Meet the Team
Bridget Cooke, Co-Founder and Executive Director
For over 25 years, Bridget has been working with nonprofits in Oregon, California and Chile. In 2002, she helped co-found programs for immigrant women and families that address key obstacles to justice and promote respect and dignity for all. Bridget obtained her B.A. in education from Western State University and a Masters of Divinity Degree from the Pacific School of Religion in Berkeley.
Kymberli Contreras, Assistant Director
Kymberli joined Adelante in February 2012. She is originally from Dallas, Texas and has a B.A. from Duke University and holds an MBA from Alfred University. Kymberli’s Professional background includes fundraising for academia and logistics coordination and program development for state government agencies in Oregon and New York.
Sue Rubin, Director of Finance and Operations
Sue joined Adelante Mujeres as the Director of Finance and Operations in September 2016. Sue has worked with the Organization for the past 8 years as part of the auditing team and as a consultant and volunteer. Sue is a CPA with an MBA from the University of Oregon and BA in English. She has extensive experience and expertise in payroll and non-profit consulting as well as an ethic and history of service and activism.
Evelyn Cantoral, Director of Development
Evelyn brings more than 10 years of nonprofit experience and more than 5 years of successful nonprofit fundraising and marketing experience to Adelante. Evelyn's background includes several years of international nonprofit experience in Central Africa, where she first discovered the power of visual storytelling to effect change. For Evelyn, working with Adelante Mujeres unites her passion for women's empowerment with her Latin American roots.
Andrea Chunga-Celis, Grants Manager
Andrea Chunga-Celis completed her Master’s Degree in International Studies from the University of Connecticut. Previously, she worked in human rights organizations in New York and Peru. Her passion has been to work for non-profit organizations and to build strong local communities with the aim of providing opportunities for all individuals.
Anne Morse, Grants Specialist
Anne joined Adelante Mujeres in December 2008. Originally from Southeast Alaska, she has lived abroad in Tranqueras, Uruguay, and Santiago, Chile. Anne obtained her B.A. in Politics and Latin American Studies from Oberlin College.
Rose Walker, Grants Officer
Rose joined the Development Team at Adelante Mujeres in October, 2017. She has 10 years of experience working with non-profit organizations as a program manager, mostly focusing on providing nutrition and educational services to low-income families. She has a B.A. in English Literature and is currently working toward a Master of Divinity Degree. Rose is passionate about helping low-income families to access the resources needed to live their full potential and is excited to be a part of Adelante’s mission.
Anna Yeager, Marketing Manager
Anna has been producing documentary films and video for nonprofits for over 10 years and is passionate about telling stories that inspire change. Originally from the Midwest, she graduated from Columbia College Chicago with a degree in Film/Video Production. Her work has been featured on Good Morning America, Huffington Post, Upworthy and nationwide film festivals. Anna is thrilled to be helping women rise up and reach for their dreams at Adelante Mujeres.
Melissa Erickson, Corporate Engagement Officer
Melissa grew up in Philadelphia, PA and attended Emerson College in Boston for a BA in Writing, Literature, and Publishing. She has always had a deep passion for nonprofit work and human rights. She moved to Oregon in 2010 to attend OSU and get her masters Degree in Applied Anthropology to learn how to better help people of different cultures. She completed her thesis research in Ecuador looking at how to better include the needs of communities in the Cloud Forest in conservation efforts, and just completed a seven month trip from Argentina to Guatemala meeting locals and volunteering along the way. She comes to Adelante Mujeres with a passion for immigrant rights and three years of experience working in Development.
Patricia Alvarado, Director of Education Programs
Patricia started volunteering at Adelante Mujeres through the Chicas program in 2009 and in 2014 she joined the Adelante team as an employee. Patricia is originally from Guadalajara, Jalisco and comes to Adelante with over 17 years of experience and a passion for working with children, youth, and families in the Latino community. She is a strong advocate of equity and justice and is participating in different local and state committees to promote these values. Patricia has an AA in Early Childhood Education and Families Studies from PCC, a BA in Social Science from PSU, and an MA in Educational Leadership and Policy from PSU with a focus on Post-secondary Adult and Continuing Education. Patricia is the courageous leader of Adelante’s Education department.
