Meet Our Founder

Nelcy's story is one of remarkable resilience and determination. Born in Tamboríl, Dominican Republic, she grew up in a loving family of five as the youngest of three sisters. At the age of eleven, she took on responsibilities beyond her years, driving and making deliveries from her parents' small bodega to customers in the countryside. With a strong work ethic and a foundation of family unity, Nelcy's upbringing instilled valuable values in her.

When Nelcy's family immigrated to the United States when she was 14 years old, they faced the common challenges of new immigrants. Her parents worked tirelessly in multiple jobs to provide for the family, and the transition to their new life in New York was fraught with difficulties. Nelcy, in particular, encountered numerous challenges in her new school environment, including language barriers, adapting to unfamiliar academic subjects, making friends, and navigating the process of acculturation.Despite these formidable obstacles, Nelcy's determination propelled her forward. She graduated from High School, triumphing over what seemed insurmountable hurdles. Shortly thereafter, she pursued certifications as a Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) and Teaching Assistant. These qualifications opened doors for Nelcy to embark on a fulfilling decade working with children and adolescents with special needs, including those with Autism Spectrum Disorders, Down Syndrome, and Cerebral Palsy.

Following the completion of her Associate's degree, she remained resolute in her pursuit of higher education and transferred to Dominican College. Balancing the demanding roles of a first time mother, full-time employee, and full-time college student, Nelcy persisted with unwavering dedication, drawing strength from the support of her loved ones.

The Social Work program at Dominican College proved to be challenging, but with the guidance and support of the faculty, Nelcy adapted to the pace and demands of the program, emerging as a top student. Her commitment to excellence extended beyond the classroom as she actively engaged in the Dominican College community, earning recognition for her leadership and receiving the prestigious Sisters of Reparation of the Congregation of Mary scholarship.

In 2018, Nelcy's exceptional achievements were acknowledged when she became the recipient of the New York State Student of the Year Award from the New York State Social Work Association (NYSSWEA), becoming the first student from Dominican College to receive this honor since its establishment in 1952. However, among her greatest sources of pride and fulfillment, Nelcy considers her son Joseph to be her ultimate companion, who has accompanied her to rallies and community demonstrations, carried at her hip.

In 2020, amidst the challenges posed by the pandemic, Nelcy obtained her Master's in Social Work from New York University (NYU). Following her graduation, she embarked on a career in public service. Nelcy's passion for social and racial justice has driven her to become a community activist and organizer. She has been actively involved in organizing protests against the separation of children at the border, combating discrimination against individuals with special needs, police brutality, and other issues facing our communities. Since 2019, Nelcy has been actively involved in two prominent organizations: the Rockland Immigration Coalition and Proyecto Faro (Lighthouse Project). Within Proyecto Faro, she assumes the vital role of being the Board President. Through her dedicated participation, Nelcy collaborates with fellow members to drive impactful initiatives and advocate for the rights and well-being of immigrant communities. Her contributions as a Co-Chair demonstrate her commitment to fostering inclusivity, promoting social justice, and amplifying the voices of those who need it most. In addition to her unwavering dedication to immigration and racial/social justice causes, Nelcy has a profound passion for mental health. 

Looking ahead, Nelcy has ambitious aspirations. She plans to pursue a Doctorate degree, driven by her desire to further expand her knowledge and expertise. With her sights set on the future, Nelcy envisions one day running for public office, aiming to continue her impactful work in serving and uplifting her community. Her commitment to making a difference remains resolute as she seeks opportunities to effect positive change on a larger scale.