Jump to Navigation

Staff & Board

OYC Staff

Brujo de la Mancha Position: Executive/Artistic Director, Co-Founder 2003- Present

Position Description: The E.D. will make sure that the mission of OYC is fulfilled, and will manage the cash flow and office work that OYC must conduct in order to provide its services to Schools, Universities, Museums, Senior Centers, Community Centers and many other Events. This also includes community festivals and the Artist in Residence Program. There are two oneweek Artist in Residence Programs per year. This acts as the core of OYC, in preparing the dancers for the two festivals, "The Fall of the Bellybutton of the Moon" and "The International Day of the Dead Celebration." As well as the over seeing the Clay workshops or teaching in some cases

Qualification:

Brujo was born in Mexico City, but his Grandmother was a native of the small town of Xico, in the mountains of the state of Veracruz. Every year Brujo would travel to Xico for family visits, including trips to the surrounding area. In Xico, Brujo learned about the activities and the lives of the indigenous people. Brujo observed the style of farming, as well as the arts, music, and the culture of the area. This is an area made up of a mixture of influences from the Olmec, Maya, and Catholic traditions. At sixteen years old, Brujo left Mexico City to travel to different places in order to immerse himself in the indigenous cultures of the people of Oxaca, Puebla, Veracruz, Michoacan, and Tlaxcala. As well as a dancer, Brujo is a visual artist working In painting, sculpting, photography, puppetry and music. Brujo has teaches art classes to children in after school programs, as well water colors for people with Alzheimer's Disease and clay to older adults. Brujo met Daniel at the Immigrant Worker's Freedom Ride in September, 2003. Since then, Brujo and Daniel have been talking regularly and sharing ideas for the dance and the Mexican community. Brujo has made all the instruments for the dance group. He has also done a large portion of the choreography with Daniel. Brujo has additionally been responsible for organizing the group for their performances, as he is one of the group members who is comfortable using his English language skills

Alejandra Bergamann Position: Programming Coordinator (Volunteer Position)
Description: As a volunteer Alejandra helps in organized OYC big events

Qualification:

Alejandra is a danzante, community organizer and activist from Mexico City. When she was about 10 years old, Alejandra's family moved to San Antonio, Texas, so she grew up in a bilingual and bicultural home, traveling back and forth between Texas and Mexico, spending a lot of time in her mother's community in Rio Hondo, Estado de Mexico. Through that migration, Alejandra gained the skills and knowledge that have enabled her to navigate and act as a bridge between cultures, on a multiplicity of levels. Always feeling that innate connection to her indigenous roots and seeking to have a deeper knowledge of history and how different forces have shaped the lives of Native Peoples today, Alejandra majored in Anthropology and International Studies at Trinity University. There, her quest to find tangible ways in which to effect positive change in society was strengthened and she became involved in community and youth organizing. Through her work at Fuerza Unida, where she was Director of Programs, she gained further experience in grassroots organizing, using popular education tools and methodologies to build collective knowledge around economic and environmental justice issues, and looking at how these impact women and communities of color in particular. Alejandra was also part of the Coordinating Committee of the Grassroots Global Justice Alliance (GGJ), an alliance of grassroots organizations based in the United States, and the she was on the organizing committee of the 2006 Border Social Forum in Cuidad Juarez, MÈxico. Since then, she has participated actively in the Social Forum process, at the World Social Forum in Kenya in 2007, as well as other international forums where she has worked to bring voice to the women's and indigenous people's organizing and struggles. Alejandra is also part of Grupo Teokalli, a Danza Azteca Chichimeca group that traces its lineage back to a well known and respected family that has been practicing these traditional ways for generations.

 

Board

OYC Board of Directors is made of a mix of people because the Mission of OYC is very hard to understand with or not any educational training. Because the acceptances of the indigenous, ideology, history and the oppression of the Native Cultures of the Ancient American Continent are in the the forbidden side or the "New Globalization Era" were we live .

NEW BOARD 2016-2019

President:

Veronica Ponce de Leon.

