Social Worker, CARECEN Central American Refugee Center
Vivian Morales is considered an immigrant twice over, first leaving her native Colombia and moving to Spain as a child.
In Spain, Vivian obtained her bachelor’s degree in social work and a master’s degree in project management from the University of Zaragoza.
During her time at the University of Zaragoza, Vivian developed a passion for helping those with the greatest need, becoming involved in hands-on social welfare initiatives with underprivileged children and families in Spain, Cuba and Perú.
When Vivian migrated to the United States in 2012, where she obtained another master’s degree in social work from Adelphi University, she continued dedicating herself to the well-being of at-risk communities in New York.
Through her work with COPAY, Inc., Sunnyside Community Services and the Alzheimer’s Association NYC Chapter, Vivian provided critical social work services to individuals receiving treatment for substance abuse and families affected by dementia or other chronic diseases.
Vivian says she continues to support the elderly and families affected by dementia by volunteering for the Alzheimer’s Association NYC Chapter to facilitate a support group in Spanish.
Vivian says her own experiences as an immigrant paved her way to the Central American Refugee Center (CARECEN), where she provides social work services to immigrant children and families at risk for deportation.
Vivian believes that, by empowering her clients to draw on their own strengths and realize their potential, she is helping them to ensure their future well-being.
Her work is a testament to this ethos. Through her work at CARECEN, Vivian has changed the lives of hundreds of immigrants on Long Island by connecting them to vital services that allow them to thrive in their new American communities.
Vivian says she is “deeply motivated” by her desire to give back to the Latino community, and to serve as “an example of strength and passion for young Latinas everywhere”, particularly her three-year-old daughter, Juliette.