Yasi Lemus Isla, Adult Education Program Manager
Yasi is originally from Cuba and holds a degree in Agricultural Engineering from the Agricultural University of Havana. She spent many years working as vegetal genetic researcher and she had an important role over capacitating farmers in Cuba. She moved to Oregon in 2011 and became an instructor at Portland Community College where she worked with the Hispanic Community and taught a variety of subjects, including math, science, reading, writing, social studies and computer skills. Working with the Latino community is her passion.
Alexandra Nahill, ECE & Adult Education Family Engagement Coordinator
Alexandra Nahill has been working as an educator in Oregon for 10 years. She has taught English, Physical Education, Yoga and Nature studies to children and adults. She had been a preschool director of the Nature Kids Preschool in Beaverton and a Bilingual Educator in the Hillsboro School District. She has a degree in Biology and worked for many years with sea turtles in Costa Rica and Colombia.
Lupe Hernandez, ESPERE Coordinator
Lupe Hernandez comes to Adelante Mujeres with over 21 years of experience working in nonprofit organizations. Born in Mexico but raised in Texas, Lupe returned to Mexico in 1996 and co-founded “Help-Restore-Transform”, a program which works to address educational barriers and improve self-worth among women (some formerly incarcerated) and children in the community. She also began co-managing "Casa Israel," a shelter for homeless, elderly women in Ciudad Juarez in 1999 where she worked until she moved to Cabo San Lucas, Mexico in 2012 where she continued working with underprivileged families. She founded MVP – Madres Valiosas Preciosas and managed 11 kitchens offering daily food as well as nutritional programs, education and healing. She moved to Oregon in 2017 to continue her work on empowerment and justice issues and after attending an ESPERE Workshop in 2017, she joined Adelante in September 2018 as the ESPERE Coordinator.
Yamel Olivas Solis, Early Childhood Education Program Manager
Yamel is originally from Mexico and graduated as a Preschool Education Teacher from “Escuela Normal del Estado.” She moved to Oregon in 1990, looking for opportunities. She began her career at the Oregon Child Development Coalition. Since then she has been working in the area of education, in many different roles, mentoring other teachers, families, and working with the community. Pursuing more education, in 2006 she obtained an Associate’s degree in Early Childhood Education from Portland Community College. Her 30 years of experience have taught her the importance of education for parents and families because they serve as the children’s first teacher. She is always seeking more opportunities for professional growth and to learn more about children and families.
Rosalia Dominquez, Early Childhood Education Teacher
Rosalia joined Adelante in 2002 and has been working with young children ever since. She loves working with 1-3 year olds and brings her passion for education and love of nature to the classroom to share with her students.
Maria Esther Rizo, Early Childhood Education Teacher
Mari joined Adelante in 2002. She is originally from Jalisco, Mexico and came to the US in 1996. Mari has a real gift for music, which she shares with the children in her classroom. She leads weekly music classes for all the children and their moms and everyone has a great time singing, dancing, and playing percussion instruments.
Norma Hernandez, Early Childhood Education Teacher
Norma comes to Adelante with many years of nonprofit experience. She has studied child development extensively, and believes that education is fundamental to the development of a community. Norma is inspired by children and young adults because she believes in their potential. She strongly believes that we all must join together to create opportunities that will allow for change in our actual reality.
Alejandra Leudo, Early Childhood Education Substitute Teacher
Alejandra is originally from Antioquia, Colombia. She graduated from the Universidad Cooperativa de Columbia with a degree in graphic design. She is passionate about design and is trained to produce functional design pieces. She loves children and has experience developing campaigns for them.
Ángeles Pineda, Instructional Aide
Ángeles joined Adelante Mujeres in 2016. She's originally from the State of Guerrero, Mexico but spent her early childhood in Michoacan and Mexico City. There she studied International Relations at the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (UNAM). When she came to the United States she changed careers working in Early Childhood Education. She continued her studies to obtain her CDA Certificate in order to improve her professional skills. She loves working with the children and their families who are in her classroom and she’s proud of being a part of the Adelante Mujeres Team!
