Adela is an international professional skilled at building strategic collaborative partnerships, facilitating cross-cultural relationships, and leading diverse teams and coalitions. As the Executive Director of the Hispanic Alliance, Adela is helping build collective capacity to embrace the emerging Hispanic population as a thriving, productive, and positive contributor to the community at large.
Before joining the Alliance, Adela worked for SE Consulting, Inc., and was Statewide Program Manager for the South Carolina Immigrant Victim Network, where she helped establish international cooperative relations among foreign consulates and US organizations. Adela is a native of Veracruz, Mexico, where she earned her Bachelor of Arts in Communications and Journalism from Universidad del Valle and worked for a leading radio station directing media relations, planning and managing large-scale event logistics attended annually by over 12,000 people, and coordinating communications with international recording companies.
In 2013, Adela was selected as an Aspen Ideas Festival Scholar among 60 leaders from around the world chosen for their accomplishments and their ability to transform ideas into action. Adela is a Liberty Fellow and a member of the Aspen Global Leadership Network. She is also a graduate of Leadership Greenville and Furman University’s Riley Institute Diversity Leaders Institute. Adela is a founding member of Upstate International and serves on the boards of Community Foundation of Greenville, United Way Community Investment Cabinet, Goodwill Industries of the Upstate/Midlands, the International Center of the Upstate, Greenville Forward, and the advisory boards of the Greenville Chamber of Commerce and MedEx Academy.
Sara Montero-Buria is the Community Engagement and Strategy Manager for the Hispanic Alliance, a nonprofit that unites the largest network of agencies and individuals working collaboratively to engage and advance Hispanic communities across the Upstate. Prior to joining the Hispanic Alliance, Sara worked for eight years in the Language Services Department of the Greenville Health System, in which she served first as Medical Interpreter and then as Department Coordinator. She also has experience as a Patient Relations Advocate with the Bon Secours St. Francis Health System.
Sara was born in the border city of Tijuana, Mexico. In 1999, she immigrated to Greenville, SC with her family. Learning English through the ESL program at her high school, Sara continued her education, earning a B.A. in International Studies from Bob Jones University in 2007. She is a graduate of Furman University’s Riley Institute Diversity Leaders Initiative, Class XVII and Carolina Academy: Nonprofit Leadership Development, Class of 2015.
In 2012, Greenville Business Magazine named Sara as one the Best and Brightest 35 and Under. She is a member of the Hispanic American Women’s Association and serves on the ESL Advisory Board of Greenville Technical College and the GHS Diversity Advisory Council. Sara is also part of the Board of Directors for both the Piedmont Health Foundation and New Horizon Family Health Services.
Idaly Partridge first came to South Carolina eight years ago and now joins the Hispanic Alliance in its efforts to consistently build bridges of communication and understanding between the Hispanic and Latino populations and the local community.
Originally from El Salvador, she completed studies in Pharmacy at Universidad de El Salvador in 2006. She also worked in the Research and Development Department at Bayer-Bonima Pharmaceutical
Laboratories after graduating. Prior to moving to the United States, Idaly taught English as a Second Language courses for several years in Panama, Guatemala and El Salvador. She immigrated to the United States in 2007.
In 2011 she relocated to South Carolina and joined Goodwill Industries as part of their Career Development Services team. During her time at Goodwill Industries she assisted more than 5,000 individuals in the job search process, and helped 948 job seekers find employment in the Greenville area. In her most recent role, she has served as the Team Lead for eight Job Connection offices in six counties in South Carolina with more than 18,500 new participants and more than 4,000 new job placements per year. She has also completed training as Career Development Facilitator and was a liaison between Goodwill Industries, community partners and employers, including local and state agencies, non-profits and human services organizations. Idaly has also actively participated in workforce development initiatives in the Upstate in South Carolina.
Debbra’s keen sense of organization, ability to lead a wide variety of teams and groups, all while maintaining a level-headed and kind demeanor, make her invaluable to our Alliance. Her work requires excellent attention to detail and efficient task-management, in addition to attending to the questions and needs of clients, volunteers, and community leaders.
