HOLY CROSS MINISTRIES STAFF
Emmie is a passionate, mission-driven leader with a 30-year history working in healthcare in a variety of clinical and administrative roles including mental health, cancer care, and senior services. She is a licensed clinical social worker, earning her MSW from the University of Utah along with a graduate certification in Mediation and Conflict Resolution. Emmie is skilled in non-profit organizations serving on several local not-for-profit organization boards, enjoys advocacy and public speaking, and promotes staff development and team building.
Matthew has spent the majority of his career in Healthcare Economics helping organizations in a “Story Teller” role, creating visual representations of data to unlock hidden information. Matthew is an advocate for transparent analytical processes and is always willing to share his own intellectual property for the good of his peers and colleagues.
Some of Matthew’s proud career moments include providing decision support to the Utah Legislature on healthcare-related bills through his previous role as Director of Analytics at PEHP. He also worked to strengthen Managed Care Analytics at United Healthcare as a Regional Director of Healthcare Economics. Matthew also served as a member of the Utah Transparency Advisory Panel (UTAP) acting in a consultative role to the State Health Department concerning the use of the Utah All Payer Claims Data (APCD).
Matthew currently holds a B.A. in Business Economics and an MBA with an emphasis in Healthcare Management. One of Matthew’s undergraduate research projects examined the relationship between professional musician earnings and education level/years of experience/hours of practice. Matthew’s graduate work included a consultancy project for a prominent Utah hospital where he discovered directors of the hospital were using a flawed method for explaining away budget variances within their departments, resulting in true overages for which there was no accountability; his work included a solution to fix the problem, allowing for stronger transparency and accountability in the process.
Maria joined HCM’s Development team in January of 2017. She brings eight years of private sector organizational liaison experience, as well as in-depth data analysis and research knowledge to help advance HCM’s development strategies. Originally from Moscow, Russia, Ms. Mullahi earned her bachelors in Mass Communications and her Masters of Public Administration from the University of Utah and has been living in Salt Lake City, UT since 2000. Maria loves spending time with her family, she enjoys hiking and exploring the outdoors.
Becky joined Holy Cross Ministries in September 2019. As Data Analyst for HCM, Becky wrangles data to find stories in the numbers. Her professional IT career spans software development, infrastructure engineering and data science. Back in her University of Utah days, Becky completed BS degrees in electrical engineering and physics. Her post-university studies have taken her into the fields of archetypal psychology, Eastern philosophies, history, mythology and storytelling. Becky loves a well-told story be it a traditional folktale or a data analytics story.
Lauren joined HCM as the Communications Specialist in August 2019. Prior to that, she spent several years as a writer, content manager, and digital marketer at Deseret News and Utah Humanities. Lauren earned an MA in English from Brigham Young University in 2016 and taught freshman composition courses during her graduate program. In her free time, she enjoys reading, baking, running, and knitting.
Geraldine is from Venezuela originally, where she studied law and worked in marketing at her family’s printing business. She moved to the United States three years ago and has worked in early childhood education and community outreach since then. Geraldine is very committed to her spiritual growth. She meditates every day and focuses on incorporating peace, kindness and compassion into her daily life. She also loves to read, eat and spend quality time with family and friends. Geraldine became interested in working at HCM when she recognized a significant need for support and assistance among Utah’s Hispanic community. She feels very driven to find ways to connect to this community with whom she shares a culture and so much more.
Margarite joined HCM’s team as Promotora Coordinator in January of 2017. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree from the University of Utah and an S.S.W. license. Ms. Allen has over 10 years of experience working with victims of domestic violence/sexual assault, as well as a wealth of knowledge working in a community health settings. She firmly believes in empowering women through education and healthy lifestyles. Margarite enjoys spending time with her family and friends in her spare time. Weather permitting, you are likely to find her outdoors, riding her bike (she has completed several century rides to help raise money for cancer research.)
Ivonne specializes in trauma treatment and has experience working with child and adult survivors of domestic abuse and other types of trauma. She earned both a bachelor’s degree in psychology and a Master of Social Work degree from the University of Utah. Ivonne started college with plans to become a high school math teacher. But during her first student teaching assignment, she realized she was much more interested in helping her students improve their mental health, so she decided to pursue social work. Ivonne is from Chile originally and immigrated to the United States at age 29. She loves being able to draw on her own experience as an immigrant while helping clients and appreciates that Holy Cross Ministries offers wraparound services to assist clients with a wide variety of basic needs. In her free time, Ivonne enjoys spending time in nature, especially near lakes, rivers and oceans.
