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100 Hispanic Women: New Jersey Program



New Jersey Scholars


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Luisa Rodriguez-Aponte


Luisa Rodriguez-Aponte is a first-generation Latina, born and raised in New York City with nearly 10 years of project management experience in youth development and the field of education. Luisa has worked on a number of programs and services within the non-profit, public, and private sectors focusing on policy, research, and data analysis. At edBridge Partners LLC, she is an Account Manager for the education consulting firm, responsible for developing long-term strategic partnerships with clients, and providing customized solutions and advisory services to higher education institutions. In her previous role as a Reporting Analyst and Consultant for the New York City Department of Education, Luisa worked closely with program managers and administrators in managing, reporting and analyzing data that supports students with disabilities. Prior to this work, Luisa held roles in a large charter school network managing special education compliance and data management, and a city-funded workforce development program providing out-of-school youth with internship opportunities. A lifelong learner and advocate for youth, Luisa believes that education opens doors and it is our duty to ensure that the next generation can become empowered by their own abilities and gain the confidence to fulfill their potential.

Luisa holds a BA in Political Science from Queens College, City University of New York and a Master of Science in Public Policy from The New School.

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Monica Castano

Board Member

Social Media Chair

Monica Castano is a dynamic leader with 26 years of leadership experience in the HealthCare industry. As the Regional Operation Manager for the New York Metro Market at Labcorp she is highly regarded for leading large teams, driving performance improvement initiatives and overseeing the daily workflow of her operations team. Living by the motto of “We are the Leaders We've Been Waiting for” Monica is passionate about the development of the next generation of leaders. Hija de un padre Puertorriqueno and a Costa Rican mom this first gen business professional is enthusiastic about sharing her journey to success as a Hispanic woman in corporate America.

Her career has seen great advancements towards an inclusive environment over recent years, and she is devoted to raising awareness on why this is extremely important. Her mission is to create an inclusive work environment where all individuals are respected, and where our diverse workforce is effectively managed to improve business performance and enhance our competitive advantage. Her work as the Global ERG leader for Humanos has allowed her to hosted many events over the past few years where she has created a safe space for individuals to be open and have conversations recognizing and celebrating their differences. As a member of WEN ERG (Women Empowerment Network) she has facilitated yearly IWD workshops for her leadership team, to support them in leadership development, DEI, and empowering women in leadership. She believes in the importance of women helping each other with the right tools, resources, and training to open doors for one another.

She thrives at giving back to the community and host serval community outreach events throughout the year. She’s extremely proud of creating Diversity classroom libraries in underserving schools. Monica is a strong believer that children deserve to see themselves in the books they read. Her goal is to continue to motivate, support and inspire our future leaders and in doing so, assist in making a stronger community.

Co-founder of MYSUNSHINE Events she proclaims it as her favorite accomplishment as it has allowed her to enter the entrepreneurship world with her daughter.

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