The Warwick Area Migrant Committee Board of Directors is comprised of at least half
farmworkers: Leticia Guitterez, Raul Guitterez; Candido Sierra, Jose Luis Morales, and
Rafael Crespo; One Youth Advisor: Angel Parada; One Farmer: Chris Pawelski;
One Community Member: Chris Ashman; One HRHCare Staff Member: Marilyn
Ortiz; and One Volunteer: Sharon Halper.
Please, meet the Board for 2019:
|Sharon Halpern, BOD Chair
On the Board for three years, Sharon has also been a volunteer at the winter lunch program and works with the children in Homework Help. At 74, Sharon has been married for 55 years and raised two children who live in the County with their children. Sharon is a retired teacher and a long time Jewish educator teaching inter-religious history. As the child of European migrants, Sharon sees historical irony in her work with farmworkers. This work is a deeper opportunity to act on what is best about America.
|Marilyn Ortiz, Vice Chair of the Board
On the Board for three years, Marilyn has volunteered to lead the Sewing Club and assisted in many of the outreach activities. She came to this community by way of Puerto Rico over 20 years ago. She works in HRHCare as an Outreach worker and knows many of the families through her work in HRHCare. Prior to coming to work in HRHCare, Marilyn worked in the ABCD-Head Start program working with migrant families.
On the Board for two years, Chris worked in Orange County government fort 31 years and for 20 years was Commissioner of Mental Health Services. As Commissioner he was involved with The Alamo. He believes the most satisfying part of being on the BOD is sharing opinions, and ideas and know that the migrant workers, who are a vital part of the County, have supports for themselves and their families.
On the Board for three years, Raphael has been a farm worker, packing onions for 16 years, and regularly participates with the WAMC Hot Meals program. He wants to help all the children of farm workers, including his niece and nephew who participated in Dulce Esperanza. Wanting to do whatever he can to help the program, Raphael assists in cooking, serving and cleaning up after the Hot Meal program.
A board member three years, Leticia has been a farm worker for 20 years. She has two 2 children in the program. She knows a lot of families in the program and is happy to be helping them. She believes it is healthy for the children to be learning during the summer months rather than staying in the house. She has been a part of the Sewing Club, raising money for the program. She is learning English through the Conversational English classes offered in the ALAMO through WAMC.
A farm worker for 25 years, and a BOD member for three, Raul believes it is important to be on the Board. He sees his role as to communicate ideas and to inform other farmworkers about the needs and value of the summer program. Having this program parents don’t have to worry about their children while they are at work. They know the children are being taken care of very well. It’s good for everybody.
|Jose Luis Morales
Jose has been a farm worker in Florida for 15 years. He regularly, and gratefully, participates in the activities of the WAMC including the Hot Meals program and the Sewing Club. Jose has been on the Board for three years. He believes that it is very important for the children to study during their vacation time, and he believes that as a BOD member he is helping the children to prepare for what they will need in life.
|Angel Parada – Youth Advisor
Angel is preparing to start college soon. As a part time farm worker and graduate of the Warwick High School, he is happy to support the program. His parents are both farmworkers in the area. Angel knows how important enriching activities are for young people and their families. He volunteers at both The Alamo and in the summer program and enjoys contributing at the BOD meetings. The Board Youth position is a one year term.
Chris Pawelski is the newest member of the Board. The farmworkers on the Board had requested that he join one year ago. He is a 4th generation onion farmer from Pine Island with bachelor’s and master’s degrees in broadcasting and film studies. He has used his communication skills to become a blogger and advocates for farmers promoting legislation on issues such as disaster relief and crop insurance in New York State and Washington. He has employed farmworkers for many years and supports efforts to improve their lives. Chris has participated in several joint projects improving worker safety with HRHCare-and a CDC project. This is a group in which many of the farmworkers on the WAMC Board first met him and worked with him.
Candido has served on the Board for three years. He is one of the single men who works on a Florida farm. He has worked on an onion farm for just about ten years. He participates in the Hot Meals program and supports many of the activities of the WAMC. He is a father of children in Mexico and believes that the Dulce Esperanza program is very important to the health and well-being of the farmworker families. He sees how this program provides a safe and compassionate place for the children.
Having just finished very successful summer program of recreation, education, and
socialization, the Board is now helping with after school programs and maintaining
regular communications with The Alamo Health Center.