Founder & Chair, Dream Project
Dr. Emma Violand-Sánchez was a chair and member of the Arlington Public Schools Board from 2008 to 2016. Since 1998, Dr. Violand-Sánchez served as an adjunct faculty at Georgetown University in the Linguistics Department. She retired in July 2007 as the Supervisor of English for Speakers of Other Languages/High Intensity Language Training (ESOL/HILT) Office, PK-12, Arlington Public Schools, Arlington, VA. She received her B.S. and M.S. from Radford University and her doctorate in education from the George Washington University. Dr. Violand-Sánchez has expertise in education policy, curriculum development, family involvement, multicultural education, language minority education, and learning styles. She has authored several publications on these topics.
Dr. Violand-Sánchez is an active community member and civic leader. For eight years she served as a member of the Northern Virginia Community College Board representing Arlington County. Dr. Violand-Sánchez is founder and president of the Dream Project. She was responsible for initiating Project Family, the bilingual GED programs that benefit the Latino community. She received a senior scholar Fulbright Award as a consultant for educational reform in Bolivia. She is also the recipient of the James Hunter III Human Rights Award, Mexican American Legal Defense Fund -Community Service Award, Virginia Community College System Award for College Board Exemplary Service, Notable Woman of Arlington Award, and American Association of University Fellow Award. On January 2017, she was named Washingtonian of the Year.
Vice Chair, Dream Project
Jane has a long and committed interest in advocating for children and tackling issues that affect them. She has served on the boards of the Steven Greenwood Childhood Cancer Foundation, SOS Children’s Villages USA, the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation Washington DC Chapter, Educare DC, and the College of William and Mary Washington Council. Following a career in events management, she worked in secondary education for 10 years. In 2013, she received her master’s from the Counseling and Development Program at George Mason University, which focuses on multiculturalism, social justice, international advocacy, and leadership. During the course of her research and studies, Jane’s commitment to the educational, social, psychological, physical and spiritual needs of individuals, families and communities was strengthened.
Jane has served on the Board of the Dream Project for four years as the Board’s Vice Chair and chair of the Fundraising Committee for three years. During this time, she has helped the Dream Project increase its revenue by 225% and has facilitated the process of migrating the organization’s data from its old database system to Salesforce, which will help the Dream Project increase its fundraising capability as well as better serve its students and families. During the past year, Jane has overseen the Dream Project’s work with a fundraising consultant, which will help the organization bolster its fundraising strategy — developing a work plan, devising cultivation strategies, and identifying potential new foundation, corporate, and individual/major donor supporters. She has also worked closely with a consulting team to help the Dream Project write its 2019-2022 Strategic Plan. In 2018, Jane received the Joan White Grassroots Volunteer Service Award from Volunteer Alexandria in recognition of the time, energy and skills she has committed to forward the mission of the Dream Project.
Treasurer, Dream Project
Julie Zalkind, PhD, is the daughter of immigrants who benefited from mentoring and financial aid in college. She is a mathematician by training, president of a commercial real estate investment company, and has served the community on the boards of the Donaldson Run Recreation Association, the Clarendon Alliance, the Mosaic Theater, and as president of Beth Chai Jewish Humanist Congregation. She lives in Arlington with her husband, a Wakefield grad, two dogs, and a cat. Her sons, both graduates of Arlington Public Schools, live across different oceans.
Secretary, Dream Project
William Mark Habeeb is Professor of Global Politics and Security at the Georgetown University School of Foreign Service and president of Habeeb Associates, LLC, a consulting firm that provides analysis and advice on the U.S. foreign policy process, the bilateral and multilateral aid industry, and international trade policy. He is the author of several scholarly books, numerous articles, and a multi-volume social studies reference series on nations of the world targeted for middle grade and high school students. His first novel was published in 2021. Earlier in his career, Mark was foreign policy assistant to former senator Gary Hart, director of research at a Washington think tank, consultant to the United Nations, and vice president of several Washington-based consulting firms. Mark was born and raised in Alabama as the son of a Lebanese immigrant and the grandson of a Cuban immigrant. He is a fellow of the Middle East Studies Association, a member of the Board of Virginia Humanities, and a member of the Society for the Psychological Study of Social Issues and the Authors Guild. He also serves on the Steering Committee of the Arlington County Democratic Committee. Mark received his BA from Georgetown University and his MA and PhD from Johns Hopkins University, and also studied at the University of Sussex and the Washington Center for Psychoanalysis. Mark and his wife, Wendy Mills, have lived in Arlington for over 30 years; their son, Noah, was educated in Arlington Public Schools and is a graduate of Tufts University.