Jakelinne has been involved with the Sisters of the Holy Cross as a member of the Holy Cross Associates of Salt Lake City since 2015 and is currently part of their leadership group. She is an active laywoman and has engaged in different volunteer programs at the Diocese of Salt Lake City and the Cathedral of the Madeleine since 2007. She participated as a member of the Pastoral Plan Steering Committee at the diocese and as a member of the V Encuentro process, contributing to training the delegates of V Encuentro and aiding in the processes of evangelization, consultation and mission in parishes throughout Utah.
Jakelinne studied hotel administration and specialized in small business management at Externado de Colombia University in Colombia. She also has an associate degree in humanities from Salt Lake Community College. Jakelinne enjoys studying and taking courses to expand her knowledge as well as traveling to visit new places. She is also committed to promoting women to important leadership roles and supporting them as entrepreneurs.
Esperanza Arias joined Holy Cross Ministries in April 1999. As a Promotora she helps people in the community by giving them information and referring them to the different services in the community.
Esperanza recently won the Familes Conexion award. As a Promotora Esperanza also teaches regular prenatal health classes and provides case management, support group, health access, and referral services through Holy Cross Ministries’ partnership at South Main Clinic. She also conducts home visits for seniors – giving them emotional and spiritual support.
Esperanza is the main facilitator of the program “NEFF- Niños Especiales Familias Fuertes” giving support to families with children with special needs. Esperanza was assigned to work at the South Main Clinic where she develops this program and strong relationship with parents and clinic staff.
Esperanza loves to dance, walk and spend time with her friends to talk and taste a delicious Colombia Coffee!
Sister Veronica A. Fajardo, CSC-LCSW
Sister Veronica A. Fajardo
Sister Veronica is a Sister of the Holy Cross and a bilingual/bi-cultural counselor. She has worked with survivors of trauma, families and with non-violent parenting and support groups. Sister Veronica has ministered in Utah, Ghana, California and North Carolina. Prior to being a counselor, Sister Veronica was an educator for twelve years and has experience working with children who have exceptional needs.
Carlos is the father of two beautiful daughters. He has been working at Holy Cross Ministries for two years and is a Community Health Worker/Promotor. Carlos is also a first-generation college student working towards his bachelor’s degree in political science at the University of Utah. He has a passion for helping those that need help.
Maren Outsen, CSW
Maren earned her Master of Social Work degree from the University of Utah. She is experienced helping youth with eating disorders, behavioral concerns, trauma, depression and anxiety. Maren recently worked in a health care setting and is passionate about helping adults, adolescents and kids manage various mental, physical, spiritual and emotional needs through an integrated health model. She is passionate about research and aspires to help families build trust and unity. In her free time, Maren enjoys hiking in the mountains, singing and snowboarding.
Tetea holds a Bachelor of Social Work degree from the University of Utah and has over 25 years of experience serving as a community health worker (promotora) in different fields and organizations in Utah. She loves to teach, conduct trainings and share her knowledge and skills with others. Tetea graduated with a degree in communications from the Universidad Javeriana in Bogota, Colombia, and her life changed tremendously when she decided to start working with nonprofit organizations and study social work. For years, she has worked with underserved individuals, helping them focus on their futures, get ahead, overcome obstacles and find hope in life.
Tetea’s passions include cooking, being with family and friends and reading good books. She also loves dancing, singing and playing the drums.
Sister Mary Ann Pajakowski, CSC
Sister Mary Ann Pajakowski, CSC
Sister Mary Ann Pajakowski CSC hails from South Bend, Indiana. Sister met the Sisters of the Holy Cross while attending St. Joseph’s High School in South Bend. After graduating from Saint Mary’s College, Notre Dame IN, Sister taught social studies courses in Catholic high schools in Illinois and Indiana for 24 years and received Masters Degrees in American Studies from the University of Minnesota and in administration for non profits from the University of Notre Dame. While teaching at St. Joseph’s HS in South Bend, Sister Mary Ann began to volunteer in the summers to teach religion in the migrant camps in Northern Indiana and Southwest Michigan. As migrants began to “settle out” Sister Mary Ann began to work with Latino youth new to South Bend schools and city life. She and Sister Suzanne Brennan CSC moved to live above La Casa de Amistad, a youth center founded by the Holy Cross priests and community leaders in South Bend and continued working with youth and their parents with Girls Scouts, religious ed, community organizing and also hosted lay volunteers from the Sisters of the Holy Cross Associates program who lived with her at La Casa, along with a refugee family from Cambodia and graduate students from the University of Notre Dame. When Holy Cross Ministries was started in Utah, Sister left South Bend for Utah, working with the education departments at Holy Cross Ministries and later for Catholic Community Services at the Wiegand Center in Salt Lake providing programs for homeless preschoolers in shelter and transitional housing. Sister returned to Holy Cross Ministries to resume education work in afterschool, summer, school readiness and Parents as Teachers programming. Sister Mary Ann grew up in South Bend with her parents, John and Irene, older brother Bill and younger sister Margy. Dad and Bill have died; mom is 98 and doing well at St. Paul’s Retirement Center in South Bend and Margy lives in Chicago. Nieces and nephews and their families are in and around South Bend. Sister Mary Ann enjoys gardening, hiking, reading, skiing, camping, and anything outside. Dog Bro shares the house and last year Sister Mary Ann started a beehive in the back yard to support pollination and the bee population. Sister serves on the Sisters of the Holy Cross Congregational Justice Committee and is a member of the Saint Mary’s College Notre Dame IN Board of Trustees. She is a member of St. Mary’s Parish in Park City.
