Our Staff

Isabel C. Garcia, President/CEO
Isabel Garcia joined Parent to Parent of Miami in 1989 and served as Vice President and President of the Board from 1992-1997. In 1997, Isabel was designated the Executive Director of the program, and later that year Parent to Parent of Miami became one of the first ten federally funded community parent resource centers receiving grants awarded by the U.S. Department of Education Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP) under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act. Isabel shares her home with her daughter, Daniela (who has Cerebral Palsy), her husband Mario, and Foxy the Jack Russell Terrier. Her daughter Maritza got married in May 2012, shares her home with her husband Kevin and  Ripley the Shetland Sheepdog. The love of her family and working with children with special needs and their families is the energy that feeds her soul. For her efforts, Isabel has been recognized with the Children’s Services Council 2002 Champion for Children Community Service Award, The Exceptional Parent Maxwell J. Schleifer Distinguished Service Award and in 2008 Parent to Parent of Miami received The Children’s Trust 2008 Excellence Award Programs for Children with Disabilities. In April 2009, she was honored with the Cruz-Whitehurst Advocacy Award at the Annual UM-NSU CARD Tropical Nights Event.

Farides Garcia, Operations Manager
Fari has been with Parent to Parent of Miami since 2003. She first served on the Board of Trustees as Treasurer in 2004 and as President from 2007 to 2009. She is the mother of two boys; her youngest is diagnosed with autism. Fari strives toward making the world a better place for children with autism and all disabilities. Her goal is to help families find their voices, and bring the family perspective to those in the community serving children with disabilities. She has been on various panels presenting the family perspective to medical students, therapists and other healthcare workers. Fari has served on other councils including the Young Children with Special Needs and Disabilities Council and the University of Miami’s Exceptional Student Education/Pre-K Disabilities/ESOL Advisory Board. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree of Science in Nursing from the University of Miami.

Lauren Bustos-Alban, Advocacy & Training Manager
I was born in the States but went to school in Cali, Colombia where I received my degree in Early Childhood Education.  I am the proud mother of three extraordinary children Daniela, Juan Felipe and Johanna.  My son Juan Felipe was diagnosed with a Specific Learning Disability when he was eight (8) years old but that has never stopped him from achieving anything he has desired in life.  I joined Parent to Parent of Miami in February of 2004 and fell in love with special education law and advocacy.  I’ve been given the opportunity to provide help, hope and support to children with special needs and their families. Parent to Parent of Miami has served thousands of families through the years and I am blessed to be a part of that.

Ana Laura dos Santos Lara, Transition Manager
I was born and raised in Cordoba, Argentina, studied law and also attended art school. I have been working with Parent to Parent of Miami since 2008. During the past couple of years, I have worked closely with the families as an Education and Support Specialist, on specific projects such as Early Discovery, and as Transition Manager with Project Panther LIFE and Panther PLUS. Currently I am working with families of students in transition age and researching post-secondary programs to help more families learn about the options available within our community. Working at Parent to Parent of Miami and guiding other families has changed my life. With a strong belief that parents’ involvement and education is the key to success for families who have children with disabilities, I enjoy using my advocacy skills to help families make a difference and help their loved ones reach their full potential.

Nicole Ravinet, Education & Support Specialist
My name is Nicole and I was born in Chile. After studying German and Psychology for two years, I gave birth to the greatest gift of my life, Sofia. She was born with Septo Optic Dysplasia. This condition involves underdeveloped pituitary glands and low vision among other medical needs. However she has the most amazing talent for music! Through this journey, I have learned many unexpected and profound things and to never give up and always persist in your goals. I have been working at Parent to Parent of Miami since 2007, where I have the privilege to share with many families the challenges and joys of our everyday lives with our children. We never stop learning.  While we are here to support families, providing the help is a wonderful reward.



Jennifer Jones, Education & Support Specialist
Jennifer is the proud mother of a son and daughter. Her children are the central reason for joining the Parent to Parent of Miami organization. After years of tirelessly advocating on their behalf, she now applies that same passion and drive towards educating and supporting the families in her community. A Miami-Dade County native, she  continues to champion causes near and dear to her heart and looks forward to assisting all of the families seeking assistance at Parent to Parent of Miami. 


Idamar Siverio, Education & Support Specialist
I was born and raised in Puerto Rico, studied Architecture and History of Art at Tulane University in New Orleans and lived for ten years in Las Vegas where I worked as an Architect and as a Professor of Architecture Design. I have been married for 16 years and we are parents to a beautiful, funny and strong daughter, Evelyn. She is the center of our universe. My interest in helping families with children with disabilities was born from personal experience. Evelyn has had delays in language and communication. For many years we have worked with amazing therapists- an immense team effort. Evelyn is a champion and the achievements, so worth it. It has been a very rewarding experience to walk along with families on the journey that is deciphering the many aspects of disability, education and advocacy for our children. It is my goal to teach and learn, to lead and to follow, to encourage and to always believe in the strength, courage and perseverance of all our children and families.

