Accepting her new position as Casita Maria Center for Arts & Education's Executive Director, Ms. Morales spoke passionately, "The changing demographics and landscape of the Bronx presents inspiring opportunities and challenges for Casita Maria. Our organization's mission is central to the future of this unique borough, to ending the cycle of persistent poverty and inequality, through the development of our young people. We are a unique resource for families, helping to empower citizens, especially newly arrived immigrants."
Ms. Morales has decades of experience in community-based programming and management. For over thirteen years, Ms. Morales served as Vice President of Education and Training at Planned Parenthood of New York City (PPNYC). In this role, she expanded the education department from 18 to 60 professionals and grew the number of young people and families served from 10,000 to over 25,000.
Ms. Morales previously developed her expertise in working with underserved populations at community-based organizations such as the Committee for Hispanic Children and Families, the Hispanic AIDS Forum, and Morris Heights Health Center in the Bronx. Her national experience includes working in Puerto Rico and in US border communities with the March of Dimes, and her international experience includes managing offices and programming in South Africa and the Dominican Republic with PPNYC. Ms. Morales was also the visionary, co-founder, and Executive Director of Casa Atabex Ache, which served thousands of women and girls in the South Bronx. Artists who have worked with Ms. Morales, including Mariposa, BombaYo, and Circa 95 are all enthusiastic about her return to the Bronx and her leadership role at Casita Maria.
Ms. Morales has been published frequently writing on health and the Latino community. Currently she is a guest columnist for El Diario La Prensa. Her many awards and citations include the Mujer Destacada from El Diario La Prensa, Groundbreaking Latina from Catalina magazine, and the Union Square Award from the Fund for the City of New York. She is a graduate of Hunter College, earning her B.S. in Community Health Education and her masters at Audrey Cohen College in Human Services Administration. She is a former Ford Foundation Fellow of the Latino Leadership Opportunity Program and is a 2004 Research Fellow of the Robert Bowne Foundation. She also completed the We Are The Bronx Fellowship and Mujeres de HACE, a women's professional development and leadership program.