Mónica is a mother, a daughter, a sister, an aunt, a breast cancer survivor and believes strongly in a person’s ability to affect change by being an active community participant. Her experience as an immigrant has greatly influenced her commitment to her community and she is always looking for opportunities to get involved and make a difference.
Issues that are important to Mónica include affordable education, health care, immigration reform, equal pay for equal work, LGBTQ, civil rights protections, animal welfare/rights, the environment and alternative energy sources, accountability and transparency in government, and the advancement of Latinos in the political system.
Mónica was born in Cartago, Costa Rica. She moved to the United States with her mother and three younger sisters when she was only 13 years old. She knows firsthand the difficulties and barriers faced by immigrants in this country. Her mother worked very hard often having long days and working overtime on weekends making minimum wage at a textile factory ($3.83/hr.). As a teenager, Mónica witnessed the discrimination her mother faced because she looked different and had an accent. Mónica also remembers the support and generosity shown by members of the Catholic School which she and her sisters attended. Staff provided her family with support and education, and also provided winter clothing and Christmas presents that very first year.
As a young child growing up in Costa Rica, Mónica remembers the importance of always giving back to the community even when her family had very little. It is this personal experience that she brings to each and every community project she undertakes; Mónica understands hardships and the power of a strong community and role models.
Mónica has volunteered for numerous organizations in the Capital Region including Literacy Volunteers-Mohawk/Hudson, Inc., Somos El Futuro Legislative Conference, Community Caregivers, Centro Civico of Amsterdam, Centro Civico of Albany, League of Humane Voters, Capital City Rescue Mission, Habitat for Humanity, Hands on Capitaland, animal rescue organizations, and various others. As a volunteer, she has organized events such as food and clothing drives, voter registration drives, nursing home visits, blood drives, animal food drives, fundraisers and others.
Mónica moved to Upstate New York from the Connecticut region in 1992 and has since made the Capital Region her home; residing in Schenectady County since. She has been a resident and taxpayer in the Duanesburg School District since 1998.
In 2004 Mónica graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree from the State University of New York (SUNY) at Albany where she majored in Political Science with a minor in Sociology. Two years later, she graduated with a Masters degree in Public Administration from the Rockefeller College of Public Affairs & Policy at SUNY in Albany where she concentrated in Public Finance and Public Management.
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