Born in Mexico City, descendants of Spanish, Hindus, and Indians. with this mixture so common in Mexico after independence and the Mexican Revolution, which left these historical events is this colorful and passionate generation of Mexicans. Mexicans even without belonging to any caste of Indian origin with dignity have adopted this new mix of colors and flavors that is mexico and traditions. Veronica grew among mother, grandmother and uncles. the family is a key to assert its personality astistica reaffirm that those who have died are still taking place in the house, that is called Tradition factor. a tradition that each 1 and November 2 is present at his mother Maria. maternal grandmother. between hot chocolate, pan de muerto, sweets, tamales, fruit, guitar music, confetti, candles and land pantheon. Veronica defines its personality and folk age of 5 years to win the contest first place in literature and knowledge in the Catholic school, Rosario Arrevillaga. It is the smallest student in her group she stood by memeorizing long speeches to the theatrical presentation of the same school. From there acts in theater, it is Mexican regional dance teacher, is storytelling and holds regional crafts in paper mache and other materials. while preserving the folklore of Mexico. transciciones adapting to changes and we are all exposed at this time. Its main feature is its sense of humor and love to convey what is learned to the children. "They always teach me something new."

 

Secretary: 

Celyne Camen

Celyne Camen is a writer and the mother of Angel Jochi Hernandez-Camen, a young musician who trains and performs as a drummer with Ollin Yoliztli Calmecac. Both Celyne and her son’s father, Miguel Antonio Hernandez -- who resides in Mexico -- strongly support the mission of Ollin and want their son and other youth to realize the Mexicayotl culture. Celyne has been an antiracist, prison rights, and indigenous rights activist for over 25 years. She works at the Crossroads Women’s Center in Germantown and organizes with the Global Women’s Strike. At present she is working on projects geared toward overcoming the barriers lower income and African descent children face when competing in the sport of chess.

 

Treasure: 

Jesús Castellón

Jesús Castellónwas born and raised in southern California. His family is originally from Guadalajara, Mexico and have been active members of various educational and political causes in South-East Los Angeles. He has been a bilingual high school mathematics teacher for Milwaukee Public Schools in Milwaukee, Wisconsin for more than 20 years. He is also a graduate student in the Urban Education Doctoral Program at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee finishing his dissertation. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in both mathematics and psychology from the University of California, Santa Cruz, teaching credentials from Alverno College, and a Master’s degree in Curriculum and Instruction with a focus in bilingual education and literacy from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. He has also been an active member of the Omeyocan Dance Company for more than 3 years. The group specializes in danzas from both Mexica and Mexican folklore and provide various workshops and presentations regarding Mexica culture, tradition, and history. He along with his temachtiani were recipients of the 2015-2016 Wisconsin Art’s Board Folk Arts Apprenticeship Grant Program sponsored by the State of Wisconsin and the Endowment for the Advancement of the Arts where they spent a year immersed in the study of the Aztec Calendar and other indigenous knowledges. As Board Treasurer he brings with him his vast budgetary and organizational skills related to various educational settings. He is dedicated in meeting both the mission and needs of Ollin Yoliztli Calmecac.

 

Board members. 

Renu Urvashi Sagreiya:

 

Renu Urvashi Sagreiya is a second-generation Indian immigrant, community activist, and Juris Doctor candidate at Drexel University Thomas R. Kline School of Law. She graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Agnes Scott College in May 2010 with a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology and Anthropology (with a focus on Mesoamerican cultures) and a minor in Spanish.  After completing her undergraduate studies, Ms. Sagreiya served as a Corps Member for City Year Philadelphia, where she performed full-time community service as a tutor and mentor for diverse at-risk teenagers at Kensington International Business, Finance, and Entrepreneurship High School.  As a law student, Ms. Sagreiya has tirelessly worked as a compassionate advocate for under-served communities in Philadelphia, including immigrants, survivors of trauma, the homeless, and the wrongfully incarcerated. Ms. Sagreiya is a recipient of the South Asian Bar Association of North America Public Interest Fellowship, the South Asian Bar Association of Greater Boston Legal Intern Fellowship, and the Equal Justice America Legal Services Fellowship. She is currently serving as an intern for HIAS Pennsylvania, where she provides immigration legal services to predominantly Latina victims of interpersonal violence such as intimate partner abuse, sexual assault, and human trafficking. Ms. Sagreiya has a great interest in immigrant communities and supports Ollin Yolliztli Calmecac as an important bridge between the indigenous Mexican immigrant community and the larger Philadelphia community. Ms. Sagreiya is fluent in Spanish, Hindi, and English.

 

Barbara "Pocahontas" Allen:

Is Seminole/Creek/Cherokee from Palm Beach, Florida. Pocahontas is the founder and main promoter of the "Philly Indigenosus Day Celebration" Pow-wow for seven years. She has worked in the Native community for many years and has supported many individuals who look to our Elders for their expertise, guidance, skilld and passing on the culture through their tutelege. Pocahontas has represented at many Indigenous events around the Nation as well as being present at most of the legislative hearings and acts regarding American Indians here in Pennsylvania. 

