Staff

 

Sandra Trevino
Executive Director
Sandra Trevino graduated from the University of Texas-Brownsville with a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology. She received her Master’s of Science in Social Work from the University of Texas-Pan American. Mrs. Trevino is a licensed Clinical Social Worker specializing at the Yale Child Study Center in childhood mental disorders.  Mrs. Trevino has been with Junta for nine years, where she oversees all programmatic and administrative areas.  Mrs. Trevino is bilingual in English and Spanish.

sandra.trevino@juntainc.org
JLIB_HTML_CLOAKING
Alok Bhatt 
Director of Development

Alok is a first-generation South Asian American, raised in Windsor, CT and currently living in New Haven. Prior to joining Junta, Alok served as Legislative Analyst for the State of Connecticut Asian Pacific American Affairs Commission, a nonpartisan entity which operated to amplify the voice of Connecticut’s Asian and Pacific Islander communities in advocating for civil rights, economic opportunity, education, and housing. 
 
After returning to Connecticut from law school, Alok joined a group of advocates, including Junta for Progressive Action, seeking to limit the scope of immigration enforcement in Connecticut. This small circle would ultimately evolve into the Connecticut Immigrant Rights Alliance (CIRA), a statewide coalition of diverse groups that push for social justice and equality for immigrants and people of color. As a member of CIRA, Alok participates in and coordinates grassroots action, legislative advocacy, and public education.
 
Alok is fluent in English and Gujurati, with limited proficiency in Spanish. 
He holds a Bachelors in Arts from the University of Connecticut, and a Juris Doctorate from the Syracuse University College of Law,


alok.bhatt@juntainc.org


Fernando Faneyte
Program Manager of Economic Development & Executive Assistant
Fernando Faneyte is originally from Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. He obtained a degree in Business Administration from the Catholic University of Santo Domingo, a certification in management, and an M.B.A. from University Henriquez Pedro Urena. In 2010, he joined Junta as a volunteer on the Board of Economic Development and was hired part-time to work in the Family Management program. Currently, he serves as the Executive Assistant to the Executive Director and as the Program Manager of Economic Development. Mr. Faneyte is bilingual in English and Spanish.


Juan Figueroa

Maintenance

Agueda Ocasio
The Neighborhood Place, Onsite Coordinator

Julynette Quiles
Administrative Assistant
Originally from Puerto Rico, Julynette moved to New Haven to take care of her parents. She studied on the island, where she graduated with a B.A. in Music from the Inter-American University of Puerto Rico, San German Campus. She started at JUNTA as a caregiver for the children of ESL/GED students. She then worked as assistant for the Adult Education program, which she still serves, but now from another angle. She is currently an administrative assistant at Junta and is fully bilingual (Spanish and English).

Cheila Serrano
Program Director, Family Management

Cheila Serrano is a native of Fair Haven. She attended Wilbur Cross High School and the New Haven Adult Education Center. She came to Junta as a volunteer and was consequently hired to the position of Energy Assistant Coordinator, Office Manager and is now the Program Director of Family Management. Ms. Serrano is bilingual in English and Spanish.

cheila.serrano@juntainc.org


 

Mary Elizabeth Smith 

Program Director for Adult Education and Community Outreach

Mary Elizabeth Smith got her Bachelor of Arts 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.

mary.smith@juntainc.org


Juancarlos Soto
Community and Youth Organizer

Born in Puerto Rico, Juancarlos Soto moved to New Haven, Connecticut as a teenager.  He attended Wilbur Cross High School and went on to pursue his passion for art at Paier College of Art where he graduated with a BFA in Graphic Design.  At Junta, Mr. Soto works with the youth action committee and encourages the youth to use art as a tool to advocate for social justice in their communities and beyond.

juancarlos.soto@juntainc.org

Ana Maria Rivera-Forastieri
Director of Advocacy and Program Development
Ana Maria Rivera-Forastieri holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Interdisciplinary Studies from the University of Puerto Rico and a Juris Doctor from Tulane University Law School. She is licensed to practice law in Connecticut. Ana Maria worked at Junta from 2012 -2014 and helped to create and lead the Connecticut Immigrant Rights Allicance (CIRA) a coalition of immigrant, faith, labor, youth and community organizations, where she helped plan legislative and grassroots campaigns that pushed for progressive policies in the state. She also created the Youth Action Committee at Junta which stemmed from Junta’s organizing efforts of undocumented students.  She returned to Junta in September 2015, after working as the Political Director at the Working Families Organization where she managed grassroots legislative campaigns involving economic equality for women and worked for electoral organizing.