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About Us

Despierta is a non-profit agency founded in Charlotte, NC. It was birthed out of passion to help the Latina community thrive. Being that Latinas are a very underserved population in Charlotte, we aim to empower Latinas by providing support services that can help individuals thrive and strengthen families.  

 The issue that was identified when working with Latina immigrants was primarily the lack of knowledge and access to community resources due to language barriers, low education levels, poverty, lack of social support, mistrust of the community, and other cultural barriers.


Our goal at Despierta is to be place where women can acquire the proper and effective tools to become self sufficient and resilient within the community. Immigrants suffer specific stressors and barriers related to establishing a new life in a foreign country. Despierta believes every Latina woman, regardless of her legal status, should have the support needed to thrive in our community.

We must RISE.


Heidy Argueta

Bonita Rising Youth Program Director 

Salvadoran American

Bachelor of Social Work from UNC Charlotte

Founder & Executive Director  
Colombian American 
Master of Social Work from the University of South Carolina


Juliana Lozano, MSW, LCSWA

Mujer Despierta Program Director
Mexican American
Bachelor of Sociology from UNCG

Jazmin Hermosillo-Aguilar, CHW

Meet Maria!.png

Maria Rodriguez

Admin Assistant/ Multimedia Specialist 
Mexican American
Bachelor of Psychology from UNC Charlotte

Duong Pham

Digital Media Coordinator 
Bachelor of Advertising from UF


Meet The Board Members

Courtney Buggs, MSW, LCSWA

Community Outreach Committee

Bachelor of Social Work (BSW) from Winthrop University

Master of Social Work (MSW) from University of South Carolina

Courtney is from Columbia, SC 

Mrs. C.JPG

Emily Chaskelson

Support Services Committee
ELL Teacher-Myers Park High School

University of Kansas 

Masters Degree from University of North Carolina at Charlotte 

Emily is from Kansas City and has resided in Charlotte since 2006.

Secretary & Health Education Committee

-Master of Science- Family Practice Nursing from Frontier Nursing University

-Bachelor of Science- RN from Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center 

-Specialties: Obstetrics and Gynecology (OB/GYN)


Mary Kate Finnigan, NP 


Geraldine Arias

Community Outreach Committee

Public Notary

Geraldine came to the U.S. at age 8 from Colombia. 


Andrea Mora, MPH

Co-Founder, President & Treasurer 
Mexican American

Master of Public Health from Liberty  University

Courtney Moore, BSW

Community Outreach Committee

Bachelor of Social Work (BSW) from JCSU

Courtney is a North Carolina native and has been a social worker for 15 years.


Melissa Rendon

Support Services Committee

Bank of America

Colombian  American

Meet Our team!

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