Melissa ‘Mel’ Priese, Youth Economic Group Fellow, is a recent graduate from the University of Missouri, St. Louis, where she received a Bachelor of Liberal Studies in art and music. A third generation Unitarian Universalist, Mel strives to uphold the UU values of justice, equity, and compassion. As an artist, she advocates for the power of art in social movements. Originally, Mel interned with the Youth Economic Group as part of the Unitarian Universalist College of Social Justice, and is continuing her work as an RMM fellow to support youth in the Sullivan County community.
Elizabeth Grese, an alumni of the Youth Economic Group of Sullivan County, is a graduate of the Rochester Institute of Technology where she majored in International Hospitality and Tourism Management, concentrating in Event Management. Elizabeth is a woman, sister, daughter, alumni, volunteer, cancer survivor and Special Events Coordinator. Elizabeth is elated to join the fundraising team and continue her high school efforts in supporting the mission and vision that RMM embodies.
Mark Green joins Rural & Migrant Ministry, Inc. and brings more than 30 years of progressively responsible financial, systems and project management experience with small businesses, non-profit companies, as well as multi-national corporations.
Born in Peru, Angel immigrated at the age of 15. While attending Nassau Community College as an undocumented student, Angel joined the Dreamer movement fighting to pass the NY Dream Act. Angel’s main mission as a student advocate was to educate, motivate and create awareness about current issues affecting immigrant students, by speaking at different Conferences, High Schools, and Universities. Prior to coming to Rural & Migrant Ministry, Angel worked as a Community Organizer with LatinoJustice PRLDEF.
Juanita started as a Fellow with the Youth Economic Group and has since transitioned to YEG Coordinator. She was born in Colombia and raised in Sullivan County, NY. Juanita went on to graduate from Rochester Institute of Technology with a major in Biology and minor in Italian. During her college and High School careers she was very actively involved in the community and maintained leadership roles in organizations that did the same, from litter clean up to hosting formal banquets for charity.
Sara Carbajal was born in Mexico and migrated to the USA when was 24 years old to marry her husband. Since then she’s worked in apple orchards, picking and harvesting fruits, and trimming and planting trees. She has also worked as crew recruiter. Her skills include supervisor and business management, strategic planning, resources allocation, leadership techniques, and administrative coordination of people and resources. Sara is also a Translator and Interpreter.
Noemi joins RMM's staff and worker Council at the Center of Alliance, Solidarity, and Accompaniment (CASA) in Riverhead, after years of community organizing in the area. Noemi says: "I am a survivor of domestic violence, which is the reason I am involved in advocacy for women's rights. I use my voice to help more women fight for their own rights. RMM gave me the opportunity to help on this project on Long Island with farmworkers, as well as invite more women to become involved so their voices are heard."
Juan Antonio is a lifelong community organizer and farmworker. In El Salvador he worked the fields and managed a cooperative that helped bring electricity and clean water to the community. After spending years traveling around the United States doing farmwork and construction, Juan Antonio moved to Long Island in 2005 where he now lives and works alongside his loving family.
Sakima is an Iraqi war veteran who graduated from the United States Military Academy at West Point with a degree in Engineering, and went on to get her Master's in Business with a minor in Accounting. She is a Board Member of the Dutchess County Mental Health of America, sits on the City of Poughkeepsie Planning Board, and a social member of the Exempt Firemen Association. Sakima was the first female Commander of the Veteran of Foreign wars in their 75 year history. She is a member of the American Legion, and also served as President of the Poughkeepsie School District Board.
Gabriela Quintanilla, an RMM YAG granduate, was born in El Salvador, and migrated to the U.S. when she was 13 years old. In 2016, she graduated from Stony Brook University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Sociology and a minor in Political Science. She has become a social justice activist with the Coalition of Immokalee Workers and the Student/Farmworker Alliance National Student Network.