 

 

OYC (OLLIN YOLIZTLI CALMECAC) 2012-2015 Board of Directors

Presient/@

Juana Libarado

Born in Oxaca in Mexico she is a Native decedent of the new generation of the American continet. She is bussines woman she is a restaurant owner and she is a single mother, She fell the great need to suport the Mission of OYC for the future generations.

 

Treasure:

Javier Garcia Hernandez.

I was born in 1977, in Tequixquiac Estado de Mexico, a small town three hours north of Mexico City. A the farming community where most people work the land and raised live stock to survive. My grandfather and father grew corn, beans, wheat, and alfalfa. They also made Pulque a cactus beverage that ferments in clay pots, which up to this day my father still makes. I grew up harvesting the corn and praying for rain to come each year. At six years of age I began drinking Pulque, the same beverage the Aztecs used as a supplement to milk to feed their children. Similar to the Aztecs, the older men in my village sat around the fire most nights to share their stories, which, I eagerly joined them. Thanks to my lovely mother, I was the only member in my family to complete high school. I emigrated to the United States at eighteen years of age. I work as a farm worker in the grape fields of California, I work construction in Seattle, Washington, in 2007 I move to Philadelphia and I went back to College. I have being taking classes at Community College of Philadelphia, I am an active participant in the community. I am a member of the New Sanctuary Movement, an organization that helps immigrants from all over the world, I am strong advocate for human rights.

Secretary:

Mia Maldonado

Mia is born in Philadlephia she is a professional Affiliation: NonProfit Organization Management and a Professional * Manager at Yoga Sutra * Also Documentary Film Consultant at Sculpting With Time Productions * Organizer at Ohio Youth Corps Case Manager/Program Administrator Women's Opportunities Resource Center NonProfit? Civic & Social Organization industry

Board of Memebers

Celyne Camen

Celyne Camen is a writer and the mother of Angel Jochi Hernandez-Camen, a young musician who trains and performs as a drummer with Ollin Yoliztli Calmecac. Both Celyne and her son’s father, Miguel Antonio Hernandez -- who resides in Mexico -- strongly support the mission of Ollin and want their son and other youth to realize the Mexicayotl culture. Celyne has been an antiracist, prison rights, and indigenous rights activist for over 25 years. She works at the Crossroads Women’s Center in Germantown and organizes with the Global Women’s Strike. At present she is working on projects geared toward overcoming the barriers lower income and African descent children face when competing in the sport of chess.

 

Kicio PIna

Kicio is a Mexican hip-hop artist and a chef , his main goal is to reachout to the youht people and to help them connect to their past culture. And as well to get adapted to the new demands of life as the new gerations has to face.

 

Board of Directors 2010-2012

President

Juana Librado

Treasurer
Javier Garcia Hernandez.

Scretary 

Mia Maldonado

Board Membes:

Linda Fernandez

Jamie Amoratis

 

Mia Maldonado

Mia is born in Philadlephia she is a professional Affiliation: NonProfit Organization Management and a Professional * Manager at Yoga Sutra * Also Documentary Film Consultant at Sculpting With Time Productions * Organizer at Ohio Youth Corps Case Manager/Program Administrator Women's Opportunities Resource Center NonProfit? Civic & Social Organization industry

Betsy Casañas

Betsy is a mother, artist, community activist and educator who was born and raised in the heart of “The Badlands” of North Philadelphia’s barrio. She studied art at Moore College of art and design where she received her Bachelors in Fine Arts and has worked in the Latino community since 1994. Casañas has designed over 35 public murals and mosaics nationally and internationally (Larne, Ireland, Havana, Cuba, Morelia, Mexico, Quito and Santo Domingo, Ecuador). Casanas has brought her community work into the classroom and directly integrated it into the curriculum at The Charter High School for Architecture and Design where she taught for 8 years. She strives to expose students to the power of their young voices in the transformation of a community. In 2007 Casañas, along with visual artist Pedro Ospina founded The Semilla Arts Initiative who uses collaborative art as a means of empowering individuals and communities in underserved areas. In recognition of her tireless work in the community Casanas was awarded the Leeway foundation transformation award, which provides unrestricted annual awards of $15,000.00 to woman and trans artist who create art for social change. In 2010 Casanas bought a brownstone on Norris Square and opened up “A Seed of Diamond Gallery” An alternative space where artists of all communities and cultural backgrounds can share a space and tell their stories through, music, spoken word, dance and Visual Art. She continues to live in the North Philadelphia neighborhood where she grew up, with her children Archangel - 16, and Kristianni - 11.

