Our Bilingual Staff
English / Spanish Medical Health Interpreter
More than 7 years providing interpreting and translation services and culturally competent support to the Spanish Speaking patients receiving care at the St Joseph Mercy Women's Center. She provides health information, interprets what the doctor tells pregnant women when they go for the prenatal appointments. She also helps with scheduling and monitoring appointments, lab results as well as explaining the Clinic policies and procedures to Spanish-speaking clients.
Samantha Cardenas, PhD
STOP Program Coordinator
Ms. Ovalle is originally from Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico, and has been a long time resident of the City of Pontiac. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Accounting from Baker College Auburn Hills.
Ms. Ovalle has 15 years of non-profit experience working as a community outreach liaison for individuals and families. In her current role at Centro Multicultural La Familia, she helps and guides victims of diverse crimes, including domestic violence. She also assists people connecting them with the resources they need in the areas of health, dental, court, legal, immigration, and more. Ms. Ovalle enjoys helping people to fulfill their dreams and goals to live strong, healthy and meaningful lives.
Luis Mendieta, creator of Bring Memories to Life, is an entrepreneur who likes
getting things done and inspiring other people to do so. He is a high energy, leadership expert focused on productivity who delivers engaging programs that have educated and entertained audiences with real world strategies that apply in all roles at work and home. His TV show, “Entrepreneur Second to None” and podcast have been empowering business owners to build strong companies and create a way to make their dreams come true, with formulas that immediately provide rapid growth and success. As a business owner, a leader in innovative ideas and as a volunteer in the community, Luis has inspired those around him to reach for the top. In summary, Luis loves to simplify complexity and motivates others to take action.
Mrs. Rodriguez, is originally from Lake in the Hills Illinois and holds a Bachelor’s degree from Northern Michigan University in Community Health Education with a minor in Health and fitness. During her 5 years at Northern Michigan University, she volunteered at multiple non-profits, helping out in the community and organizing health events. She currently is a Bilingual Health educator and client advocate. She has been with Centro Multicultural since March 2019, educating our multicultural families on various health topics. She also organizes workshops on life skills, Nutrition, bullying, teen dating and more around the Oakland County community. As a client advocate she assists clients with finding resources around the community in health, court, dental, financial and more. While Natalie is not working she enjoys the outdoors, hiking, swimming and traveling.
Mr. Herman studied at the Residential College in the Arts & Humanities receiving his degrees in Arts and Humanities and Spanish at Michigan State University. Many of his studies focused on cross cultural exchange, sociolinguistics and civic engagement projects in Costa Rica and Panama. He has served as an urban safety community organizer, Board of Immigration Appeals Accredited Legal Advocate and immigration paralegal assisting immigrant victims of crime in Southwest Detroit. Bronson is a proponent for the power of international education, second language acquisition, social justice initiatives and being a conscientious traveler wherever he goes.
Ashley Keiber is originally from rural Ohio and graduated from Wright State University with a degree in International Studies and Spanish. She has a diverse background in service work and travel including working in Disaster relief in Houston, Texas and Puerto Rico, camp restoration in Cherokee nation, Oklahoma, building houses with Habitat for Humanity in New Orleans, LA and working as an Environmental Education volunteer with the Peace Corps in Panama. In her free time she loves baking and reading historical fiction novels.
Ms. Gioiella originally hails from the east coast and holds a bachelor’s degree in Philosophy and a bachelor’s degree in history, both from the College of Wooster in Wooster, OH. Ms. Gioiella also holds a Juris Doctorate from Hofstra University with her focus being criminal law, racial disparity in the justice system, and LGBTQ rights. For the past few years, Ms. Gioiella has spent her time focusing on youth development as well as diversity and inclusion in sports. She is an international sports referee, and the highest-ranking minority female referee in the Olympic sport of fencing internationally.
Ms. Dooley is originally from Metro-Detroit, and just recently moved back to the area after living in Grand Rapids for the past 6 years. Ms. Dooley is passionate about combating social justice issues surrounding gender based violence, as well as advocating for women’s rights. She graduated with a degree in Public and Nonprofit Administration, and Human Rights, from Grand Valley State University. Following her graduation she has begun cultivating a career within the nonprofit sector, and greatly enjoys the advocacy work that she is able to do. In her free time she enjoys reading, spending time in nature, playing with her cats Dolli and Stevie, and exploring new places with loved ones!
Salena (Benavidez) Lust holds a Bachelor's degree in Psychology from Michigan State University. She is currently pursuing her Masters in Public Administration at Oakland University. Salena has a passion for advocacy and social justice. She has spent several years working in various positions related to social work and government operations. In her free time she enjoys reading, knitting, cooking, and spending time with family and friends.
Brenda has a degree in human movement and studied a master's degree in sports science with Biology Option in Chihuahua, Mexico. She recently completed a doctorate in Science of Physical Culture at the Autonomous University of Chihuahua, Mexico, with the co-direction of the University of Malaga, Spain. She currently belongs to the International Society for the Advancement of Kinanthropometry (ISAK) as a Level II anthropometrist member. Her area of expertise is in research related to physical activity for health, obesity, energy metabolism and body composition. Her main interest is the education and prevention of cardiovascular and metabolic diseases in the community through the promotion and practice of healthy lifestyles.
Client Relations Manager
Ms Cardenas holds a Bachelor's degree in Economics in Universidad de las Americas-Puebla and Master's in Human Environmental Sciences from the University of Alabama. She has worked in the hospitality business as well as in various information design projects involving non-profit organizations. She's been part of Centro's team since 2018 and takes care of data management and communication. She is also an instructor of Youth Mental Health First Aid. She enjoys reading and spending time with her friends and family.