Making an investment in tomorrow, today...

Minerva Perez, executive director of OLA of Eastern Long Island. 

OLA (Organización Latino-Americana) of Long Island was founded in 2002 as a nonprofit agency committed to promoting social, economic, cultural, and educational development within Long Island’s East End Latino and Hispanic communities.

What influenced you to do what you do?
I grew up in a volatile household with a mentally ill mother. I learned to care for her and then later for my physically ill grandmother. Whatever strength I've gained, I feel compelled to protect the vulnerable.

What inspires you?
The overwhelming belief that mountains are moved with love and never with hate.

Who’s your female role model and why?
My Grandmother, Dorothy, who raised me from the age of five when my mother could not. She was a loving woman with many regrets. I strive to have no regrets and remain a source of stability and support for loved ones and community.

What is your greatest achievement?
Walking into meetings with people I fully disagree with and then walking out of those same meetings having achieved not only agreement, but a better understanding of that person's perspective and a reaffirmation of their humanity.

What would you like our donors to know about you and your mission?
The strengthening, protection, and celebration of Latino communities, while at their most vulnerable, is the key to a robust and vibrant community for all. When we allow the vulnerability of one group to be an accepted scapegoat out of fear and ignorance, future generations pay the price. OLA seeks to break this cycle.

Check out their website at to learn more of the incredible work they do.

Long Island Community Foundation | A Division of The New York Community Trust
900 Walt Whitman Road | (Rt. 110) Suite 205 | Melville, NY 11747
P (631) 991-8800 | Directions | Staff | Comments on the Website

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