Meet the FLITE Crew

Kristen Guerrise, Founding Executive Director | (954) 530-4686

Kristen, a New York City native, moved to South Florida in 2000 and went to work in the child welfare system in Broward County. She is very passionate about what she does and loves to work with the teen population. She has been involved with Transitional Independent Living and foster youth projects since 2003 and in 2008, she was hired as the Founding Executive Director of The FLITE Center.

Kristen received her bachelor’s degree in psychology from the City University of New York, College of Staten Island. She obtained her Masters in Social Work from Barry University in Miami. She is a graduate of Leadership Broward Class 28 and a current member of the Junior League of Boca Raton.

Soledad Vilela, MBA Director of Programs
Office: (954) 530-4686
Cell: (954) 200-4025

Soledad Vilela is the Director of Programs at The FLITE Center. Soledad was born and raised in Buenos Aires, Argentina and moved to Ogden, Utah when she was a teenager.

She received a BA in Psychology from Weber State University in 2006 and a Master Degree of Business Administration from University of Phoenix in 2009.

She started her career in the non-profit sector over 15 years ago and she has been in leadership roles for 10 years. She describes her leadership style as Participative/Democratic as she emphasizes the importance of teamwork, camaraderie, and effective communication.

Prior to working for The FLITE Center, Soledad was involved in the community in diverse roles. As a Clinic Director at a community health center, she managed multi disciplinary medical teams and served on various non-profit advisory committees; as a Junior League member she was involved in improving the lives of women and children in her community. She was also involved in grassroots advocacy efforts regarding healthcare access for underserved populations at the local and national level.

Tricia Williams Cepeda, M.Ed. TIL Educational Coordinator
Office: (954) 530-4686
Cell: (954) 625-5401

Tricia Williams Cepeda is the Educational Coordinator of the College Boost Program at The FLITE Center. Tricia was born and raised in the United States Virgin Islands and moved to Florida to attend college. She received her bachelor’s degree in English Literature from Florida Atlantic University and a Master’s in Reading Education from Nova Southeastern University.

The College Boost program objective is to provide TIL youth with the opportunity to obtain a GED and move on to a Post-Secondary educational institution. Her daily job responsibilities consists of TABE and Pre- GED assessments, registering our TIL youth for the GED examinations, post-secondary and FAFSA applications. In addition, she is responsible for arranging volunteer tutors to work with our students with English writing, reading comprehension and mathematics, as well as life skills training and presentations. Tricia is a resource for all TIL youth that need assistance with their educational aspirations. Feel free to stop by The FLITE Center and say hi and let Tricia know how she can assist with your educational needs.

Sibyl Brown TIL Housing Coordinator
Office:(954) 530-4686
Cell: (954) 226-3369

Sibyl is a recent graduate of Smith College in Northampton, Massachusetts. She got her BA in American Government, with a concentration in Community Engagement & Social Change. She moved to South Florida after graduation and joined the FLITE team in March of 2016. She is currently enrolled in a Master’s program at Florida Atlantic University, working towards her Masters in Non-Profit Management.

As the TIL Housing Coordinator here at The FLITE Center, her role is to act as a resource expert, advocate, and liaison in the coordination of locating safe and affordable housing for transitioning youth between the ages of 18-23 living in Broward County. She works with program participants, community providers, landlords, and property owners to ensure that all young people have adequate shelter during the transition from out of home care to independent living.

Alana DaCosta TIL Educator
Office: (954) 530-4686

Hi there, my name is Alana DaCosta. I am the TIL Educator here at the FLITE Center. My daily agenda includes preparing students to take the GED examination. Daily instruction includes, reading comprehension strategies, GED preparation in English writing, social studies, science and mathematics. In addition to whole group lessons, our students work in small groups and individually depending on the lesson. The College Boost Program provides individual tutoring daily in reading and math as an additional resource to aid our students to be successful in taking the GED. Please stop by for a tour of our facility and the College Boost Program. I would love to assist with your education goals.

Kaye Gordon Employment Coordinator
Office: (954) 530-4686
Cell: (954) 683-6005

Kaye Gordon is an Employment Navigator at The FLITE Center. Kaye, a native of South Florida, has spent the past 15 years of her career working with youth in need of assistance.