 

Jamie Amoratis

Born on Sept. 1, 1981 and raised in Philadelphia, PA with her identical twin sister Stacy by her side. She has been living all over Philadelphia since birth and has a 6 yr old son (who's father is Mexican) and therefore inspired Jamie to delve into the Mexican culture and learn as much as she could along the way-- which included being almost fully self-taught in Spanish -including reading, writing and speaking. She is VERY loving, and giving and helping and wakes up with a smile everyday. Her one mission in her life is to be able to not only pass her personality onto her son, but to be able to teach others to be happy, let the past GO, and help and love and smile!! Her MAIN future goal is to be able to join the Peace Corp.

 

Board of Directors 2009-2010 (third roll)

President Daniel Chico Lorenzo

Treasurer
Javier Garcia Hernandez.

Board Members

Gail Schwartzberg.
Gail currently teaches Spanish levels 1 and 2 at Hill Freedman Middle School in Philadelphia. Over the years, she has held various positions in the Philadelphia area. Ms. Schwartzberg was self - employed as a translator/interpreter, where she focused on accompanying Spanish-speakers to medical appointments and translated many human resource and legal documents.

As an employee of The PNC Financial Services Group, Inc., Ms. Schwartzberg conducted 401(k) information seminars across the United States. Uniquely, Ms. Schwartzberg was the only bilingual 401(k) consultant in PNC's Retirement and Investment Services Department, and her Spanish presentations afforded Spanish-speaking employees unfamiliar with saving for retirement the information they needed to plan for the future. She also developed and translated any retirement plan related communications for 65 different accounts. Ms. Schwartzberg was a freelance reporter for El Sol Latino Newspaper, and wrote in Spanish and English on themes such as Philadelphia city politics, the role of public assistance in the Latino community, community mobilization meetings, and scholarly lectures at the University of Pennsylvania, and book and restaurant reviews.

Ms. Schwartzberg also spent time working on site at Congreso de Latinos Unidos for the Treatment Research Institute, where she conducted a research survey on substance abuse addicted women, The Lighthouse, as a GED, life skills, job readiness and welfare to work instructor, and Kensington Joint Action Council as an English as a Second Language teacher. Gail has traveled throughout Mexico and has spent time in Guatemala, Belize, Costa Rica and Spain. She holds a Masters Degree in Latin American Studies from the University of Chicago, and completed her undergraduate studies, majoring in Spanish and Pre-Colombian Archaeology, at the University of Texas at Austin.

Jamie Amoratis

Born on Sept. 1, 1981 and raised in Philadelphia, PA with her identical twin sister Stacy by her side. She has been living all over Philadelphia since birth and has a 6 yr old son (who's father is Mexican) and therefore inspired Jamie to delve into the Mexican culture and learn as much as she could along the way-- which included being almost fully self-taught in Spanish -including reading, writing and speaking. She is VERY loving, and giving and helping and wakes up with a smile everyday. Her one mission in her life is to be able to not only pass her personality onto her son, but to be able to teach others to be happy, let the past GO, and help and love and smile!! Her MAIN future goal is to be able to join the Peace Corp.

Linda Fernandez

A Philadelphia artist and educator working for several non profit organizations to service communities with outreach art programs. In her studio she works primarily with painting, paper mache', sewing, silkscreen, and ceramics. Her art comes from spur of the moment thought, rarely anything is planned, its very sporadic and free. She has worked on several murals throughout Philadelphia with the Mural Arts Program where she is an assistant muralist and art Instructor. In addition to that she teaches ceramics with the Philadelphia Claymobile as well as basic drawing at Temple University's Center City campus. She is also the art director for a monthly event called Hip Hop Lives, which celebrates its ten year anniversary this summer.

