They work hard to use their talents and skills in support of our participants.
Our Board of Directors
Juan Velasco is PV’s Co-Founder and serves as the President of the Board of Directors. When he’s not supporting PV’s development and growth, Juan is working as a professor at Santa Clara University where he teaches creative writing. Juan publishes poetry, short stories and fiction in both English and Spanish. Trained in the Zen tradition, he also leads workshops in mindfulness meditation.
Jean has been a supporter of Programa Velasco since its inception and joined the board in 2020. Jean studied abroad in El Salvador with the La Casa de la Solidaridad program in Spring 2006 and has remained deeply connected to the country since. Jean works in Chicago as a Nurse Practitioner and has been friends with PV founder Annie Boyd since age 5.
Elizabeth Sanchez is a bilingual and bicultural social worker, researcher, and a prospective PhD student at the University of Chicago that is committed to amplifying the voices of vulnerable and inspiring Latinx immigrant families. Elizabeth is passionate about the intersection of early prevention/intervention, immigration policy, women’s rights, and comprehensive mental health service delivery of Latinx undocumented immigrant family systems.
Katy joined Programa Velasco’s board of directors in 2016. As an alum of Casa de la Solidaridad, Katy had the opportunity to accompany the communities of San Ramón and La Javia in 2006 and again in 2008-09. She cherishes the opportunity to be back in the country with participants. With experience in the private and nonprofit sectors and a master’s in public policy, Katy brings expertise in partnership development, women’s empowerment, community organizing, and hyper local policy. In the past, Katy served as PV’s fundraising chair, assisted with event planning, and is proud of the life-giving community PV creates for women, children, and families to thrive in El Salvador.
Gary Neustadter, Professor of Law Emeritus, Santa Clara University School of Law. As a member of the Santa Clara University Law faculty, Professor Neustadter has served in a variety of law school and University administrative positions, including Associate Dean for Academic Affairs. He has participated and continues to participate in the work of the Law School’s community law center, which serves low-income persons in the community, and has participated in two immersion trips to El Salvador.
Jenn was inspired to join Programa Velasco’s board of directors as Treasurer in 2019 after supporting PV for many years and having known PV founder Annie Boyd for many more years. Jenn has been honored to leverage her background to help support and drive social, emotional, and economic empowerment for the women and families served by PV. Her professional experience is anchored by a BBA in finance, an MBA in management, 20+ years’ experience at a top global financial institution underwriting commercial credit, and 10+ years of non-profit board experience. The opportunity to partner with PV has turned into a passion after visiting the PV families and communities in San Ramón and Tepecoyo and hearing from them all how much a difference PV has made in their lives.
Marisol Sanchez is the Founder of the Sanchez Center. As a psychotherapist, Marisol is a licensed clinical social worker and has years of experience treating a variety of mental health conditions in school, hospital, and community settings. She is currently in private practice and believes in the prevention of mental health conditions by advocating for early mental health services for young children, infants and their families.
Nancy is an education and community leader. She has a Doctorate in Adult Education and is a Professor Emeritus from College of DuPage, Glen Ellyn, IL, one of the largest community colleges in the U.S. Nancy has a lifetime passion for public service, working as counselor professionally for 34 years for the benefit of the residents of the College of DuPage district and spending free time in leadership positions of service, as with her involvement on the Programa Velasco Board since 2016. Nancy’s visit to El Salvador in 2019 connected her more deeply to El Salvador and its people, strengthening her advocacy for Programa Velasco’s mission.