MEET OUR TEAM
WE ARE CRAZY!
One word to describe our team is UNIQUE. We are a group of passionate people who go to extremes to ensure that the children and communities we serve, experience family, love and growth. When faced with challenges, we don't give up or let up, we press through. We take risks, cry, hug, love, and never run out of energy!
God knew what he was doing when he put this team together. What keeps us going and working together is one common goal: we love children of poverty and live to make their lives a little better.
We are not perfect, we don't have it all together but that won't stop us from changing the world one child at a time.
Join our crazy team!
President & CEO
In 2007, Marisol attended her first mission trip to the Dominican Republic with New Life Covenant Church. That experience greatly impacted her life. She could not return home without doing something to help children living in communities of extreme poverty. On June 20, 2011 she founded Army of the Kind. She has dedicated her life to serve the poor and afflicted. She is currently studying at West Coast Bible College and Seminary to achieve her Bachelors degree in Missions.
Fun Fact: "I never shop at a home improvement store without a coffee at hand- it's overwhelming!"
Nickname: The WARDEN
Liz attended her first mission trip in 2009 to Camden, New Jersey. She immediately knew that missions had to be a consistent part of her life. She attended a mission trip to the Dominican Republic with Marisol in 2010. Their mission was to give over 1,000 pairs of shoes to orphans. This mission completely changed her life. She gave her two weeks notice at work and decided she wanted to volunteer her time to helping start Army of the Kind.
Fun Fact: "Every living creature is important to me. I will not even step on a spider. I will gently walk it outside."
Child Sponsorship Coordinator
Guadalupe lives in Texas with her husband who serves in the Army. Since she was a little girl she always had a heart to help children in need. In May of 2015, Marisol visited her church and shared the vision of AOTK. Guadalupe had tears in her eyes and knew that she just had to become part of the team. She now sends out profiles and information to all of our child sponsors. She has a new task of learning all the children's names. Good luck Guadalupe!
Fun Fact: "I always try to have fun. I am spontaneous, creative and a little bit crazy."
Aida began working with Army of the Kind in 2009 before we were even incorporated. She has traveled to the Dominican Republic several times on mission trips. She also leads our missions to Hutto, Texas. She enjoys numbers and spending long nights up entering them into Quickbooks (we are joking). Her position requires integrity, patience, and a hot coffee always at hand. Ever have a question about your giving? She's the lady to talk to.
Fun Fact: "I go to Dunkin Donuts for icecream never for coffee. #starbuckslover"
Health Care & Missions Coordinator
Aixa studied nursing at Daley College and obtained her Associates of Applied Science in Nursing . Her expertise in this field will tremendously benefit the children and communities we serve. Her goal is to create an internship program allowing students to travel to Haiti and volunteer at our special needs orphanage. She also enjoys experimenting with different hair colors. Keep her in prayer as she is studying to take the national board exam and obtain her license.
Fun Fact: "I love to crochet and sew. I might not be as good as I'd like to be, but it releases stress and it is dope to see my creativity evolve."
Danielle was born in Kentucky but has been living in Chicago for over 15 years. She joined Army of the Kind before it was even a thought. Her love for children is genuine however she gets a lot of practice because she has so many nieces and nephews (like 30!). She enjoys spending time with her family and drives to Kentucky whenever she gets a chance. She is our social media guru and loves to remind us to share our posts daily and help spread the word. She also loves taking pictures and recently went back to school to study photography.
Fun Fact: "I can make a weird noise with my mouth that squirrels respond to. #squirrelwhisperer"
MISSION TRIP FACILITATOR
Luis is one of four men on our team, yes we need more guys to join! He travels a lot for work but that doesn't stop him from giving AOTK 100% of his spare time. When he is not traveling for work, he is leading a mission trip to a different country. He and his wife (Liz Velazquez) sponsor 3 children with AOTK and have two of their own children. He is also the men's ministry director at his church.
Fun Fact: "I love Men in Black movies."
Child Sponsorship Director
Virginia is always cracking jokes and keeps everyone in a great mood. Her great administrative skills help us to stay organized. She specifically helps with the sponsors and making sure that there are open lines of communication. She has two beautiful children and is currently attending North Park University to further her education.
Fun Fact: "When the little kid in me wants real fun, we go on roller coaster rides!"
Special Events Coordinator
Ivette also known as "Sunpie" is the best event coordinator anyone can ask for. Her attention to detail is impeccable. In the midst of her crazy daily life schedule, she still makes time to think of others. She helps to plan many of events and literally knows so many people and makes them volunteer for us! She's just awesome. She has three children, two boys and a girl. Her oldest is serving in the Army Reserves. She takes pride in being a soldiers momma.
Fun Fact: "Tacos are the way to my heart."
Andrea's journey with AOTK began when she first sponsored a child with us in 2014. Shortly after the sponsorship she was contacted by AOTK because her sponsored child, located in Haiti, was going to undergo surgery for both of her legs. Andrea was invited to visit her child after the surgery took place since her child didn't have a mother. That trip to Haiti changed her life. Julie, her sponsored child, clung on to Andrea and they immediately had a bond. Andrea now helps us with all things "Haiti" and visits with Julie yearly.
Fun Fact: "Years of hot yoga has gotten me to love very hot climates and sweating does not bother me."
Eddie has a huge heart for missions. He currently also volunteers with People loving People which is a another non-profit organization that helps feed, clothe and love on the homeless people in Chicago. He attends all of our events and helps us to promote our programs. We are so thankful for our volunteers.
Fun Fact: "I was a Boy Scout for two whole weeks until I found out they had to do a lot of work."
PASTOR MOISES RIVERA
Moises attended Trinity University and obtained his Bachelors in Christian Ministry with an emphasis in Pastoral Leadership. He is married and has 3 beautiful children. His role on our team is to be in constant prayer for us, our sponsors, partners and projects.
Fun Fact: "My thumbs are double jointed. It's weird."
Director or Education
Neysa has been a teacher for over 20 years. She loves children so very much. She spends her summer leading other teachers on mission trips to the Dominican Republic to run a Summer Tutoring Program at an all boys orphanage. Her desire is that they can see how special they are to God and how much He loves them.
Fun fact: "I love to laugh. I can cry and laugh at the same time."
Liz traveled with us on a mission trip to Peru in 2011. There God revealed to her that she was going to be doing missions full time. Later that year, she gave her notice at work and retired. She then made herself 100% available to serve in any capacity that she could. She returned to work in 2014, but only so that she can help fund the vision of AOTK.
Fun Fact: "I make it a point to say hello and start up a conversation with strangers everyday."