Nathaly Rubio-Torio, LMSW, originally from Peru, is a licensed Social Worker working in the field of HIV in the Latino community for over 15 years. She received her Bachelors in Psychology from Queens College, served in Peace Corp. Ecuador working with homeless and abandoned children and youth, and received her Masters in Social Work from Columbia University. She is currently an Adjunct Professor at Columbia University School of Social Work. She was recognized as a Mujer Destacada (Prominent Latina Leader) by El Diario La Prensa in 2010. Ms. Rubio-Torio’s experience ranges from working with homeless youth at Covenant House, to community organizing in East New York, to working at the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office with victims of crime, in particular victims of domestic violence. She served as Director of Operations for the South Bronx and Queens sites at the Hispanic AIDS Forum from 1999 to 2004. In 2003, as a result of her research as a student at Columbia University, she learned there was a lack of culturally sensitive programs and a gap in services for immigrant Latinas living with HIV/AIDS. Ms. Rubio-Torio founded Voces Latinas Corp, a non-profit organization targeting immigrant Latinas living with and at high risk for HIV/AIDS and immigrant Latinas experiencing violence. Ms. Rubio-Torio takes the issue of HIV/AIDS in the Latino community very seriously as Latinos continue being one of the highest groups getting infected with HIV and the fastest progressing to AIDS at disproportionately alarming rates. In September of 2006 she received the NYC Social Justice Fellowship which allowed her to dedicate time and develop Voces Latinas into a non-profit 501 (c) (3) organization. Voces Latinas is a grassroots, culturally and linguistically centered organization in Jackson Heights Queens New York, often known as the epi-center of immigrant Latino settlement. Voces Latinas reaches over 2000 immigrant Latinas/os and their families per year providing them with life-saving information on HIV/AIDS, violence against women, and other health risks.
Denys Salas, MS, originally from Ecuador, is a non-profit administrator working in the field for 13 years. She received her Bachelors in Sociology from the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth, served in AmeriCorps *NCCC and AmeriCorps State in Mississippi working with the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina in the US Gulf Coast, served in Peace Corps Mozambique working with at risk youth and women living with HIV and AIDS. She received her Masters of Science in Childhood Studies from the school of Political and Social Sciences at the University of Edinburgh in Scotland, UK. She interned for Together (Scottish Alliance for Children’s Rights) where she assisted in the development of the State of Children’s rights Report 2013. During her graduate studies, she wrote a thesis: “What does education mean to me? An exploratory research project on the views on education about institutionalized and non-institutionalized children in Petropolis, Brasil” where she conducted focus groups and individual interviews with orphan children and children with families in Petropolis, Brasil. Ms. Salas has worked in the field of HIV/AIDS prevention and education since 2008. Her program management experience ranges from building homes for individuals who were affected by natural disasters, coordinating a nutritional food program and emotional support groups for women living with HIV and AIDS, developing an after school arts program for high school students in rural Mozambique, providing shelter for homeless youth, and coordinating services for individuals affected by domestic violence. Ms. Salas is currently the Assistant Director of Voces Latinas where she oversees all programs, assists with the agency’s operations, and supervises the diverse team at Voces Latinas. You can follow her on twitter @salas_denys
Marisol Ramirez, Outreach Specialist, began her work as a leader and activist for the rights of the LGBT community in her native country, Colombia. She arrived in the United States as an immigrant “Mojada” in 1993. Due to her personal experience as an undocumented individual she understands the realities and the needs of the immigrant community. In 2007 she joined Voces Latinas as a Promotora where she outreached and provided social support to women experiencing violence and at high risk for HIV. Since then, Marisol dedicated her life to educating and empowering the Latino Community on issues such as HIV and Domestic Violence. During her time as a Promotora she learned about HIV Testing and outreach and subsequently was hired as the Outreach Specialist. Currently Marisol works in different programs such as Community Mobilization and HIV/AIDS services. Her main goal is to become a Social Worker in order to help people in the USA and in Colombia. Although Marisol is now a documented immigrant, married and has three amazing children, her life experience as an undocumented immigrant laid the foundation to work with kindness and love while remaining humble. Her favorite hobby is music and she has been a Julio Iglesias fan since 1968. In 1980 she was president of his fan club in Colombia
Sandra Gonzalez was born and raised in Honduras where she obtained her Accounting degree on 1977. She has worked with different organizations in New York City such as Home Energy Assistance program, which aims to help households with electric bills payments, DYCD (Department of Youth Community Development) Citizenship program, dedicated to assist immigrant to become US Citizens and worked in the unit of fair hearing as well as in HRA food Stamp office. In June 2011 she started in Voces Latinas as office manager. Currently, Sandra works as Human Resources in VL but she is also the data entry specialist (E-Share.) Part of her responsibilities is to ensure that the office remains in order and supervise staff daily operations and official procedures. Sandra hopes to keep working and growing as a professional. .
Néstor Ardila earned a BA in Psychology from Queens College University in 2013. After graduating, he served as a volunteer in different non-profits organizations in New York and Colombia such as Queens Pride House and La Hora del Cuento. He currently works at Voces Latinas as a Certified Patient Navigator, where he assists the community with Health Insurance enrollment process and connection to other services. In addition, he works as HIV Counselor/Tester, Outreach and Social Media Specialist. His interests include continuing his Master Degree in Social Work and to advocate for those in need. As a future plan, he would like to return to Colombia to practice his career and start his own non-profit.
Jessica Ramos, started as a volunteer on 2012 and in 2013 officially started working with VL as a Program Assistant. She has grown by helping, educating and informing the mission of Voces Latinas. Jessica is responsible for engaging consumers and other clerical work such as filing, record keeping, appointment scheduling, paper work etc… She also makes sure the office is always organized. One of her priority tasks is to assist in programs such as CMB and HIV Test – data entry: Excel and eSHARE. “Working at Voces Latinas it’s a great opportunity to be aware of risks and resources for the community.”