Horatio Alger Association
Dawn received a Dual Master’s Degree from the University of Kent in Brussels in International Conflict and Security and Virginia Tech in Public and International Affairs. She also received a B.A. from Virginia Tech in Political Science. Throughout these studies and her time living, studying, and working in Brussels and Hong Kong, she gained a deep interest in immigration, refugees and education.
After graduating with her second master’s, Dawn went to work for the Horatio Alger Association administering scholarships and supporting partnerships and scholar services. This gave her the skills and expertise she needed to join the Dream Project as a board member in July 2018, where she now assists with the scholarship program, annual Summit, and other events.
Dawn currently works at the National Association of Medicaid Directors managing their data systems, administering surveys, and assisting with the leadership program and events.
Dr. Kristine Gloria joined the Aspen Digital team in 2016. Currently, Kristine leads the development of the Emergent and Intelligent Technologies Initiative, which includes the Roundtable on Artificial Intelligence. Prior to joining the Aspen Institute, Kristine served as a visiting researcher for the Internet Policy Research Initiative housed within the Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Lab (CSAIL) at MIT in Cambridge, MA. Kristine also held a position as a Privacy Research Fellow with the Startup Policy Lab (SPL) and a fellowship with the Center for Society, Technology and Policy at UC-Berkeley. Her work focused on privacy-by-design and municipal drone policymaking with the city of San Francisco.
Outside of academia, Kristine has held a variety of positions both in public and private industry. From 2010-2012, Kristine served as the Deputy Legislative Director for TX-Representative Eddie Lucio III in Brownsville, Texas. There she specialized in environmental and education policy initiatives. Kristine also has extensive experience as a communications professional representing Fortune 500 companies in the tech sector, like Microsoft, AMD and LifeSize Communications. Her public relations experience includes media relations, storytelling, executive leadership training, new business acquisition, and social media strategy.
Henry Mejia-Villena is a Yorktown High School Graduate. He graduated from Bucknell University with a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering in 2015. As a mechanical engineer specializing in HVAC design, Henry works at GHT Limited, an MEP Consulting Engineering firm located in Arlington.
Mr. Mejia-Villena has been involved with the Dream Project since its founding and is one of the four initial scholarship recipients. As an alumni, Henry has remained an involved member of the Dream Project family and is now a member of the Board of Directors.
Ann A. Kennedy, Ph.D., joined the Dream Project Board in 2016. She has retired from teaching at Arlington Community High School and continues to teach as an adjunct professor at Georgetown University. She has been GMU’s CEHD Alumnus of the Year, Greater Washington Reading Council’s Teacher of the Year, and a Fulbright Scholar. Her educational travels have taken her to Jamaica, India, Guatemala, Thailand, Brazil, South Africa, the Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico, Vietnam, and Cuba; she is active in international organizations that encourage educational opportunities for women in Senegal and South Africa. Her current research focuses on the development and acceleration of academic skills for English learners.
Nataly Montaño Vargas
George Washington University School of Medicine & Health Sciences
Nataly Montaño Vargas is a Washington-Liberty High School graduate. She graduated from Texas Tech University with a B.S. in Biology and minors in Chemistry and Spanish in 2016. With her background in biology, she is currently working in clinical research at the George Washington University School of Medicine & Health Sciences in Washington, DC, where she works on several studies ranging from infections diseases to gastrointestinal illnesses. She plans to attend medical school in the near future.
Ms. Montaño Vargas has been involved with the Dream Project since 2011 and was part of the 2nd cohort of scholarship recipients. She has remained involved with the organization throughout her college and now professional career and is now a member of the Board of Directors.
Former Graduate School Advisor
Jeff Miles served as the Director of Graduate Admissions at George Washington University’s Elliott School of International Affairs for 26 years (1987-2013), making final admission and financial aid/fellowship decisions on tens of thousands of applications. Prior to that, he served as an Assistant Director in the Office of Undergraduate Admissions at GW. Jeff played an important role in the growth and development of the Elliott School, where he helped build one of the world’s leading schools of international affairs.
Jeff now works as a part-time admissions consultant, advising students interested in pursuing graduate study in international and public affairs, MBA and other graduate business programs, global/public health, and other professionally oriented master’s degree programs. He helps students identify their best-fit schools and scholarship opportunities, edit and strengthen their essays and resume, prepare for admissions interviews, and improve their overall chances of gaining admission to these programs.
