Meet the Class

Miami Fellows
Class VI

Identify | Develop | Connect | Engage

  Vance Aloupis
The Children's Movement of FloridaVance Aloupis, 28, is the Statewide Coordinator for The Children's Movement of Florida. As a rising 3L at the University of Miami School of Law, Vance received the Judge Peter Palermo Fellowship as a member of the Center for Ethics and Public Service's Street Law clinic. This accomplishment and affiliation is one of particular importance to him because of the personal growth gained from working, teaching and learning with young men in Florida's juvenile detention system.

 

  Miguel Angel Arguelles
South Dade High School
Miguel Angel Arguelles, 26, teaches Language Arts for Miami Dade County Public Schools at South Dade High School in Homestead. Before embarking on his teaching career in 2010, Miguel directed the Human Resources department for Inktel Direct, a national provider of outsourced business process solutions headquartered in Miami Lakes. He is also the CEO of the Education Leadership Forum of Miami, a non-profit he founded during the summer of 2011.

 

  Malik Benjamin
Florida International University
Malik Benjamin, 33, is the Assistant Chair of Architecture at Florida International University. Malik is working to steward a $1 million grant from JP Morgan Chase to build an aquaponics lab at Miami Northwestern High School in partnership with Florida International University to promote STEM professions – science, technology, engineering and math – and help revitalize distressed neighborhoods around the high school.

 

  Ana Colls
Village of Key Biscayne
Ana Colls, 31, is the Community Center Manager for the Village of Key Biscayne. Ana graduated summa cum laude in Economics from Florida International University and earned her Masters in Public Administration from City University of New York through the National Urban Fellows program. As a National Urban Fellow, Ana led the creation of a Parks and Recreation Master Plan for the City of Coachella, a low-income Hispanic community in southern California.

 

  Rebecca Fishman Lipsey
Teach for America
Rebecca Fishman Lipsey, 30, is the Executive Director of Teach For America in Miami-Dade. During her three-year tenure in that role she has tripled the size of the local program and increased fundraising 11-times over. Rebecca is a musical composer, and she wrote the theme and background music for a documentary on eating disorders in 2008. Last year, Rebecca won the International Stevie Award for Women in Business, in the category of "best executive."

 

  Teresa Frontado
El Nuevo Herald
Teresa Frontado is the Continuous News Editor at El Nuevo Herald. Teresa has previously served as online editor and senior multimedia producer for El Nuevo Herald. Teresa is passionate about LGBT family issues and hosts every month an LGBT Parenting Group with more than 40 regular members. She is also an active member of St. Stephen's Episcopal Church in Coconut Grove.

 

  Tony Jimenez
Reliant Real Estate Group
Tony Jimenez, 29, is the Director of Business Development at Reliant Real Estate Group. Tony is also the Co-Founder and Co-Chairman of Raíces de Esperanza (Roots of Hope) and the Founder and CEO of Whisper Music Dynasty. His proudest community leadership accomplishment in 2009 when he assisted 17-time Grammy winner, Juanes, in organizing the Peace Without Borders concert in Havana that attracted 1.2 million youth.

 

  Marissa Leichter
Guardian ad Litem Program
Marissa Leichter, 34, is a Senior Program Attorney at the Guardian ad Litem Program in Miami-Dade County. Marissa appears in court representing the interests of abused, neglected and abandoned children and helps them navigate the child welfare system. She participates in events to support Voices for Children, whose mission is to ensure that abused and neglected children have a Guardian ad Litem and resources to meet their health, educational and social needs.

 

  Tony Lima
Miami Science Museum
Tony Lima, 37, is the Vice President for Marketing, Communications and Sales at Miami Science Museum. Prior to joining the museum, Tony worked for GolinHarris International, where he led social marketing initiatives and led the company's national Hispanic practice. He is the founder of MiaSci Young Patrons, the young professional arm of the Miami Science Museum and chairs committees for SAVE Dade and serves on numerous other community organization boards.

 

  Annie Lord
South Florida Community Development Coalition Annie Lord, 32, is the Executive Director of the South Florida Community Development Coalition. Previously, Annie worked at the Clinton Health Access Initiative, Camillus House and the Latino Economic Development Corporation. She is most proud of the partnership that she has built between members of the community development coalition and a restaurant franchise company that wishes to invest in low-income communities.

 

  Kathleen McGrory
The Miami Herald
Kathleen McGrory, 27, is a Staff Writer at The Miami Herald. Kathleen covers the Miami-Dade County public school district and statewide trends in education. She mentors local high school students who are interested in journalism and recently helped start up the student newspaper at Miami Central Senior High. She is also a volunteer with the Junior League of Miami and a graduate of Leadership Miami.

 

  Benji Power
Neighborhood Housing Services of South Florida
Benji Power, 29, is the Director of Community Building and Organizing at Neighborhood Housing Services of South Florida. Benji is responsible for community development work in Brownsville. He also serves as the executive start-up staff for Miami's chapter of the New Leaders Council, a national non-profit, non-partisan progressive leadership training program for young political entrepreneurs.

 

  Wali Salahuddin
Cordis Corporation, a Johnson & Johnson Company
Wali Salahuddin, 35, is the Strategic Sourcing Manager at Cordis Corporation, a Johnson & Johnson Company. Previously, Wali served as the Senior Supplier Development Engineer and New Product Development Engineer at Cordis. As a member of Masjid Al-Ansar's Leadership Team, Wali utilizes his talents to facilitate the growth and development of South Florida's Muslim community.

 

  Purvi Shah
Community Justice Project of Florida Legal Services
Purvi Shah, 30, is an attorney at the Community Justice Project (CJP) of Florida Legal Services. Purvi co-founded the project in 2008 to provide legal support to community and worker organizations in Miami's low-income neighborhoods fighting for fairness and equality. She is also currently an Adjunct Professor at the University of Miami School of Law where she directs the Community Lawyering Clinic.

 

  Estrellita Sibila
Weiss Serota Helfman Pastoriza Cole & Boniske, PL
Estrellita Sibila, 31, is an Environmental and Land Use Attorney Associate at Weiss Serota Helfman Pastoriza Cole & Bonkiske, PL. Estrellita is a graduate of the University of Miami and the University of Miami School of Law. She has served on the Miami Green Commission and chaired the Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce Green Task Force. She is a graduate of Leadership Miami.

 

  Thamiah Tutt
University of Miami Leonard M. Miller School of Medicine
Thamiah Tutt, 32, is the Development Director for Major Gifts for the Department of Anesthesiology, Perioperative Medicine and Pain Management at the University of Miami Leonard M. Miller School of Medicine. Thamiah's community involvement includes work with the South Florida Network of Blacks in Philanthropy and the National Black MBA Association, South Florida Chapter

 

  Monica Vigues-Pitan
Legal Services of Greater Miami
Monica Vigues-Pitan, 32, is an Advocacy Director for the Employment and Economic Security Unit of Legal Services of Greater Miami and currently practices mostly in the area of public benefits law with a concentration on Medicaid issues. She is a member of the Dade County Bar Association and serves as the Vice-President of the Miami Coalition for the Homeless' Board of Directors.