Board Members

Cynthia Vargas, President

Cynthia S. Vargas, graduated from Waukegan High School in 2002. She is a Graduate from the University of Wisconsin-Parkside where she obtained a Bachelor’s Degree in Criminal Justice and completed a minor in Spanish. She is currently the Communications Manager for the Lake County State’s Attorney’s Office. At the State’s Attorney’s Office, she is in charge of all media and public relations. She responds to the needs of local, national and international news media regarding all high profile criminal and civil cases involving the Lake County area.

In addition, Cynthia networks and partners with different not-for-profit organizations in the Lake County area via the State’s Attorney’s Office in order to hear and address the needs of the Lake County Community as they relate to the State’s Attorney’s Office. She conducts presentations in the community in order to educate the community of the functions of the State’s Attorney’s Office.

Previously, she worked as an Immigration Specialist for Catholic Charities Accredited by the Board of Immigration Appeals under the U.S. Department of Justice. At Catholic Charities, she performed extensive intake and assessment for clients who were seeking to obtain Legal Residency in the United States or United States Citizenship in order to conclude eligibility requirements based on Immigration Family Reunification, VAWA, and U-Visa Law.

Cynthia is active in the Lake County Community. Currently, she is the President of the Coalicion Latinos Unidos de Lake County. She serves on the:

  • Board of Directors for Waukegan Main Street;
  • Lake County Health Department Governing Council;
  • Secretary for the Eddie Washington Center’s Advisory Council;
  • Steering Committee for the North Chicago Drug Free Communities grant;
  • Telemundo/NBC Universal’s Community Action Board;
  • Immigrant Integration Network; and
  • volunteers for the Coalition to Reduce Recidivism.

Cynthia also coordinates the Knowledge is Power Workshops at the Lake County State’s Attorney’s Office.

She has received recognitions from the Waukegan Township for her dedicated service to the Waukegan Community. She also received the ambassador award from the Lake County State’s Attorney’s Office.

Cynthia is a native speaker in the Spanish language.

Dulce Candy Ortiz, Vice President

Dulce Candy Ortiz has called Waukegan her home for the majority of her life. Her mother, immigrated to the United States from Mexico with the dream of making a better life for her two children. Candy was only 10 years old. Raised under the guidance and support of her single-mother, Candy learned the meaning of perseverance and hard-work. Working at Waukegan Township, as the executive assistant to Supervisor Patricia Jones, instilled in her an appreciation for community involvement and a passion for public service. She’s currently the Special Projects Manager for Waukegan Township.

After graduating from Robert Morris University with a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration, Candy knew she had to pursue a path that would help bring the critical issues of her community to the forefront. She became involved by volunteering her time and efforts in various organizations such as the Waukegan Youth Football Association, the Waukegan Youth Wrestling Club, Waukegan Main Street, the Coalition to Reduce Recidivism and Relay for Life Greater Waukegan/Far North Shore. She also serves on the Kiwanis of Waukegan Board of Directors and was appointed to the Waukegan Park District Recreational Advisory Board.

Candy’s passion and dedication comes from believing in community involvement, helping and speaking up for those in need. Her motivation of the betterment of our community for future generations comes from her son, Ivan Ortiz, a fourth grader at Andrew Cooke Magnet School.

Jennifer Nydia Salazar, Secretary

Descending from Mexican and Ecuadorian parents Jennifer was born and raised in Waukegan. She attended Waukegan High School, and in 2013 she graduated Cum Laude from DePaul University with a B.A. in Psychology. While attending DePaul she held various leadership positions within her Latina based sorority, Sigma Lambda Gamma, she was an active member in DePaul’s chapter of Best Buddies, working with students who have cognitive and developmental disabilities, and she was both a participant and student leader, for two DePaul Service Immersion trips, which sparked her passion for service and social justice.

After graduation she became an AmeriCorps VISTA. Through this position she took a one year vow of poverty and completed her service for United Way of Lake County working with various Lake County schools and service projects. She is now the program coordinator for Waukegan Township Park Place as well as the administrative admin for the Coalition to Reduce Recidivism. She has also been appointed to the Board of Trustees for the Waukegan Public Library. Jennifer loves working with first generation students and has true pride in the Waukegan and Lake County community.

Kevin Bueso, Treasurer

Kevin Bueso was born and raised in Honduras; he moved to Waukegan, IL in the summer of 2003 at the age of 19; during the summer and fall of 2003, he attended ELS Language Centers at Dominican University, River Forest, IL to learn English As a Second Language and to prepare himself for College opportunities. Kevin Bueso was accepted at Robert Morris College - Lake County Campus during the Winter Semester of 2003; he earned a Bachelors Degree in Business Administration - Accounting and a Masters Degree in Accounting from Robert Morris College in 2007 and 2009, respectively.

Kevin currently serves as the Finance Director at the Village of Round Lake Beach and his background is in Local Government Accounting and Administration. He volunteers as a Board Member for APUFRAM International to help APUFRAM's mission of assisting low-income families in Honduras and the Dominican Republic help themselves get out of poverty through education.

In the past, Kevin has worked as a Senior Accountant and Assistant Finance Director at the City of Waukegan; Finance Assistant at the Village of Gurnee. Additionally, Kevin volunteered as an Instructor at the Waukegan Public Library teaching adult patrons basic computer skills and as a Tax Preparer for low-income families with the Center for Economic Progress.

Angie Magana, Education

Angie moved to Lake County when she was 13 years old. She attended College of Lake County and North Park University, where she completed her Bachelor's degree in Counseling Psychology.

In 2009 she became certified as an Alcohol and Drug Counselor (CADC). Currently she is on the board of directors of; CORE (Citizens Organized for Recovery & Education) and SUSTAIN (Substance use Services Training and Information Network). At the present time she is employed at Lake County Forest Preserve/Public Safety and as a Substance Abuse Counselor for The Counseling Center, Waukegan Office.

As a first generation immigrant and college graduate, Angie has a strong interest assisting the people in the community, Latinos and non Latinos in issues pertaining to their mental health and becoming better individuals and over all better citizens.

Christa Sanchez, Fundraising

Christa Sanchez graduated from Waukegan High School in 2003. At the College of Lake County she obtained her Associates in Business Management in 2011. During her studies at CLC. she was a Public Relations Officer with the Latino Alliance and Senator for Student Government. During this time she discovered her passion for helping others and decided to study Human Services. In 2013 she completed her Bachelor’s Degree at Southern Illinois University at Carbondale in Workforce Education and Development.

Christa also serves as the New Generations Chair for the Rotary Club of Waukegan. She also volunteers with youth organizations in Waukegan serving as a Cub Master for Cub Scout Troop 603 at Lyon Magnet Elementary and Leader for Girl Scouts Troop 45461 at Cooke Magnet Elementary. It is important to raise her children Ricky, 10, and Aracelli, 5, with faith. As a family they attend Living Word Christian Church in Zion Illinois.

Latino Coalition Board Members 2015 - 2016

President
Cynthia Vargas

Vice-President
Dulce Candy Ortiz

Secretary
Jennifer Nydia Salazar

Treasurer
Kevin Bueso

Education
Angie Magana

Fundraising
Christa Sanchez

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