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Our
Staff

The Latino Center of the Midlands prides itself on having a strong, dedicated staff full of individuals committed to the development and growth of the Latino community.

Albert Varas | Chief Executive Officer

Albert Varas served as Executive Director of the Latino Center from 2017 – 2020 and was promoted to Chief Executive Officer in 2021. During his time at the Center, he has cultivated new strategic relationships with community organizations, funders, and other partners. During his free time, Albert can be found tending to his garden, exploring local hiking trails, and spending time with his wife and two young children.

Silvia Velez | Operations Director

Silvia Velez has been part of the Latino Center of the Midlands team since January 2010 and currently serves as Operations Director. In her position, Silvia oversees the day-to-day administrative and operational functions of the organization. Silvia loves spending her free time reading a good book, traveling to new places, listening to music, and working out.

Tyler Wilcox | Chief Financial Officer

Tyler Wilcox has been the Chief Financial Officer for the Latino Center of the Midlands since December of 2018. As our Chief Financial Officer, Tyler works diligently to identify growth opportunities while simultaneously gaining funding for all the programs we offer. Tyler considers himself an outdoors person and spends most of his free time camping, fishing, and golfing.

Carmen Chagolla | Pathways to Success Program Director

Carmen Chagolla joined the Latino Center in 2014 as a Student Advocate and now serves as the Senior Program Manager for the Pathways to Success program. In her role, Carmen oversees the Attendance, Parental Engagement, and Círculos programming. Carmen’s free time is spent dancing, listening to music, watching movies, participating in community involvement activities, and spending time with her friends and family.

Viridiana Almanza | Family and Community Well-Being Program Director

Viridiana Almanza joined the Latino Center in 2019 as our Family and Community Well-Being Program Director. Viridiana oversees designs and implements Health and Well-Being, and Social Integration programs for our families. Viridiana enjoys traveling, trying new foods, and mentoring young women in her community during her free time.

Veronica Padilla | Adult Education Team Manager

Veronica Padilla joined the Latino Center as an ESL Instructor at Greater Omaha in January 2021 and is now the Adult Education Team Manager. Veronica oversees all of the Adult Education classes offered at the Latino Center and in the community. She is an avid reader of Latin American fiction and can be found with a book in hand whenever she has free time.

Abraham Mora | Siembra Nebraska Team Manager

Abraham Mora joined the Latino Center as Siembra Nebraska Team Manager in March 2021. In his role, Abraham creates internship opportunities and professional development for youth in our community. Abraham loves to spend time outside during his free time on his bike, at a disc golf course, or at a campsite.

Abigail Ceremuga | ESL Instructor

Abigail Ceremuga joined the Latino Center as an ESL 2 instructor in January of 2020. Abigail is an ELL teacher at Omaha South High School and has had the pleasure to teach some of her daytime student’s parents in the evenings. In her free time, Abigail enjoys traveling, hiking, and spending time outdoors.

Aida Lamelas | Pre-GED Instructor

Aida Lamelas has been a part of the Latino Center of the Midlands since November of 2017 as a Pre-GED instructor. With a strong passion for helping others, she has successfully worked with adults on their journey to a GED. During her free time, Aida enjoys pursuing her passions, watching TV, playing dominos, and packing her outdoor gear for a nice camping trip.

Brisa Barrera | Social Integration Coordinator

Brisa joined the Latino Center of the Midlands in July 2021. As the Social Integration Coordinator, Brisa directly supports the community with various social needs and leads our civic engagement initiatives. Brisa is passionate about working and advocating for the Latino community. In her free time, Brisa loves spending time with her son and her family, shopping, watching movies and reality crime-investigation shows.

Candelaria Velasquez | Youth Specialist

Candelaria joined the Latino Center in January of 2020 as our FCW Youth Specialist. Candelaria works alongside her fellow FCW teammates in providing programming to the youth of different families we serve. In her free time, she can be found outside playing with her two kids or trying out a new, healthy recipe.

