Mayra Cardenas - Program Coordinator
Mayra is originally from Lima, Perú. She arrived to the U. S. in 2006 and graduated from Piedmont Virginia Community College in 2013 with an associate’s degree in Liberal Arts. In 2014 she transferred to the University of Virginia and graduated in 2016 from the School of Continuing and Professional Studies with a bachelor's degree in Interdisciplinary Studies with concentrations in Social Sciences and Humanities. Since she graduated, Mayra has been working for two other nonprofit organizations that allow her to educate and work directly with the Latino community in Charlottesville and the surrounding areas. Mayra also serves as a member of the BIS Alumni Board at UVA.
Daniel Katz - Chair
Prior to his current role as a nonprofit and business development consultant, Dan worked as the Assistant Director for the One Voice College Scholars Program in Los Angeles for four years. He also served on the Steering Committee of The Southern California College Access Network, which included two years as the Capacity Building Chair. Prior to that, Dan earned his BA from Washington University in St. Louis with a dual-degree in Comparative Literature and Spanish and an MBA from the Darden School of Business at UVA. Dan has lived in Charlottesville since 2011 after moving here with his wife, Veronica, who completed her Ph.D. in Education Policy at the Curry School of Education at UVA.
Amanda Kibler - Vice Chair
Amanda Kibler is an associate professor at the University of Virginia’s Curry School of Education in the Department of Curriculum, Instruction, and Special Education, where she has taught secondary English and ESOL pedagogical methods courses and doctoral-level courses since 2010. She received her Ph.D. in Educational Linguistics from Stanford University and conducts research on Latino and other multilingual adolescents’ language and literacy development and the implications of these processes for teaching and learning. She collaborates with teachers and scholars both locally and nationally in efforts to improve both research and practice in K-12 schools serving Latino students.
Jon Nafziger - Treasurer
Jon Nafziger is the Executive Director of Jefferson Area CHIP. He holds an M.A. in Public Administration from the University of Virginia and a B.A. in Religion from Goshen College, IN. He previously served as Director of Donor Relations with the Charlottesville Area Community Foundation and Vice President of Community Initiatives with the United Way-Thomas Jefferson Are;, including supervision Smart Beginnings and other early childhood programs in Charlottesville, and working on issues of children’s health, school readiness, and family self-sufficiency. Jon lives in Crozet with his wife, Carol Hurst, and has three sons.
Gloria Rockhold - Secretary
Gloria Maria Rockhold joined Albemarle County Public Schools in 2004 and is currently a Manager in the Office of Community Engagement. A native of Asunción Paraguay, Gloria's bi-cultural roots allow her to look at issues and opportunities from different perspectives in designing and implementing solutions for educational settings. An active member of the Latino community in Charlottesville, Gloria has worked with Creciendo Juntos for many years and has been part of the board since 2005. Gloria holds degrees in Marketing, Masters in Psychology and a Masters in Leadership and Foundations in Education at UVA. Gloria is also a Charlottesville Free Clinic Board Member, Member of the Virginia Latino Advisory Board, Board Member of Citizens Advisory Committee for the Public Defender’s Office, 2010 Fellow of the Sorensen Political Leadership Class and Board Development Class of 2011 Graduate at the Center for Non-Profit Excellence.
Tanishka Cruz - Board Member
Tanishka Cruz is an attorney in solo practice at Cruz Law, a Charlottesville-based immigration and family law firm. She is also an attorney with the Legal Aid Justice Center, where she supervises students in the Immigration Law Clinic, which runs in conjunction with the University of Virginia. Tanishka earned her law degree from Drexel University in Philadelphia. As the daughter of immigrants from the Dominican Republic, Tanishka has dedicated her legal career to the practice of immigration law and is fluent in Spanish. At LAJC, Tanishka focused primarily on the management of the Virginia Special Immigrant Juvenile Project, an award-winning collaboration between LAJC and pro bono attorneys across the state. The project has saved over 100 children from likely deportation. In 2016, she won a LASSY award from the Virginia Poverty Law Center for greatest achievement in immigration law. Tanishka lives in Palmyra, Virginia with her husband, Dave, and son, Noah.
Cynthia Murray - Board Member
Cynthia Murray, founder, and president of Cynthia Murray Enterprises is an international motivational speaker, author, licensed (bilingual) attorney and leadership and success expert. She gained much of her expertise from more than sixteen combined years of experience as a Virginia prosecutor and as a senior level business management professional for Northrop Grumman. Cynthia’s legal practice expertise is in contracts and criminal law. Cynthia received her Bachelor of Arts Degree and Juris Doctor Degree from the University of Virginia in Charlottesville, Virginia where she lives and works.
Ingrid Ramos - Board Member
Ingrid Ramos was born and raised in the Dominican Republic and came to live to the United States 14 years ago. She is a counselor who works in the Central Virginia area and dedicates herself to community services. After coming to the U.S. she has focused her work on serving Latino families. Ingrid has a Master’s degree in professional counseling from Liberty University, a Bachelor’s degree in psychology from the Universidad Tecnológica de Santiago and a Bachelor’s degree in accounting and auditing from the Universidad APEC. Her past work in the mental health field includes experience as Latino Services Program Coordinator at the Charlottesville League of Therapists, where she worked with children, individuals, and families. Currently, she works at The Women’s Initiative as a therapist and coordinator for the Bienestar Program, providing mental health counseling services to Latina women. She is also the leader of the CJ-Network Mental Health Workgroup. She is in charge of coordinating meetings were bilingual counselors in the area, family support workers, and providers supporting the Latino community come together to discuss mental needs, gaps in services, and resources.
Maria Williams - Board Member
Maria Williams is native of Bogotá, Colombia. Maria earned a B.A. degree at the University of Maryland with an emphasis in dance and fieldwork studies in Special Education. Maria has been instrumental in creating various successful playgroups for Latino children in the Charlottesville area and in creating learning opportunities for many Latino families. Maria has been a proud member of the Creciendo Juntos Executive Board since 2009. She helped establish and then led the CJ Education Workgroup for three years. Presently, Maria Williams works at Agnor Hurt Elementary School in Charlottesville.