Dr. Jennifer Fuqua has been named executive director of La Esperanza.
Jen brings with her an extensive understanding of public policy, social impact and nonprofit management. She’s also a lead researcher for a Delaware-based study that looks at the evolution of the Latino population in Sussex County since 2008.
“We’re thrilled to have found someone with Jen’s deep commitment to and understanding of transformative impact. Her experience is key as we prepare to expand our services and develop innovative ways of helping our immigrant families on their journey to achieve stability, integration and success,” said Patricia Rivera, La Esperanza board president.
Jen worked for more than 20 years as a manager of programs for children, youth and families — and as a proponent of the arts and community economic development. She spent 10 years in New York’s Queens Community House, a multiservice settlement house that offers diverse families the tools needed to enrich their lives and build healthy, inclusive communities. Most recently, she also taught in the public policy program at the University of Delaware.
La Esperanza welcomed its new executive director just as the nonprofit strengthened its partnerships with La Colectiva and the Arsht-Cannon Fund to deliver services and develop more transformative collaboration among organizations serving immigrant families.
“It is so exciting to be engaged in this important work. La Esperanza is a unique organization, with a passionate and talented staff dedicated to supporting the Latino immigrant communities of Sussex County. I am committed to furthering the organization’s impact and collaboration with our partners at the local and state levels,” Jen said.
Jen holds a bachelor’s in fine arts from Pratt Institute, where she also received a master’s in city and regional planning. In 2016, she received her doctorate in urban affairs and public policy from the University of Delaware.
She will oversee a staff of 11. La Esperanza, based on Race Street in Georgetown, was founded in 1996 from the compassion of Sister María Mairlot, the late Sister Ascensión Banegas, and the late Sister Rosa Álvarez. The nuns, born in Spain, witnessed the difficulties of immigrants in a new land and offered them hope and inspiration. That works continues today.