Between August 2022 and January 2023, La Paz has been fortunate to add amazing talent to our organization, assisting with new initiative and crucial support to help us expand alongside our quickly-growing Latino population here in Chattanooga.
Meet our new team members below!
Faviana Gaspar Born in Colorado to parents from Guatemala, Faviana has lived in Chatt since she was 10 years old, experiencing firsthand the growth and development of our city’s Latino community. She holds a BA in Music from the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga. In her role, Faviana assists with community education programming and conducts outreach and support to our community members.
Wendy Reynoso Wendy was born in Guatemala and emigrated to Chatt as a young child. Wendy has been volunteering with La Paz since high school and served as a Social Impact intern during her time as a student at UTC, where she graduated with a degree in Mechanical Engineering from the Honors College. During her time involved with La Paz, she has grown passionate about the work the organization does.
Annie Durán Pérez Originally from the Dominican Republic, a graduate of UTK with previous work in Latino/x communities as the After School Coordinator at Centro Hispano de East TN, Annie will be working under the YHDP grant as a Case Manager, providing services from screening and intake to discharge, including: completing client assessments; developing, implementing, coordinating, and reviewing self-sufficiency plans; and providing discharge and after-care.
Jenny Pontarelli Born and raised in Venezuela, Jenny is a graduate from Southern Adventist University with a degree in Social Work. As a Youth Homelessness Navigator, Jenny will conduct navigation services and work with assigned youth and/or youth-headed families to assess their identified needs and provide referrals, education, assistance, and advocacy.
Vanessa Parras Of Salvadoran descent, Vanessa holds a J.D. from UTK, is an alumna of UTC and comes with legal and community experience. As Access Coordinator, Vanessa will work closely with legal providers, local pro-bono attorneys, and state non-profit attorneys in order to advocate for and assist in advancing youth client immigration cases in the area.
Jasmin is our Operations & Admin Coordinator, helping support our administrative, fundraising and volunteer engagements (more on that soon, stay tuned!). Born in Florida to parents from Guerrero, MX, she's passionate about helping our Latino community, particularly through language support.
Jesus Lopez is our Office Coordinator and is the first of many friendly faces you'll see when arriving at our community center! Jesus helps with client-faced support as well as facility management. His family is from Guanajuato, MX and he holds a BSW from Dalton State.
Help us welcome these superstar additions to the LP family!