Vladimir Carvajal is known by family and close friends as a man with deep convictions. Vladimir came to the United States in 1985 having worked as an attorney in Colombia specializing in family law with vast experience working with children and families in foster care, adoptive families and troubled youth. He worked as Assistant Director for the Colombian National Child Welfare Agency (ICBF) overseeing three State branches. Vladimir was also a member of the IDIPRON board, a foundation managed by Father Javier De Nicolo, a priest known worldwide for his work with children who were living in the streets. Part of Father De Nicolo’s efforts included overseeing a YMCA program that worked to recover children from the streets of Bogota. These programs served over 5000 children.
“I finally found my niche” say Vladimir after becoming Director of the Foster Boarding Home Program at Coalition for Hispanic Family Services (CHFS) in July 2011. In his words “working in a multicultural organization that serves children and families of color was my dream.” While his days are full there are many moments of pure joy. “Our cultural background plays such an important role in communicating and understanding the needs of our clients - we are unique.” Sometimes he doesn’t even realize which language he is speaking.
In 1992 he completed a BA and MPS in Non-profit Management at the Business Harriman School at Stony Brook. For 17 years he worked with Leake and Watts Services (L&W) as the Director of Residential Services and with senior staff in different capacities. He led L&W’s effort with strategic planning as well as helping L&W achieve recognition as the first social services agency to achieve the NY State Governor’s Excellence at Work Award. He also takes pride in the fact that a NY state official recognized L&W’s RTC as a state of the art facility which should be modeled. During that time he helped implement Adventure Based Counseling (ABC), Behavior Modification (B-Mod), Group Guideness Interaction (GGI), Therapeutic Crisis Intervention (TCI) and other evidence based models for adolescents in residential care. In 2003 he was selected to participate in a Fordham University/New York Medical College, M.A. advanced program in the management of services for children, families and the needy. He also gained a great deal of experience in fund raising serving L&W as Assistant to the Executive Director and as liaison to the Board of Directors. Later in 2010, Vladimir managed a residential program for SCO Family of Services.
“I love New York which gives me the sense of diversity and freedom that only this city offers. When I visit our Mental Health Clinic on the 6th floor I look out the window at the diverse community we are in and I feel like I’m in the center of the world. Not to mention when I look out the window from any of our meeting rooms I see the elevated subway train passing every few minutes which should remind us all how connected we are to the rest of the world and to our community.”
Alexandria Munoz, or "Alex" as she is sometimes called by her colleagues considers herself a "rich and wealthy woman..." Her life experience has so far provided her with the tools to take on her responsibilities with dedication and resolve. "Growing up I was exposed to the diversity and enormity of NYC." She attended schools in the New York City boroughs of Brooklyn and Manhattan. Her family embraced and welcomed people from all cultures, backgrounds, religions, and ideologies while keeping her and her brother grounded and rooted in culture and heritage.
As a young woman Alex explored many career and professional paths while studying at Hunter College. Teaching, photography, and media were all subjects she found fascinating and relative to the time and her community. She graduated with a bachelor’s degree in 2002, and decided to enter the field of social work, specifically child welfare, as she found that she could utilize and implement the many topics and tools she learned and embraced during her studies.
Alex has worked for several nonprofit organizations including the Salvation Army, Big Brothers Big Sisters NYC and the Children’s Aid Society to mention a few, and has called Coalition for Hispanic Family Services her professional home for the last 4 years. She currently holds the position of Special Projects Manager working directly with the Executive office. In her current position she is able to utilize the wonderful teachings and tools she received having recently obtained her Masters degree in Public Administration and works on a multitude of in house and system wide projects with the executive director and the senior management team. "I continue to learn something new every day and understand the field of social work and child welfare is not one based on monetary wealth but rooted in giving and serving community, and it is with the ability to give back that I consider myself a rich and wealthy woman."