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Meet The Team

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Paulaska S. Ramirez

Founder & Executive Director

Paulaska S. Ramirez is an exceptional leader and advocate who has dedicated her life to making a positive impact on the lives of first-generation women. As the Founder and Executive Director of Generation Fearless, she has set out to transform the experiences of first-generation women, helping them navigate the complexities of life with confidence and resilience.

Born and raised in Passaic, New Jersey, and later becoming a proud resident of Paterson, Paulaska embodies the essence of her community. As a first-generation Latina, she knows firsthand the challenges and uncertainties that come with navigating college, graduate school, relationships, and adulthood without a point of reference. Her own journey has shaped her into a beacon of hope and guidance for others facing similar hurdles.

With over 13 years of experience in higher education, Paulaska has dedicated herself to working with students from diverse backgrounds, particularly those from low-income households. Her journey as an Educational Opportunity Fund (EOF) program alum underscores her commitment to advocacy and support for students on their academic journeys. She attributes much of her personal and professional success to the invaluable opportunities and support she received from the EOF program.

Paulaska's impact extends far beyond traditional education. She has a wealth of experience spearheading and facilitating educational and social workshops, training sessions, and one-on-one initiatives. Her focus areas span personal development, leadership, culture and identity, and career planning. In each of these domains, she offers innovative solutions to strengthen diversity, inclusion, and cultural competencies. Paulaska serves as a powerful voice and advocate, shedding light on the disparities and inequities experienced by members of her community, driving change and empowerment.

Paulaska's academic journey is a testament to her commitment to lifelong learning. She earned her bachelor's degree in sociology with a concentration in criminal justice from William Paterson University of New Jersey. She furthered her education with a master's in administrative science from Fairleigh Dickinson University. Currently, she is pursuing a Doctor of Education with a concentration in Organizational Leadership Studies at Northeastern University, emphasizing her dedication to continuous growth and knowledge acquisition.

In summary, Paulaska S. Ramirez is a trailblazer, a champion for first-generation women, and a symbol of resilience and determination. Her work at Generation Fearless and her unwavering commitment to empowering others exemplify her extraordinary contributions to her community and society as a whole. Paulaska's life story and achievements serve as an inspiring reference point for all who aspire to overcome obstacles and make a lasting impact on the lives of others.

Contact Information: PaulaskaRamirez@generationfearless.org

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Amina Mostafa

Vice President & Founding Board Member

Amina Mostafa plays a vital role as a founding board member and secretary of Generation Fearless, a testament to her dedication to the organization's mission. As a licensed associate counselor in the state of New Jersey, she brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to her role, particularly in her work as a higher education administrator, where she primarily focuses on supporting marginalized students, many of whom are first-generation.

Amina's passion for helping others shines through in her commitment to taking a holistic approach to supporting first-generation individuals. Her background as a therapist adds a unique dimension to her work, allowing her to provide comprehensive and empathetic support to those in need.

Born in Brooklyn, New York, and raised in Jersey City, New Jersey, Amina Mostafa's personal journey reflects the rich tapestry of the immigrant experience. Her story is one of resilience and determination, and it's a testament to her ability to overcome challenges and contribute positively to her community.

Amina earned her bachelor's degree in psychology from New Jersey City University, demonstrating her early commitment to the field of psychology and her desire to understand the human mind. Her academic journey continued with the pursuit of a master's degree in clinical and counseling psychology from William Paterson University of New Jersey, further honing her expertise in supporting individuals facing various challenges.

In summary, Amina Mostafa is a dedicated advocate and professional, using her background in counseling and psychology to empower marginalized and first-generation individuals. Her personal journey as the daughter of Egyptian immigrants adds depth and authenticity to her work, making her a valuable asset to Generation Fearless and the broader community she serves. Her commitment to holistic support and her academic achievements underscore her unwavering dedication to making a positive impact on the lives of others.

Contact Information: secretary@generationfearless.org

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Everlydis Falcon-Duran

Treasuer

Evy is a self-motivated, collaborative, inclusive, and service-driven individual with a passion for working with people from all walks of life and all ages. She is a lifelong learner who has attained post-graduate work as a first-generation Latina woman. As a result, she is committed to empowering others to embrace and maximize their potential by utilizing her personal and professional experiences to develop and implement innovative strategies and create meaningful opportunities. 

