from the University of Texas- Brownsville with a BA in Psychology. She received her Masters in Social Work from the University of Texas-Pan American. Sandra is a Board Certified Clinical Social Worker specializing in childhood mental disorders. She was also a clinical instructor for two years at the Yale Child Study Center. At JUNTA, Sandy oversees all programmatic and administrative areas.
Program Director, Family Management
Cheila is a Native of Fair Haven. She attended Wilbur Cross High School and the New Haven Adult Education Center. She began at Junta as a volunteer and quickly ascended to the positions of Energy Assistant Coordinator, Office Manager and now Program Coordinator. Prior to working at JUNTA, she was employed at Industrial Park. She is fully bilingual (English and Spanish).
Director for Development
Mary Elizabeth Smith
Program Director for Adult Education and Community Outreach
Mary Elizabeth (M.E.) is originally from New Haven, but calls many places home. She got her B.A. in Environmental Studies from Lewis and Clark College in Portland, OR and after working in Panama for 2 years, went back to school for a Masters in Human Rights at Universidad de las Madres de la Plaza de Mayo in Buenos Aires, Argentina. She lived in La Paz, Bolivia for seven years, working in nonprofits in the areas of bilingual education, ESL education, human rights and environmental sustainability, before coming back to new Haven. She is bilingual in Spanish and English, with a basic understanding of Aymara.
Ana Maria Rivera Forastieri
Legal and Policy Analyst
Ana María was born and raised in Puerto Rico. She graduated from the University of Puerto Rico Rio Piedras Campus in 2009 with a BA in Interdisciplinary Studies. She received her Juris Doctor in May 2012 from Tulane Law School in New Orleans where she also received a certificate of studies in International and Comparative Law. Ana María has been working for the past two years with immigrant communities in the New Orleans area, specifically with victims of crime and victims of domestic violence. She is fluent in English and Spanish and has basic knowledge of French.
The Neighborhood Place, Onsite Coordinator
Assistant, The Neighborhood Place