Committed to Changing Lives Through Literacy

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Founder and Executive Director

Aileen, a Miami native, spent over 10 years in education, primarily as a middle school English teacher. Seeing firsthand how a reading gap impacted learning outcomes in her students, she was inspired to found Uplift Literacy. In her career as an educator, Aileen designed an English credit-recovery curriculum, was a Tier II School Liaison with the Middle School Matters Institute, and was a grant reviewer for the Texas Education Agency Public Charter School Start-Up Program. She also served on the board of Lone Star Scholars, a foundation focused on providing quality education to underserved neighborhoods in Dallas, TX. Aileen is currently a board member at The STARS Foundation, a nonprofit organization that provides support for private schools that offer education to low-income families and tailored instruction to children with autism. She earned her bachelor’s degree in English and a master’s degree in reading education from Florida International University. She is certified in reading for grades K-12 and in English for grades 6-12 by the Florida Department of Education.



Katarina is an established sales and marketing professional. She spent 10 years in New York’s healthcare industry, responsible for building and developing markets in the home healthcare and outsourcing services spaces. After a decade in this arena, she moved on to further her education with a Master of Business Administration. Simultaneously, Katarina transitioned her career to marketing and advertising, working for Publicis Sapient, where she held global marketing and creative operations roles over a 10-year span. During her accomplished tenure, she collaborated amongst the C-suite and across multi-disciplinary teams to build program plans, develop tactical paths forward and realize campaigns and solutions. She currently freelances and consults for creative agencies, ad agencies and technology consultancies. Katarina earned her degree in business from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte and her MBA from Florida International University.

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Cristian is a managing consultant in the Strategy and Analytics Practice of IBM’s Global Business Services based in New York. He has experience in working on large scale divestitures and the implementation and design of business strategies related to innovation and investment matters, with significant expertise in leading global initiatives. He specializes in strategy, entrepreneurship, marketing and organizational behavior. Before joining IBM, Cristian worked as a senior project manager on commercial and military engines for a leading aerospace company. He has both consulting and industry experience across a number of functional areas, including operations, finance and sales across a variety of industries, such as construction materials, life sciences, aerospace, banking and healthcare distribution. Cristian holds a bachelor’s in mechanical engineering from the University of Puerto Rico, an MBA from Carnegie Mellon University and a Master’s Certificate in Project Management from the Stevens Institute of Technology. 



Paola dedicated more than 13 years to the public and private school sectors after making a leap from the world of TV news, where she worked as an anchor and reporter for a bilingual 24-hour network. In 2004, she was honored as Hispanic Woman of the Year in Media. An avid traveler, she brought her love of world cultures and languages into the middle school classroom as a history, geography and reading teacher. Her experiences include chairing the student government, yearbook and academic accreditation teams, as well as hosting the school's award-winning Model United Nations delegation in New York and her 8th graders in Washington, D.C. She was named Teacher of the Year before transitioning to a central leadership role as a K-8 principal in South Florida. Paola holds a bachelor’s degree in broadcast journalism and French from the University of Miami, with coursework completed in France and Italy, and a Master's of Education in Independent School Leadership from Vanderbilt University. At present, she is enjoying her most important role to date: mother to an intellectually curious, book-loving little boy.



Dorothy received her B.A., magna cum laude, from the University of California, Los Angeles with a major in political science, specializing in international relations. She spent semesters at UCLA Mattel Children’s Hospital cheering up young patients, chaired community service projects and tutored struggling high schoolers. She earned her Juris Doctor from the Indiana University Maurer School of Law – Bloomington, where she obtained social security benefits for the underserved and mentally ill at the Disability Law Clinic. Throughout her career, she was a Visiting Scholar at the UCLA School of Law, worked as a judicial extern for the Honorable Fumiko Wasserman in the L.A. Superior Court Appellate Division and practiced criminal and corporate law. Additionally, she served as a felonies law clerk at the L.A. Public Defender’s Office, an associate at the Indiana Attorney General’s Office in Special Litigation and a counsel for a California tech company for over 10 years. She is now a mother and an artist.