Our people

Sharon Zavala
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Sharon Zavala

Grant Assistance Navigator

Sharon comes with eight years of significant grant management and community development experience working with federal, state, and local organizations both nationally and abroad, in different roles. She also has a proven track record of establishing and maintaining productive collaborations among multiple, diverse stakeholders with the sole purpose of driving impact. Her community development experience stems from helping low-income and historically underserved communities provide solutions to the array of challenges they face. From providing one-on-one domestic violence and sexual assault advocacy services for Spanish-speaking survivors to coordinating and conducting legal screenings of detained unaccompanied minors.

Before joining Hispanic Access Foundation, she administered the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Subrecipient Program under the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), which involved evaluating subrecipient applications, analyzing program performance benchmarks, writing agreements, and monitoring 16 agency projects. She is an AmeriCorps Alumni having served in migrant farmworker communities for two terms in South Florida. She was an intern at Instituto Nacional Contra la Discriminación y Racismo in Argentina and an intern at Via Organica in Mexico.

She holds a Master’s in Public Policy and Administration with a focus on Global Policy from Northwestern University and two Bachelor's degrees in Environmental Science and Spanish Literature from Allegheny College.

 

Why she works for Hispanic Access…

"The values of Hispanic Access Foundation align closely with my own on promoting equity, empowerment, and advocacy for Hispanic individuals and communities related to the diverse range of initiatives and commitment, in particular, issues of environmental conservation and climate action, all while helping serve a community."

 

In her spare time…

“I enjoy spending time outdoors as much as possible. I also like to stay informed about global affairs, regularly reading the news to stay up-to-date, but above all, I cherish quality time with my loved ones. Now, when I have a big chunk of spare time, I very much enjoy traveling--exploring new places, gaining new perspectives by experiencing different cultures. I’m currently dedicating some time to learning French!”

Her favorite book…

“Too many good ones to choose from, but I will say one of my favorites is: La mujer que buceó dentro del corazón del mundo, by Sabina Berman. I was lucky enough to dissect this book for my honors thesis in undergrad. This is a Spanish fiction piece that explores the story of an autistic woman named Karen Nieto who develops a deep connection with the environment and marine life. This is one of my favorites as it truly highlights the importance of our relationship with nature and the connection between humans and the environment.”

A person she finds inspirational…

“My mom is an incredible inspiration to me, embodying selflessness, love, strength, and resilience as she left her motherland with my dad and has worked tirelessly, making numerous sacrifices, to support our family.”

About Us

Hispanic Access Foundation connects Latinos and others with partners and opportunities to improve lives and create an equitable society.

Phone: (202) 640-4342

Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


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