Jeff serves on the Board of The Dream Project and especially enjoys mentoring “dreamers” who plan to attend college or grad school. He also serves on The George Washington University Fulbright Fellowship Selection Committee. Jeff is a graduate of the University of California, Santa Barbara (M.A.) and Ithaca College (B.A.).
Spring Street Development
David Springberg is a graduate of The University of Michigan School of Engineering and The George Washington University School of Business. After eight years as a Sales Engineer for Washington Gas, David started his own real estate development and construction company. He has been developing land and building custom homes for the past 20 years. He and his wife Justine, a high school ELL teacher, have lived in Arlington for the past 30 years and have been involved in various community activities and advocacy groups.
George Washington University
Marie Price is a Professor of Geography and International Affairs at the George Washington University. She is a migration scholar interested in integration policies and transnational linkages who has worked extensively in Latin America. In 2016 she became the President of the American Geographical Society, the oldest geographical society in the U.S. In 2012 she joined the Board of the Dream Project. A Latin American and migration specialist, Marie has conducted research on migration within Latin America and Latino migration to the United States. Most recently her work has focused on the impact of forced return due to U.S. deportation policies. On a global scale, she has investigated immigrant settlement in global cities developing a longitudinal data set. She is also a non-resident fellow of the Migration Policy Institute, a think tank that focuses on immigration. Her publications include the following books: Migrants to the Metropolis: The Rise of Immigrant Gateway Cities (2008), Migrants’ Inclusion in Cities (2013), Diversity Amid Globalization: World Regions, Environment and Development, 7thed. (2017) and Globalization and Diversity: Geography of a Changing World, 5thed. (2016).
Carliner & Remes, P.C.
Robert A. Remes has been an immigration lawyer since 1977. He has helped thousands of people receive immigration status through family relationships, employment, asylum, DACA, special immigrant juvenile status, and cancellation of removal and has represented people in immigration courts against allegations that could result in their removal. His clients come from many different countries including Pakistan, Iran, El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras, and he appears before immigration courts and CIS offices throughout the United States.
Bob graduated from Cornell University and received his law degree from Boston University. He is a former president of the Washington, DC chapter of the American Immigration Lawyers Association.
Bob has been on the Dream Project Board since 2017. He is on the scholarship and mentoring committees and is chair of the Molly & Joseph Herman Foundation Dream Scholar Loan Fund Committee. Bob also provides pro bono immigration advice upon request to members of the Dream Project community and mentees and has made immigration law and policy presentations at many Dream Project events.
Robert G. Smith
Associate Professor, George Mason University
Robert G. Smith has been an associate professor in the Education Leadership Program of the College of Education and Human Development of George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia, since 2009. Prior to joining the faculty at Mason, he served 44 years in a variety of positions in K-12 education, the last 12 of which were spent as Superintendent of Arlington Public Schools in Virginia. He served the previous 16 years as the Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum and Instructional Services for the Spring Independent School District in the Houston, TX area and the first 16 years of his career in the Frederick County, Maryland Public Schools. In Frederick, he held a variety of roles, including teaching high school social studies, heading an adult evening high school and junior high school, supervising federal and adult education programs, serving as the superintendent’s assistant for planning and evaluation, and directing K-12 curriculum and staff development.
He is the author or co-author of a number of journal articles and book chapters and is the co-author of two books: Striving for Equity: District Leadership for Narrowing Opportunity and Achievement Gaps, and Gaining on the Gap: Changing Hearts, Minds and Practice.
Rob and his wife Sandy live in Arlington. They are the parents of two adult children and grandparents of five youngsters.
Haynes Novick Immigration
David's law practice is devoted exclusively to immigration law. He has 36 years of experience in a wide range of immigration cases including immigrant and non-immigrant visa applications, family visa applications, deportation defense, and political asylum. He has a large practice that includes representing many people from Latin America and has prepared and filed more than 40 DACA cases.
He was the lead attorney in Perez v. Vargas, a case in the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals in which the court interpreted a section of the Immigration & Nationality Act to successfully support certain immigrants’ applications who had to change their employer during the process. He has gained relief for persons who have suffered persecution due to their political or religious beliefs or sexual orientation, including persons who have suffered female genital mutilation before arriving in the U.S. and have the same fear for their daughters. He represents many families who are legally in the U.S. but are facing the separation of one member who does not have status here.
He has appeared on behalf of clients in immigration courts and at agency hearings in over a dozen cities in the U.S. and at consulates outside the U.S. and has also been an invited speaker on immigration matters at conferences and seminars.
