Past Members

Carla Cassidy
Carla grew up in San Juan, Puerto Rico and is no stranger to Spanish language or Latino culture. After moving back to the United States for college, she developed a passion for social justice, the environment and service while volunteering in various countries throughout Latin America. She recently graduated from Villanova University with a BA in Communication & Public Relations and minors in Environmental Studies and Peace & Justice Studies. Carla is very excited to join the Arlington Works! AmeriCorps program as a Spanish & Culture Instructor and hopes to empower the Latin American community through her service as an AmeriCorps member at Edu-Futuro.

Sarah Clark-Hamel
Sarah grew up in Southern Maine, but in high school developed a passion for traveling and the Spanish language. She has studied in Spain and Argentina, worked in Spain as an au pair, and traveled to various countries throughout Latin America and the world. She graduated from Georgetown University with a BA in Spanish and Mathematics. Sarah is very excited to have been a part of Arlington Works! AmeriCorps program as a Spanish & Culture Instructor as it allowed her to continue her love for Spanish through her work as an AmeriCorps volunteer at Edu-Futuro. Sarah is currently an education and development professional learning Portuguese and enjoying sunny weather in Sao Paulo, Brazil.

Elizabeth (Ellie) Clavel-Love
Ellie l has been involved with Edu-Futuro’s Parent Leadership Initiative since 2004, actively leading the parent community through PESA, PARTICIPA, as well as guiding ELP parents and families. In 2009-2010, she served as an AmeriCorps member with Edu-Futuro as our Parent Leadership Coordinator. Since 2009, she has also worked as the Bilingual Family Resource Assistant at Campbell Elementary School with Arlington Public Schools, supporting families and staff members with interpretation services and coordinating family involvement programs. Ellie served on the Edu-Futuro board from 2005 to 2007, and currently sits on the Citizens Advisory Committee of ESOL/HILT as its Co-Chair. She received her BA is Pedagogy at Intercontinental University in Mexico City and Diploma in Education from INHUMIC.

Milenka Coronel
Milenka has worked with different nonprofits in the Arlington/DC area helping with youth leadership programs and development. She previously worked with Tenants and Workers United and the Hispanic College Institute. She has many years of experience working with youth, and served as an AmeriCorps member with Edu-Futuro as our Marketing Coordinator. In this position, Milenka was responsible for website maintenance, creating publicity materials, and conducting community outreach. She was very involved with our Emerging Leaders Program (“ELP”) and helped mentor high schools students with college and leadership development. Milenka also supported the development of the ELP curriculum and the Líderes Overcoming Barriers program. After completing her AmeriCorps service, Milenka continued to mentor in the ELP program and enjoys volunteering with Edu-Futuro! Milenka is determined to make a difference in youth’s lives and comes with a fervent attitude! She attended the University of Maryland, College Park and obtained a Bachelor’s degree in Sociology in 2008.

Anna Cupito
Although Anna was born in Columbus, Ohio, growing up in Fort Thomas, Kentucky, about ten minutes away from Cincinnati, she has felt conflicted about where she’s from ever since. Anna graduated from Walnut Hills High School in 2007, and earned her BA in International Studies at American University in 2010. She decided to stay in the Washington DC area after graduation because of the wealth of international opportunities, the beautiful architecture, moderately reliable public transportation, and the great restaurants of all ethnic varieties. Passionate about social justice, Anna became an AmeriCorps member with Arlington Works! to empower immigrants through Edu-Futuro’s Parent Leadership Initiative.

Jessie Ferguson
Jessie joined Edu-Futuro’s team as the AmeriCorps Emerging Leaders Program Coordinator.  As a product of Arlington County Public Schools, Jessie graduated from  Key Elementary School and H.B. Woodlawn Secondary, and continued her education at American University, where she graduated in May 2010. She has traveled extensively in Latin America and recently returned from volunteering and living in Peru. With Edu-Futuro, Jessie is a vital part of the organization and facilitation of the Emerging Leaders Program and working with high school youth, as well as mentors. She went on to become Edu-Futuro’s Program Associate after finishing a successful year of AmeriCorps service with the organization.

Isela Melendez-Carpio
Isela Melendez-Carpio is originally from El Salvador. She’s lived in Arlington since she was 6 years old. She recently graduated from the University of Richmond, where she minored in Political Science. She serves the Emerging Leaders Program with Edu-Futuro, a program designed to support middle and high school students through the college process and maximize their leadership skills and abilities. She hopes to continue her passion for bettering the Latino and immigrant community in Arlington through her personal experiences and service.

Gerson Paniagua
Gerson, a graduate of Arlington’s Wakefield High School, is a Foster Parent Recruiter who works with families to support children in foster care in Arlington. Since 2009, Gerson has coordinated the Emerging Leaders Program and has been integral to its development and success. He served as an Emerging Leaders Program Facilitator with AmeriCorps in 2010-2011. An engaged community member, he is also involved in a number of other Arlington organizations, including as a volunteer with the Arlington Food Assistance Center (AFAC). Gerson obtained his undergraduate degree in Sociology from the University of Virginia.

Jacquelyn (Jackie) Rojas
Jackie was first introduced to Edu-Futuro as a mentor for the Emerging Leaders Program. She went on to become the organization’s AmeriCorps ELP Coordinator in the 2010-11 School Year. She is a former team leader for the America Reads* America Counts program at the University of Maryland for which she was awarded the University’s “Student Employee of the Year” for her work.  Jacke earned her BA in Spanish and English Literature from the University of Maryland and is currently an Administrative Assistant for the City of Alexandria Public Schools.

Abirami (Abi) Thiyagarajan

Jack Waas
John Waas was born on the south side of Chicago and moved to the suburbs at the age of eight. He developed a passion for Spanish language and Latin American culture while volunteering as and ESL teacher and for an Immigrant Rights organization. John graduated from the University of Illinois at Chicago with a degree in Spanish Language and Latin American and Latino Culture in 2012. He has studied in Guanajuato, Mexico and Salvador, Brazil. John is passionate about Spanish linguistics, TESOL, and Immigrant rights. He hopes to further explore these interests while working as an AmeriCorps member with Edu-Futuro.