Immigrant Solidarity Project
Cristina Delgado, Immigrant Solidarity Project Coordinator
Cristina is a proud first generation immigrant. She grew up in Washington County and has lived in Oregon for more than 20 years. She graduated from Oregon State University with a BA in Political Science and a Minor in Philosophy, and her work experience includes leadership development with youth and adults, social service and education. She says, "Adelante Mujeres has a commitment to incorporate leadership development in all of its programs, and one of its values is to be in solidarity with the community. That's what led me to Adelante."
Leticia Aguilar, Chicas Youth Development Program Manager
Leticia joined Adelante Mujeres in November of 2009. She is originally from Mexico and moved to the United States when she was twelve years old. In January 2014, She will be getting her A.A. in Organizational Dynamics from Warner Pacific College.
Araceli Mendez , Chicas Program Coordinator
Araceli is originally from San Diego, California and graduated from the University of Redlands with a Bachelor's degree in Spanish Literature. Aside from her deep passion for fúbol, she is also dedicated to working with nonprofit organizations, and especially with Latino youth and families. She joins Adelante Mujeres with over 8 years of experience in youth development and community outreach.
Esmeralda Sanchez, Chicas Family Engagement Coordinator
Esmeralda completed her Bachelor’s Degree in International Business from San Diego State University. She joined Adelante Mujeres in September 2017 and has over 20 years of experience working with the community.
Carina Quintanilla , Project Coordinator
Carina recently joined Adelante after graduating from the University of Oregon in 2017 with a degree in International Studies. Adelante Mujeres is her first post-grad job and she couldn't be more thrilled about working for the organization. Carina is so excited to be able to work with an organization that embodies everything she is passionate about – empowering women, providing opportunities to the Latino community, and educating youth!
Lucila Gambino, Youth Facilitator and Project Developer
Lucila is originally from Buenos Aires, Argentina yet grew up under the sun in Miami, Florida. She spent her college years immersed in the vibrant culture of New Orleans studying Communication at Tulane University. She directed her career path towards outdoor education because of her love of nature and working with youth. For years she led many backpacking expeditions, taught rock climbing and kayaking, and encouraged youth to grow through challenge and discovery en la naturaleza. Lucila recently moved to Portland and is grateful to continue her work with youth empowerment with the Chicas team.
Maria Diego, Youth Facilitator and Project Developer
Maria has nine years of experience working with youths ages 6-18. She enjoys working in the Latino community. Her goal and passion is to help students from all ages be engaged with the community, make plans for their future and to help them transition to adulthood. She is currently attending Portland Community College (PCC) full time to become an Elementary Teacher.
Angela Valenzuela , Youth Facilitator and Project Developer
Originally from Sinaloa, Mexico, Angela grew up in north Portland. She graduated in 2016 from Washington State University Vancouver with a B.A. in Humanities with a Primary Focus in English and Secondary Focus in Sociology, as well as with a Minor in Spanish. Angela joins Adelante Mujeres as a Chicas Program Facilitator and Project Developer with five years of experience working with youth and families providing educational services. When she’s not busy spoiling her niece, you can catch Angela writing short pieces about her experiences navigating the world as an immigrant, watching movies, or experimenting with shooting and editing videos.
Alejandra Cardenas, Youth Facilitator and Project Developer
Alejandra recently moved to Portland after growing up in San Diego, CA. She completed her B.A. in Comparative Studies in Race & Ethnicity from Stanford University and has a passion for educational equity. With over 6 years experience working with youth and families, she continues to commit herself to serving communities of color. In her free time, you can find Alejandra painting or cooking her abuelita's recipes.
Carmen Walsh, Youth Facilitator and Project Developer
Carmen joined Adelante Mujeres after working as a Preschool Teacher’s Assistant for 5 years! She has a grand passion for youth and helping them find their voice, the Latino Community and education itself, so this space is exactly where the world was guiding her to be! Her roots are Mexican and Irish and she is very proud to be multi-cultural. She believes in sharing her story to make others feel more comfortable sharing theirs. Carmen graduated from PSU with a Bachelor’s in International Studies and minor in Spanish. When Carmen isn’t spending time with her family and loving on her godchild, she is either sipping on something warm whilst reading/writing or throwing on an old t-shirt on to paint how she is feeling.
