is the Executive Director at Casa San José. Monica has been working with Casa since 2014 when she started as an intern, then moved to service coordinator and then community organizer. Prior to that, she worked for Catholic Charities as a case manager. She was born in Cleveland Ohio and has Latino roots from Guatemala and Puerto Rico, where her mom and her dad are originally from. She is a proud mother of one daughter and four sons. She loves cooking and enjoys playing soccer with her children.
Monica holds a master’s degree in Social Work with a focus on Community Organizing and Social Action. She earned her bachelor’s degree in Social Work from the University of Pittsburgh with a concentration in Psychology.
Monica is a powerful advocate for Latinos on legal, housing, development, and educational issues. She fights for those facing deportation proceedings and launches projects to assist women, children and youth. In addition, she partners with political, labor, religious, and law enforcement leadership to make Pittsburgh stronger and more welcoming to all.
Monica recently received the 2021 Women and Business Award from Pittsburgh Magazine as well as the 2021 Dr. Cyril Wecht Western PA Humanitarian Award. She also received the 2019 Women of Influence Award, Pittsburgh Business Times and the 2019 César Chávez Community Heroes Award. She was awarded with the 2018 New Person of the Year, from Thomas Merton Center and the 2018 Rising Star, from the University of Pittsburgh by the School of Social Work. She is currently a fellow of Lead Now Pittsburgh, a transformational leadership program for the civic sector.
Monica serves on the following boards:
- Field Advisory Board for the University of Pittsburgh, School of Social Work
- East Liberty Family Health Center
- Labor Council for Latin American Advancement (LCLAA)
- Pennsylvania Interfaith Impact Network (PIIN)
- NeighborWorks of Western Pennsylvania (NWWPA)
- Pittsburgh Economic and Industrial Development Corporation (PEIDC)
- Pittsburgh United
- Jewish Family and Community Services, Legal Services for Immigrants and Internationals (LSII)
- National Puerto Rican Agenda
- State of Pennsylvania Welcoming Caucus
She also serves as Commissioner for the City of Pittsburgh on the Equal Opportunity Review Commission (EORC) and as a Commissioner for Governor Wolf, on the Governor’s Advisory Commission on Latino Affairs (GACLA).