The famiLIA behind the scenes

Founder Chief Executive Officer

Jose Enriquez Ph.D

Jose is an immigrant that was born in El Salvador and grew up in East L.A. He attributes much of his success to his hard working mother who sacrificed everything to give him and his siblings a better life. He graduated from John Glenn H.S. in L.A. with a full ride scholarship to wrestle at Brigham Young University where he obtained 3 degrees: BA in Secondary Education Spanish, ESL. Masters in Educational Leadership, and a PhD in Educational Leadership. His previous positions include; Coordinator of Title III and Special Programs at the Utah State Office of Education, Director of Diversity for Alpine School District, served 11 years in both Alpine and Provo school districts as an Assistant Principal, and taught Spanish for 3 years prior to that. He served a 2 year service LDS mission in Chicago Illinois. He was appointed a commissioner on volunteerism by Lieutenant Governor Bell’s Utah Commission on Volunteers in 2010, and as a commissioner to the office Multicultural Affairs by Governor Herbert, 2012. Serves on the Board of Directors United Way of Salt Lake and Board of Directors of Intermountain Community Care Foundation and Granite Education Board of Directors .Currently, Jose is living his dream as the full time Executive Director of Latinos in Action (LIA), a non-profit he built from the ground up since 2001, and which officially became a non-profit organization in 2010. LIA is currently implemented over 200 schools across Utah, Idaho, Colorado, Illinois, Connecticut, California ,Arizona, Nevada, Florida, NY, and Iowa. LIA’s mission is to empower Latino youth to lead and strengthen their communities through culturally responsive social emotional learning , college and career readiness, and leadership. In 2014, LIA was honored as a Bright Spot by the White House Center for Excellence in Hispanic Education. Latinos in Action was recently recognized by Governor Herbert and Envision Utah and given the Common Good Award for Excellence in Educational programming. Jose is married to Jaymilyn Bonnett Enriquez and is the father of 6 children; 4 girls and two boys.
Chief Academic Officer

Caryn Martinez

A product of New York City public schools, Caryn studied Elementary Education and English Language Arts at Hunter College of the City University of New York. After graduating, she followed her dream of giving back to her community by becoming a public school educator in Brooklyn. She continued her teaching career after relocating to Florida. Born to a mother from Puerto Rico and a father from the Dominican Republic, Caryn used her experiences as a bicultural, bilingual Latina in her efforts to reach and encourage today’s youth within the classroom. In 2016, she was recognized by the Florida Department of Education as one of the highest impact teachers in the state, acknowledging that her consistent effect on student growth and learning was among the most statistically-significantly positive in all of Florida. In her Letter of Recognition, Commissioner of Education, Pam Stewart, wrote, “Whether in a classroom where students arrived already high achieving, or a classroom in which students were underperforming, her efforts provided inspiration and opportunities to young people that would have otherwise been inaccessible.” Ms. Martinez’s career in education spans over sixteen years, where she prepared students for college, career and life at the elementary, middle school, and high school level. She has also supported fellow teachers as a trainer, lead teacher, and/or mentor for almost as long.

Her current interests include reading, watching movies, and spending time with friends and family.

Chief Financial Officer

Monica Budge

Monica immigrated to the United States from Mexico with her family when she was 10 years old, making Texas, California and Utah her home at different times of her life.

She has always been passionate about working with children and teens, and has done so for the past 26 years (in addition to raising her own 5 children).

She has coached beginner and competitive gymnastics (20 years) and worked at Alpine School District for 10 years, helping teens succeed in Junior High and High School.

She has completed 2 years of undergraduate work at Utah Valley University, and plans on completing a 4-year degree in Accounting.

She has 5 children and 6 grandchildren, all of whom live only a few minutes away and are the biggest blessings in her life.

