Collective Focus

Brooklyn, NY

What Are You Most Passionate About?

The community center I co-founded in Brooklyn where our volunteer team redistributes free food, clothing, and creative opportunities to hundreds of people struggling in our neighborhood.

Who is someone who inspires you?

My father is a big inspiration for me with everything I’m pursuing in my life right now. When he passed away in 2014, I inherited his entrepreneurial spirit. He was a small business owner since I was a baby, and growing up I learned to be independent and hardworking. If he was alive, I think he would relate to my current initiatives that explore community development. My dad remained connected to our Hispanic heritage after immigrating to the United States in the 1980s from Mexico. He planned massive Latin American festivals in my hometown where as a teenager I hosted kids face painting booths. He also published a local Spanish language magazine for over 20 years, which I continued to produce for a year after his death as a tribute to his legacy.

What Project would a computer help you with?

The Collective Focus Resource Hub is located at 1046 Broadway in Bushwick and has been operating since April 2020. This is a new project, born out of the pandemic. Many of our dedicated volunteers met last year by connecting through the network of community refrigerators that popped up in New York City as emergency, direct-access food sources for people experiencing hunger and living in food deserts. At the Resource Hub, we host four fridges that are plugged in outside on the sidewalk, accepting food donations every day and feeding many folks including families, immigrants, and houseless people. The people who built the Resource Hub with me are all multi-disciplinary ambitious leaders, with many talents in creative fields. For this reason, we also promote creative opportunities for our community including free filmmaking workshops, kids art classes, and mural painting activities. We are building a creative media syndicate at the Resource Hub, thanks to some tech donations we’ve received including a tablet and speakers. This syndicate is launching an audio recording studio at our community space, where change-makers can record important conversations and inspire the world through our future podcast productions.

What Languages do you speak?

Spanish and English.

Given a choice, would you prefer a Mac or PC?