Jocelyn Skolnik, Executive Director
Originally from Guatemala, Jocelyn Skolnik moved to Jupiter to complete her undergraduate studies at Florida Atlantic University’s Harriet L. Wilkes Honors College. In 2014, she went to Harvard’s Strategic Perspective in Non Profit Management Executive Education program.
In 2004, she worked for the Ford Foundation’s grant “Latino Immigrants in South Florida” and conducted surveys that helped assess the needs of Latino immigrants in Jupiter. In 2006, she worked for the Soros Foundation grant and INCEDES (Central American Institute of Development and Social Studies) analyzing the impact of immigration on women in Quiche, Guatemala. Jocelyn’s Honors Thesis “What Remittances Can’t Buy: The Social Costs of Migration and Transnational Gossip on Women in Jacaltenango, Guatemala” analyzes the impact immigration has on gender relations in Jacaltenango, Jupiter’s Sister City.
As Executive Director of El Sol, Jocelyn is responsible for directing the center’s services and for implementing its mission. Jocelyn was recognized as a Champion of Change by the White House in 2013: //www.whitehouse.gov/champions/welcoming-america/jocelyn-skolnik
(561)745-9860 ext. 4201
Dora Valdivia, Associate Director
Originally from Lima, Peru, Dora Valdivia graduated with a bachelor’s degree in economics from Universidad de Lima and earned a master’s degree in business administration from Universidad del Pacifico. She has also completed the Program for Business Executives at the University of California, Berkeley, California, as part of her professional training.
Dora moved to the United States in 2003 and started volunteering with the Great Muscatine Chamber of Commerce in Iowa. She got involved in the Parent Training and Information Center (PTI) in Des Moines, managing a federally funded program from the Department of Education that opened the service to 248 Hispanic families in Muscatine.
She joined El Sol as Labor Coordinator and currently serves as Associate Director. As Associate Director, Dora supervises the education, labor and legal programs. She also assists the Center Director with the overall management of El Sol.
(561)745-9860 ext. 4101
Wilberto Luna, Labor Coordinator
Originally from Boston, Wilberto Luna moved to El Salvador when he was 7-years-old. At 12, he moved to Georgia, where he grew up. Wilberto went to Kennesaw State University in Georgia, and later transferred to Florida Atlantic University, where he graduated in 2005 with a bachelor’s degree in computer science.
Wilberto worked for Soriano Professional Services in Boston where he helped the Hispanic community in Chelsea, Mass., with income taxes and immigration papers. Wilberto started working in June 2007 for Catholic Charities at El Sol. In January 2008 Wilberto stayed on to work with El sol as labor coordinator assistant.
Now El Sol’s labor coordinator, Wilberto is responsible for the operation of El Sol’s day-labor center. He oversees the fair and proper placement of workers with employers.
(561)745-9860 ext. 4100
Betzy Rega, Health Coordinator
Betzy was hired as a full-time Health Coordinator through a recent grant award from Allegany Franciscan Ministries.
The health program’s objective is to guide individuals to the right medical resources and to provide prevention and healthy lifestyles education. Betzy was the ideal candidate for this position. She has been volunteering for 13 years within the Jupiter Community and for four years with our programs at El Sol.
Betzy was born in Guatemala, raised in New York and has been in Jupiter since 1993. Betzy is a Licensed Massage Therapist and Skin Care Specialist in the State of Florida since 2003. Betzy is a certified medical interpreter in Spanish/English and has received a certification from the Florida Department of Health for the Volunteer Healthcare Provider program
Her familiarity with the needs and resources within the Jupiter community and her passion for helping those in need are great assets for our organization.
(561)745-9860 ext. 4202
David Urieta, Communications Coordinator
David Urieta is a 21-year-old Florida native from West Palm Beach, Florida. David served as ArtFest Coordinator as part of his internship requirement at FAU’s Harriet L. Wilkes Honors College in Jupiter. David’s Honors Thesis “A Call for Reform: The Disparate Impact of Reproductive Technologies on the Gestational Surrogate in India” analyzes the exploitative effects of commercial surrogacy on poor, illiterate women in India. David’s academic background in gender, race, and class has motivated him to pursue a career in the nonprofit sector in hopes of making a difference in his community.
David has decided to take a temporary hiatus from his studies to serve as VISTA Outreach Coordinator at El Sol. David is responsible for marketing El Sol’s programs and reaching out to community members at promotional events, public speaking engagements, and on social media. David hopes that his skills in event management, volunteer mobilization, and extensive activist organizing will lend a unique perspective during his time at El Sol.
