Committed to the Cause
Coming together from a wide variety of backgrounds and experiences, our skilled team of volunteers is the backbone of Latino Scholarship Fund, Inc. Their ideas help shape the direction and mission of our organization as it continues to develop.
Allison Solis joined Latino Scholarship Fund, Inc. in February 2017 as the Executive Secretary with the vision and drive to give back to the community through our organization.
July 2020, Allison was voted in as the President where her focus is to bring board members' skills to the forefront in order to continue to accomplish our mission with experience and integrity despite such uncertain times. She is mentored by her predecessor, Abigail Kopp.
Advisor to the President
Former President of the Board (2015- 2020) Abigail Kopp grew up in Danbury, CT and is a graduate of Danbury High School and Western CT State University where she received her BA in Biology. In 2003 she moved to Alexandria, VA to pursue her professional career. While in Virginia she earned a double MBA from Colorado Technical University, in Healthcare Management and Human Resource Management. In 2014 she returned home to Connecticut and currently resides in Sherman with her husband and five children. She is a seasoned sales and marketing professionals with over 20 years of experience in success.
Yasmin Ortiz was born in NY, lived in Dominican Republic and moved to CT when she was 9 years old. She graduated Western CT State University with a Bachelor of Science in Justice and Law Administration. Ms. Ortiz was recipient of the Latino Scholarship Award in 2002. Currently, Ms. Ortiz is a board member of the Latino Scholarship and manages the Latino Scholarship Softball League in Danbury. Additionally, Ms. Ortiz was a Danbury area Youth Mentor. She has a 13-year-old daughter and has been employed as a senior paralegal with Ventura Law for 12 years.
Paul Steinmetz is the director of public affairs & community relations at Western Connecticut State University in Danbury. Before working at WCSU, Steinmetz was the editor of the News-Times. He worked at the paper for 24 years. Paul and his wife, Jenine, have four children.
Jessica Coronel was born in Ecuador and came to this country at the age of 12 years old. She has a passion for the Latino culture and this passion motivated her to pursue a career on Spanish Secondary Education and a minor in Psychology. She is currently the Assistant Director of Western Connecticut State University Pre-Collegiate and Access Programs, where she helps middle and high school students with the college process. As a way to give back to her Latino community, she joined the board on February 2013 in order to help increase the opportunities for more Hispano students to attend college. She strongly believes that by helping others achieve their dreams, we are creating a better society.
My name is Yadiry Rodriguez. Proudly born and raised in the Dominican Republic. I am very family oriented, I enjoy traveling, playing sports and spending time with my dog. I have a bachelors in finance and I work for the Savings Bank of Danbury as a Branch Relationship Manager.
Director of Board Governance
Jose joined Union Savings Bank in 2011. He completed his CFP® coursework at Fairfield University and is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professional. In this role he works closely with clients to identify their objectives, determine appropriate options and ultimately help them make educated decisions. Jose is a member of the Financial Planning Association and serves as a Board Member on the Latino Scholarship Fund, Inc.
Director of Communications
Born and raised in Bridgeport, CT, Eddie is a Harding High School graduate, U.S. Army OIF Veteran and was a State of Connecticut Judicial Marshal Services for 7 1/2 years.
After leaving his state job Eddie discovered a passion for community, communications and our youth.
Accordingly, today Eddie is the President of the Greater Bridgeport Latino Network, previously served as the 1st Vice President of the Puerto Rican Parade of Fairfield County and is the Director of Mission Engagement at Caroline House, Inc. His community work also includes Marketing Chair for THRIVE: Emerging Leaders and a member of Leadership Greater Bridgeport’s board as a Class Representative.
Eddie is the founder/owner of TOP Station, a podcast station that focuses on highlighting outstanding community leaders & entrepreneurs in Connecticut. He’s a graduate of Housatonic Community College, is currently a communications student at the University of Bridgeport and is an Inspirational Speaker & Life Coach focusing on the importance of Self Awareness & Happiness.
Director of Community Affairs
Karen Roach was born in Corinto, Nicaragua. She migrated to Los Angeles, CA in 1988 under asylum with her parents. Experiencing first hand the sacrifices her parents made for The American Dream, Karen was the first generation in her family to attain a college degree. She majored in Fashion Design & Merchandising. Karen is now a Billing Analyst for Nuvance Health. She is currently raising her three kids in New Milford, CT.
Perry R. Salvagne
Co-Director of Community Affairs
Perry graduated from Wake Forest University in 2010 with a BA in both Economics and Spanish, and has worked in the insurance industry since licensed in 2007. After graduating, he joined his father at Hodge Insurance Agency in downtown Danbury, and was named company President in 2017.
In his community, Perry serves as Vice Chairman on the CityCenter Danbury Board of Commissioners. Working to revitalize downtown Danbury as a destination for culture, arts, and entertainment, CityCenter Danbury is responsible for the design, organization, promotion and economic restructuring of the Downtown Danbury Special Services District.
Perry is also an alumnus of the Greater Danbury Chamber of Commerce’s Leadership Danbury program, and has since worked closely with some of the city’s young leaders to develop GetDowntown Danbury, an advocacy group representing the interests of Danbury’s next generation of stakeholders.
Cristina was born and raised in Bridgeport, CT. As an adolescent, she had an opportunity to attend a prestigious high school in Weston, CT through a program called Project Choice and found it to be a life changing experience. She joins LSF to help give other students the same opportunities afforded to her. She received her Bachelors degree in Psychology with a concentration in Mental Health from Southern Connecticut State University. After graduating, she worked at a private non-profit in Norwalk, CT. She later obtained her Masters degree in Clinical Social Work from Fordham University. Cristina is now a bilingual clinician at a private non-profit mental health clinic in Danbury, CT and lives in Brookfield with her husband Gregory.
Lorena Ceballos, is a Mortgage Loan Officer with Newtown Savings Bank. Raised in Danbury Connecticut, she is passionate about serving the community she grew up in. She completed her Bachelor’s degree in Business, at Western Connecticut State University. She is also an alum of the Greater Danbury Chamber of Commerce’s ‘Leadership Danbury’ program. Being a grateful recipient of the Latino Scholarship Award, she wanted to give back to the organization that helped jump start her career in school. The joy felt by making a difference in some ones life is truly unmatched. For that and many other reasons, she will continually help the Latino scholarship fund by being part of the board and in any way she can.
Maria Xavier grew in Norwalk, CT and graduated from Southern CT State University with a B.A in Spanish and Communication. She became a financial advisor in 2018 at Edward Jones after a successful 20-year career in technology and telecom. She joined the LSF Board because she believes rewarding hard working students with scholarships will have a positive impact for their lives, their families and their communities.
She and her husband Victor live in Seymour, CT.
Our Selection Committee
In order to ensure applicants a selection process that is fair and unbiased all applicants will be evaluated by the Selection Committee, not by board members. Criteria for awards are determined based upon Interview, Financial Need, Character, Integrity and Involvement in the Community. The number of awards shall be determined based upon relative need and the availability of funds.