Cintia Elenstar has been promoted to executive director of the local nonprofit, following the recent retirement of Luz Corcuera.
(January 12, 2023) UnidosNow’s board of directors has announced the promotion of associate executive director, Cintia Elenstar, to the position of executive director following the recent retirement of Luz Corcuera. Elenstar joined the organization in 2019 and has been groomed for this leadership role over the past three years as part of a board-led succession plan.
“We are excited to welcome Cintia as executive director of UnidosNow, an ideal match given her entrepreneurial spirit and servant leadership style, evidenced in her unique care for our students and families,” says Kelly Kirschner, board chair of UnidosNow. “During her years at UnidosNow, Cintia has already shown a fierce commitment to our mission, and continues to improve our programs and processes, supporting our communities through her tireless efforts. Under her leadership, UnidosNow will continue to grow in its ability to empower area Latinos to achieve their American dream.”
Since joining UnidosNow, which specializes in supporting Latino students on their path to earning a postsecondary credential, Elenstar has helped the nonprofit innovate and advance its mission. At the onset of the pandemic, she adapted the organization’s flagship program, the Future Leadership Academy, to a fully online format, ensuring that students’ progress toward achieving their academic dreams could continue. Elenstar also spearheaded UnidosNow’s College Completion program, which supports more than 100 first-generation, low-income students each year . In addition, she formalized the organization’s mentoring program and implemented a donor management system.
“I am honored to have this opportunity to lead such a dedicated team, and to expand and enhance the impact of UnidosNow,” says Elenstar. “I look forward to continuing to serve and empower the fast-growing Hispanic/Latinx community in our region.”
A former business owner from Argentina, Elenstar brings an entrepreneurial spirit and years of leadership to her new role. She started her travel company in Argentina as a one-woman operation and quickly grew it to a team of 25 employees. Through that experience, Elenstar gained insight into the importance of customer service, how to lead a team effectively, and the value of empowering others.
After arriving in southwest Florida in 2012, Elenstar served as education administrator at a botanical garden, where she coordinated classes for community members and supported the volunteer management program. She also has experience teaching English as a second language to new citizens in underserved communities and working as a legal assistant supervisor in a public defender’s office.
A firm believer in life-long learning, Elenstar holds a Bachelor of Applied Science degree, summa cum laude, in sustainability management from St. Petersburg College, as well as several certifications, including as a certified nonprofit professional. She is currently pursuing a master’s degree in nonprofit management and a graduate certificate in fundraising at the University of Central Florida. Elenstar also serves on the board of the Florida Policy Institute.
UnidosNow offers educational and professional outreach initiatives to the Hispanic and Latinx communities in Sarasota and Manatee counties so that they can create cycles of opportunity for generations to come. The organization achieves this through education initiatives, leadership training, community services, and civic engagement. Visit UnidosNow.org for more information.
Founded in 2010, with a mission to elevate the quality of life of the growing Hispanic/Latinx community through education, coalition building, advocacy and civic engagement, UnidosNow has established itself as a leader in the field of postsecondary education attainment. To date, UnidosNow has served more than 3,000 low-income Hispanic/Latinx students and their families through its elementary, middle, and high school initiatives, and has assisted high school students in earning more than $14 million in scholarships and grants.