In his spare time, David enjoys supporting local artists at Northwood’s Art & Wine Promenade, visiting family members in Southern Mexico, and binge watching TV shows on Netflix.
(561)745-9860 ext. 4104
Karen Clark, Office Manager
Karen Clark is originally from Pleasantville, New York. She attended Georgia Tech in Atlanta, where she met her husband Ken. She graduated with an electrical engineering degree and moved to Washington DC where she worked for the NASA Communications Division at Goddard Space Flight Center. For the next seven years, Karen worked in data networking equipment and network communications.
The Clarks have two daughters, and moved to Jupiter in 1997. Karen started off as an El Sol volunteer at the Employer Desk and the Kitchen in 2008. Karen is responsible for bookkeeping, payroll, budget management, facilities management, and any new projects that need assistance. “Every day is different. You can never predict what is coming next, and you are always surprised. That is what I love about my job,” said Karen.
(561)745-9860 ext. 4201
Abner Pedraza, Worker Development Coordinator
Abner Pedraza is El Sol’s full-time Worker Development Coordinator. Abner, a native of Cuba, obtained his Bachelor’s degree from Liberty University in Religion and Psychology. He has over 10 years experience working in social and community-based programs. He has worked as a life coach for young adults coming out of the foster care system. In his position, he was able to successfully partner up many participants with suitable educational and employment programs. He has also had the opportunity of serving as a social worker in which he assessed family needs and offered direct services accordingly. Besides his experience in social work, he has also been heavily involved in the field of marketing and has been featured in publications showcasing his work as a photographer and videographer.
As the Worker Development Coordinator, Abner aims to increase day laborers’ financial stability by developing their employability skills through hands-on training and skills development.
(561)745-9860 ext. N/A
Katerina Pecora, AmeriCorps VISTA Leader
Katerina Pecora is a native of Lima, Peru. While in high school, she discovered a love of volunteering, primarily working with underprivileged populations. After graduating from high school in Lima in 2006, she was accepted into Universidad Femenina del Sagrado Corazón in 2007 to study psychology. By 2013, Katerina completed the six-year humanities and psychology program, earning her psychology license in the process. During this time, she interned for a year at the Adolescent Mothers’ Shelter in Lima. Katerina spent the following year and a half researching burnout among the employees of the Adolescent Mothers’ Shelter. After a successful thesis defense, she graduated with honors.
Through hands-on interviews, questionnaires, observations, and strict social-scientific methods, Katerina compiled a qualitative and quantitative thesis meant to inform and improve the state of the social workers’ conditions. This effort further inspired her to work with underserved populations seeking out those social issues that may be hindering their quality of life. Katerina also took a position with a major South American corporation conducting psychological evaluations to assess candidate’s readiness for promotion, then worked at a primary school with children who had behavioral and academic difficulties. These experiences reinforced her commitment to understanding human behavior among a gamut of institutions.
Gandhi said, “The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.” Katerina continues to look for opportunities to make a difference and is very grateful for the opportunity to serve as Vocational Training Coordinator with AmeriCorps VISTA.
(561)745-9860 ext. 4104
Alexa Turner, VISTA Community Resource Developer
Alexandra (Alexa) Turner relocated from Cedarburg, Wisconsin. A recent graduate from the University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee, she is ready to begin a new chapter in Jupiter, Florida. Alexa majored in Political Science and minored in Jewish Studies. Since her trips to El Salvador and the Dominican Republic, she has sought to spread the word about the importance of civic engagement and community involvement. Alexa joins El Sol as a Community Resource Developer. For fun, she enjoys learning new languages, volunteering, reading, and knitting. After her year at El Sol, she hopes to continue to advocate for those affected by injustice.
(561)745-9860 ext. 4104
Steven Ospina, VISTA Community Resource Developer
Please welcome Steven Ospina, he is 26 years old, and was born in South Florida. His family moved to Jupiter in the early 2000’s and saw how much the town has changed over time.
Steven attended Jupiter High School and currently takes social service courses at Palm Beach State College studying International Affairs. He plans to have a career with a foreign embassy as a diplomat to ensure social justice.
His parents are from Colombia who came to the US in the 1980’s. Growing up in a Latin community has given Steven perspective on how unjust social, ethnic, and customary situations are.
