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Haley Wiggins became the Executive Director of The Family Place in September 2008 after working with the organization for four years as the Adult ESL/Family Literacy Coordinator. She has a Bachelor’s degree in International Studies: Development and a Master’s Degree in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) from Brigham Young University. Haley is fully bilingual (English/Spanish) and has been working with the Latino community since 1999. She is committed to The Family Place’s mission of empowering low income families to foster the optimal development of their young children through educational and support services. Her knowledge and experience as a teacher, along with her meaningful and real interactions with Family Place participants – their literacy and familial struggles – and her big picture perspective as Executive Director help her to lead and guide the success of The Family Place.
Director of Social Services and HIPPY Coordinator
Katherine Rosas, the current TFP Director of Social Services and HIPPY Coordinator, joined The Family Place in January 2009. Katherine, originally from Bogota, Colombia, moved to the USA when she was 17 to pursue her studies. She graduated from Northern Virginia Community College in 2006 with an Associate Degree in General Studies in Science. She has numerous years of experience in both the customer service and the medical field. Her previous jobs gave her the opportunity to be in direct contact with the community. At the same time they provided her with the necessary tools to help her fellow community members accomplish their goals and improve their lives and the lives of their children. Katherine joined TFP as the Social Services Coordinator and Program Assistant. Since her first year at TFP, she’s been able to form great relationships with the participants and their children. By June 2009 she was the Domestic Violence Coordinator, and April 2011, Katherine was promoted to her current position. When asked about her experience of direct service to the community, Katherine answered that she feels she has learned and is still learning a lot from every single participant TFP has had throughout the years. In her own words: “… [our participants] are the main reason why I want to come to work every day. I feel that TFP has helped a lot [of people] in different ways through the services we provide and the support we give them to be able to accomplish their goals.”
Director of Education
Claudette Monroy joined The Family Place in June 2013 as the Preschool Instructor and was promoted to Family Literacy Coordinator in September 2013. She is originally from Torreon, Mexico, but has spent the past nine years in Harrisonburg, Virginia. Claudette studied Economics and Justice, Peace and Conflict Studies at Eastern Mennonite University. Claudette became the new Director of Education in May 2014. She believes education is the most empowering tool for low income families and she hopes to continue supporting immigrant families.
Ana Acevedo joined The Family Place as the Executive Assistant in August 2013. She was born in Guatemala and moved to the United States when she was 11 years old. Ana studied Psychology, Sociology and Spanish at Moravian College in Pennsylvania. She enjoys knowing that her work is directly helping the low-income families in the District. In her spare time, she enjoys going to the gym and exploring the city.
Spanish Literacy Coordinator Plaza Comunitaria (Evening)
Originally from Uruguay, Tony Brun joined The Family Place 2008. He has had the privilege of traveling and living throughout South and Central America. This has profoundly enriched his cultural background. During his travels, Tony has studied and worked in different universities in Uruguay, Paraguay, Costa Rica, Brazil, and Guatemala. While in Costa Rica, Tony earned two MAs in Latin American Studies and Theology. He then furthered his interests by earning his PhD in Education in Brazil. His studies later brought him to the United States where he earned his second PhD in Misión y Ministerio(Theology). Fluent in Spanish, Portuguese, and English, Tony is currently the Spanish Literacy Coordinator for TFP’s Plaza Comunitaria program. Tony deeply believes in the power of education as a way to improve the quality of life of the community. When asked about his job, Tony likes to give the following example to summarize the reason why he works at TFP. One night one of his Spanish Literacy students came to class with great news. For the first time the night before, he was able to read a story to one of his two children.
Early Childhood Educator
Angelica Castro joined the TFP team as the Infant & Toddler Assistant Educator in 2006. She received her CDA training and certification from Centronia and has continued her education by participating in refresher courses periodically; along with receiving Creative Curriculum trainings. Angelica, originally from El Salvador and a mother, is a key member of the staff as she is able to relate on a more personal level to the mothers while also using her expertise in child care to better the Early Childhood Education program here at TFP. In May 2011, Angelica joined the HIPPY team for five months. She brings with her the knowledge of both Spanish and English and expertise in Early Childhood Education. Angelica loves to be involved directly with mothers, some of whom are past participants of the TFP Family Literacy program.
Adult ESL Instructor
Shawn Chakrabarti is currently the Lead Adult ESL Instructor at The Family Place, Washington DC. He is passionate about education and loves being in the classroom, whether as an instructor or student. Starting Fall ’14 Shawn eagerly joins the inaugural group of cohorts pursuing a Master’s Degree in Adult Education at the University of the District of Columbia. Over the last 5 years Shawn has combined his passions for travel and education, teaching various age groups across 3 countries, however, always returning to DC. He is proud to call the nation’s capital home and be a part of the changing landscape of Adult Education here. When not grading papers or making lesson plans he can be seen dabbling in food and wine around DC.
Parent Support Case Manager
Meghan Cusack joined The Family Place in May 2014 as the Parent Support Case Manager. Meghan studied Social Work and Spanish at Monmouth University in New Jersey. She has her MSW in International and Community Development. Meghan learned to speak Spanish through her travels in Spain, Chile, Puerto Rico, and Costa Rica. In her spare time, she enjoys hiking, traveling, and spending time with her family.
