Norma A. Duque, Masters in Psychology & Masters of Business Administration
President & CEO, Los Angeles
Norma Duque (she/her/hers) is an apologetically proud Guatemalan woman who founded Nuevo Amanecer Latino Children’s Services in late 1994. As an immigrant, Ms. Duque earned her Masters in Psychology, and her MBA from New York University. She holds 27+ years of experience in the non-profit sector and over 20+ years of experience in finance, auditing, and accounting. During her work in the financial sector, she saw a need to apply her skill set in ways that would positively shape the lives of marginalized Latinx youth. Since then, she has built NALCS an organization that is recognized state-wide for its high-quality care, earning her and the organization various accolades such as Woman of the Year and Best Non-Profit in California. As an immigrant, a mother, and a Latina, Ms. Duque fundamentally believes that all children deserve an equitable chance to attain success while experiencing the stability of a loving family. As a leader and advocate, Ms. Duque recognizes the immense challenge of the nonprofit industrial complex and is committed to a pioneering practice that promotes equity and justice, both within her organization and within her community. She currently sits on the Membership Committee for the California Alliance of Children and Families and is an active member at the Family Focus Treatment Association (FFTA), California Association of Adoption Agencies (CAAA) as well as the Association of Community Human Services Agencies (ACHSA). In her spare time, if not hiking, doing yoga, or at the movies, Ms. Duque enjoys spending time with her only son Joshua and his new wife.
Cristian O. Palao
Omar Palao (he/him/his) holds the title of Finance Director at NALCS. He was born in Guatemala and moved to the U.S. as a child. He received his bachelor’s degree from the California Polytechnic University of Pomona. Two years after earning his bachelor’s degree, Mr. Palao moved from the profit sector as an Operation Manager to the non-profit sector with Nuevo Amanecer Latino Children’s Services. Mr. Palao enjoys his free time playing basketball and spending time with his family.
Ofelia Medina, Masters in Psychology
Ofelia Medina (she/her/hers) has served Nuevo Amanecer Latino Children Services (NALCS) in 2001 in the capacity of social worker, supervisor, and currently as the Administrator at NALCS’ Orange office. In addition to social work experience, she has also worked in an elementary school setting specializing in literacy with at-risk students, in addition to serving as a mentor for minors placed in probationary camps. Ms. Medina holds a bachelor’s degree in Sociology with a minor in Social Work and a master’s degree in Psychology. During her free time, Ms. Medina enjoys spending quality time with her children, husband, and extended family.
Mannya Sharma, Masters of Science in Social Work
Mannya Sharma (she/her/hers) is the Human Resources and Development Manager at Nuevo Amanecer Latino Children’s Services. She is responsible for talent acquisition and management along with Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) training and staff development. Ms. Sharma joined NALCS soon after completing her M.S. in Social Work from Columbia University, New York with a major in Social Enterprise Administration. She also has a law degree from the University of Mumbai, India. During her time in New York, Ms. Sharma interned with United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) where she provided staff development training to management-level employees. In addition, she championed DEI initiatives within Columbia University that served to create spaces for international students to meaningfully engage in social movements. Ms. Sharma strongly believes that her privileges contribute to the oppression of marginalized communities. Therefore, through her DEI and staff development initiatives, she attempts to use her privilege to proliferate those voices. In her free time, Ms. Sharma likes to connect with her family back in India over the phone while petting her pets.
Maria A. Montes de Oca
Finance Manager, Los Angeles
Maria Montes de Oca (she/her/hers) has worked with Nuevo Amanecer Latino Children’s Services in the finance department since 2000. Throughout these years, she has enriched her knowledge in Accounting which has given her the opportunity to grow as a professional and be trusted to work with Payroll, Account Payables, Account receivables, and financial reports. Her experience in this field has helped the organization to its current growth and stability. On the other hand, when she is not behind a desk, she loves to spend time with her husband and two daughters at the movies or the park. She believes “Family Time is priceless”
Erick Bozikovic, Masters in Psychology
Administrator for Los Angeles and San Fernando
Mr. Bozikovic had worked in the private business sector as well as in the social services sector in Argentina and South America. He earned a degree in Psychology from the National University of Rosario in Argentina, and then a Master’s Degree in Psychology before joining NALCS in 2003. During this time, Mr. Bozikovic supported offices like Orange and San Bernardino, before finally settling in the San Fernando office. Aside from his work responsibilities, he is a proud father of four children, a runner, an outdoors fanatic, a wellness practitioner, a vegetarian, and an animal rights activist.
