Our Team

Amanda Meri

Interim Executive Director

Amanda has been connected with Casa since 2014, serving as a mentor. She also served as an afterschool volunteer in the Kids Club program. While she doesn’t have Central American roots, her mother came to the US as a refugee from Ethiopia. Because of this, she is familiar with many of the challenges the Chirilagua community faces. Amanda is a values-driven professional and is committed to seeing Casa continue to strengthen its impact in the community. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Nursing, a Masters in Public Administration, and is a Functional Diagnostic Nutrition Practitioner. 

Patricia Borich Hernández

Operations Director

Patricia is originally from El Salvador. She spent nine years living in Mexico, and since 2022 she has lived in Kansas City, Tampa, and Illinois. Her previous role was as the Country Director for the Jesuit Refugee Service in Mexico. She holds a Ph.D. in Migration Studies and two Master’s degrees in Sociology and Local Development. Patricia is passionate about sharing her knowledge and experience to serve the community.

Daniela Jennings

Leadership Pipeline Director

Dani, a true third-culture kid (parents from Colombia and Argentina) hails from Quito, Ecuador where she was the Director of Short-Term Teams & Interns for Misión Mundo Juvenil. Her passion is to empower local leadership and advocate for the marginalized. She holds Bachelor’s degrees in Exercise Science and Youth Ministry from North Park University and a Master of Arts degree in Intercultural Studies from Fuller Theological Seminary.

Elizabeth Arrazola

Director of Adult Leadership

Elizabeth moved to Virginia from Guadalajara, Mexico, and joined Casa Chirilagua in September 2017. She has worked to support human rights internationally and is now dedicated to promoting a positive community and strong social bonds within the local community.

Katherine Posada Membreno

Director of Elementary Leadership

Katherine was a volunteer at Casa Chirilagua before she became a Local Leader. She was the first in her family to graduate high school and was born and raised in the Chirilagua community. She is thrilled to be able to work with Casa to support the community. Katherine loves working with children and she is passionate about child development and educating children for the better good through Christ. In her church she is a Sunday school teacher and participates in her youth group choir. 

Rebeca Gore

Director of Youth Leadership

Rebeca grew up in DC and has a passion for youth, ministry, and community development. She brings her experiences as a teacher, AmeriCorp and Peace Corps member to the table along with a love for the Latino community. She holds a Bachelor of Science with a concentration in Public Health and Hispanic Studies from the College of William and Mary.

Molly Klein

Director of Mentorships

Molly joins Casa Chirilagua from her previous position as Program Associate with ACT for Alexandria. She is currently enrolled in a graduate program at George Washington University for a degree in International Development Studies, with a focus on migrant children and their families. For her undergraduate degree, she studied Family, Youth, and Community Sciences at the University of Florida. with a focus on Nonprofit Management and Spanish. 

Kate Denson

Director of Volunteer Engagement

Kate is a long-time friend of Casa going back to the prayer meetings of 2007 that led to the founders moving into Chirilagua.  She’s worked as a campus minister with InterVarsity since 2007 leading the DC Justice Program. Casa Chirilagua has been one of InterVarsity’s key partners since 2009. Serving within Casa alongside people she’s labored with for years is a profound honor. She’s married to JR Denson, a DC native and together they have one son Alexander who’s in public school in DC. 

Lauren Wallace

Business Manager

Lauren lived in New Orleans, LA for 20 years before relocating back to Arlington, VA with her husband and family. She joined our staff part time in May 2019 bringing years of experience as a controller for several small family owned companies. She holds a Masters degree in Business Administration and a Bachelors degree in Accounting.

Jefferson Aleman

Office Assistant

As a first-generation Salvadorean-American, Jefferson has lived in the Chirilagua community his whole life and started participating with Casa Chirilagua through Teens Club, Bible Study, and Casa2College over the past 7 years. He is currently studying to get his associate degree in Information Technology at Northern Virginia Community College. He is excited to start his position as an Office Assistant and hopes he can be a big help to Casa and the Chirilagua community.

Irma Valle

Local Leader

As a first generation Honduran-American, Irma has lived in Chirilagua her whole life and started participating in Casa Chirilagua through Bible Study. She will be a freshman at Northern Virginia Community College and plans to pursue a bachelors in Social Work. She is excited to start working as a Local Leader and hopes to make a positive impact in her neighborhood.

Jayson Mejia

Local Leader

Jayson grew up in Herndon, Virginia. In 2022, he graduated from Herndon High school and has since moved to Manassas, VA. He soon hopes to further his studies at a community college. Jayson worked as a summer camp counselor at CityKidz Camp; there he connected with Casa Chirilagua students and staff. Jayson doesn’t mind the long commute to Chirilagua a few times a week due to his passion for working with youth through Christian ministry. He is excited to see how God works with him in the Chirilagua community and to hopefully help more communities in the future.

Mily Palma

Local Leader

A first-generation Salvadorean-American, Mily was raised and has lived in the Chirilagua community her entire life. Mily was part of Casa Chirilagua’s Casa to College and Bible Study programs for two year. A recent high school grad, Mily is enthusiastic about jumping right into the organization’s mission as a Local Leader supporting Kids Club. She is joyful about what lies ahead as she develops relationships with kids and their families to see the neighborhood transformed by Christ.

Board Members

Fredy Hernandez

Board Chair

Economist, US Coast Guard

Angela Zabler

Board Member

Economist, US Coast Guard

Eugene Kim

Board Member

Software Engineer

Hyun-Soo Lee, J.D.

Board Member

Senior Associate, WilmerHale

Jesse McCain

Board Member

Pastor & Missions Director, First Baptist Church Alexandria

Get Involved

Our relational network of volunteers and donors reflects a diverse group of individuals from all over the Washington, D.C. metro area. As a non-profit, we rely on the community for assisting program directors on-site, being mentors, supplying the needs of our food pantry, and everything in between. Each member of our Casa community holds a unique gift, whether time, talent or treasure.