Unlimited Potential's Professional Staff
Lorraine Moya Salas joined UP in April 2009. She earned her PhD in Social Work from Arizona State University in 2007 and has been teaching at the university level for several years. Lorraine is excited to be back in community practice. She has 20 years direct practice and managerial experience and is committed to culturally grounded social work practice.
Toireasa Corrales earned her MSW from Arizona State University with a focus on Public Policy, Program Administration and Community Organizing. She joined Unlimited Potential in October 2014 but she is no stranger to the center. Toireasa interned with UP while perusing her Bachelor in Social Work degree in 2013 and is happy to return to the center where much needed and valuable services are provided to Latino families. She comes to UP with several years experience in the field of social work, program planning and program facilitation with a focus on families in the community of South Phoenix.
Adult Literacy Program
Sandra Amarillas, Senior ESL Instructor, has been a core instructor with UP for more than 15 years. Her connection to the center began almost 20 years ago when she received her GED from UP. Sandra teaches the first-year English class, coordinates family events and celebrations, organizes educational workshops, and facilitates participants' connection with social services.
Veronica Duarte, Second Year ESL instructor, is a former ESL class participant who fell in love with Unlimited Potential and its noble mission when she was a student of the center years ago. Veronica recently received her Associates Degree of Arts from Phoenix Community College and is working towards a Masters Degree in Art. She served as a volunteer at Childrenís Hospital for a year and worked as a Teacherís Assistant for two years at Bethel Preschool. Today, Veronica describes herself as a warrior for social justice and childrenís rights. She feels privileged to have the opportunity to help families develop their English skills, cultural awareness and healthy eating habits in order to create a happier, healthier, more comfortable and meaningful life.
Robert B. Decker, GED Lead Instructor, has an MA in Spanish Language and Culture and his adult education certificate. He has taught for 26 years in metro Los Angeles and Phoenix, where he served primarily the Latino community teaching language and family education. Currently, Mr. Decker is a full-time faculty member for the Maricopa County Community College District, teaching Adult Basic Education, English and Spanish. Mr. Decker has also been the lead GED instructor at UP for the last 3 years, providing general education classes. Currently, he mentors all center GED instructors.
Early Childhood Development
Maria Rivera has been the preschool teacher for more than 12 years. Before joining UP, she provided early childhood education at her church. Her connection with the center began when she was a participant in the English-as-a-second-language classes and GED program at UP. Maria is currently attending South Mountain Community College, working on her early childhood education certificate. She also raised 6 children who are now young adults, in college themselves and/or beginning their careers in medicine and in education.
Graciela Medrano teaches in the toddler classroom. She too is a UP graduate and has been taking early childhood education classes at South Mountain College. She provides structured activities for the children to develop their cognitive, linguistic, motor and social skills.
Irene Colmenero like Maria and Graciela, is a former UP participant and has worked at UP for several years. She provides like Graciela, a nurturing environment for the toddlers that promotes brain development and she works collaboratively with parents to foster the development of children.