About us

Our Staff

Emilia Gonzalez Avalos  Executive Director    Emilia@navigatemn.org

Estefania Navarro Education & Outreach Program Director    Estefania@navigatemn.org

Juventino Meza   Research Justice Program Director   Juve@navigatemn.org

Alejandra Cruz Blanco Community Organizer      Alejandra@navigatemn.org

Avina Abraham Immigration Remedy Specialist      Avina@navigatemn.org

Board of Directors

  • Iris Altamirano, Board Chair
  • Braulio Carrasco, Education MN
  • Cynthia Campos, MN Nurses’ Association
  • Jessica Espinosa, MN State Colleges & Universities
  • Emily Kramer Torres, Minneapolis Public Schools
  • Cindy Morales, Wilder Foundation
  • Irma Marquez, Hiawatha Academies
  • Brianna McPhee, MPS
  • Didi Malaga, SPPS
  • Jordi Martin, 3Ms
  • Daniel Perez, St. Louis Park School District


Our Mission
NAVIGATE is a leadership development program for immigrant young adults in Minnesota facing financial, social and legal barriers to achieve their dreams through changing unjust systems. Through NAVIGATE, these young adults help their community and themselves by working to access college education, jobs and legal status.

Our Story
NAVIGATE was created to address the growing need for resources that help immigrant students, regardless of immigration status, in Minnesota to pursue higher education.
Our team is made up of college students ranging from freshman to seniors and graduates of high schools and universities. NAVIGATE was created to address the growing need for resources that help immigrant students, regardless of immigration status, in Minnesota to pursue higher education. Each member of NAVIGATE brings different skills, experiences, and ideas to the organization.We strive for fair consideration of all immigrants in pursuit of higher education. We have focused our work on addressing the lack of information and bad information that currently exists in MN schools around immigrant students’ right and means to pursue a college education.

http://thuginpastels.files.wordpress.com/2012/06/navigate-founders.jpgNAVIGATE Founders (Left to Right): Ulises, Victor, Linea Palmisano, Maria, Davis, & Juventino Meza (2007)

NAVIGATE provides

  • Presentations to organizations, high school students, their families, educators and staff about college access in Minnesota.
  • Community service internships that develop leadership and professional skills.
  • A board of directors and volunteer structure led by young adults and their mentors
Augsburg College
The Citizens League
College Possible
Conversations with Friends
Divine Mercy Catholic Church
Latino Economic Development Center Scholarship Program
MAP for Non-Profits
Minneapolis Foundation
The Page Foundation
Minnesota Minority Education Partnership (MCAN)
Mounds View Public Schools
The Mexican Consulate in St. Paul
The Minnesota Department of Education
Minnesota Immigrant Freedom Network
TORCH of Northfield
University of Minnesota, Office of Equity and Diversity
University of Minnesota Extension
Wellstone Action
Girl Scouts
Dakota County
Austin Public Schools District
Roseville High School
Neighborhood House in St. Paul
La Conexion
Centro Inc.
Childrens’ Defense Fund
League of Women Voters
Service Employers International Union
Diversity Coalition of Faribault
Hope Center of Faribault
Centro Campesino
Immigrant Law Center of Minnesota
La Raza Cultural Center of the University of Minnesota
Holy Trinity Lutheran Church
Chicano Studies, U of M
Inver Hills Community College
Mayflower United Church of Christ
Chaska High School
Richfield High School
El Colegio Charter School
Park Center High School
Richfield High School
Bel Air Elementary School
La Raza, U of M
Hopkins School District
Radio del Pueblo
Mujeres en Liderazgo
Minnesota Association of Counselors of ColorMinneapolis Public Schools – Global Education, Engagement Office
Green Central Park School
Corpus Christi Church, Roseville, MN
St. John Neumann, Eagan, MN
Immigrant Law Center of Minnesota
Concordia University, St. Paul
Anderson United Community School
Brooklyn Junior High in Brooklyn Park
Macalester College
Casa Esperanza
Aqui Para Ti
Garden City Elementary School, Brooklyn Center, MN
Normandale Community College
American Association of University Women (AAUW)
Metro State University
Jefferson Community School
South St. Paul High School, Abriendose Camino
Richfield High School
Macalester College
St. Cloud State University
North Park Elementary, Columbia Heights
Richfield Middle School
Gustavus Adolphus, Saint Peter, MN
Ramsey School, MPLS
Washington Technology Magnet
Hennepin Technical College
Cedar Park Latino Family Advocate
The Minnesota ESL, Bilingual & Migrant Education Conference
Mounds View Public Schools
Hamline University
Centro Inc.
Hiawatha Leadership Academies
Columbia Heights High School
Andersen United Community School

2 thoughts on “About us


    I met you all years ago while I was working at Youth Venture in 2007 when you brilliant idea was passed before one of our selection panel boards. I now work at Roosevelt High School and see flyers for your organization everywhere.

    I am TRHILLED to pieces with your success and how far you’ve been able to take your idea and dream.

    You all are truely an inspiration. I hope you are as proud of what you have accomplished as I am of you. I smile everytime I see your signs in our counseling office.

    Best of luck to you and NAVIGATE MN!

    Jessie R.

  2. Thank you! Feel free to invite us to speak with your students and of course share with them any materials!

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