Vice President, Benevolent Programs
Monique Turner-Lopez is a seasoned administrator with more than 30 years of experience in the non-profit sector both in the United States and Latin America.
She has designed, implemented and overseen multi-site agencies and programs focusing on family support services, bilingual education, extended day programming, positive youth development, teen parenting, re-entry, financial counseling/education, family economic success, and workforce development services for various nonprofit organizations.
Her career began in international development. She was the U.S.-based liaison on several educational projects focusing on Honduras, as well as other countries in Latin America and the countries of Pakistan, Spain and South Africa. A former Peace Corps volunteer, she served in the Dominican Republic. She also created and developed one of the first AmeriCorps programs in 1994 in Washington, D.C. under the Latin American Youth Center. Prior roles included serving as the Chief Executive Officer of Bilingual Education for Central America, CEO of The Family Center of Columbus, Georgia, and CPO for the YWCA of the Hartford Region.
Ernesto Muhanma García
Site Manager, Next Step To Success
Ernesto Muhanma García has committed himself to his community, youth advocacy, and family advisory support from a social work lens for approximately 20 years. In his years of service, he worked with the non-profit sectors in Youth Services, Housing, Nutrition, Substance Abuse, Financial Literacy, and Education within the Charter School setting and New York City Department of Education setting.
In his role as Site Manager, he and his staff will ensure to educate, elevate and empower youth via conversations, interactions and activities that promote social awareness and progress.
During this journey, NSTS will partner with organizations in Norfolk to help bridge the gap between youth, families, programs, and the needs that will be supported as a result of this partnership. His goal is to develop a great relationship between NSTS and the families served through authentic and purposeful engagement. The collective goal is to improve the lives of families and children while reducing the poverty rate in Norfolk by 50% in 10 years in hopes to make it easier for youth and families to succeed.
Lead Success Coach, Next Step to Success
Imari Santiago started with The Barry Robinson Center as a Teacher Assistant for the residential treatment program. Her experience with Communities in Schools of Richmond and teaching English overseas through a Fulbright ETA grant has made classrooms a familiar home for her. She has supported a variety of ages from kindergarten to adults in matters of academic and social emotional learning.
She values education greatly and considers herself a lifelong student whether it’s in the classroom or learning important lessons in everyday life. It’s that very love and willingness to learn and improve that she hopes to encourage in the youth she serves.
When not working, she enjoys reading and writing as well as hiking local trails. Her recent favorite hobby is bike riding, either outside or on her stationary bike indoors.