Caty Padilla, Executive Director
Caty is the daughter of immigrants who settled in the Lower Yakima Valley in 1990. She was raised like many farm worker’s children, migrating along the Yakima River throughout the valley as her parents looked for new job opportunities. Caty attended schools in the Toppenish, Granger and Wapato school districts. After graduating in 2007 she landed a full-time job that allowed her the flexibility she needed to enroll at Heritage University.
At Heritage University Caty participated in Enactus (formerly known as SIFE) and majored in Business Administration. During her participation with Enactus, she really connected with the ideal that one could give back to the community by leading with a mindset for business but a heart for the world. Shortly before graduating in 2017, she accepted the role as Executive Director for Nuestra Casa. Caty looks forward to helping immigrant women in the community prosper and obtain learning opportunities empowering them to battle the inequities in our communities.
Luz Rodriguez, Program Coordinator
I am an immigrant Latina who came to the United States in 1990. As many people who come to Nuestra Casa, I attended ESL classes and citizenship classes. Soon after, I obtained my GED and my U.S. citizenship. I have been part of the Nuestra Casa team since 2010. In 2012, I was able to achieve a transferable AA college undergraduate degree thanks to the encouragement I received from students and colleagues here at Nuestra Casa. I enjoy being able to support individuals who need assistance as I did back in 1990. One of the things that I love the most about my work at Nuestra Casa is witnessing people learn or improve their English skills. I am always available to answer questions and provide encouragement to anyone who walks through our doors. I look forward to coming to work every single day knowing that, as individuals, we can make a difference in someone’s life.
Monica Romero, Community Liaison
Monica is the daughter of immigrant parents, who settled in the Lower Yakima Valley in 2003. Monica attended Sunnyside High School, graduating with honors and obtaining a full ride Act Six scholarship to Heritage University. She obtained her U.S. Citizenship in July 2019 and will be graduating from Heritage in May 2020, with a Bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice. Monica cares deeply about human rights and finding ways to leverage her community.
At Heritage University Monica participated in Camp S.E.E.D as well as Act Six where she was involved in health and educational community events. She was a preschool teacher at the Heritage University Early Learning Center, where she gained teaching skills and worked efficiently with different levels of learning. Prior to joining the Nuestra Casa team Monica volunteered in the citizenship preparation classes at Nuestra Casa. She quickly fell in love with how unified the staff at Nuestra Casa is, as well as focused on the mission of delivering support and assistance to the immigrant community. Monica joined the team in November 2019 as Nuestra Casa’s Community Liaison and looks forward to helping immigrants in the community prosper and obtain learning opportunities.
Las CoMadres de Nuestra Casa is our Latina Advisory Board, consisting of 12 women who have been long time participants of Nuestra Casa. Las CoMadres meet weekly for skills building and self care activities like exercise and crafting all while gaining leadership skills. This group of women help educate their community circles on topics that affect them such as advocacy, equity, and representation.
Las CoMadres de Nuestra Casa was formed to help advise the Executive Director of issues or topics they would like to learn more about in an open conversation setting. They also participate and practice their skills by helping guide decision making, programs, evaluating current programs, selection of staff and by helping continue to align our work to our mission. They represent Nuestra Casa at multiple tabling events throughout the year and organize small fundraising activities for Nuestra Casa programs. Together we discuss concerns that arise within the community and help raise the voice of the Latinx community in the Lower Yakima Valley.