Monica Burgos Flores
Monica Burgos Flores is a Washington-Liberty High School graduate. She graduated from the College of William & Mary with a B.A. in Economics and Philosophy in 2020. As an Economics major with a background in OOP, Monica currently works as a Global Market Data Analyst for Bloomberg LP.
Monica has been with the Dream Project for several years. She started as a mentee in the Mentoring Program, she was awarded a Dream Project Scholarship, and now, serves on the Board of Directors in addition to working with the Fundraising Committee and the Scholar and Alumni Affairs Committee.
Outside of the Dream Project, Monica is a well-established member of the community. She serves as a Council Member of the Young Guarde Alumni group at William & Mary and is a 2020 Class Ambassador. She has been a Lead Coach in the NOVA Girls on the Run Chapter. Additionally, she volunteers as a teacher with Arlington County for the Microsoft Word and Excel Certification classes they offer to adults. Monica also served as a voice for the AHC, Inc. group as she spoke about her community and the importance of affordable housing in a nationally broadcasted interview with ABC’s Good Morning America.
Mi Futuro Education
Mr. Gustavo Minaya is an educator and advocate for undocumented and immigrant families. He is also the founder of Mi Futuro Education (MFE), a company that helps undocumented students make college affordable. For the Fall 2020 semester, MFE has helped students receive over $20,000 grants and tuition discounts. In addition, Mi Futuro Education seeks partnerships with universities and educators whose goals are to advance equitable and inclusive policies that increase the enrollment, retention, and graduation rate of undocumented students.
Mr. Minaya has over 15 years of experience in college admissions and financial aid. He has helped thousands of students and families of all backgrounds navigate the college enrollment process. He currently works in the Financial Aid Office at Montgomery College but has worked in the admissions offices for the Community College of Baltimore County and Towson University. He has earned awards for the Exemplary Faculty and Staff and Counselor of the Year. He has also served as Board Member for the Latino Providers Network, and Amigos of Baltimore County, nonprofits that assist the immigrant community in Maryland.
He is a proud Peruvian immigrant, former undocumented youth, and first-generation student. His passion for assisting Dreamers stems from his own personal experience. He is a proud alum of Community College of Baltimore County, Towson University, and the University of Baltimore, where he earned his Master's in Public Administration.
Monticello Capital Partners
Cinthia Fernholz is an experienced investment banker and entrepreneur, with particular expertise in strategy, finance, operations and planning. She has worked at Lehman Brothers, Citigroup, Deloitte & Touche and Goldman Sachs.
Cinthia currently works as an investment consultant for Monticello Capital Partners, sourcing investment opportunities in Latin America in the Fintech space. She is a former CEO and founder of Coucou LLC, a children’s clothing wholesaler. She has also assisted non-for profits, providing them with strategic and operational improvement consulting services. She is a former investment banker focused in M&A and a consultant.
She is a project coordinator for the Arts & Culture Committee of Harvard Business School Community Partners in New York. She serves on the Board of Park Children’s Day School of NYC, and is a former member of the Pediatric Support Committee for Weill Cornell Hospital.
She holds a BS from University of Virginia and received her Harvard MBA in 2002. She is a native of Bolivia.
Dream Project Parents Committee
Roxana Montano is an active community member and advocate for immigrant and undocumented families. She received her Childhood Development Associate Credential and works as a full-time professional childcare provider.
Her engagement in the community and schools started as a concerned parent of two undocumented children, and which soon later became a passion through acknowledging the power of knowledge. She started as a parent volunteer at Barrett Elementary School assisting teachers by volunteering in classrooms, and later she was made into the First Latina PTA Vice President helping organize school events. She was also the Hispanic Committee Vice President at Washington-Liberty High School. After volunteering in Arlington Public Schools for more than five years, she received an Honored Citizen Award. In hopes of helping other parents, she participated and co-led the Parent Leader Facilitators Workshop, a continuation of the “Participa” program of APS schools, learning how to become a facilitator for parent outreach programs and later applied skills to help parents advocate for their children’s education in Arlington Public County. She was also involved in the Civic Committee and ESOL/HILT Committee of the Community, with the aim to fight for the creation of a fund for low-income families in the community and contribute ideas to improve the education system specifically for the Latinx community, such as supporting the continuation of fair language support.
Additionally, she has helped create the Parents Committee since the foundation of the Dream Project, serving as the President and later continuously as a parent volunteer.