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About us

Our Mission

To prevent child abuse and neglect by valuing children, strengthening families, and educating communities.

Donate. Volunteer. Get involved. Together, we can put an end to child abuse once and for all.

Our Mission
Our History
Tribute
Our Team
Our Board
Supporters

Our History

In 1991, a few friends who had been volunteering at various child welfare organizations were asked by the Children’s Home Society (CHS) to volunteer for an auxiliary group to help the organization rally support for its mission from the burgeoning Hispanic community in South Florida. The group was named Amigos of CHS and was co-founded by Jorge A. Plasencia.

A year later the group became an independent organization which they named Amigos Together For Kids and was later renamed Amigos For Kids.

What began as a passion project for a group of friends has evolved into a mainstream nonprofit, and our child abuse prevention message now reaches communities across the country – no matter their ethnicity or native language.

a Tribute to

Rosa María Plasencia

“Silence is a form of consent. Let’s raise our voices and never be silenced in support of our most precious resource – children.”

-Rosa María Plasencia

Rosa Maria Plasencia was president and CEO of Amigos For Kids from 2004 until her untimely death in 2018.

She started volunteering with Amigos in 2001 and in 2004 left a career as a sales director for Air New Zealand to pursue her calling. Though she had no children of her own, Rosa Maria is remembered for the personal interest she took in each child served by the organization. Those who knew her best remember her as someone who had the ability to reach young children who may have experienced abuse and got them to open up.  She helped kids gain confidence by teaching them to stand up for themselves if they were being bullied or abused.

Under her tenure, Amigos was named The Children’s Trust Program of the Year in 2015, it earned a four-star rating with Charity Navigator, reached 2,500 elementary school children through its “There’s no Excuse for Child Abuse!” campaign, and launched an award-winning Art Basel exhibit called “Broken Crayons,” featuring children’s drawings that indicate signs of abuse.

Rosa Maria really shines during the holidays. Every year, Amigos hosts a holiday toy drive that grants the specific holiday wishes of thousands of children in the community. Those wishes range from specific toys, to food for their families, to sometimes more special requests, like a goldfish, or a framed photo of a child’s parents who had passed away. Every Christmas, Rosa Maria would personally go on these missions to find the special requests of the children and search high and low until she found them.

We will always honor her legacy and remember our “Best Amiga.”

Our Team

Karina Pavone
President &
Chief executive officer
karina Pavone
karina@amigosforkids.org
John Serret
Senior DIRECTOR OF FINANCE
AND HUMAN RESOURCES
JOHN SERRET
john@amigosforkids.org
Michelle Cuartas
SENIOR DIRECTOR OF PROGRAMS
AND COMMUNITY PARTNERSHIPS
MICHELLE CUARTAS
michelle@amigosforkids.org
Accounting &
HR Coordinator
Lucia Vaccari
lucy@amigosforkids.org
Nurturing Parenting
Program Manager
Raysa Perez-Tabares
raysa@amigosforkids.org
Nurturing Parenting
Senior Counselor
Carolina Osuna-Fuentes
carolina@amigosforkids.org
Nurturing Parenting
Senior Counselor
Martha I. Peñaranda
martha@amigosforkids.org
Nurturing Parenting
Counselor
Ramon Mesa
ramon@amigosforkids.org
Program Support
Coordinator
Gisele Estrada
gisele@amigosforkids.org
Program Support
Specialist
Kathy Martinez
kathy@amigosforkids.org
Program Support
Specialist
Idelys Fraguela
idelys@amigosforkids.org
Family Support
Worker
Blanca Andrade
blanca@amigosforkids.org
Family Support
Worker
Rosanna Donato
rosanna@amigosforkids.org
Family Support
Worker
Glenda Alvarado
glenda@amigosforkids.org
After School
Senior Program Manager
Jenniffer Dorcinvil
jenniffer@amigosforkids.org
After School Counselor
Family Support Worker
Denis C. Lopez
denis@amigosforkids.org
After School Counselor
Family Support Worker
Sharon L. Cintas
sharon@amigosforkids.org
After School
Literacy Instructor
Linda Rosado
linda@amigosforkids.org
After School
Counselor
Astrid M. Mata-Morales
astrid@amigosforkids.org
After School
Counselor
Michelle Bonillla
elle@amigosforkids.org
After School
Counselor
Stephanie Caicedo
stephanie@amigosforkids.org
After School
Counselor
Brianna Quintela
brianna@amigosforkids.org
After School
Counselor
Kiara Jackson
kiara@amigosforkids.org
After School
Counselor
Bielky Ruiz
bielky@amigosforkids.org

