Rosamaria Cristello is the Executive Director and Founder of the Latino Community Center in Pittsburgh, PA. Before launching the community center, Rosamaria directed the Latino Family Center under the Allegheny Intermediate Unit, which focuses on early childhood development. Rosamaria serves on several boards. She is the Co-Chair for the Immigrants & Internationals Advisory Council for the Allegheny County Department of Human Services, which was created to advance the Department’s vision of an accessible, culturally competent, human services system. She also serves on the board of the Office of Child Development under the University of Pittsburgh.
Originally from Guatemala, Rosamaria grew up in Arlington, Virginia and now resides in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. First to go to college in her family, she received her bachelor’s degrees in Environmental Regional Planning and Geographic Information Systems from Indiana University of Pennsylvania and her master’s degree in Public Administration through the Graduate School of Public & Internationals Affairs from the University of Pittsburgh.
Rosamaria was named one of Pittsburgh’s 40 Under 40 in 2016 and was the first recipient of the Barbara McNeese Spirit of Athena Award which provides free tuition to the CMU Women’s Leadership and Negotiation Academy.
Emily Blair is excited to bring her thirteen years of experience in public education to the Latino Community Center’s Out-of-School Time programming. Emily has committed her teaching career to investing in “at-promise” youth, teaching elementary school English as a Second Language, third grade, Spanish, and most recently working at the district level to support and train ESL teachers. Emily is passionate about ensuring all students have the opportunity to succeed, and therefore throughout her career she developed tutoring programs, family engagement opportunities, a Latino Mentoring partnership in collaboration with North Carolina State University, and a meal delivery program for students and families.
Emily spent time living in Mexico studying Spanish and teaching English, and had such wonderful experiences that she chose to obtain her Master’s degree in Curriculum & Instruction: English as a Second Language. Emily also holds a Bachelor’s degree in Early Childhood Education with a minor in Spanish, and a Professional Certificate in Nonprofit Management from Duke University. A Pittsburgh native, after 12 years living in Raleigh, NC, Emily is looking forward to investing in the Latino community here in her hometown!
Melissa “Meli” Lopez is from Santa Ana, California. Her parents are originally from Zipimeo, Michoacan and Arcelia, Guerrero. A graduate of Allegheny College, Meli is a first generation high school and college graduate. Meli was able to attend and pay for Allegheny College primarily through scholarships. The support she received through the Nicholas Academic Center is what she hopes to bring to our students in Allegheny County. Meli has experience in working with and supporting Latino students get to college and stay in college, and was part of the Union Latinx group at Allegheny College. She is excited to help our youth, many who will be first generation as well, navigate the many hurdles of higher achievement.
Originally from Guayaquil, Ecuador, Sofia Bermeo has been living in the Pittsburgh area for over a year now. With a background in economics & business management from ESPOL, she is always enthusiastic to support the Latino Community Center’s mission to help Latino families get their feet on the ground here in Pittsburgh. Sofia has been with the LCC since the beginning, first volunteering as the administrative intern, then splitting her time between the SOY Pittsburgh Program and administrative help. She now serves as the Office Manager for the Latino Community Center. She loves dancing, traveling, and spending time with her family both here in the United States and in Ecuador. In her heart, she will always support the Emelec Soccer Team of Guayaquil, but in the past year she has also grown to love the Steelers and the Penguins
Aleira is from Bayamón, Puerto Rico. She studied at the University of Puerto Rico, Rio Piedras Campus, the first University to be established on the island. Her passion for child development motivated her to complete a Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary Education and teach Primary Education for eleven years. This teaching experience will help her give the best to the children of Pittsburgh. She loves to dance, teach, and spend time with family.