Personal statement: “Proud Ponceña and Puertorriqueña! Child of God! Brave, full time optimistic, and passionate communicator. I bring a smile, and I am committed to share love and hope as well to connect people and resources in a mutually beneficial direction.”
Vanessa Rodriguez serves both Hispanic Alliance and LiveWell Greenville as the Community Action Coordinator. She comes to this role with over twenty years of communications and public relations experience in government agencies, corporations, and nonprofit organizations.
Vanessa is originally from Ponce, Puerto Rico, and served her government as the Director of Public Relations for the Commission of Women’s Affairs for the Office of the Governor of Puerto Rico, and the Communications and Press Director for the Office of the Women Advocate for Puerto Rico’s Government.
Like many of her fellow Puertoriqueños, Vanessa and her family were hit hard by Hurricane Maria in 2017, which devastated the island’s economy and infrastructure. Though they tried to persevere in their home, they were drawn to Greenville after being invited by friends to visit. Over time her husband and she found jobs in the city, and their son, Lorenzo loves to play on the CESA soccer fields.
Vanessa’s life project is DESCALZA, a movement to share daily messages of optimism and faith with more than 8,000 Hispanic followers. Through social media, mentorship and social work she wants to ease the way for Hispanic women and their families, who are walking the challenging path she has already traveled.
Vanessa’s extensive cross-sector experience assisted her in the complex role as Community Action Coordinator for two Organizations. She coordinates efforts of multiple health and research institutions. Her strategies use the existing network of bi-cultural community health workers to survey the health behaviors and needs of Hispanic residents, returning vital information to participants and researchers at the same time.