Evy is the proud and committed mother of two talented and academically driven children and enjoys supporting their passions as a single parent. She has served as a coach and assistant and continues to support her children’s activities. She promotes well-being, socialization, kindness, engagement, leadership, and service. Evy values self-care and enjoys sharing with family and friends, salsa dancing, Zumba, traveling, cooking, and writing. 

Evy has worked in higher education and the public sector as an educator. She currently serves the Randolph Township Schools as the Supervisor of Special Services. Before joining the administration, she worked as a special education high school teacher in multiple settings and as a transition coordinator. She served as an advisor for co-curricular and extra-curricular activities. She was a key player in developing the initial Transition program without a budget, creating appropriate and meaningful opportunities for students with special needs. She has also supported ELL and culturally diverse students in navigating the school system, accessing resources, and preparing for post-secondary opportunities.  

Evy attended William Paterson University for her BA in Sociology with a focus on Social Work, EOF student, and recipient of a scholarship to Penn State for a summer with the American Sociological Association, and New Jersey City University for her MA in Special Education & Bilingual Education (as a recipient of a full graduate scholarship and membership in Kappa Delta Pi International Honor Society).

As a professional, she was selected as High School Teacher of the Year and Grant Recipient as a non-tenured teacher and Woman Teacher of the Year by the Zonta Club of Morristown (an organization empowering women through service and advocacy). Evy is a sister of Lambda Tau Omega, Sorority, Inc., serves as the Board of Trustees president for Northeast Life Skills Associates, Inc. in Passaic, NJ, and is retired as an entrepreneur of Angel’s Touch (a chocolate and candy business in Rockaway, NJ).

Evy was born in Puerto Rico, grew up in Jersey City, and now resides in Morris County. These experiences support engagement, inclusivity, and resources offered personally and professionally. Evy’s passions continue to result in empowerment, service, and advocacy.

Contact Information: treasurer@generationfearless.org

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 Johanna Hoyos

Fundraising Chair

A former preclinical and clinical scientist specializing in molecular biology, immunology, and microbiology turned Pharmaceutical/Biotech executive contributing to the development of novel best-in-class products marketed for the treatment of unmet needs, both globally & domestically, in rare & ultra-rare genetic-based diseases (central nervous system, musculoskeletal & kidney diseases) - gene therapy, RNA-targeted therapies, & precision medicines, inflammatory and infectious diseases (bacterial & viral) – vaccines and diagnostics.


Johanna, a lifelong learner holds a Master’s degree in Molecular Biology, Microbiology & Immunology with a concentration in Pharmaceutical Management, and a Bachelor’s degree in Biology, minor in Chemistry both earned at Fairleigh Dickinson University. Ms. Hoyos is certified in Clinical Trial Management and in the Statistical Analysis System at Rutgers University and earned a graduate certificate in Finance at the Harvard Extension School. Johanna is currently working on a Six Sigma – Green belt certification at Rutgers University. Ms. Hoyos was an author and editor for the Latino Leaders Magazine as well as an advisor for a Minority Business Enterprise

(MBE) certified venture capital firm, prioritizing overlooked markets and embracing diversity-as-a-strategy by supporting and growing early-stage tech start-ups seeking to provide solutions that drive digital transitions through effective ESG leadership. In sum, uncovering innovation in underserved, under-estimated and under-represented regions, focusing on merging technology, science and sustainability to build a better future for all.


Johanna has taken various leadership positions in nonprofit organizations, pharmaceutical industries, biotechnology companies, such as, Pfizer Inc. (formerly Wyeth Pharmaceuticals), Takeda Pharmaceuticals, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Sarepta Therapeutics, Chinook Therapeutics, Sanofi (formerly Genzyme Biosurgery), and Roche Molecular Systems. Ms. Hoyos comes from a solid scientific, business acumen, technical, and financial background, focusing on global alliance and strategic sourcing management, business development (search & evaluation), risk mitigation and management, quality and compliance oversight, corporate strategy, global business and clinical operations, research and development, program management of strategic initiatives in
nonprofit (PMI, HBA, HISPA, etc.) and NGO (SOTG) sectors as well as in phases I-IV clinical trials and people management of all hierarchies. Johanna integrates the science, business, finance, fundraising, legal, risk, and quality management of strategic partnerships, alliances and co-development collaborations to market products and strategic initiatives addressing unmet needs, fostering greater positive impact globally.