Regional Program Manager | South Florida

Victoria Young

Born to a mother who was adopted into a Puerto Rican family, Victoria grew up throughout Florida. In high school, she had a teacher that inspired her to not only learn about Latino culture, but to become a teacher herself. This teacher created a safe space for Victoria and her classmates that felt like a home away from home. Victoria wanted to be that person for students one day, so she studied Spanish Language at Florida State University. Through Florida State, she was able to study abroad in Costa Rica which gave her the opportunity to create lasting friendships. In 2014 she began her dream job of teaching middle school Spanish in Tallahassee, Florida. In her first year, she was awarded Teacher of the Year by her staff. In 2018, she took her passion for student achievement to leadership and graduated from Florida State with her Master’s in Educational Leadership. She values most the relationships she has built over the years with students, teachers, and administrators. She now resides in beach-side Lake Worth, Florida. She enjoys cooking, spending time with her son and friends, and doing arts and crafts.
Regional Program Manager | Utah North

Mariel Reimann

Mariel Reimann is the Utah North Regional Program Manager for Latinos In Action. She grew up in Argentina and became a Lawyer at a very young age after attending the Catholic University of Cordoba then received a Bachelor’s degree in Roman Law from the University of Padua in Italy. To broaden her horizons, she moved to Utah; the place she now calls home. She has always focused on impacting and helping the lives of immigrants coming to this country with a small suitcase and a big dream. She has worked for multiple media outlets as a news anchor, content director, and investigative journalist. Additionally, she has worked for government agencies as an educator; teaching the public about their rights in regards to fair housing, discrimination, and other forms of harassment. She has passionately fought for equality and fair treatment for all. She is currently working on a degree in psychology, but most of all, enjoys spending time with her three children.
Regional Program Manager | Utah South

Carlos Cornejo

Carlos Cornejo was born in San Salvador, El Salvador and immigrated to the U.S. as an adolescent. After graduating from high school in Costa Mesa, California, he was awarded a football scholarship to attend BYU, where he studied Latin American Studies and business. Carlos has 23 years of experience in the diamond industry, developing high pressure/high temperature processing technology as well as serving as his company’s primary contact for diamond merchants throughout the world. His career in the diamond industry has provided opportunities to develop one of his passions-experiencing a variety of cultures and learning from each person and each place he travels to.

Carlos’s other passion is for working with youth in education. Prior to joining LIA, he worked as an ESL liaison for Nebo School District, assigned to help at-risk students who are English learners. His work with these students and their families, as well as his own experience with immigration and education, is what drives him to help Latino youth and their families achieve success through high school and beyond. He has served actively in his community by attending city council meetings, translating community notices to improve outreach to the Latino community, and coaching youth sports. Carlos shares his passion for education with his wife Joanna, who is a teacher, and together they enjoy celebrating their Salvadoran and Norwegian cultural heritage with their two sons and two daughters. As a family they love to spend time outdoors, travel, and enjoy local food wherever they go.

Regional Program Manager, Utah Central

Monica Gomez

Monica was born in Salt Lake City, Utah and raised in Winter Park, Florida. After leading her
Crew team as captain, she was recruited to row for Princeton University, where she spent her
four years earning a Bachelor of Arts in Public and International Affairs with a focus on
International Organizations and Global Governance with a certificate in Latin American Studies.

Monica has worked as Residential College Advisor at Princeton University, a Program Lead for
Ivy Camps USA in Singapore, a Research Assistant at Princeton University, and has served as a
Senior Commissioner for a Policy Task Force for the Woodrow Wilson School at Princeton
University where she was part of a panel that presented to the United Nations Headquarters in
New York. Monica is half Colombian, half Puerto Rican and speaks Spanish, Mandarin, and
Cantonese. Her personal upbringing and experiences abroad are the foundation for her passion
in understanding individuals’ unique stories and empowering Latino youth to actively engage in a path to happiness and success. Outside of the academic and work environment Monica
enjoys rowing, painting, and baking.

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Director of Communications and Marketing

Kayla Nielsen

Bio Coming Soon
Full Stack Developer/Graphic Designer

Jhonatan Castillo, Alumni

Hi, I’m Jhonatan, a web and graphic designer with 5 plus years of experience based in Utah. I have developed a deep love and appreciation for my culture, which is my number one inspiration. My passion and enthusiasm for my work allows me to create quality eye catching designs as well as clean and well written code. If you can imagine it, I can bring it to life.

I like to always challenge myself and stay on top of different trends and markets thus I choose a variety of areas to work on, the crossover between design and programming has always been of interest to me I hae been lucky enough to work alongside some talented teams on a number of high profile websites.

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