Carlos Muñoz | Computer Literacy Instructor

Carlos Muñoz started at the Latino Center of the Midlands in October of 2020 to assist with the distribution of CARES Act funds to the community. Afterward, he joined the team permanently as a Computer and Literacy Instructor, helping adult learners familiarize themselves with both computer hardware and software. Outside of his work at the Latino Center, Carlos works with different companies in sales, marketing, and radio broadcasting.

Chloe Martin | Family & Community Well-Being VISTA

Chloe Martin joined the Latino Center family in just November 2020 as the Strengthening Communities VISTA. Her passion for helping others and giving back to the community led her back to the Latino Center where she works to provide access and opportunities to the underserved Latino Community. She loves to travel and spends her free time planning vacations to different Latin American countries.

Claudia Hernandez | Weitz Fellow

Claudia Hernandez joined the Latino Center of the Midlands as a Weitz Fellow in August of 2021. She assists in the day-to-day administrative operations of the organization. In her free time, Claudia enjoys traveling with friends, playing guitar, and listening to music.

Diana Linares | Siembra Salud Specialist

Diana Linares joined the Latino Center in May 2021 as a Siembra Salud Specialist. Diana works directly with families to provide them with the tools and resources necessary to live a healthy life.  In her free time, Diana loves to cook delicious Mexican food for her friends and family.

Efrén García | Siembra Salud Specialist

Efrén García joined the Latino Center as a Siembra Salud specialist in June 2021. In his role, Efrén educates families in our community on basic gardening skills, nutrition, and available social services in Omaha. In his free time, Efrén loves listening to music, hiking, watching movies, lifting weights, and traveling.

Eric Herrera | Círculos Facilitator

Eric Herrera joined the Latino Center of the Midlands in June 2021 as a Círculos Facilitator. Eric leads the Ollin Círculos groups for young men at high schools around Omaha and also at the Latino Center. In his free time, you can find Eric exploring different parts of Omaha in his quest to find the perfect torta de asada.

Francisco Salinas | Student Advocate at Bellevue West

Francisco joined the Latino Center in 2020 as a Student Advocate at Bellevue West High School. He was drawn to the Latino Center when offered the opportunity to motivate students and to show them the value of quality education. Outside of the office Francisco can be found with his two dogs at home, on a trail, or at the park.

Guadalupe Perez Aguilar | Student Advocate at Norris Middle School

Guadalupe (Lupe) Perez-Aguilar joined the Latino Center in December 2019 as a Student Advocate at Norris Middle School. Lupe pushes her students to be who they are while supporting them academically. In her spare time, she enjoys spending quality time with her family and taking care of her indoor plants.

James DeMott | ESL Instructor

James DeMott joined the Latino Center of the Midlands in April 2021 as an ESL teacher. James has had experience teaching students in many different multicultural environments. James likes to run, read, write, and ice skate in his free time, especially with his family and friends.

Jennifer Reyna | Siembra Salud Coordinator

Jennifer joined the Latino Center of the Midlands in June 2021 to bring about support for the Siembra Salud program. Her previous positions led her to join the Latino Center and she believes in promoting health education through community engagement and social awareness. She spends her free time baking, hiking, browsing on social media, playing with both of her roommates’ pets, or volunteering for several committees in mental health.

Jim Cunningham | Office Manager

Jim has been supporting our community through several different programs with the Latino Center of the Midlands since July 2017. His passion for teaching has allowed him to teach ESL classes, lead our Siembra Construccion internship, and now serve as Office Manager. Jim loves to golf, cheer on Creighton basketball, and go shopping with his wife.

Leticia Crisman | Family Strengthening Coach

Leticia has been helping build positive and healthy family relationships with the Latino Center of the Midlands since March 2013. Her work not only empowers her families to become closer and overcome challenges but also to embrace their culture. In her free time, Leticia loves reading, listening to music, and exploring new places.

