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MEET THE LIP STAFF

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Julie Laurence, LMSW
Senior Assistant Vice President

Julie Laurence comes to LIP with many years of experience working with girls and young women, with a focus on creating safe and nurturing, gender responsive communities, and youth leadership development. 



 

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Beatriz Coronel, MA
Assistant Vice President

Beatriz Coronel is a Suicide Prevention trainer. For 15 years, she has developed community based mental health prevention and intervention programs, and initiatives for Latina teens and their families in an effort to decrease their risk factors, and maladaptive behaviors, while increasing their protective factors.

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Chasity Ortiz
Senior Case Manager, Bronx


Chasity Ortiz is the Senior Case Manager. She has been a vital member of LIP since 2014. She is passionate about working in the Mental Health field with at risk families. Her goal is to develop a sanctuary of protective factors and coping mechanisms to uplift the youth and help them build resilience and a successful life. She enjoys developing cathartic programming that empowers the youth to externalize their feelings. 

Email: cortiz@comunilife.org

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Agatha Taveras 

 Bronx Case Manager

Agatha Taveras is the Case Manager for Life is Precious – Bronx. She has a Bachelor’s in English from the University of Pennsylvania. She has worked in the social work field since 2015. She is passionate about empowering people to advocate for themselves and to build the skills to create a more fulfilling life. She is excited to be working at LIP to help Latina teens discover ways to improve their mental health and well-being both now, and in their bright futures. 

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Linda Balloqui-Smith 
Poughkeepsie Program Coordinator

Linda (she/her) is a Dominican-Armenian American dynamic creative arts psychotherapist and activist, born and raised in Brooklyn. She joins the LIP as Program Coordinator in Poughkeepsie with enthusiasm and a deep commitment to further valuing the lives of Latina teens. Linda has been working therapeutically with children, adolescents and families with a particular devotion to the Latinx community for over two decades. She applies a creative and mindful approach to build on strengths and confront challenges. 

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Erika Contreras
Queens Program Coordinator

Erika is pursuing a master’s in Psychology at Long Island University. She is inspired daily by the Latino community, and her goal is to help families and their teens succeed socially, behaviorally, and emotionally. Erika is pursuing a Master's in Psychology and would like to earn a Ph.D. in Psychology.

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Altagracia Montilla
Poughkeepsie Case Manager

Altagracia is the Poughkeepsie LIP Case Manager. She is passionate about helping Latina youth overcome suicide ideation by providing counseling and social work services. She is a graduate of John Jay College with a degree in Criminal Justice & a double minor in Psychology and Law. As a former LIP member, she has strived, thrived and survived! 

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Kimberly Ortega, MSW
Brooklyn Program Coordinator

Kimberly is an Afro-Latina from the Dominican Republic, born and raised in Brooklyn. She graduated with her MSW in 2021 and is passionate about the social work/mental health field and the work that comes with it. She is a true believer that when given the opportunity and support, communities can be empowered to overcome any struggle in order to achieve their goals. Her goal is to always provide the people that she works with an open and judgment free space to celebrate the highs, and learn how to navigate the lows.

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Julie Perez
LIP Service Coordinator

Julie Perez is the LIP Service Coordinator. She has been part of the Comunilife family for over 10 years. She is passionate about serving her community, and ensuring that the LIP participants, and their families receive the support they need. Julie’s work at LIP ranges from data collection, to coordinating intake appointments, and keeping our sites functioning.

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