Johanna is proficient in developing and cultivating client relationships*, leading to successful business development and alliance management efforts. *In Academic Institutions (US & ex-US), Hospitals, Central Labs, Government Agencies (BARDA, WRAIR, NIH, WHO, GAO, NLM), Contract Research Organizations, Contract Manufacturing Organizations, Device & Tech Companies, Pharma and Biotech companies, scientific associations and foundations. Start-up experience and Fortune 500 company experience in owning and managing a book of business, including setting and achieving sales targets. Headed joint steering committee, functional and
business unit meetings for drug discovery and clinical projects and programs.


Ms. Hoyos is a bilingual published author on scientific, leadership & DEIBJ subject matter, a polyglot, a philanthropist, volunteer, mentor (middle school, high school, college and university students), a board member for Harvard Extension Alumni Association (NYC & LATAM Chapters) and formerly, Healthcare Businesswomen’s Association (HBA) – Global Women in Science. A member of The Association of Strategic Alliance Professionals (ASAP) as well as a planner and executer of educational and networking events (e.g., webinars, summits, in person events in US and ex-US). A passionate ambassador and diplomat of philanthropic activities in a myriad of
nonprofit organizations supporting causes of unmet needs (i.e., DE&I, ESG, poverty alleviation in underserved populations, education and minorities - youth development and empowerment in underrepresented communities, women leadership and empowerment, cleft palate, preemies, cancer, Alzheimer’s disease).

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Sonia Wilson

Community Engagement Chair

Sonia Wilson is a dedicated and multifaceted individual who plays a pivotal role as a board member and Community Engagement Chair for Generation Fearless. Her career journey reflects resilience and adaptability, making her a valuable asset to the organization and the community she serves.

With over a decade of experience in the insurance industry, Sonia helped insured individuals "recover from the unexpected." Her ability to navigate this field demonstrated her commitment to assisting others during challenging times. However, when her own career took an unexpected turn, she used the same philosophy of resilience and adaptability to reinvent herself.

In 2016, Sonia transitioned into the field of higher education, where she discovered her passion for guiding and supporting students on their journeys to academic excellence. Her career shift showcases her unwavering commitment to personal growth and making a positive impact on the lives of others. Beyond her professional endeavors, Sonia has dedicated the past decade to volunteering her time and efforts with Kids of Incarcerated Parents (KOIP), a non-profit organization. KOIP's mission is to provide gifts to children during the Christmas holiday and supplies throughout the school year. Her involvement with this organization underscores her compassionate nature and commitment to giving back to the community.

Sonia's passion for education, coupled with her own experience as a first-generation college graduate, has shaped her mission to help first-generation students of color achieve higher education and increase their social mobility. She is a living testament to the mantra, "I can and I will," and she uses her life as an example to inspire and empower others.

Sonia's roots are deeply embedded in Paterson, New Jersey, where she was born and raised. Her educational journey is marked by determination and achievement. She earned her associate's degree in Human Services from Passaic County Community College, her bachelor's degree in Sociology from William Paterson University of New Jersey, and her master's degree in Higher Education from the same institution.

In summary, Sonia Wilson is a remarkable individual who has traversed diverse career paths, each marked by a commitment to helping others and making a positive impact. Her dedication to the field of higher education, her community engagement, and her personal journey as a first-generation college graduate make her a true inspiration and a driving force behind Generation Fearless's mission.

Contact Information: communityengagement@generationfearless.org

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 Gabriella Borrero

Development Chair

Gabriella Borrero is a dynamic individual who plays a vital role as a board member and Development Chair for Generation Fearless. Her journey and expertise highlight her commitment to empowering entrepreneurs, building successful businesses, and fostering community growth.

