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Leadership

Walkiria E. Pool
President and Founder

walkiriaWalkiria Pool's profes​​sional career includes over 15 years in community development and the housing service industry with a focus on affordable housing and asset development. She earned her MA Community Economic Development from Southern New Hampshire University and a graduate certificate in Women and Politics and Public Policy from the University of Massachusetts in Boston. As an undergraduate Ms. Pool earned her bachelor’s degree from the University of Massachusetts in Boston, majoring in Psychology and Sociology. Ms. Pool was responsible for developing and implementing the Project "Más a ti" for the National Council of La Raza, the first community-based financial institution for low-income families in the nation. Ms. Pool also served as Youth Program Director in the family Asset Building division of Lawrence Community Works and as an AmeriCorps Vista member at the Allston Brighton Community Development Corporation. She has served on several boards of directors and advisory committees of community-based organizations.

Damaris Frias-Batista
Executive Director and Co-Founder

Damaris-FNL

Damaris Frias-Bastista co-founded CAF. She is Executive director of CAF's Lawrence, MA office and oversees The Connectors, a national capacity building program for clergy serving Latino churches that prepares them to serve as bridge between their congregations and their communities. Mrs. Frias-Batista brings over 15 years of experience in the area of leadership development, management, and program development. She holds a BA in Psychology from University of Massachusetts at Boston and a MA in Mental Health with an specialty in children, youths and families from Southern New Hampshire University. Mrs. Frias Batista has served at her local church as youth, children, and family minister director.

Staff

Gisela VasquezFamily and Wealth-Building Program Manager

​Gisela Vasquez is the Family and Wealth-Building Program Manager in our Lawrence, MA office. Ms. Vaquez is responsible for providing housing counselling services to low income families and overseeing the Assets and Wealth-Building Program. Ms. Vasquez is an advocate for families in danger of losing their homes due to foreclosure. She provides guidance and counselling in the area of financial literacy and more. Ms. Vasquez has received training from NeighborWorks America in Foreclosure Prevention and is now a certified Housing Counsellor. Ms. Vasquez has over seven years of customer service experience and worked as a rehab counsellor in The Psychological Center in Lawrence, bringing with her an extensive background in one-on-one counselling.

Yuly Y. Diaz MonsacIntake Specialist

​​july.jpgjuly Monsac is an Intake Specialist in Maryland’s Asset Building Programs.  She holds a BA in Psychology of Human Development from Independent University of Santo Domingo and a Child Development Associate Credential from the Council for Professional Recognition in Washington, DC.




Anabel SolanoAdministrative Assistance/Intake Specialist

Anabel.jpgAnabel Solano is the administrative assistant for the Lawrence office.  She plans and schedules meetings, responds to internal and external inquiries, and organizes and maintains confidential information.  Ms. Solano also serves as an intake specialist and as a counsellor assistant for the foreclosure and credit rebuilding program. Ms. Solano is currently pursuing her nursing career at Northern Essex Community College.


Volunteers

Volunteer Opportunities​

Thank you for your interest in volunteering at CAF. Currently we are seeking volunteers to join our hard working team in the different programs CAF offers to the community. CAF needs committed people who are willing to make a difference. Specific volunteer opportunities, requirements, and contact information for each volunteer opportunity are listed below:

  • Casa y Comunidad Program
  • Healthy Families Initiative
  • Capacity Building Program
  • Elderly Program


Please visit us again for future volunteer opportunities near you!!​

Board of Directors

 

Reverend Juan Melo- 1st Vice President

 (Serving since 2006)

Reverend Juan Melo has served as a pastor at the Church of God of Prophecy in Boston for over 30 years. He earned his AA in theology at the Church of God Biblical institute, his BA in Urban Ministerial Education at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary in Jamaica Plain, Massachusetts, and is pursuing his MA at the same institution. Reverend Melo currently sits in a number of boards of directors, including Ministerio Evangelistico Del Area de Lawrence (AMEDAL) and La Verdad en Accion. Reverend Melo is known for being very active in the community he serves and his passion for social justice and immigration law reform.

 

Reverend Victor Jarvis – 2nd Vice President

(serving since 2007)

Reverend Victor Jarvis began his ministerial service as a pastor for the First Pentecostal Church of God in 1982. He currently serves as a senior pastor at the Christian Church Ebenezer, Inc. Reverend Jarvis earned his BA in 1984 in the Gaston Fernando Deligne in Puerto Rico and is pursuing a MA at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary.  Rev. Jarvis has served as a member of the board of advisors and directors for a number of institutions, including: AMEDAL, Merrimack Valley Project, City of Lawrence Human Rights Commission in Massachusetts, and City of Lawrence Weed and Seed Program. Rev. Jarvis is a very enthusiastic leader and activist for Lawrence and all of the Merrimack Valley.

 

Reverend Juan Williams- Secretary

(serving since 2007)

Reverend Williams is a pastor in Boston for the Church of God of Prophecy and is pursuing a BA in ministry from Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary. He has also been the Treasurer for the Church of God of Prophecy in Lawrence for a number of years.  Reverend Williams is well known in Lawrence for his passion and devotion in helping the community to be a better place, including serving on the City of Lawrence Human Rights Commission.

 

Reverend Gabriela Garcia- Assistant Secretary

(serving since 2009)

Reverend Gabriela Garcia began her ministerial career in 1996 as a pastor in the United Methodist Church. She was also ordained as an elder in the New England Conference of the United Methodist Church.  Reverend Garcia holds MAs in Divinity and in Mental Health from Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary.  She is well known in Lawrence for the help that she gives to the families she comes in contact with.

 

Pastor Olufemi John Odukoya-Faith based Community Liason

Pastor Olufemi John Odukoya is head Pastor of the Fountain of Life Grace Springs Church, located in Glenn Dale, Maryland. Prior to that, he was Director of Evangelism at Hope Christian Church for seven years. As head Pastor of this multicultural Church, Odukoya’s ministry has influenced the surrounding community through outreach. He has a strong passion for raising and developing leaders for effective ministry. He graduated from the University of Lagos, Nigeria with a BS in Economics, and holds a BA in Theology from Hope Bible College in collaboration with Christian Life Ministry.

 

Dania Mendez- Board Member

Dania Mendez helps individuals and small businesses simplify managing their finances and plan their financial future. She has been employed by Bank of America in Boston for eight years, working her way up from teller to a managerial position. She is responsible for planning community events. Dania enjoys being able to work with her clients, and above all to represent and help the Hispanic community.

 

Kibzaim Eliezer Arias Jimenez- Board Member

Kibzaim Eliezer Arias Jimenez is Praise Minister of Rivers of Living Water Evangelical Church in Metropolitan DC. He is also a musical collaborator of the ministry Impacto de Gloria. He began his musical studies at the age of 9 at the Academy of Music and then attended the National Conservatory of Music in Santo Domingo.  He has served as Pastor of Music and Director of Praise Ministry of the First Church of the Assemblies of God, Jerusalem Primera in San Pedro de Macoris, a music teacher at one of the centers of Compassion International, and Choir Director of Villas del Mar International Schools, all in the Dominican Republic.  Kibsaim holds a BS in Industrial Engineering from East Central University.  He has directed bands and shared the stage with great worshipers such as: Nancy Amancio , Persis Melo, Pahola Marino , Jesus Villanueva, Egleyda Belliard, Isabelle Valdez, Cristine D' Clario , Rocio Croke, Rene Gonzalez, and Jose Luis Reyes, among others.​