Claudia Del Viscovo, Masters in Psychology
Adoptions Supervisor, San Fernando
Claudia Del Viscovo (she/her/hers) has worked for Nuevo Amanecer Latino Children’s Services (NALCS) for sixteen years. She began her journey in July of 1996 as a Foster Care Social Worker for NALCS’ first office in the city of East Los Angeles. She also becomes part of the Baldwin Park team when NALCS expanded from one office to two. When the Baldwin Park office was relocated to the city of Covina, she became part of the Covina team. A few years following, she was assigned a Foster Care Supervisor position. She worked in the capacity of Foster Care Supervisor for the East Los Angeles and San Fernando offices. After the supervisory position, she was assigned the position of Foster Care Administrator. She administrated the San Fernando office for many years before becoming an Adoption Supervisor. Ms. Del Viscovo is a Mount St. Mary’s College, California State University Los Angeles, and Phillips Graduate alumni with degrees and specialties in psychology, child development, and marriage and family therapy.
Veronica Vasquez, Masters in Social Work
Veronica Vasquez (she/her/hers) is currently the Unaccompanied Children’s Program Director for the last two years and has been working for Nuevo Amanecer for the last 4 years. Ms. Vasquez was born and raised in Los Angeles, California, and is fluent in Spanish and English. She earned a double B.A in Sociology and Human Development with a minor in psychology from Cal State Long Beach in 2012. During her time at Cal State Long Beach, Ms. Vasquez had the opportunity to intern at an early childhood development center and gain experience in working with families and children. In an effort to continue to grow as a professional who helps children and adults in vulnerable situations, Ms. Vasquez proceeded to obtain her Master’s in Social Work. In 2014, she graduated from the University of Southern California with a Master’s degree in Social Work with a concentration in Community Organization, Planning, and Administration. During her graduate years, she gained experience via internships at an elementary school and at CHLA. Upon graduating, Ms. Vasquez gained experience in foster care social work both as a worker and supervisor. In her current position as a program director, Veronica has been able to emphasize her passion for managing a program that assists a particular vulnerable yet resilient population in the community. During her free time, Veronica enjoys going to the movies, traveling, and spending time with her nieces.”
Liliana Moreno, Bachelor of Science, Criminal Justice Administration
Ms. Moreno (she/her/hers) is the Lead Case Manager for the Unaccompanied Children’s Program. She has been working at Nuevo Amanecer since 2017 serving Unaccompanied Children. She was born in Michoacán, Mexico, and traveled to the United States at the age of five with her family in search of a better future. She graduated from California State University, Dominguez Hills with a Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice Administration. Prior to serving Unaccompanied Children at NALCS, she was a Peer Mediator Facilitator at Hawthorne High School where she educated students on ways to resolve conflict in a nonviolent manner. In addition, she also worked as a Family Mediation Specialist during which she provided support and assistance to youth and their parents/guardians to de-escalate conflict in a safe environment. She takes great pride in servicing populations who are often forgotten and under-served. In her free time, Ms. Moreno enjoys spending quality time with her family.
Recruiting Counselor Supervisor, Los Angeles
Ms. Zarate has been a part of NALCS for over 8 years. When she was hired in 2012, she was the youngest employee of NALCS. She loves spending time in the community doing personal relations and educating the community about Foster Care and Adoptions. She is always looking to network with other organizations that can spread awareness about the need in foster care. Her desire is to provide every child that is placed in NALCS’ care the best services and a loving home. Ms. Zarate considers recruiting as one of the most beautiful and fulfilling positions here are NALCS. She considers it as the honor and privilege of matching families and seeing their dreams become reality. She is a strong believer that “A good leader builds other leaders”. One of my passions in life is to help people and bring out the best in them. Her educational background is in leadership and is currently pursuing a bachelor’s degree in psychology. In her spare time, if I am not serving at her home church, you can find her making YouTube videos with her son, mentoring young women, or enjoining a great book with a delicious cup of coffee (16oz to be specific).