Gabby has a remarkable track record of helping entrepreneurs transform their business ideas into thriving ventures. Together with her husband, she established The Vault Music Studio, where her strategic acumen and effective processes have ensured its profitability while creating a vibrant and supportive community. Her ability to balance financial success with community building showcases her dedication to both business and social impact.

Her passion for serving others is a defining trait that has guided her throughout her life. This commitment is reflected in her latest venture, "No Plan B," where she serves as a fractional COO to female founders. Additionally, she is a consultant and master connector for small businesses, demonstrating her versatility and skill in empowering others to achieve their goals.

Gabby's roots are deeply intertwined with New Jersey, where she was born and raised. She is not only a professional but also a dedicated parent, often found at the park with her two children, exemplifying the importance of work-life balance and family values.

Her academic journey reflects her commitment to continuous learning and growth. She holds an associate's degree in Hospitality Management from the County College of Morris, showcasing her early interest in business and service-oriented industries. Her educational achievements continue with a bachelor's degree and a master's degree in Accounting from Bloomfield College, further underlining her dedication to professional excellence.

In summary, Gabriella Borrero is an inspiring individual who blends business acumen with a strong community and social impact commitment. Her role as the Development Chair for Generation Fearless reflects her dedication to empowering first-generation women. Her journey from entrepreneur to consultant and her academic accomplishments highlight her multifaceted expertise and enduring commitment to personal and professional growth.

Contact Information: Development@generationfearless.org

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Clara M. Diaz

Founding Board Member

Clara M. Diaz is an influential figure within Generation Fearless, where she serves as a founding board member and holds the critical role of treasurer. Her impressive career as a bilingual first-generation accountant is a testament to her dedication and trailblazing spirit, paving the way for other women of color aspiring to excel in the accounting field.

With over a decade of professional experience in property and corporate accounting, Clara brings a wealth of expertise to her role as treasurer. Her journey in the accounting world serves as an inspiring example for others, particularly women of color, who aspire to follow in her footsteps. She breaks down barriers and challenges stereotypes, proving that success knows no bounds when determination and skill are the driving forces.

Clara's passion extends beyond her career. She is deeply committed to helping first-generation college students achieve their academic goals. As an academic coach and mentor, she plays a crucial role in guiding and supporting these students on their educational journeys. Her dedication to empowering the next generation is a shining example of her commitment to making a positive impact.

Clara's personal background as the daughter of Dominican immigrants adds a unique dimension to her story. Born and raised in Paterson, New Jersey, she embodies the essence of resilience and determination, a true reflection of the immigrant experience in America. Her educational accomplishments are equally impressive. Clara is a graduate of William Paterson University of New Jersey, where she earned her bachelor's degree in business administration with a concentration in accounting, along with a minor in Spanish. Her commitment to continuous learning is evident in her achievement of an MBA with a concentration in accounting, further solidifying her expertise in her chosen field.

In summary, Clara M. Diaz is a remarkable individual who excels both in her professional career and her commitment to helping others. Her role as treasurer and mentor at Generation Fearless showcases her dedication to empowering first-generation college students and fostering diversity and inclusion in the accounting world. Her personal journey, rooted in the immigrant experience, is a powerful reminder of the American dream and the potential for success through hard work and determination.

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Carolyn Davis-Cottle 

At Large Board Member

Carolyn Davis-Cottle, M.Ed., MSW, LCSW. Carolyn is a retired Educator, Founder and Principal of Inner Image Counseling and Consulting Services, a NJ-licensed psychotherapy and mental health practice located in Maplewood, NJ. Founded in 2015, Inner Image Counseling and Consulting is the realization of Ms. Davis-Cottle's long-held dream, to offer compassionate psychotherapy and mental wellness services to support the needs of the individuals and families she recognized in her community and professional circles. Ms. Davis-Cottle is dedicated to her family, as the mother of 3 wonderful adults and grandmother of 2 delightful little people, with whom she enjoys spending time with, her church and community. She inspires self-empowerment and success in everyone she serves. Her life and the launch of Inner Image Counseling and Consulting stand as living proof of her personal mantra, “Healing takes place from the inside out."

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