Contributors

Think Freely Latino (TFL) shares useful resources from across the web, and features emotionally compelling stories about inspiring individuals working to empower Hispanics and Latinos living in the United States.

TFL also covers a wide range of topics on its website and social media platforms, including: education and culture, health and wellness, money and jobs, entrepreneurs and business, news and opinion, as well as resources and tips.

TFL Contributors write opinion editorials and develop stories about everyday Latino heroes, leaders, and successful entrepreneurs, inspiring more individuals to self-empower, thrive, succeed, and make positive contributions to their communities.

If you are interested in becoming a TFL contributor, please contact us to submit your information. Briefly tell us about yourself and describe your area of expertise. We invite you to also include a pitch for an original article, video, cartoon, slide presentation, or infographic.

We are especially interested in learning about organizations and individuals who are solving issues at the ground level, independent of the government sphere.

Contributors

Andre Castillo

Andre currently serves as Associate Vice President at Interprise Partners, LLC.  He previously provided business and negotiation consultation to tech and educational startups. Andre also previously led award-winning human capital programs for the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, where he used innovative e-learning techniques to train millions of veterans and those serving them to improve their service and their careers.

Andre has been featured as a national success story by the U.S. Office of Personnel Management and interviewed by Federal News Radio for his innovative recruitment programs. He has received numerous awards throughout his professional and academic career, including a Presidential Management Fellowship, a Public Service Recognition award, and numerous public speaking awards.

Andre received his master’s degree from the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies and his bachelor’s degree from California State University. He expects to complete his law degree from the University of San Diego in May 2018.

Demi Dowdy

Demi Dowdy is communications coordinator at the Civitas Institute in Raleigh, North Carolina, where she coordinates all media relations for the state’s leading conservative think tank. Previously, Dowdy worked in PR and media relations for various organizations in Washington, D.C., including Concerned Women for America.

Jes Greene

A Nashville native, Jes started her career as an investigative journalist at the Huffington Post before freelancing for outlets like Forefront Magazine and Blah Blah Blah Science (B3Sci). Formerly a staff writer for Modern Notion, Jes was most recently a staff writer at Everyday Heroeswhere she  workedto remind the world that there are good people doing more amazing things than they even know. Jes also serves as a contributor to TFL. Some of her original work for Everyday Heroes has been translated and featured on TFL. 

Jorge Jraissati

Jorge Jraissati is one of the most impactful influencers and leaders of the student movement in Venezuela. His is an important voice for students and millions of Venezuelans who are fighting for their future, their country and their freedom.

Jorge has been an advocate for freedom since the age of 16. At the age of 20, he has had the honor to serve the people of his native city, Barquisimeto in Venezuela. He was also honored to serve his classmates at Florida Atlantic University, where he studies Economics and Business Management at the FAU Honors College.

Among the most followed and recognized young political figures of his country, Jorge writes about the human rights violations of the current Venezuelan regime, the results of socialist economic policies, necessary reforms and, most importantly, the ongoing fight for liberty in Venezuela.

Think Freely Latino will continue to provide a platform for students like Jorge, who suffer censorship in their native countries while fighting for greater freedoms there — and in the U.S.

Jorge Martinez

Jorge (George) Martinez is president and founder of JSM Strategies Inc., a campaign and corporate consulting firm in McAllen, Texas, where he also serves as a gubernatorial appointee on the Texas Physician Assistant Board and a mayoral appointee to the City of Mission Citizens Advisory Committee.

In 2012, Jorge became a project coordinator for The LIBRE Initiative, a national nonprofit, nonpartisan organization that advances economic freedom principles within the U.S. Hispanic community. From June 2014 to December 2016, he was The LIBRE Initiative’s field director for the Rio Grande Valley in South Texas.

Jorge is a 2011 graduate of California State University, Fresno, where he received his bachelor’s degree in communication and became founding president of the Fresno State chapter of Alpha Gamma Omega, a Christ-centered fraternity. Jorge also has a master’s in public administration from California Baptist University. He resides in Mission, Texas with his wife, Valeria, and his son, Jacob Sebastian.

Joe Milligan

Joe Milligan is the co-founder of Fundación Libertad Puerto Rico and is executive vice president of this liberty-minded think tank startup in San Juan. In a previous life he worked in the mortgage industry, but has since dedicated himself to improving the challenging economy of Puerto Rico by spreading the message of the virtues of free markets and self reliance. Joe considers himself a Michigander by birth but a Puerto Rican by choice. He resides in San Juan.

Israel Ortega

Israel Ortega is a nationally recognized political commentator and the Senior Op-ed Writer for In Pursuit Of, the in-house communications and marketing firm for the Charles Koch Institute network.

Prior to working for In Pursuit Of, Ortega was the Senior Writer for Opportunity Lives, an online news publication that believes that free enterprise, a vibrant civil society and a competent government is the best means of expanding opportunity to all.

Israel’s professional experience also includes working for The Heritage Foundation, a public policy think tank where he helped start, Heritage LibertadThe Heritage Foundation’s Spanish language website.

Israel is married with three children: Mary Tobin (5) and Inez (3) and Jack (1). Israel and his family live in the Del Ray neighborhood of Alexandria, Virginia and are active members of Restoration Anglican Church in Arlington, VA.

You can follow Israel Ortega on Twitter: @IzzyOrtega

Sandra Pedroarias

Sandra Mayoral Pedroarias manages Think Freely Latino (TFL) — a Think Freely Media (TFM) Hispanic and Latino outreach project. TFL works with Hispanic thought leaders and influencers to identify, cultivate, and share useful resources from across the web. TFL features inspiring stories about redemption, triumph over adversity, and Latinos’ unique entrepreneurial spirit.

She previously served as director of outreach for the Office of Financial Education, and as senior advisor to the U.S. Treasurer at the U.S. Department of the Treasury. She also later served as deputy director and acting director of the Office of International Women’s Issues, Democracy and Global Affairs at the U.S. Department of State.

Melissa Rohan

Melissa Rohan is the founder of Waterfront Academy and serves as President of the Board of Directors. She is also a Think Freely Latino education contributor. 

She formerly taught English as a Second Language teacher in Miami, Florida and Washington, DC. She also served as an executive member on the Potomac Lighthouse Public Charter School Board of Trustees, an executive member on the board of The Hill Preschool, co-chair of the SE/SW Parents and Neighbors for Education Excellence Now!, the community member of the Local School Advisory Team (LSAT) for Amidon-Bowen Elementary School, and ran for DC State Board of Education for Ward 6 in 2010.

Melissa Rohan is married with three children, and currently lives in Southwest DC.