Born in Puerto Rico, she has lived on the mainland U.S. for 10 years, completing a B.A. in Communications at USC Upstate. She maintains strong ties with her island heritage, and is the secretary for Boricuas en Upstate SC, a community organization of Puerto Ricans.
With over 7 years of experience managing sales teams and working with customers, she has learned to cultivate a strong voice and analytical skills to solve problems, and keep projects and meetings advancing. Her role at the Hispanic Alliance is complex, and includes specializing in Board of Directors meetings and communications, Executive Administration, coordinating logistics of events, and providing essential resources and referrals to our walking clients.
Her deep concern for youth is evident in her choice of work and volunteer activities. As a U.S. Soccer Federation certified coach and referee, she has led many teams of young boys to develop discipline, courage, and self-esteem. She continues this role as a facilitator in our Student Dreamers Alliance and in her work coordinating our Education Team Initiatives at schools.
Though Debbra prefers to lead from behind the scenes, she is equally gifted as a facilitator, and can flexibly adapt into new roles as needed. The high values she places on teamwork and cooperation, combined with her obvious passion for the community has made her an integral part of the staff. She inspires us to elevate the greater good in all our solutions.
Lindsey joined the AmeriCorps VISTA Bridges program with United Way of Greenville County to gain experience in non-profit management, and support local non-profits in their efforts to have a magnified impact through collaboration. She chose to serve with the Hispanic Alliance because of a sense of personal calling to support and learn from the Upstate Hispanic community.
A Magna Cum Laude graduate of Furman University, Lindsey fell in love with Upstate South Carolina, and its vibrant mix of urban and rural lifestyles. She received her M.A. in Clinical-Health Psychology from Appalachian State University, and her Paralegal Certificate from Midlands Technical College. She has also accumulated a significant number of graduate divinity courses in pastoral counseling in the pursuit of having a multi-disciplinary perspective to inform her work.
Lindsey worked with children with emotional and behavioral disorders as a community therapist, and has experience servicing a broad spectrum of mental health concerns. She also worked at the USC Immunology Center with the HIV positive community in Columbia, SC, providing education and navigation of the complex system of health benefits. She continues to seek to educate herself through attending trainings in victim advocacy, and domestic violence, and has provided education and training on the subject of human trafficking in America. Lindsey aspires to become specialized in the effective and creative management of non-profits in order to develop places of holistic healing for those who have experienced trauma, victimization, or mental illness.
Susannah was raised in the Chicago suburbs and is now a senior at Furman University, studying Spanish and Psychology. She spent one semester studying abroad in Madrid, Spain, where she honed her Spanish language abilities and expanded her worldview. She applied for the Hispanic Alliance-Furman University fellowship in order to connect with the Hispanic community in Greenville and learn more about community organizing and non-profit work. Susannah hopes to gain valuable skills and work experience, as well as a better understanding of cross-cultural communication, identity, and grassroots organizing.
A native of Roanoke, VA, McKenna Luzynski is a senior at Furman University. In May of 2018, she will graduate with a B.S. in Public Health, a B.A. in Spanish, and a minor in Latin American Studies. After taking a Medical Spanish course in 2015, McKenna realized that her two academic passions of public health and Spanish intersect in the field of health equity. After graduation, McKenna will be pursuing a master’s degree in environmental health with the goals of working to reduce environmental health disparities and to promote environmental justice. In her free time, she volunteers at Neighborhood Focus, serves as a volunteer medical interpreter, and works as a community health educator through Greenville Health System’s Hallways to Health program. McKenna is extremely excited to be one of the first Hispanic Alliance—Furman University Fellows. She looks forward to working with all of the teams, but specifically with the Health and Education teams.
volunteers & interns
Bio coming soon!
