Board of Directors

Jennifer Allen
Jennifer joined the League of Conservation Voters in April 2013 to develop a program aimed at building the voice and leadership Latino families and leaders in the fight against climate change. With grassroots community organizing programs operating in Arizona, Nevada, Colorado, New Mexico and Maryland, the program has become one of the largest national efforts focused on Latino communities.  For more than a decade, Jennifer was the founding Executive Director of the Border Action Network, then Arizona's largest immigrant and border community organization, where she developed successful state and national policy campaigns that were led by immigrant families.  Jennifer's prior experience includes economic and community development work with indigenous and rural communities throughout the southwest. She is an appointee to citizen advisory committees for the City of Tucson where she lives with her family. She has authored numerous reports and academic articles. She is a graduate of the University of Colorado in Boulder, CO.

Gabriela_Valdez.jpgGabriela Valdez
Vice Chair
Gabriela Valdez was born and raised in Hermosillo, Sonora, Mexico and moved to Tucson to attend her last years of high school. She received a Ph.D. in International Education & Global Perspectives from The University of Arizona, a Master’s degree in Education with a focus in Human Development from Northern Arizona University, and a Master’s of Arts in Language, Literature & Culture in the Hispanic World from Universidad de Alcalá de Henares. Gabriela has had the opportunity to work in the field of education, both k-12 and higher education, for the last 9 years in the United States, Mexico, Spain and the Dominican Republic. She currently serves as Programs & Services Coordinator at the Consortium for North American Higher Education Collaboration (CONAHEC). Previous to her current position, she was an International Program Coordinator and Academic Advisor at the Eller College of Management at the University of Arizona. Aside from serving as a board member for Las Adelitas, Gabriela also serves as a board member for the Council of International Higher Education and has participated in different task forces including the internationalization Task Force for the American Educational Research Association Higher Education Division and University of Arizona’s International Students Task Force. Gabriela’s dissertation centered on perceptions about classroom exclusion from Chinese international students studying in the U.S. and her research interest focuses on comparative and international higher education.


Michelle Aguilera
Past Chair
Michelle Aguilera is from Yuma, Arizona. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Anthropology and Mexican American Studies from the University of Arizona, and a Master's of Art's degree in the program Language, Reading, and Culture with a focus on early literacy and pedagogy.  She is currently a Ph.D. student in the University of Arizona College of Education in the Language, Reading, and Culture program working on Language policy and Education. She is a 2012 graduate of the Hispanic Leadership Institute, a Summer Research Institute Scholar, and a Peter Likins Fellow.  She has worked in the past with La Zona de Promesa researching ways to combat generational poverty by collaborating with parents, social organizations, private businesses and education advocates.  Michelle’s work has always dealt with education and education policy concerning Latino children. She is a published author with a piece in the Journal of Race, Ethnicity, and Education.  She coauthored a qualitative paper about the affects of state politics and policies on language for Latino students in high school.  She served as coach for the organization Public Achievement in Flagstaff, Arizona and has volunteered her time with both Save Ethnic Studies and Mi Familia Vota in Tucson, Arizona.

Laura_Enriquez.jpgLaura Enriquez
Secretary, Internal Communications 
Laura Enriquez is a Tucson native who attended University of Arizona. Her lifelong interest in Democratic politics became a profession while interning for the special election of Congressman Ron Barber. After serving as the Statewide Field Director for the pro-choice democratic committee Arizona List, she led the outreach efforts for the successful re-elections of State Representative Victoria Steele and Tucson City Council Member Regina Romero. In 2016 she managed the first campaign of State Representative Kirsten Engel. 

Manuel Guzman
Manuel Guzman is an 7th generation Arizonan, originally from the rural community of Superior. He moved to Tucson in 1998 while attending the University of Arizona for Religious Studies and a minor in Business Administration and Spanish. He has over 20 years of experience working with grassroots efforts in community mobilization, Xican@ culture preservation, and youth empowerment; serving as Chairperson of the City of Tucson's Human Relations Commission and Co-Chair of the Arizona César E. Chávez Holiday Coalition. Manny enjoys DJing parties and listening to live mariachi music.

Eva Carrillo DongEva.jpg
Board Member At-Large
Eva Carrillo Dong has worked in public service much of her life, and is currently the superintendent of the Pima Accomodation School District. She supervises the CAPE educational program at the Pima County Juvenile Detention Center and the Pima County Adult Detention Center, and has worked as a vocational rehabilitation counselor with the Department of Economic Services. Eva has a Bachelor’s degree in Secondary Education from the University of Arizona, a Master’s degree in Edcuational Leadership from Northern Arziona University and a Superintendent Certificate from the University of Phoenix. Eva is a Sunnyside Unified School District’s Governing Board Member.

Maricruz R. Ruiz
Board Member At-Large
Maricruz R. Ruiz is a founding member of Las Adelitas.  She worked on the bylaws committee and the candidate review committee when Las Adelitas was first formed.  Maricruz has been involved in community activism since she first came to Tucson back in the 1990s. Maricruz received a Bachelor of Arts in History from the University of Arizona and a Master of Science in Mexican American Studies, with a focus on Latino Health, also from the University of Arizona. She resides in Sahuarita with her husband Manuel and their children Athena, Joaquin and Emma.  There is nothing more important to Maricruz than family and community.  She is proud to serve as a member of the Board in an organization that has done so much for Latina empowerment.