Our Board

BOARD CHAIR
Maggie Fresen-zulueta
VP Academica Corporation
VICE CHAIR
YOSBEL A. IBARRA, ESQ.
Co-Managing Shareholder Greenberg Traurig, P.A.
TREASURER
ALEX SUEIRO, CPA
Partner – PAAST
SECRETARY
VICTORIA MADANI, ESQ.
Attorney – Shutts & Bowen LLP
Karina Pavone
President &
Chief executive officer
karina Pavone
Amigos for Kids
IMMEDIATE PAST CHAIR
NICOLE VALLS
VP Operations –  Valls Group
CO-FOUNDER & CHAIRMAN EMERITUS
JORGE A. PLASENCIA
Co-Founder, Chairman & CEORepublica Havas
Carol Cabezas
President
Azamara Club Cruises
CRISTY CLAVIJO-KISH
Chief Development Officer
Co-Founder & Partner
Hispanicize Media Group
GUSTAVO MEMBIELA, ESQ.
Partner
Hunton Andrews Kurth LLP
INGRID HOFFMANN
TV Celebrity Chef
LISSETTE M. CALDERÓN
Chief Executive Officer
Neology Development Group
MIGUEL LARREA
Senior Account Executive
Clear Channel Outdoor
PAMELA SILVA
News Anchor
Univision Network
PEDRO A. CAPÓ
Chief Operating Officer
El Dorado Furniture
ELIOT PEDROSA
Partner
Jones Day
JOSE VICTOR MORALES
Senior Vice President
Citigroup
MARCEL MONNAR, ED.S.
President
One on One Learning
JOSE TRIANA
Major Accounts Manager – FPL
FRANCISCO PONCE
Vice President
NBC Universal Telemundo Enterprises
CHRISTIE VELASCO
Assistant Vice President and Assistant to the President & CEO Interamerican Bank
MICHAEL PLASENCIA
Group Director
New Product Strategy
Ryder System, Inc.
ROBERT PENAFIEL
President
Pension Services, Inc. (“PSI”)
and Plan Documents, Inc. (“PDI”)
LEGAL COUNSEL (EX-OFFICIO)
EDDIE DIAZ, ESQ.
Partner – Holland & Knight
ADRIENNE ARSHT
Chairman Emerita
TotalBank
ROXANA FERNANDEZ
President
Imagen
JACKIE NESPRAL
News Anchor
NBC Miami

Our Supporters

Corporate Partners

Academica - brand logo
Amor 107.5 WAMR brand logo
Bacardí brand logo
Baptist Health South Florida brand logo
Comcast brand logo
Dunkin' Joy brand logo
El Dorado Furniture brand logo
FPL brand logo
Greenberg Traurig brand logo
Macy's corporate logo
Mix 98.3 WRTO brand logo
NBC Channel 6 South Florida brand logo
Radio Mambi 710 AM - Brand logo
Republica Havas brand logo
Royal Caribbean International
Ryder corporate logo
South Motors corporate logo
Telemundo 51 brand logo
Unimás Miami brand logo
Univision 23 Miami brand logo
Univision Contigo brand logo
Versalles Restaurant brand logo
Vista Motors brand logo
WQBA 1140 AM brand logo

Institutional Partners

City of Miami logo
Dade Schools Student Services logo
Florida Department of Children & Families brand logo
Miami Dade County Logo
Miami Parks and Recreation logo
Monique Burr Foundation logo
The Batchelor Foundation logo
The Children Trust Logo
The Gloria Estefan Foundation
The Kirk Foundation logo
The Leslie Alexander Foundation logo
UnidosUS Logo