Eva S. Alexander has experience in fundraising and events. Her involvement derives from working in development teams for the YMCA of Greater Grand Rapids and The American Red Cross in West Michigan. Her skills include communication, public speaking, relationship-building, cross-team collaboration, donor outreach, volunteer development, leadership development, staff training, public relations, and event coordination. Eva serves on the board of Exalta Health and is the chair of the ambassador team at the West Michigan Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. Her upbeat personality and engaging personal style have enabled her to interact effectively with volunteers, staff, and community members from all walks of life. These same personality traits have allowed her the opportunity to emcee events for the West Michigan Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, and interviews for ArtFeast at Exalta Health.
Her education includes a Master of Management degree from Aquinas College in Organizational Leadership and a Bachelor of Arts degree from Grand Valley State University in Hospitality and Tourism. Eva has completed The Exceptional Leader EXCEL program with Jennifer Maxson and Associates and aims to continue to learn as opportunities allow. Eva was born in Villahermosa, Tabasco; immigrated with her family to the United States in 1999, and is proud to recently have become a new American. She aims to use her voice to advocate for others. In her free time, Eva enjoys spending time with her husband, her two sons (5 years old & 9 months old), and a fur baby..
In 2008, Sarah completed her undergraduate studies at Calvin College. During her time there, she studied abroad, volunteered in Grand Rapids schools, tutored adults in GED programs, and worked with immigrant mothers at Cherry Street Medical Clinic, all the time putting to good use her Spanish language fluency and social work training. Sarah attended the Michigan State University College of Law, devoting herself to the study of immigration and public interest law. Following law school, Sarah, her husband, and young daughter moved to Mexico for a year where her husband completed his doctoral research.
In the fall of 2013, Sarah started work at the Diocese of Grand Rapids, Immigration Legal Services, serving as one of two full-time attorneys. She tackled a wide variety of family-based immigration cases and grew accustomed to handling a high volume caseload while still offering high-quality legal services. Sarah left the Diocese of Grand Rapids in December 2014 and soon discovered for-profit legal services were not what Holland immigrants needed. And so, she pioneered Lighthouse Immigrant Advocates. In addition to her work at Lighthouse, Sarah is a mother to two young daughters, Evie (11 years old) and Bay (8 years old).
David is driven to build a community that grows more just, equitable, and open to opportunity, which can best foster others who are living within the uniquely multi-cultural experiment that is the United States.
Born in South Korea, David immigrated with his family to New Jersey in 1992, while his father earned an M.Div at New Brunswick Theological Seminary. Growing up in New Jersey, his home was located between a RCA Church and the city’s largest Jewish Temple. Graduating from Hope College in 2008, David went on to earn a Master’s of Music from Northern Illinois University (Dekalb, IL) before returning to live and work in Holland at Community Action House for nearly seven years.
David joined the LIA family in summer of 2021. He brings deep experiences in volunteer management, fundraising, marketing, project management, data analysis, and a life-long learner’s curiosity to best support the funding and community-building efforts of LIA. In his previous lives, he has served as a youth orchestra conductor, Lilly Scholar, violist, chamber musician.
David was born in Toronto, Canada to parents who were refugees there during the civil war in Nicaragua in the 1980s. When his family immigrated to the United States, the first place they ended up was here in Holland, Michigan. Although his family began traveling all across America during his youth, David ended up back in Michigan when he attended Aquinas College in Grand Rapids and graduated with a B.A. in History and Political Science. As an immigrant to the United States, David did not become an American citizen until his first year of law school at Tulane University in New Orleans, Louisiana. His focus during his studies at Tulane Law School was immigration law. He worked at the Northwest Immigrant Rights Project in Washington, was a member of the Tulane Latinx Law Student Association, served as the Secretary of the Tulane Immigration Law Society during his final year at Tulane, and worked as a research assistant with the Tulane Immigrant Rights Practicum.
David is an advocate for social justice, education, and the right for anyone to try and achieve the American dream, regardless of their background or personal history. In his free time, David enjoys watching Youtube, hockey (Go Leafs!), and pugs. He is also an avid fan of tabletop gaming.
Born and raised in Holland MI, Laura graduated from Michigan State University with a B.A in Spanish. During her time in undergrad, Laura studied abroad, volunteered, and was a part of various student-led organizations.
Laura began work at Lighthouse Immigrant Advocates in October of 2018. She has held various roles within the organization and currently works as a full-time Legal Assistant. She values the importance of fair representation in the immigrant community. Laura believes that every client should have the opportunity to achieve their dream. She is working on becoming a Department of Justice Accredited Representative so that she will be able to serve LIA’s clients in a greater capacity. Her favorite part of working at LIA is the opportunity to help members of the community directly. A proud new mother, Laura recently welcomed a baby boy in March 2021.
Vidal was born and raised in Managua, Nicaragua. He grew up going to a culturally diverse school, being exposed to cultures like that of South Korea, Bangladesh, Haiti, Brazil, USA, among others since childhood. As a traveling musician, he has spent time in countries such as Panama, Costa Rica, Uruguay, Brazil, Argentina, among others, securing him the opportunity to acquire multicultural knowledge of different Latin American cultures and their history. Due to political unrest in Nicaragua, and his involvement in protests against the Nicaraguan Dictator, Vidal was a semester shy from majoring in Finance.
Vidal is currently working towards his Department of Justice accreditation, as well as his bachelor’s; his goal is to acquire the preparation to apply for law school. He believes that every human being deserves the opportunity to live a life of dignity in peace and safety. His motivation and passion for immigration stem from his own personal experience undergoing the process and it has only grown stronger as he spends more time working at LIA. In his free time, he loves to make music, surf, get tattoos and watch dog videos.
Iliana joined LIA June of 2021 and with over seven years of experience, she offers incredible support with administrative and operational needs. She’s passionate about her work and loves to support and get involved with organizations that strive to make a positive change and lasting impact in the lives of people.
Her dedication to LIA’s mission is fueled by her own personal experiences with family and friends – she believes every life is valuable and deserves the right to live a life without fear. When calling LIA, you can expect to hear her friendly voice on the other end as she assists you with all your needs.
Outside of LIA, she loves to serve her community through her church, Cornerstone Tabernacle. She’s also an ESL Instructor and enjoys teaching anyone who is willing to learn! Other passions include; creating music with her brothers, family, friends, cooking, writing, DIY Projects, and her dog, Sparky.
Kiely graduated from the University of Notre Dame in 2011. While an undergraduate, she was a member of Hispanic Student High Achievers and a Dean’s Fellow. After she was accepted to the Notre Dame Law School, she was selected to receive an Indiana Conference for Legal Education Opportunity (ICLEO) Fellowship for underrepresented minorities pursuing legal education. During the summer of 2011, she attended the ICLEO summer institute at Notre Dame. While in law school, Kiely was a member of the Hispanic Law Student Association and the Technology Editor for Notre Dame’s Journal of Law, Ethics, and Public Policy. Kiely graduated from law school and passed the bar in 2014.
Throughout the years, Kiely has volunteered with various West Michigan community organizations such as Latin Americans United for Progress, Justice for our Neighbors, Migrant Story Hour, St. Francis de Sales Church Hispanic Ministry, Waller Law Office, and, prior to being hired, Lighthouse Immigrant Advocates.