Family Support Worker
María Céspedes, originally from Bolivia, first joined The Family Place as a volunteer in 2009. After six months she moved to Executive Assistant but it was only in 2010 that she started to collaborate with the Family Wellness programs. She is now working for the Parenting, Prenatal, and Infant classes offered in partnership with the Children’s Hospital. Her passion to work directly with Latino parents started in Bolivia where, while working for an import-export agency, she was involved with her church. During her years of volunteer service for her church, María was able to support young parents and couples through their first years of marriage. One of the things María enjoys the most about her job is being in direct contact with our participants, something that strongly reminds her of her volunteer service in Bolivia.
Lidia Fleitas is one of The Family Place’s longest standing employees. With over 15 years of experience serving the Latino community at TFP, Lidia has flourished in a variety of different roles and responsibilities. She has worked in both direct services and administration. Lidia is fluent in Spanish and English and has roots in Latin America. She relates well to The Family Place participants, has two children of her own and brings a wealth of knowledge to her present position at The Family Place. Lidia has a keen ability to connect the participants to a wide array of community resources. She helps participants feel welcome at The Family Place and normalizes their experience in a new and different culture. Her long-standing tenure at The Family Place provides for a sense of confidence to the participants as they come to TFP to take advantage of a variety of educational and emergency services.
Ingrid Orjuela joined The Family Place in June 2012 as the Assistant Coordinator for the HIPPY Program. Ingrid studied Social Communication at the Universidad Santo Tomas, in her native Colombia, and from an early age has been interested in social issues. During the academic career she became involved in different activities and organization such as the YMCA and the Colombian Government in the Republic Vice-presidential program within the observatory for land mines. It was this last experience that made her decide to continue contributing with her perspective and philosophy of life to the well-being of her community, most of all to the well-being of children. In 2007, Ingrid traveled to London, England to study English at Malvern House. In the same year she was also able to receive a diploma from Oxford College. It was in 2011 that Ingrid came to the United States where she volunteered for six months at La Clínica del Pueblo, supporting the communication department. Ingrid feels proud and blessed to be a Latina working with the Latino community in a foreign country.
HIPPY Home Visitor
Originally from El Salvador, Ana Ortega started working at TFP as one of the HIPPY Home Visitors in May 2011. She earned her high school degree from Nuevo Liceo Centroamericano in El Salvador with a focus in Administration and IT. She attended college for two years at the University Francisco Gavida. After arriving in Washington, DC, Ana became involved in the community and volunteered for a local NGO called Latinos en Acción. There she helped by supporting the administration and outreach departments. While working as a restaurant manager and cashier in a department store, Ana continued supporting the community. She volunteered for a local child care center in 2009 where she became more and more interested in early childhood education. It is this interest that later led her to her current position at TFP. When asked about her favorite aspect of her work, Ana answered she loves working for an organization that is completely committed to the wellbeing of the families in the community. From her broad experience in volunteering for the community, Ana really appreciates the work TFP is doing helping families in different domains.
HIPPY Home Visitor
Agueda Sanchez joined The Family Place team in 2011 as one of the current HIPPY Home Visitors. She brings many years of social work experience in her home country, Mexico where she studied to be a Social Worker. Her connection with The Family Place started in 2010 when she enrolled in our EL Civics program at Elsie Whitlow Stokes Community Freedom Public Charter School (EWS). Her enthusiasm about the organization grew month after month until she applied and then was hired to be one of the HIPPY home visitors. Agueda brings to TFP the perspective of a current participant, a mother of young children, as well as a strong passion for helping parents prepare their youngsters for school readiness.
Luselia Uribe Tuirán
Spanish Adult Education Instructor (Daytime)
Luselia Uribe Tuirán joined The Family Place in September 2006 as the Spanish Adult Education Instructor. Throughout the years Luselia has been involved with different projects within the organization and in addition to Spanish class she started to work with the Computer class starting September 2010. Originally from Colombia, Luselia earned her degree in Communication from the Universidad Autónoma del Caribe. After working as an Administrative Assistant in Colombia, Luselia moved to Denver, Colorado where she worked in insurance and at a travel agency. It was by arriving at TFP that Luselia was able to broaden her experience and understand her real passion for literacy. She describes her interest in joining TFP with these words: “… the idea of working with a diverse group of people from different backgrounds and cultures intrigued me as well as the idea of working with the Latino community. I was fascinated with the idea of working with adult mothers and contributing to a positive change in their lives.”
HIPPY Home Visitor
Carla joined The Family Place in January 2013 bringing her previous experience in Family Literacy & Early Childhood as a HIPPY Home Visitor. Originally from Peru, Carla arrived to the United States when she was 11 years old. Currently has an Early Childhood Associates Degree and is pursuing a higher degree in the Humanities. She loves working and serving our community via the HIPPY Program.
HIPPY Home Visitor
HIPPY Home Visitor
HIPPY Home Visitor
HIPPY Home Visitor
Claudia Lorena Baldacci
HIPPY Home Visitor