Steven is very excited and happy to be part of such a wonderful community here at El Sol as a Community Resource Developer. His goal for his service year is to help expand this grassroots organization, plan a successful ArtFest Preview Night, and make lasting relations with Jupiter’s Latin community.
(561)745-9860 ext. 4104
Surynai Janowicz, Part-Time Legal Coordinator, FRP
Surynai Janowicz, better known as Suri, is El Sol’s newest Legal Coordinator. Suri graduated with honors from Indian River State College with a degree in Organizational Management. Meanwhile, Suri has over 8 years of experience in the legal field. Suri is a Florida Registered Paralegal and has assisted lawyers in personal injury cases. Suri’s passion is in the area of immigration law. Suri is a big supporter of small businesses since her parents were small business owners in Venezuela and in the United States.
(561)745-9860 ext. 4212
Vickie Granati, Part-Time Daytime Education Coordinator
Vickie Granati relocated to Jupiter from Long Island, New York, three years ago. She has a BA in English and a Masters in Liberal Arts from Stony Brook University. Over the years, she has worked as a mom, an office manager, and English tutor. She is proud to have three terrific sons: Phil, who is a lieutenant in the US Coast Guard; Matt, a business manager; and Glen, who is a medical doctor at Stony Brook University. She was a religious education teacher at various grade levels at Mary Immaculate Church in Bellport, New York for over fifteen years.
Her interest in teaching began when she became TESOL certified and began an ESOL pilot program at St. Joseph the Worker Church in East Patchogue, New York. She assisted many Hispanic parish members who hailed mostly from El Salvador, Guatemala and Ecuador. She is glad to have an opportunity to share her time and talent–and better her Spanish–at El Sol. As Daytime ESOL Coordinator, she is responsible for all morning English classes. She is glad to work with wonderful, enthusiastic, caring volunteer teachers who hail from many parts of the United States. In her spare time, she enjoys Jazzercise and Yoga and her Chihuahua-mix dog, Baxter.”
(561)745-9860 ext. 4102
Gayle Flaherty, Part-Time ESL Instructor
Gayle Flaherty is originally from Brooklyn, New York. She graduated from James Madison High School and attended Brooklyn College and Farmingdale State College on Long Island. As an ESL Instructor, Gayle has found her dream job. “It’s exciting and rewarding to help and teach people who cannot give back to me. The students learn about health, grammar, civics and pronunciation of English words and sentences,” said Gayle. As to her other activities, Gayle enjoys boating, theater, and educational lectures. Gayle loves her family, her nine-year-old grandson, and garden.
(561)745-9860 ext. 4206
Cliff Ross, Part-Time Garden Coordinator
Cliff Ross was born and raised in Sterling Heights, Michigan where he spent most of his summers on his grandparent’s farm. Cliff moved to Florida to become an Environmental Chemist, testing water and soil samples. After a few years in the laboratory, Cliff decided to pursue a teaching career at Martin County High School in Stuart, Florida, where he taught science for thirteen years. In the last year, Cliff decided to follow his dreams of starting a landscaping business called Absolutely Growing. Cliff is excited to join the El Sol team as the Part-Time Garden Coordinator. As the Garden Coordinator, he will be in charge of managing the Sunshine Organic Community Garden.
(561) 745-9860 ext. 4300
Jorge Monroy, Part-Time Kitchen Coordinator
Jorge Monroy was born in Bogotá, Colombia and moved to the small town of Amero, Tolima Department, Colombia when his father became the operational manager for a local bank. Jorge graduated high school in 1979 and completed his legal studies in 1985 at the Catholic University of Colombia. Jorge started his professional career in the Justice Department of Colombia as a Public Defender for inmates in the Cárcel La Modelo de Bogotá. In 2000, Jorge and his family fled to the United States due to political persecution as a result of an armed clash between paramilitary groups and prisoners at the prison.
Jorge has been happily married to Yolanda Rubio since 1987 and has a 24-year-old son and 8-year-old twin boys. Jorge is grateful for the opportunity to work as Kitchen Coordinator at El Sol. Jorge ensures that El Sol can continue to serve an average of 18,000 meals per year and is fulfilled knowing his job greatly improves the Jupiter community.
(561)745-9860 ext. 4300
Miluska Franco, Part-Time Sewing Coordinator
Myrtelina Cintron, Part-Time Sewing Teacher
Chrispine Oates, Part-Time ESL Instructor