Meet the team

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Board of Directors 

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Wendoline Vargas, LMSW

President & Founder

Edwin Serrano, MS.Ed

Treasurer

Jennifer Guzman, B.A

Secretary

Scholarship Committee

Monique Dunn, LCSW

Monique Dunn is a licensed social worker who is passionate about utilizing evidence-based interventions with a person-centered approach in her work as a therapist. Monique is a graduate of the New York University (NYU) Silver School of Social Work where she received her Master’s degree in Social Work (2017). While obtaining her Master’s degree, Monique became part of the Students of Color Collective (SOCC), a supportive student group for minorities and went on the become president of SOCC where she facilitated support groups for students to share their experiences on campus with one another and create a sense of community. Prior to her studies at NYU, Monique trained as a counselor at the University of Nottingham, England (2015) and worked in schools providing therapy to students. Monique is now a program coordinator for a counseling program in Brooklyn where she leads a team that provides therapeutic and supportive services for people living with HIV. In addition to this role, Monique works as an adjunct instructor at NYU’s Silver School of Social Work. Monique experienced first-hand some of the challenges that come with being a woman of color in higher education and wants to utilize her knowledge and skills to support the endeavors of Her Vaga Bound Roots and its scholarship recipients.

Lauren Berry

Lauren Berry is an academic advisor who has been in higher education for many years. She started out in Residential Life and transitioned to working as an academic advisor within a community college. She obtained a bachelor's degree in Government and International Politics. When she graduated from college she worked in the K-12 education system as admin support. She then decided that she needed to go on and obtain her master's degree to reach the professional goals that she had in mind. Lauren then went on to obtain a Master's in Higher Education at a large land grant institution. Lauren understands the importance of education and how education can impact womxn and marginalized identities. 

 

Lauren has loved the  opportunity to be involved in her communities as a reading volunteer, a mentor and also an active community member. Lauren enjoys spending time reading, listening to music and dancing. She also has a personal goal to go back to school and work on obtaining skills in Calculus. She hasn't always done well in math and wants to work on that skill. 

Carolyn Almonte, LCSW

Carolyn graduated with her Masters of Social Work from New York University in 2017. After NYU, Carolyn returned to Maryland to work in the very same community she was raised. Carolyn has been working in high schools serving youth and their families as a Bilingual Clinical Counselor. Carolyn has a strong passion for working with youth in her community, especially immigrant youth, to help dismantle and overcome the barriers placed and designed to have them fail. Besides her passion for social justice, Carolyn enjoys traveling! But until Carolyn can travel again, baking has become her newest hobby. Fun fact about Carolyn: she hates chocolate but can make the best brownies (taste tested and confirmed by the chocolate lovers in her family)! 

Fanny Sesay Yankay, LMSW

Fanny was born and raised in Jersey City. She earned her bachelor’s degree at Rutgers University Newark and he M.S.W at New York University. Fanny is a fearless black woman who is invested in black liberation. Fanny is passionate about  fighting for social justice and helping young people move through the world. Fanny is currently the adolescent social worker at the pediatric clinic at NYP Cornell and in her spare time she enjoys binge watching Netflix, political dramas, & spending time with her fiancé. To get in touch with Fanny, fannysesay94@gmail.com.

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