Miriam is the School Readiness Program Coordinator and oversees HCM’s preschool classroom. She began working for Holy Cross Ministries in 2007 as part of the After School Program team. Shortly thereafter she undertook the preschool project now known as the School Readiness Program that takes place at St. Mary’s Church in Park City. She has always had a great passion for working in early childhood education and enjoys working with the community of Park City and serving the children and their families. She was born and raised in Mexico City; she graduated in Early Childhood Education from the National Autonomous University of Mexico “UNAM.” She lives in Salt Lake City with her husband and daughter.
Lizeette joined Holy Cross Ministries in February 2018 as the Community Health Worker in Summit and Wasatch Counties. She transferred to the education department in September 2018, where she is now the Parents as Teachers Program Coordinator and oversees an evidence-based home visiting model that supports parents and child caregivers from the prenatal stages to age three, encouraging school readiness. Lizeette earned a BA in Spanish and linguistics from San Diego State University and an MA in educational administration from Concordia University Irvine. She has over 20 years of experience in the education field, and her mission has always been to assist underserved communities, helping them access equal opportunities, feel a sense of belonging and reach their full potentials. Lizeette is also involved in many community organizations, including the HCM Mission Committee, Early Childhood Alliance, Latino Mental Health Affairs, Summit County Mental Wellness Alliance Executive Council, Intermountain Park City Hospital Community Relations Committee, PC Tots Board, People's Health Clinic Board, Jewish Family Services Board, PC Unidos and Wasatch Latino Coalition.
Sofia is a teacher in HCM’s School Readiness Program. She believes that working with kids is the best way to shape young minds and create opportunities for fruitful futures. She has worked in the education field since 2008 and loves learning and sharing with children every day.
Ivoone began teaching at HCM’s School Readiness Program in October of 2017. Bertha Ivoone Chapa (she goes by Ivoone) is originally from Peru, where she attended and graduated from the National University of Trujillo with a Bachelor’s in Education. Ms. Chapa’s studies also included English and German languages. Ivoone loves working with children and had over 3 years of experience working with kids from ages 3 to 12 before she joined Holy Cross’ education team. She is fully dedicated to her students and feels as if she is the learning from them on the daily basis. In her spare time, Ivoone enjoys reading, watching movies, spending time with her friends and dancing (she has taught traditional Peruvian dance.)
Hilda joined Holy Cross Ministries in 2012, working in the After-School Program. By 2013 she was coordinating parent outreach in the School Readiness Program where she developed a love for the families in the program. Her role included giving parents the resources that they needed in health and recreation as well as overseeing program registrations. In 2016 she had the opportunity to become Holy Cross Ministries’ first Parent Educator and is currently working with 20 parents and their children (ages 0-3 years old). To Hilda, working with these families is a passion, as she said: “I think I can make a difference, even if it is just a small one, I know that it is huge to these families. I can already see the difference.”
Lorina is the Director of Immigration Programs, Senior Attorney for Holy Cross Ministries. She is an accomplished attorney with 20 years of experience in U.S. immigration law, beginning with the recruitment and retention of foreign national employees, to the implementation of immigration strategies and policies, all the way through U.S. Department of Homeland Security compliance investigations.
In 2003, Lorina moved to Utah from a law firm in New York City to join a prominent university and national research institution. In her position as Associate General Counsel, she centralized and managed all immigration and compliance matters for the university and affiliated medical school. Lorina established her own law firm in 2010 where she focused on business immigration, including temporary employment authorization visas, employment-based green cards and matters involving F-1 international students and J-1 researchers and scholars. Lorina also has expertise with marriage-based green cards, affirmative asylum and citizenship and naturalization applications.
As an active Member of the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA), Lorina has been elected Chapter Chair and served on the AILA Board of Governors. She has also served on AILA’s Verification & Documentation Liaison Committee and the AILA / U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service Nebraska Service Center Liaison Committee. Lorina frequently engages in pro bono legal services and community engagement. She is excited about shifting to nonprofit work where she will support the mission of Holy Cross Ministries.