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Marcia Morales, Education & Support Specialist
I am Vanessa and Michael’s mom.  On the day Vanessa was born, I learned the overwhelming joy of motherhood and Michael reminded me, only one year later, how tender a newborn is and how all was complete and perfect with the world since I was blessed and honored to be their mother. Like them, I was born and raised in Miami, enjoying the sun, sand and water as much as possible; I swear Michael must have been a fish in a previous life the way he “lives” in the water. Michael has Autism and has taught me to look for and find happiness in very many places I would have never have thought of looking before. Someday, I hope to grow up to be like Vanessa, courageous, diligent and oh, so strong.  I am fortunate to have them and also fortunate to have the opportunity at Parent to Parent of Miami to share with families my experiences in raising a child with a disability and fulfill my lifelong desire to be able to support others, as others have supported me in this journey.

Michelle Arregoitia, Education & Support Specialist
I was born and raised in Miami, Florida. I attended a few universities from LSU, UF, University of Paris (France) and finally graduated from FIU with a degree in International Relations. I’ve been married for over 23 years and together we have one son. Joseph was born with Cerebral Palsy and has a speech impairment, dystonia (a movement disorder) and an intellectual disability. The journey of raising a child with a disability has been by far my greatest teacher. It has been both challenging and rewarding beyond belief and I truly consider this experience a gift. The lessons learned and the values and perspective gained have made me into the more compassionate and empathetic person I am today. I joined Parent to Parent of Miami in December 2010 in the hopes of helping others through their own personal journey, empowering families and providing much needed support along the way.


Sandra Rancano, Education & Support Specialist
I was born in Cuba and raised in Miami.  I am the proud mother of two very special daughters, Katerina and Cristina.  Katerina has high functioning autism and will be graduating from high school this year and attending college.  It has not been an easy road but Parent to Parent of Miami always supported and guided me through the special education process. Cristina is in the gifted program and is also a special education student in high school.  My husband and I have been married for over twenty years and have experienced all the ups and downs of raising children with special needs.  I have an Associate’s Degree in Elementary Education from Miami Dade College and a Bachelor’s in Business Administration from Florida International University.  It is a privilege to be assisting families through their special education journey and empowering them with knowledge.

 
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Rosy Ramos, Community Events Coordinator
I was born in Cuba and raised in Miami, Florida.   My strength and experience is in the field of administration, and I have a passion for helping others.  I share my home with my husband Manny, my daughter Melissa, my son Michael, and our beloved Dachshund named Toby. Melissa, who was diagnosed at birth with a neurological disorder called Agenesis of the Corpus Callosum, has taught me the true meaning of unconditional love.  I enjoy relaxing in sandy beaches, and love anything to do with music and dance.  I've been working at Parent to Parent of Miami since 1999. Throughout the years, I've shared my knowledge and experience with families. It is through adversity that we become stronger and continue to grow. At Parent to Parent of Miami, we make a difference in the lives of families who have children and adults with special needs.

Emmanuel Sinclair, Administrative Assistant
I was born in the beautiful city of San Jose, Costa Rica and came to Miami, Florida at the tender age of one. Being raised here exposed me to many unique cultures and experiences. I have my BA in Psychology from Florida International University. I started working for Parent to Parent of Miami in 2012 and couldn’t be happier working for such a great non-profit organization that provides so much to parents in need. With my free time, I enjoy running, working out, playing basketball, reading, and watching documentaries.

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Mireya Garcia, Receptionist
My name is Mireya Garcia and I was born in Cuba.  My husband Armando and I have been married for 31 years.  We have a son, Kristopher, who lives in San Diego, a daughter, Kristina who lives in Boston, and the new member of the family, Kody our puppy.  I started working for Parent to Parent of Miami in March of 2013. In the short amount of time that I have been here I have learned to appreciate the great work that parents of children with disabilities do on a daily basis. It has taught me to appreciate the great work that goes into this organization.

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Jackie Acosta, Program Development Coordinator
I was born in Ponce, Puerto Rico and raised in Port St. Lucie, Florida. I am a graduate from Fort Pierce Community College with an AA in Computer Science, have been married for 30 years and have two wonderful boys. My oldest son, Guillermo, at the age of two was diagnosed with mild Cerebral Palsy. After this diagnosis my priorities changed and it became all about his needs: the therapies, horseback riding, coaches, tutors, and social groups. With my involvement in my son’s life, I knew I was giving him a better chance for independence for the rest of his life. I became knowledgeable about the laws and resources to better improve his chances of learning and recently have also learned about Guardianships and Special Needs Trusts. Guillermo is now an adult who works two part-time jobs, attends the Baking Program for adults with disabilities at J.R.E. Lee and volunteers at Zoo Miami when he is not busy. I want to share all my experiences of raising a child with a disability with everyone I come across and working for Parent to Parent makes this possible. I believe that Parent to Parent of Miami is beneficial for all families of children special needs – giving the support, resources and training required to make the dreams of our kids possible.