Latinos Educando Juntos names new board members
The board is made up entirely by women of color, with four being Latina.
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The newly formed Latinos Educando Juntos (LEJ), a nonprofit that supports Latinx/Hispanic business owners and child care providers, has announced new board members.
LEJ was founded by Damaris Alvarado-Rodriguez, founder and CEO of Children’s Playhouse Early Learning Center. In 2022, she received the AL DÍA Women of Merit Award for Entrepreneurship, and the Bronze Medal for Pennsylvania’s Equity in Early Childhood Education Champion Award.
LEJ will provide small businesses and individuals services like equitable access to grant funding, professional development, and advocacy opportunities.
These board members include:
Adamary Sosa: Vice President of Economic Mobility of Norris Square Community Alliance. Sosa also serves on the Latino Equitable Development Collective (LEDC).
She earned a Master’s degree in Education with a concentration in Special Education and a Nonprofit Executive Leadership Certification from Bryn Mawr Graduate School of Social Work. She also received a certificate in Executive Presence and Influence from the University of Pennsylvania.
She credits “her struggles, her childhood experiences, her family upbringing, her faith, her culture, and her hardships, for her commitment and determination to improve the way of life for others in the same Barrio [North Philadelphia] that raised her.”
Rosanna Matos: Bilingual Professional Development Instructor and Mobilization Specialist for First Up. She received a Master of Education in Early Childhood Education and Teaching from Gratz College.
Matos is a bilingual Professional Development Instructor that supports the Latinx community in Philadelphia and the surrounding areas. She also participated in the OCDEL Policy Fellowship and promoted high quality childcare while interacting with legislators. She used the opportunity to secure more funding for Early Childhood Education (ECE) programming as well.
Samantha Rodriguez: Director at the Newbold location of Children’s Playhouse. Prior to this, she was the center’s Education Coordinator.
Rodriguez holds a Masters degree in Business and Leadership from Eastern University. She is a member of several organizations including PACCA and the Racial Equity Provider Council through Children’s First.
Martha Gonzalez: Founder of Ideal Business, which helps small businesses and individuals learn the benefits of financial literacy. She has 12 years of experience in finance and business services.
She’s held many workshops for financial literacy over the years. She also helped implement programs, including one for individuals who want to buy a home.
Gonzalez shares information about taxes, as well as advocates for financial literacy and mental health on her two TikToks.
During her career, she has helped businesses like El Coqui and Titi’s Learning Center grow. She has recently helped a client grow their business’ capital from $80,000 to $8 million in 3 years.
Aliya Johnson-Roberts: An education and business consultant and the Executive Director/co-owner of two early childhood centers, Pratt Street Learning Center and Bustleton Learning Center. She has a Master’s degree in Early Childhood Education and Educational Leadership from Arcadia University.
Johnson-Roberts is currently a PhD candidate in Educational Leadership. She is preparing to expand the Bustleton Learning Center to kindergarten through 3rd grade. It currently serves toddler and preschool education. She is an alumni of Goldman Sachs’ 10,000 Small Business program. She serves on the Board of Director for the Tree House Books and the Pennsylvania Child Care Association (PCCA).
She formed the Exceptional Bilingual Leadership Program, a fellowship that teaches personal and business growth skills to owners and workers in early childcare, with Damaris Alvarado-Rodriguez and fellow board member, Obioma Martin.
Dionne Wright-Chambers: Co-founder and principal consultant of Learn, Empower, Grow Consulting Group. She is known as “The Abolitionist Educator” and supports and develops programs for children, families, and other educators who struggle for educational liberation around the world.
Wright-Chambers has a degree in Pan African Studies from Temple University and a Masters in Educational Leadership. She also developed a sustainability protocol for inclusive practices in early childhood education at Thomas Jefferson University. Wright-Chambers leads the education committee for the Philadelphia chapter of “The National Council of Negro Women.”
Obinoma Martin: Seven times bestselling author, CEO of OMAX Institute, trainer, and Adjunct Professor at Chestnut Hill College. She graduated from Chestnut Hill College with a B.S. in Childcare Management and from Arcadia University with a Masters in Early Childhood Leadership. Like Johnson-Roberts, she is an alumni of the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Business Program.
As the CEO of OMAX Institute, “she creates safe spaces for clients to transform into their best selves, from the inside out, using her Accumulated Systems Approach (ASA).”
She is one of the co-founders of the Exceptional Bilingual Leadership Program.
The goal of LEJ is to build a future of Latinx and Hispanic leaders.