Who We Are

Helping first generation Latino students achieve their goals.

Our Mission

Increase college enrollment and completion for Latino youth who are first in their family to go to college by providing guidance and access to opportunity through education, advocacy, and collaboration.

Our Vision

We strive to ensure that all Latino youth have the opportunity to earn a college degree and better position themselves for a more promising future.

Higher education paves the way for a better and brighter future, especially in a rapidly evolving economy. LUCA seeks to level the playing field by partnering with first-generation Latino youth to help them realize their potential and work towards achieving their dreams. Through advocacy, community education and student workshops, LUCA promotes college enrollment and prepares students for their journey to college graduation.

Planning for college and making college a successful, affordable experience can be a challenge. Our programs educate, guide and support students through the complex process, including submitting applications, qualifying for financial aid and admissions. We provide bilingual, culturally-relevant assistance to help Latino students and their families achieve their dreams.

The LUCA Team

Latino U College Access was formed by a group of dedicated and experienced professionals with exemplary careers in non-profit management, business and education.

We each share a commitment and passion to the mission of LUCA. Together with the assistance of volunteers, community partners and collaborators, we are committed to ensuring that Latino youth attain equity and opportunity for a brighter future.

Board of Directors

    J. Federico Barreto
    Plymouth Tube
    Chief Financial Officer

    Lisa M. Bell Treasurer
    US Bank National Association
    Vice President

    Patricia Bogoya-Bravo
    PepsiCo
    Executive Director

    Shirley Acevedo Buontempo
    Latino U College Access
    Founder & Chief Executive Officer

    Shawn Edwards
    Bloomberg LP
    Chief Technology Officer

    Al Gutierrez – Chairman
    Jones Lang LaSalle Inc. (JLL)
    Managing Director

    Christine Louvet
    Louvet Consulting
    Consultant

    Jane Matluck
    Attorney
    Community Volunteer

    Laura Martinez
    Morgan Stanley
    Executive Director

    Stephen Moroney – Vice Chairman
    TD Bank
    SVP, Regional Manager

    Rafael Palomino
    Palomino Restaurant Group
    Executive Chef & Proprietor

    Aldo J. Polak
    Cisneros
    Chief Investment & Development Officer

    Kenneth G. Ray
    Tulis Wilkes Huff & Geiger, LLP
    Counsel

    Matthew Searles
    Merritt Healthcare Holdings, LLC
    Partner

    Rodrigo Trelles Zabala
    UBS O’Connor
    Managing Director

    Nathalie Vanheusden
    Oliver Wyman
    Global Head, Executive Assistant Services

Intern Opportunities

We welcome and value interns to support our staff and programs.  Interns will gain valuable work experience while helping achieve our mission.

Staff

Shirley Acevedo Buontempo, MPA, Founder & CEO
Jane Matluck, Interim Deputy Director
Jessica Timms, Development & Communications Manager
Julie DelValle Nunn, Operations Manager
Elena Pellegrini, College Access Program Manager
Perla Rodriguez, College Success Program Manager
Gabby Camacho, Communications & Volunteer Coordinator
Debbie Shiffman, College Coach Advisor
Marc Finder, Data Manager
Denisse Gayosso-Lucano, Program Coordinator
Marco Nieto, Program Intern

Advisory Council

Andrea Beltran Ruggiero, MPA
LUCA Founding Board Member
VP of Community Health
Open Door Family Medial Center

James Cotto
Senior Vice President
Morgan Stanley Wealth Management

Amy Harwood, MPA
Candidate,
Baruch College Marxe School of Public Affairs

Janine Ting Jansen
HR Business Partner & Analyst
S&P Global

Hilda H. Polanco, CPA
Founder & CEO
Fiscal Management Associates, LLC

Cynthia Rivera Weissblum
President & CEO
Edwin Gould Foundation

Dr. Rebecca Tekula
Executive Director
Wilson Center for Social Enterprise, Pace University

Joe Torres
News Anchor & Reporter
WABC TV

Student Advisory Group

Our Student Advisory Group shares their insight and ideas for programs and participates in student outreach. This dynamic group of high school and college students, both Latino and non-Latino, is our link to the youth we serve and give an authentic voice to all we do.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Latino U College Access a 501 (c) (3) organization?

Latino U College Access is a registered 501 (c) (3) nonprofit organization. All contributions are tax-deductible to the extent allowed by law.

Where do you provide services?

We offer workshops and volunteer “college coaching” programs in participating school districts in Westchester County, New York. We are available to host information sessions at other locations when scheduling permits.

How can I refer someone who needs your services?

Please email a request and provide the student’s information, grade, school and the town / city they live in to us at info@latinou.org