Pablo was born in 1990 in Veracruz, Mexico. His parents immigrated to the US when he was 7 years old, and he with his family. In 2014, Pablo was granted Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) status which allowed Pablo to obtain a work permit, driver’s license and enroll in college. Empowered with new possibility, Pablo decided to chase his dream of becoming an engineer. We met Pablo in 2015 when he knocked on Hispanic Alliance’s door seeking support in his enrollment process to Greenville Tech. Since Pablo’s DACA status does not allow him to get in-state tuition, nor access financial aid in South Carolina, Pablo is not able to become a full-time student. However, he is determined to build his own path forward, and is currently working full time to pay for his tuition while pursues a degree in Mechatronics at Greenville Tech.
HASC americorp & VISTA MEMBERS
AmeriCorps Member, 2015-2016
Jorge is originally from Michoacán, Mexico. Greenville has been his home since 2002. Jorge conducted an independent study on the cultures of South America at the Universidad Católica de Chile in Santiago, Chile. He Graduated from Furman University in 2011, with a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and a concentration in Latin American Studies.
After graduation, he joined LatinosUnited, a newly formed organization in the Upstate of South Carolina, composed of young professionals, with the goal of encouraging young Latino students to pursue a post-secondary education. Jorge currently resides in Greenville County and has joined Hispanic Alliance as an Asset Attainment Specialist and AmeriCorps member.
AmeriCorps Member, 2014-2015
Sebastian is originally from Bogotá, Colombia. He moved to the United States in 2004 at the age of 15. Sebastian graduated from Furman University in 2012 with a B.A. in Music. Following his graduation, he entered seminary under the religious order of Piarist Priest in Miami, FL. As part of his discernment process, he traveled to Bogotá, Colombia to finish his philosophy studies. While in Bogotá, Sebastian coordinated an outreach project in an under resourced neighborhood connecting youth, families and communities, through the performing arts. Sebastian joined the Hispanic Alliance team as an AmeriCorps member in 2014.
VISTA Member, 2014-2015
Donna is a 1983 graduate of Trinity College, Washington, DC (now Trinity Washington University). It was in Washington, DC that Donna was introduced to Latin culture and communities as a volunteer. She also worked at an assortment of non-profits while supporting herself in DC. Donna returned to Pittsburgh, PA, her hometown, in the 90’s and worked at the University of Pittsburgh’s Graduate School of Public Health in various administrative capacities before leaving to pursue graduate studies in Sociology at the University of Pittsburgh. ABD in Sociology, Donna worked with the Tissue and Organ Donation implementing and coordinating psychosocial research on issues surrounding altruism and bone marrow donation. Donna moved to Greenville in 2011 when she married her husband, Dr. William Haller.
VISTA Member, 2013-2014
Cristi was born in Los Angeles, California, and raised in Greer, South Carolina. She graduated from Clemson University in 2012 with a Bachelor’s in Political Science, and a minor in Spanish. As an undergraduate, Cristi served on the board of Latinos Unidos @ Clemson University as the Community Outreach Chair, where she promoted higher education by assisting Latino high school seniors through the college application process. Also during her undergraduate studies, Cristi was one of nine students chosen as a Clemson Community Scholar, a program designed to allow students to serve in the community while promoting civic engagement. After graduating, Cristi applied and was selected for a Public Policy Fellowship with the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute, a national nine-month fellowship program that seeks to produce more competent and competitive Latino professionals in public policy areas. After the fellowship in DC ended, Cristi moved back to South Carolina where she joined the Hispanic Alliance as the Program Coordinator and AmeriCorps Vista Member.
VISTA Member, 2012-2013
Joana is from Los Angeles, California. In 2010, she graduated from UCLA with a Bachelor’s in Economics and History. During her time as an undergraduate, she interned for Unite H.E.R.E, a local labor union, where she conducted market research and organized county-wide campaigns. She later partnered with the French American Chamber of Commerce, where she launched marketing campaigns in Mexico, Colombia, and Uruguay. At the same time, she worked for the Publications Department of the UCLA Cotsen Institute of Archaeology. After graduating she worked for the Ministry of Education in Cadiz, Spain as an ESL teacher. Shortly after returning to the United States, she joined the Hispanic Alliance as the Program Coordinator and AmeriCorps VISTA Member.