 

Coordinator and Representative: 2003 to 2008 (Voluntier possition)

Brujo de la Mancha:

Brujo was born in Mexico City, but his Grandmother was a native of the small town of Xico, in the mountains of the state of Veracruz. Every year Brujo would travel to Xico for family visits, including trips to the surrounding area. In Xico, Brujo learned about the activities and the lives of the indigenous people. Brujo observed the style of farming, as well as the arts, music, and the culture of the area. This is an area made up of a mixture of influences from the Olmec, Maya, and Catholic traditions. At sixteen years old, Brujo left Mexico City to travel to different places in order to immerse himself in the indigenous cultures of the people of Oxaca, Puebla, Veracruz, Michoacan, and Tlaxcala. As well as a dancer, Brujo is a visual artist working In painting, sculpting, photography, puppetry and music. Brujo also teaches art classes to children in after school programs, as well water colors for people with Alzheimer’s Disease and clay to older adults. Brujo met Daniel at the Immigrant Worker’s Freedom Ride in September, 2003. Since then, Brujo and Daniel have been talking regularly and sharing ideas for the dance and the Mexican community. Brujo has made all the instruments for the dance group. He has also done a large portion of the choreography with Daniel. Brujo has additionally been responsible for organizing the group for their performances, as he is one of the group members who is comfortable using his English language skills.

 

Board of Directors 2008- 2009 (second roll)

President Daniel Chico Lorenzo

Treasurer
Rosa M. Rosas Gil,

Board Members
Brian Anderson, Brad Baldia, Melissa Shapiro.

Board of Directors 2005 - 2007 (first roll)

President:

Daniel Chico Lorenzo: A native of San Mateo Ozolco, Puebla, Mexico. Daniel grew up learning his “maternal” ancient language of Nahuatl, as well as a Little of the Spanish that is now most predominant in Mexico. In 1985, Daniel moved from Puebla to Mexico City, where he became aware of the fact that his home town is known as a cultural center that appears in books of Mexican history. This new discovery about his roots prompted Daniel to take a course on ancient Mexican hieroglyphics at the Simon Bolivar cultural center. Daniel also took more courses on Nauhatl in the Casa Tlaxcala, a cultural center that is located in the center of Mexico City. Daniel was invited by a friend he make in the Casa Tlaxcala to learn Aztec Dance. Daniel then spent 8 years learning the dance. Daniel continued his studies over the years before his move to Philadelphia 3 years ago. Now Daniel is the heart of the dance group he has been working to Preserve a culture that is part of him self

Treasurer

Rosa M. Rosas Gil, was born in Mexico, City on February 16, 1948. I attended elementary, secondary and business school in Mexico. When I still was in school, I started working for the Banco del Ejercito y la Armada (Army and Navy Bank) as a secretary. I was there for nine years. I then worked for La Salle University for ten years as the assistant to the director. In December 1976, I married to Frank La Penta and became Rosa La Penta, moved to Philadelphia, PA, the place where my husband was born. We have two children, Rocky 28 and Rose Marie 26. At the beginning I was very Depressed with the change because I left my family, my friends and my life in Mexico, it was very difficult for me. My communication skills were deficient, so I hardly spoke with anybody. At that time was almost no one to spoke Spanish in South Philly. I couldn’t find Spanish food in the supermarkets; there were no radio or TV stations in Spanish. Well, it was very difficult!! Then the time went by and I started attending school. I took the GED course at South Philadelphia High School, and I tried to take English at all the places I could. Later, I went to the Business School were I completed the 18 months course successfully. I worked for La Actualidad Newspaper for 3 years, then I took the exams for the City and I have worked for the Department of Recreation as Bilingual Secretary since May 1994. I work at Mann Older Adult Center. Dealing with seniors every day makes me feel younger. The population in this center is mostly Puerto Rican and I try to show them my Mexican traditions. Sometimes I cook for them some Mexican specialty. I also taught them how to make Piñatas and about two years ago. I have also organized here at the Center a Mexican Exhibition, for which I gathered arts and crafts from different sources and I cooked some Mexican food with the help of another Mexican lady. My activity was a complete success. My hobby is exercise at least four or five times a week. I take aerobics, spinning, rebounding, and yoga. Therefore, I also give stretching exercises to the seniors.

Board Members

Brad Baldia:

Brad Baldia attended The Hill School, an elite private boarding school in Pottstown, PA. Brad received his BA in English and Biology from Bucknell University and a Masters in Public Health from Temple University. In 1995, Brad served as a White House Intern in the Office of Presidential Personnel. He currently works as the Director of the Southeast Philadelphia Collaborative. In addition, he works extensively with Asian community organizations on a local and national level, such as the Pan Asian Association of Greater Philadelphia and the National Association of Asian American Professionals (Brad is Past-President of the Philadelphia Chapter and was elected in August, 2006 as Executive Vice President of NAAAP National and National President & Chairman in August, 2008.

