Originally from Plymouth Meeting, a suburb of Philadelphia, Teresa Andersen moved to Pittsburgh to attend the University of Pittsburgh in 2017. She is going into her final year of the BSN program at Pitt with a minor in Spanish. Teresa fell in love with Pittsburgh when her brother was a student at Pitt and is so excited to have the opportunity to work with the community of Casa San Jose through Pitt’s Bridging the Gaps program.
After graduation she is interested in working in emergency medicine, but she would eventually like to provide care for underserved populations, especially the homeless. One of Teresa’s favorite clinical experiences was working with a nurse in an ICU in Spain last summer, where she got to learn more about socialized medicine and how it benefited the people there. She also currently works as a patient care technician at UPMC Mercy.
This summer she is looking forward to learning more about the challenges faced by the Latinx community in Pittsburgh and she hopes to help Casa San Jose navigate the challenges of connecting with the youth remotely, as well as provide the children and their parents with more resources for their mental and physical wellbeing.
Raven Hilfiker is from upstate New York originally, but she moved to Pittsburgh in 2015 and received her bachelor’s in Psychology with minors in Polish and International Relations and a certificate in Russian and Eastern European Studies.
Her experiences working with refugee and immigrant children with Jewish Family & Community Services and working as an ELI tutor for the University of Pittsburgh English Language Institute inspired her to go into Social Work. She now attends the School of Social Work pursuing an MSW with a focus in Mental Health. She is the Secretary on the Student Executive Council at the School of Social Work, where she strives to broaden the school’s curriculum to include greater cultural competency and diversity training.
Raven comes to Casa San Jose as a Bridging the Gaps intern and will be assisting with Campamento Sonrisa. She believes that equitable access to mental health resources is critical for the well-being of individuals and our communities. She is looking forward to learning about the experience of the Latino community and youth in Pittsburgh.
Stephanie Christian is a second year doctoral student at the University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health in the Department of Behavioral and Community Health Sciences where she is also pursuing a certificate in the Evaluation of Public Health Programs. She is from the Bronx, New York and moved to Pittsburgh in 2019 to begin her program.
Before moving to Pittsburgh, she worked as a clinical research coordinator within a cancer center and interned with their immigrant health and cancer disparities services. She has a bachelor’s in Psychology from Barnard College and has an MPH in Community Health Education from the City University of New York Graduate School of Public Health and Health Policy.
She is interested in promoting health access for chronic diseases in medically underserved populations as well as social justice and health equity. For her graduate research, she is working to alleviate health burdens through research and also by working together with communities facing disparities. She is looking forward to learning more about the needs of the Latino Community in Pittsburgh through working together with the staff at Casa San Jose.
Elizabeth Rodriguez is from Miami, Florida, and moved to Pittsburgh in 2019 to study at Carnegie Mellon University’s Dietrich College of Humanities and Social Sciences. Currently, she aims to graduate with a double major in Film and Visual Media and Professional Writing with a minor in Photography.
At CMU, she currently serves as the Outreach Chair for the Spanish and Latin Student Organization, is an active member of Project Rwanda and First Together, and an Assistant Editor for Pillbox with The Tartan Newspaper. Previously, she volunteered her summers and Sunday’s at Turning Point Baptist Church as a Student Leader for the Children’s Ministry, and served at her dual enrollment program as the Vice President of Key Club.
As a child of immigrants, Elizabeth is passionate about the hard work and resilience that characterize an immigrant family. Growing up in Miami, she has witnessed firsthand the power and importance that the presence of an immigrant community has in giving said individuals a voice, opportunities and support. Through her work at Casa San Jose, she is looking forward to contributing to the unification of the Latinx/Hispanic community in Pittsburgh. Working as a counselor for Campamento Sonrisa, Elizabeth aims to promote educational, creative and emotional support for Latinx/Hispanic immigrants and first generation youth.