Public Policy & Community Engagement

Natalia Zea

Natalia Zea serves as Director of Public Policy and Community Engagement for The Children’s Trust, utilizing two decades of experience in government administration, community engagement, journalism, public affairs, and resource development.

Amanda Gorski, M.A.

Amanda Gorski has been engaged in community development, government and politics in the South Florida community for the past 16 years. Ms. Gorski joined The Children’s Trust as the Public Policy and Community Engagement Liaison in 2019. Most recently, serving as the Director for Public Policy at the United Way of Miami-Dade, where she spearheaded its legislative platforms at the local, state and federal levels. An accomplished professional, she has extensive experience in advocacy, public policy, research, issue identification, needs assessment and problem solving.

Danielle Barreras

Danielle Barreras is a third generation Miami native. She earned a bachelor’s degree in elementary education and American studies from the University of Miami. She also holds Florida Teaching Certificates in K-12 education with a focus on reading and language arts, along with endorsements in ESOL and gifted education, and was recognized in the Top 200 Reading Teachers in the state of Florida.

Aundray Adams

Aundray Adams joined The Trust in June 2006. Mr. Adams brings more than 15 years of social services experiences and 10 years of experience directing and supervising programs to his program coordinator position. He has in-depth experience in advocacy and working with at-risk children and families. 

Mr. Adams holds two M.A. degrees, one in health science from Barry University and a second in religion from Trinity International University, both in Miami.

Samuel McKinnon

Samuel joined The Trust in January 2006. He worked previously as the Executive Director of St. Alban's Child Enrichment Center and also Social Services Director of Richmond-Perrine Optimist Club. Mr. McKinnon has over 20 years of increasingly responsible work in grant and program management; policy development and implementation; and pre-delinquent child and community services. 

Mr. McKinnon earned a B.A. (Political Science) from Fort Valley State University in Fort Valley, GA.

Patricia Leal

Patricia joined The Trust in May 2007. Ms. Leal brings over 13 years of experience in education to her position of program coordinator. She worked previously as a program coordinator and curriculum specialist for Catholic Charities where she supervised two Head Start classrooms and 10 out-of-school classrooms. Her experience also includes classroom mentoring and providing training to teachers working in the early childhood field.

Ms. Leal holds a M.S. from Barry University (Early Childhood).

Garnet Esters

Garnet brings to The Trust extensive experience in contract administration, operations and procurement management in both the public and non-profit sectors. She has developed and implemented numerous programs that serve to enrich the lives of youth and adults in Miami-Dade County.

She holds a B.A. in Telecommunications from Indiana University, a graduate certificate in Public Management and a Master of Science in Management from St. Thomas University.

Stephanie Sylvestre

Stephanie Sylvestre joined The Children's Trust as chief operations officer in February 2014. She is currently the chief programs officer and chief information officer. Her previous work experience includes stints in the private sector as an IT Quality Leader.

Active as a volunteer and community activist, Ms. Sylvestre highlights problem-solving and team-building to encourage efficiencies that foster more effective organizations. She spent a year sabbatical at the Belafonte TACOLCY Center helping to manage the organization.

Subscribe to RSS - Public Policy & Community Engagement