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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 strength 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.

Juliana Lozano, MSW, LCSWA

Founder & CEO


Colombian American

Master of Social Work from the University of South Carolina

Jazmin Aguilar Hermosillo

Administrative Assistant and Family Social Navigator
Mexican American
Bachelor of Sociology from UNCG

Meet The Board Members


Andrea Mora, MPH

Co-Founder, President & Treasurer 


Mexican American

Master of Public Health from Liberty  University


Jessica Hammond

Support Services

Mexican/African American

Certified Community Health Worker (CHW), Studying Social Work at JCSU

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.


Mary Kate Finnigan, NP 

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)


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 


Geraldine Arias

Community Outreach Committee

Public Notary

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


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

Our Staff

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