Board Member and Vice Chairperson
Griselle Baret is the Deputy Director of the Hunts Point Alliance for Children, an organization she has helped build from the ground up. She started there as an Administrative Assistant in 2007. In her time with the organization, she has held duties from program supervision and coordination, assessment and evaluation, grant writing, and teaching. Ms. Baret earned her M.A. in Education Leadership -- Politics and Advocacy from New York University in 2011. She also has a B.A. in Journalism and Mass Communications from NYU, and has presented several times with Fordham University at the American Psychological Association Convention. Ms. Baret is a fan of the Harry Potter book series and has read each of the 7 books at least three times. Her favorite is "Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire". Of course, the books are much better than the movies.
Omar O. Ortiz
Founding President and CEO Board Member
Omar O. Ortiz has been a principal within the Archdioceses for the last six years. He was born and raised in the the Bronx and has been committed to empowering youth from the age of 16. Mr. Ortiz started working with young people in an after school program and then, more involved as a youth organizer with the Take Charge Be Somebody project held in the Highbridge section of the Bronx. His professional career began working with community youth as the Coordinator for the Covenant House Bronx Store Front. Mr. Ortiz stayed with the Covenant House organization for ten years, leaving his last position as the Director of the Regional Training Center. During his time at Covenant House he completed his BA from Mary Mount Manhattan College and obtained his Masters in Public Administration from Baruch College. Mr. Ortiz held several titles with Covenant House such as Deputy Director of Mother and Child, Deputy Director of the Crisis Center and Deputy Director of Community Programs. Mr.Ortiz felt that he wanted to motivate young people in a different way so he returned to education. He began this journey by accepting the position of Graduate Support Director for St. Ignatius, a private school located in Hunts Point and a year later became Assistant Principal in this same school. In 2008, Mr. Ortiz accepted another Assistant Principal position at Our Lady Queen of Angels, where he obtained his Masters of Education and Supervision degree from Brooklyn College. Mr. Ortiz believes that young people can spark change if provided with guidance and education. He is currently the principal Ascension School in Manhattan. Mr. Ortiz and his wife have two daughters; he is also an avid Star Wars fan.
Founding Board Member and Secretary
RobinMarie Dessereau was born and raised in the Bronx, New York. She has worked in the healthcare arena forover 19 years. Ms. Dessereau is a graduate of Saint Catherine's Academy and attended St. John's University and Marymount Manhattan College. She currently works for Montefiore Medical Center as an Administrative Supervisor for the Wakefield Ambulatory Care Center, which services approximately 30,000 patients throughout the Bronx. During her years in healthcare she has held several positions such as Administrative Assistant to the Director of Operations, Manager of Infection Control and Employee Health and has served as Manager for several outpatient sites throughout the Bronx. She has been a member of several committees and initiatives such as Teen Friendly, Infection Control and Primary Care Medical Home and has been very involved with Community Outreach projects including Health Fairs. Throughout her career Ms. Dessereau has assisted in many regulatory site visits, such as The Joint Commission review, Department of Health inspections as well as audits by the Office of the Medicaid Inspector General. Ms. Dessereau has held a license as a NYC EMT for the past five years and during the summer Ms. Dessereau acts as the Clinical Director for Camp Angels in Esopus, New York. Ms. Dessereau and her husband have two daughters. She enjoys reading and spending time with her dearest friends and
Board Member and Chairperson
Raymond Gonzalez was born and raised in the Bronx, New York and is a graduate of Fordham Prep. Mr. Gonzalezjoined the Navy to become an Information Systems Technician. While he was in the Navy he was stationed in Pensacola, FL for schooling and then in Sasebo, Japan to serve out his term. Mr. Gonzalez is currently a General Manager at Crunch Norwood and has been working there for two years and in a management position for the past 18 months. He is currently managing one location and plans to supervise another location, which is currently under construction. There are eight more locations coming within the next few years. Mr. Gonzalez loves to play sports and travel.
J.U.N.T.O.S: Together Staff Members
Vice President of Funding and Development
Luis Paez has been the Director of Development and Admissions at a Catholic Elementary/Middle School in Manhattan for the past 3 years. Born and raised in the Hunts Point section of the South Bronx, Luis developed a passion for community outreach when he began to analyze the social framework of his neighborhood. Luis received his Bachelor’s Degree in Intercultural Communications from DePauw University in Greencastle, Indiana. During his undergraduate career, Luis was a recipient of the Posse Scholarship Award and the Bonner Scholarship as well as the Treasurer of the Committee for Latino Concerns. While at DePauw University, Luis was committed to community outreach in the form of volunteer experiences with the local senior citizens’ home, the local middle school and a local non-profit organization aimed at transitioning low-income students into high school. He continues his work while in New York, offering his professional expertise at his former middle school. When not in the community or his office, Luis spends his time rock climbing or travelling to places he has not visited. Luis Paez is a die-hard Liverpool Football Club supporter and hopes to one-day cheer his team on in London.
Fundraising and Research Associate
Danny Rossello has a Business Administration Degree from the University of Scranton. He has worked within the school environment for approximately 6-7 years. Danny has been a camp counselor responsible 15 to 20 children with the Bank Street program in Manhattan. In 2015 he became an after school worker at Ascension School, he shortly was approached to be the Director of the Easter Camp program. During the summer of 2015 he was the Assistant Director for the Ascension Summer camp, responsible for approximately 50 children ranging from the ages 3 – 11. Danny is a certified first responder and will be pursuing a Masters Degree in Education. He would like to focus on the administrative aspect of education and conducting research. Danny enjoys learning new things and taking on new challenges. He believes any task is possible to accomplish through hard work and discipline of the mind.