Maribel began working at Holy Cross Ministries in April of 1998 as a Promotora based in the Holy Cross Ministries office of Midvale, UT. In December of 1998, she was transferred to the South Main Clinic in Salt Lake City to initiate HCM’s Promotora Program within a clinical setting; this was a pilot program under the partnership of Karen Buchi, MD, the University of Utah Pediatrics Program and the Salt Lake County Health Department Prenatal Program. Maribel transitioned to the Director of the Promotora Program in January of 2004, as well as becoming a Legal Assistance in the Immigration Department of HCM working alongside attorney Sister Sharlet Wagner with the commencement of the U Visa program. Maribel became a BIA Accredited Legal Representative, under the sponsorship of HCM, in March of 2010 allowing her to file and legally represent clients, thus ensuring the continuation of the U Visa program at HCM.
Noah is a graduate of West Virginia University with a B.A. in political science and philosophy and a graduate of West Virginia University College of Law, where he served as Chief Justice of the Moot Court Board and was a member of the Ethics Committee. Noah previously worked for the West Virginia Attorney General’s office, first as a Consumer Advocate and later as an Assistant Attorney General. Noah worked for the firm Cipriani & Werner before moving to Utah.
Noah has previously lived the immigrant experience while living in Canada and has close family members who are immigrants to the U.S. He is passionate about providing legal representation to the immigrant community of Utah and the Salt Lake City area. He relishes any opportunity to improve his Spanish and Portuguese, loves tres leches cake and listens to Brazilian music.
Lorena is currently a student in Salt Lake Community College’s Legal Studies Program, where she is studying to become a paralegal. Lorena has lived in Utah since age 11, but she is from Mexico originally and immigrated to Arizona when she was five years old.
Lorena’s first interaction with Holy Cross Ministries was as a client receiving legal immigration assistance. Once Lorena received her visa and learned of a job opening in HCM’s Legal Immigration Program, she was eager to share her knowledge and draw on her own experience to help others with the immigration process. She understands firsthand the feelings of confusion and frustration immigrant families can face, and she is happy to be in a position where she can help and empower these clients. When she isn’t working or studying, Lorena is kept very busy by her three-year-old son, who loves watching movies and going to the park.
Partially Accredited DOJ
Ingrid joined Holy Cross Ministries as a Legal Representative in January 2020 with previous experience working as a domestic violence victim advocate for West Valley City and as a paralegal with the Legal Aid Society of Salt Lake. She has a degree in paralegal studies from Salt Lake Community College and has been living in the Salt Lake area since 1990, although she is from Guatemala originally.
Ingrid came to Holy Cross Ministries because she was very interested in the broad range of services HCM offers clients and loves working with women committed to empowering other women. In her free time, Ingrid enjoys making jewelry, meditating, gardening and going on nature walks with her dog.
Partially Accredited DOJ
Teresa began working for Holy Cross Ministries in 2001, helping individuals navigate the health care system as a Promotora and also providing legal immigration assistance. As of September 2019, she works solely with the Legal Immigration Program as a legal representative. In both areas, Teresa has had the pleasure of serving families by informing them of the resources they have access to in the community or by assisting them with the immigration process. She feels blessed to have contributed to HCM’s mission in this way, helping individuals and families achieve independence and total participation in the community.
Teresa was born in El Salvador. As a teenager, she migrated to Costa Rica as a refugee, where she formed her family. She graduated with a degree in social work from the University of Costa Rica. Teresa loves Utah and enjoys dancing, reading and spending time with friends.
Jessica has been involved with Holy Cross Ministries since 2003 when she began volunteering as an interpreter for the prenatal health clinic at the People Health Center, then at the After School Program in 2005. Jessica’s involvement grew when she became part of Holy Cross Ministries’ Mission and Planning Committee in December 2010 and later on the Board of trustees in January 2012, as a member of the Hispanic community.
Jessica’s passion for Holy Cross Ministries’ service was so big that she started as an employee on September 2012, bringing her experience as a Client Support Specialist, and since January 2015 as a Legal Assistant supporting her community in the immigration Department.
She says: “I love coming to work and getting the opportunity of becoming part of the great impact Holy Cross Ministries has in our communities.”
Samantha is currently a student at Salt Lake Community College studying to become an architect. Her goals are to learn about sustainable design and ultimately give back to the community with economic/affordable housing options. She first heard about Holy Cross and the services it provides through a family member who had received legal help throughout their naturalization process. Because of this, Samantha is very grateful for the opportunity to work with Holy Cross Ministries and learn about more ways to serve people in her community. When she’s not working or at school, Samantha enjoys reading, going out with friends, trying new foods and spending time with family.