As an Employment Navigator, Kaye’s role is to assist unemployed, out of school foster care youth secure employment through the “Let’s Get to Work” Program. “Let’s Get to Work” also provides participants with employability skills training, paid work experiences and transportation assistance. If you are 17-24 years old, out of school and looking for employment, please stop by, email or call her for more information about the program. “Can’t wait to see you”

Nephateria Burke Peer Advocate
Office: (954) 530-4686

Hi! I am Nephateria Burke, the Peer Advocate at The FLITE Center. I am currently enrolled at Florida Atlantic University to attain my Bachelor’s degree in Sociology and Psychology. I am a mother, student, friend, sister, and daughter. I love to write and read in my spare time. My passion includes making artwork, making jewelry through beading and poetry. I love to encourage my peers at the FLITE Center to be all that can be. I strive to be a positive example of the motto “you can be anything if you put your mind to it”. As a peer advocate I am responsible for planning events for YouMatter.

Yolanda Hayden Director of Finance
Office: (954) 530-4686

Yolanda Hayden, a native of Oakland, CA is the Director of Finance. She moved to South Florida in 1972 and began her career in Accounting while attending community college.
She received a BS in Accounting in 2003 from the University of Phoenix after many years in the accounting profession and has spent the last twenty plus years as a Controller for various companies in the South Florida area. She helps us tremendously here at FLITE and we are happy to have her here on the team!

Chase Turman Interview Clerk/ FLITE Center Interview Clerk
Florida Department of Children & Families
Southeast Region
1400 West Commercial Blvd
Fort Lauderdale Fl, 33309

Phone: 954-375-6141

Chase Turman is an Interview Clerk with The Department of Children & Families as well as with The FLITE Center. Chase is, a native of South Florida received his undergraduate degree in Criminal Justice from The Great Bethune Cookman University, and is currently working on entering the Broward County police academy.

As an Interview Clerk, Chase conducts abbreviated interviews for the purpose of collecting and updating required information on applicants and recipients and their household members for all public assistance programs. He selects and refers eligible applicants to public assistance or public housing agencies. He requests all additional information/verification required to establish or continue eligibility for public assistance programs according to Department procedures. Chase is available at FLITE Tuesday-Thursday from 8am to 5 pm, and Monday through Friday during the last week of the month. If you need ACCESS help, Chase is the one to ask!

Letarshia Shorter, Employment Coordinator
Office: (954) 530-4686
Cell: (954) 683-0308

Letarshia Shorter recently relocated from Washington D.C. She has had a career in the non-profit sector for over 13 years. She comes to us from the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC). While working at NAEYC she has had the opportunity to work in four different roles. Her most recent role there was the Quality Assurance Specialist. She has been dedicated to ensuring all young children were given the opportunity to receive a high quality and nurturing educational environment so they can thrive to become a strong force in the community.

She is now one of the Employment Navigators here at The FLITE Center. Her role is to assist unemployed, out of school foster care youth secure employment through the “Let’s Go to Work” Program. “Let’s Go to Work” also provides participants with employability skills training, paid work experiences and transportation assistance. If you are 17-24 years old, out of school and look for employment, please stop by, email or call her for more information about our program.

Gaston Sanchez, Employment Trainer
Office: (954) 530-4686
Cell: (954) 297-3474

Hi! I’m originally from New York City and moved to South Florida with my family in 2005. I graduated from The City University of New York, Hunter College with a BA in Sociology and minor in Psychology. I have worked in the social services field for the past 21 years. I apply my experiences of working in the NYC Dept of Juvenile Justice as well as residential group homes to make a difference in our youth lives. I have been fortunate to have been given an opportunity to work in a management capacity for great organizations who are dedicated to serving our foster care youths.

I am very passionate and dedicated to the career path I have chosen. I strongly believe that it’s very important to treat every youth with the respect and dignity they deserve. Through my experiences I have met so many youths who always needed guidance as well as support. We as educators need to always lead by example and continue to encourage our youth to stay focused as well as make good decisions which will impact their future contributions to society. As the Employment Trainer at The FLITE Center I plan to educate and train our youths as to the importance of applying employable skills. My approach is to always maintain a great level of Respect, Professionalism and Integrity.