Itzel Chavez Gomez, Youth Facilitator and Project Developer
Itzel has over five years of experience in youth mentorship and advocacy and a background in sexual violence prevention education. She completed her BA in General Social Science with a concentration in Crime, Law and Society from the University of Oregon. With her knowledge of sociology and ethnic studies and her drive for social equity, social justice and anti-oppression, her passion is to work in communities that foster growth for youth. Itzel aims to use her skills to uplift and support marginalized communities and aid them in their self-determination.
Sandra Ambrosio, Youth Facilitator and Project Developer
Sandra is a recent graduate from Portland State University where she received a BA in International Studies along with a BA in Sociology. While at Portland State she discovered a passion for understanding how the social, political, economic, and environmental conditions of the world shape our realities and how we can work together to create meaningful systemic change. Some of Sandra’s passions include environmental justice, sustainability, food justice, social justice, political advocacy, feminism, etc. She sees the intersections in all of these which is why Sandra truly believes that working toward empowering local communities is a powerful tool for the change we need. She is extremely grateful and excited to be able to promote women empowerment and Latinx success with the Chicas team.
Maribel De Leon, Director of Microenterprise Programs
Maribel joined Adelante in November 2016. Originally from Dallas, Texas she graduated from Northwood University with a BBA in International Business. She has over 12 years experience in business advocacy and small business development. Her career includes serving as a business advisor with the Small Business Development Center (a program of the SBA); leading the procurement division of a Hispanic Chamber of Commerce; and co-founding a film production company. In 2013 she was a recipient of the Dallas Business Journal's 40 under 40 awards.
Javier Urenda, Empresas Small Business Program Manager
Javier joined Adelante in May 2013. He is originally from Mexico and has over 10 years of experience working with the Latino community through non-profit organizations. Javier holds a degree in Civil Engineering from Mexico and an Associates Degree from Portland Community College.
Mark Wheeler, Empresas Small Business Coach & Training Specialist
Mark was born and raised here in Oregon, and holds an MBA in Nonprofit Management as well as a Bachelor’s in Social Work and Spanish, both from the University of Portland. His professional experience ranges from working for a youth-development, international NGO in Central America and the Caribbean to business development and entrepreneurial ventures here in the U.S. He believes strongly in working to better himself while serving the people and community around him. Mark loves spending time outside as well as traveling and seeking adventures of all kinds.
Kaely Summers, Nutrition and Farmers Market Manager
Kaely joined Adelante in 2011. Originally from Tacoma, Washington, she has lived abroad in Peru and is a former AmeriCorps VISTA volunteer. Kaely is a graduate of Pacific University in Forest Grove, OR, and has a deep interest in nutrition and food systems.
Mayra Hernandez, Farmers Market & Nutrition Coordinator
In 2004, Mayra Hernandez became a student in our Adult Education program and received her GED. Mayra then began her career in childcare and started studying to receive her Child Development Associate Credential, which she earned in 2006. Mayra joined Adelante Mujeres in 2011 and has worked in our preschool as well as with our Forest Grove Farmers Market and our Produce Rx initiative.
Alejandro Tecum, Sustainable Agriculture Education Manager
Alejandro is originally from Guatemala and moved to Oregon in 1999. He joined Adelante Mujeres in 2002 working as a Mathematics and Spanish teacher. In 2005, he initiated the Adelante Agricultural program.
Silvia Cuesta , Farm Business and Distributor Manager
Silvia, who is originally from Oaxaca Mexico, moved to the United States in her early teens. She has experience as an organic farmer and small business owner. She is excited to be part of Adelante Mujeres where she can share her knowledge and experience to help other Latino farmers in our region. Silvia strongly believes that education is fundamental to the devleopment of the community and providing such opportunities will allow for change and growth within the Latino families Adelante Mujeres' serves.