Magda Batiz | Student Advocate at South High School and Círculos Facilitator

Magda has been working with students in our community as a Student Advocate since August 2017. Through her work, she promotes academic engagement and leads extra-curricular leadership workshops in our Xochikalli program. Magda spends her free time riding bike trails, watching her favorite musical artists perform live concerts, and relaxing with a good book.

Mahatma Largaespada | Círculos Program Supervisor

Mahatma joined the Latino Center in October 2014 as a Student Advocate, and now serves as Supervisor of our three Círculos programs. As a supervisor for our Círculos program, Mahatma develops cultural leadership programming and events for Pathways to Success students. Mahatma enjoys spending time playing with his dog, Loki, and expressing himself creatively through painting and drawing.

Maira Hernandez | Student Advocate at Bryan High School and Círculos Facilitator

Maira joined our Pathways to Success team as a Student Advocate at Bryan High in February of 2019. Her past experiences with the community and passion enable her to help students at Bryan succeed in every aspect of their life. During her free time, she loves to listen and dance to all types of music and traveling the world with her family.

Maria Ramsey | Literacy Instructor

Maria has been volunteering at Latino Center for many years but became the literacy instructor in September 2017. She is passionate about helping others and loves seeing her students read for the first time. During her free time, Maria enjoys dancing, cooking, oil painting, and playing tennis.

Maria Valadez | Family & Community Well-Being Program Coordinator

Ever since she started at the Latino Center in February of 2020, Maria has been managing a wide variety of projects from a bilingual reading program to a mammogram event. As the Health and Well-Being Coordinator, Maria ensures that programming is not only running smoothly but also making an impact. In her free time, Maria loves watching movies, traveling, and dissecting sociology articles.

Nathan Van Haute | Communications Coordinator

Nate Van Haute joined the Latino Center of the Midlands as Communications Coordinator in February of 2020. He manages all of the organization’s communications channels and also leads the Siembra Medios program. In his free time, Nate enjoys reading, traveling, and coaching soccer.

Octavio Sordo | GED Instructor

Octavio has been teaching our community in multiple positions at the Latino Center since October of 2007. His education and his passion for helping the community have made him a versatile instructor who has helped hundreds of students obtain their GED. During his free time, Octavio enjoys sports and continuously learning by studying.

Rosana Perri | Front Desk/ Administrative Assistant

Rosana has been a constant figure at the Latino Center of the Midlands since August of 2007 and currently serves as Front Desk/ Administrative Assistant. Her constant dedication to her community and joyful spirit has enabled her to help a multitude of individuals throughout the Omaha Metro. During her free time, Rosana enjoys picking up a good book to read and taking time to meditate.

Ruth Morales | ESL Instructor

Ruth has been helping the LCM community since 2017 as an instructor in our Adult Education program. She believes people who come to our organization want to become a better version of themselves, and with her passion, she hopes to bring self-empowerment to individuals. When she has free time, she enjoys reading books and going on bike rides around the town.

Shelby Varilek | Student Advocate at Ralston High School

Shelby Varilek joined the Latino Center as a Student Advocate at Ralston High School in January 2020. Shelby values the opportunity to help students achieve their goals and see a bright future for themselves. In her free time, she loves traveling, reading, watching movies, walking her dogs, and taking care of her many plants.

Victoria Cruz | Operations Assistant

Victoria Cruz joined the Latino Center of the Midlands full-time in January 2021, but she was an intern a few years prior. Before joining the LCM, Victoria was an administrative assistant at an occupational health facility. She currently is our Operations Assistant, taking on a multitude of community engagement projects. In her free time, Victoria enjoys volunteering at the Stephens Center, reading, swimming, traveling and spending time with her (awesome) significant other.

Yicel Hernandez | ESL Instructor

Yicel joined our team in May of 2018 as an ESL Instructor. Her passion for supporting others in their academic journey led her to the Latino Center. Yicel finds joy in pushing her students to advance their careers through learning the English language. During her free time, she enjoys playing tennis matches, reading a good book, and volunteering at other organizations.

Header image courtesy of IRIS22 Productions

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