Meet Elisa

IMG_7578-1Elisa Molina is committed, driven and inspiring.  She is a passionate advocate of using social media and technology for social good and just a fun person to be around with. As a U.S. Peace Corps volunteer, she focuses on small business development, teaches English and works with community members to improve their access to Information and Communication Technologies. Before having the toughest job she’ll ever love, she worked for the Pan American Health Organization in Washington, D.C. where she discovered her interest in development issues that focused on Latin America and the Caribbean.

A native Dominican, Elisa immigrated with her brother and sister to the U.S. at the age of 12 where she became a New Yorker. In 2008, she graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in International Business and a double minor in Italian and International Studies from SUNY College at Buffalo (BuffState).

She has been featured in her university’s alumni magazine, 1300 Elmwood, and their 2008 Annual Report, The Tico Times, and Generación Latina’s Spanish language talk show. She has also won numerous awards in recognition for her community involvement.

Elisa held leadership positions for national organizations like Omega Phi Beta Sorority, Incorporated at a local level to help raise awareness of violence against women (VAW) – in DC – and youth development – in Buffalo, NY. She has planned and co-facilitated workshops on domestic violence issues, gender empowerment, food security, project management, and youth development.

She has organized and participated in numerous community service events contributing her time to social causes at great institutions such as the Hands On DC, March of Dimes, Latina Style Magazine, and many more. She has served as part of the Hispanic College Fund’s Scholarship Selection Committee and their 2009 Virginia Hispanic Youth Symposium as a Hispanic Hero. As an alumna of her sorority’s professional chapter, she acted as the Fundraising and Sponsorship Chair of the Vday.org 2009 Washington, DC Planning Committee.

She has been a member of scholarship selection committees for nationally recognized companies like Colgate-Palmolive and entities like the Alumni Association of Omega Phi Beta Sorority, Incorporated, for example.

By the age of 16, Elisa graduated from high school and became a college freshman. Coming from a single-parent household, she became the first one in her family to graduate from college. This accomplishment turned into the goal of continuing her education and becom an example for the people she loves: her family.

She became an independent international traveler thanks to her curiosity for new things. In her freshman year of college, she learned about a study abroad program to Russia where she applied and got accepted. She couldn’t go because of lack of funding. Yet, she didn’t give up. In the summer of 2005, she participated in a study tour to Puerto Rico directed by Buffalo State College’s guidance senior counselor Mrs. Evelyn Rosario.

During her third year, she planned her fourth year abroad by creating connections with her institution’s study abroad and national exchange offices. In 2006, she traveled to Siena, Italy as a study abroad student to finish her Italian minor where she became the recipient of the Buffalo-Siena Cultural Council Scholarship Award. For the Spring 2007, she participated in a national student exchange program at Florida International University as a business student where her economic situation forced her to get a job at Subrageous, Incorporated; a job that made her experience even more remarkable.

Her college experience wouldn’t have been possible if it wasn’t thanks to the support she received from her institution’s Educational Opportunity Program and McNair Scholars and All-College Honors Programs.

Elisa exudes optimism and the genuine belief in the potential people has to make a difference. She now lives in Atlanta, Georgia.