He serves on various boards including the Multicultural Affairs Congress (Philadelphia Convention & Visitors Bureau), the Pennsylvania Immigration & Citizenship Coalition and the Chinatown Learning Center. Brad is also member of the Pennsylvania Attorney General’s Asian American & Pacific Islander Advisory Committee, the FBI Philadelphia’s Multi-Cultural Advisory Committee and serves as faculty for the Center for Progressive Leadership in Pennsylvania. Most recently, Brad was appointed as one of twenty-five individuals to the Philadelphia Mayor’s Commission on Asian American Affairs.

Mr. Baldia has received numerous awards for his efforts, including the "Unsung Heroes Award" by Keystone Mercy Health Plan and "National Brotherhood/Sisterhood Award" by the National Conference for Community and Justice. In 2002, he was recognized as one of the "Top 30 Most Influential Asians in America Under the Age of 30". In 2007, Brad was one of fifty individuals citywide that was nominated for the “Spirit of Philadelphia” award by Greater Philadelphia Cares. In July, 2008, Mr. Baldia was named one of Philadelphia’s 101 Top Connectors by LEADERSHIP Philadelphia.

Brian Anderson:

Brian is a junior at the University of Pennsylvania majoring in biochemistry. Brian is a native of Illinois, but lived for several years in Switzerland where he personally experienced the problems associated with language barriers. He spoke no German upon arriving in the country, but eventually attended a school where all instruction was in German. He speaks Spanish fluently, which he learned mostly in high school and from the Mexican-Americans with whom he has worked. He spent two summers volunteering as a camp counselor for Nuestro Center, a county-sponsored summer camp for the children of Hispanic immigrants in Highwood, IL. He also studies Portuguese. He is currently conducting independent research on nature-based religions in the US under the auspices of a grant from the Program for Research in Religion and Urban Civil Society. He is also writing an ethnography on Ollin Yoliztli Calmecac as part of his university coursework. He met the members of Ollin Yoliztli Calmecac in June 2005 and has since then followed their progress as a group out of personal a interest in indigenous knowledge and learning about Latin American culture. Brian is of European descent, and his interest in indigenous issues stems from his desire to study and preserve indigenous knowledge of medicine and healing. He has spent the past semester promoting OYC on the University of Pennsylvania’s campus, distributing information about their events to other students and arranging for the group to perform on campus.

Melissa Shapiro:

Melissa joined Taller Puertorriqueño in 2005 as a Development Associate. Before Working at Taller, she was the coordinator and grant writer for an after-school arts literacy program at Nueva Esperanza Academy Charter High School in North Philadelphia for Raíces Culturales Latinoamericanas. Melissa has worked with inner city children for over 10 years as a teacher and mentor. She has an AB in Political Science from Cornell University, and recently represented Taller Puertorriqueño and Raíces Culturales Latinoamericanas at a Caribbean Folk Arts conference on the island of Antigua and Barbuda. In the fall of 2006, she is planning to travel to Trinidad and Tobago for another Caribbean Folk Arts conference at which the preservation of Caribbean folklore will be addressed.

Meredith Rapkin:

Meredith Rapkin is a public interest immigration attorney presently working at HIAS and Council Migration Service of Philadelphia. She graduated from Temple University's School of Law in 2004, and began a public interest law fellowship funded by the Independence Foundation of Philadelphia. Her work in immigration defense focuses on Spanish Speaking communities, with an expertise on providing immigration legal services to immigrant women experiencing domestic violence, immigrant victims/witnesses of violent crimes, and unaccompanied immigrant children and teens. Meredith also holds both a BA and an MA in Middle East Studies from the University of Pennsylvania. Meredith comes form a Blended European background, with parents from two distinct religious backgrounds. Her father is Jewish and her mother Protestant. Meredith learned Spanish when, at 15 years old, she went to live in Costa Rica as an exchange student. During this time she went to a public school in Alajuela, Costa Rica, where she learned to speak Spanish, dance salsa make tortillas. Meredith has also studied Arabic extensively. Meredith has spent a great deal of time with OYC since the fall of 2004. She Has assisted the group with grant applications, translations, transportation, organization and many other tasks. Meredith has a great interest in immigrant communities and supports OYC as an important bridge between the Mexican Immigrant Community and the larger Philadelphia community.



Page | by Dr. Radut