Our Team

Nikki Daruwala, Executive Director

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Nikki Daruwala strongly believes that everyone deserves the opportunity to fulfill their potential and contribute to their community. This made joining Loudoun Literacy Council in 2018 a natural continuation of her nonprofit leadership. At Loudoun Literacy Council, Nikki administers multiple educational programs and spearheads the organization’s operations, management, and fundraising. During her tenure, she has expanded and diversified the organization’s sources of funding and increased revenues by 267%; re-organized staff responsibilities and adding eight new positions; increased client-base by 37%; and added and expanded seven programs to better meet client needs.

A life-long passionate advocate for issues impacting children and families and supporting our communities, Nikki was inspired to become a founding member of the Child Labor Coalition and the Desi Giving Fund. She is also the founder of NDpoint Strategies. Continuing her community-first focus, Nikki is an advisor to the Institute for Women’s Policy Research and serves on Ford Foundation’s Experts of Color Network.

Nikki holds a Master of Science in Industrial and Labor Relations from the University of Massachusetts–Amherst and a Bachelor of Science in Psychology and Business from Ithaca College.

Track record
Before founding NDpoint Strategies and joining Loudoun Literacy Council, Nikki served as Vice President of Programs and Operations at Global Policy Solutions and its nonprofit arm, the Center for Global Policy Solutions. In this capacity, she managed teams and projects supporting health, education and economic security programs for clients including the National Council of La Raza, YWCA, and National Hispanic Council on Aging. Nikki served as Deputy Director for Leadership for Healthy Communities, a national program of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, and Closing the Racial Wealth Gap, a Ford Foundation initiative. She also served as Executive Director for DC Jobs with Justice.

In 2005, Nikki founded the Socially Responsible Business Program at American Rights at Work to promote awareness of ethical corporate policies, partnerships and practices. She engaged over 200 prominent scholars and economists to publish papers to support the rights of working Americans. Her signature annual publication, Labor Day List — Partnerships That Work, highlighted examples of labor-management partnerships that benefit employers, workers and society. Nikki galvanized a coalition of over 2,000 small business leaders and investment professionals under the banner Business Leaders for a Fair Economy and formed a coalition of investment professionals with over $757 billion in assets under management.

An early trendsetter in the field of social investing, Nikki served at Calvert Investments, where she researched and evaluated corporate responsibility performance and developed cutting-edge human capital and return-on-investment metrics and analyses. She was the primary architect of the groundbreaking Calvert Women’s Principles — the first global code of conduct focused on empowering, advancing and investing in women worldwide (a precursor to the UN Women’s Empowerment Principles). Nikki developed a model charter to attain greater diversity on corporate boards and advised numerous corporations on their diversity and inclusion, labor and human rights programs and policies. Her collaborations have lead to talking ATMs for persons with disabilities, corporate standards on workplace violence, global supply-chain accountability and diversity, standards for economic inclusion, programs targeted at ending discrimination, and greater disclosure and transparency. She delivered the keynote address at Global Reporting Initiative’s first Asia Summit. Nikki’s contributions also include the development of institutional investment policies protecting the rights of indigenous peoples and strengthening governance standards protecting shareholder rights.

Early in her career, Nikki led groundbreaking research on consumer and worker safety in the food manufacturing industry, leading to stronger federal regulations. She also advocated on behalf of healthcare workers and nursing home patients on responsible care, resulting in nursing home reform. She uncovered and led the first investigation linking U.S. companies to child labor practices in Asia, resulting in the establishment of a vast industry-supporting responsible supply-chain practices.

Tanya Bosse, Family Literacy Program Director

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Tanya has given back to the community in so many ways and has continued her interest in community partnerships and family involvement since joining Loudoun Literacy Council.

Before becoming Director of the Family Literacy Program, she worked in Head Start classrooms, managing the Sweet Dreams program, sending volunteer readers into the local homeless shelter. She works closely with Loudoun County Public School’s Head Start and STEP preschool programs, bringing early literacy services to low-income Loudoun families. She also helped establish the Book Builders Program, expanding book distribution to low-income children, partnering with organizations such as INMED, YMCA, Loudoun County Health Department, Loudoun County Public Schools and many others.

Starting her career as a preschool teacher and working with Arlington County’s Multi-handicapped Recreation Program complemented her Loudoun Literacy Council role. Her depth of experience includes working in marketing and event planning, for over 15 years, in the corporate world.

She has enjoyed volunteering with Loudoun County organizations, including Loudoun Hunger Relief, LAWS, and the Volunteers of America homeless shelters. Her favorite past time is, of course, reading!

Tanya has a Bachelor of Science degree in Therapeutic Recreation.

Rebecca Caldwell, Adult Literacy Program Director

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Rebecca values reading. She believes reading and leaning can be fun and, as educators, it is important to bring creative elements into the learning process. She has an undergraduate degree in Elementary Education along with a certification in Early Childhood. In addition, she received a Master’s in Reading and certification as Reading Specialist as well as a Library Media Specialist Certification.

She was able to utilize the above degrees and certificates for the past ten years as a substitute teacher, library assistant, and for seven years as a librarian for Loudoun County Public Schools. She has had the opportunity to work with over 1,000 students during her teaching career. Her experiences include teaching students working at grade level, English Learners, those with learning disabilities, and gifted students as well.

During her years as a librarian, she received a Master of Education in Curriculum and Instruction with a focus on blended and online learning. This degree supported her in enriching her students’ 21st Century Skills. She was also able to utilize the blended and online learning degree as an Instructional Facilitator of Technology where she supported teachers in all facets of technology whether that was a technical fix or developing materials and finding resources for parents and for teachers that enhanced the use of technology in the classroom — a skill that will further enhance Loudoun Literacy Council’s adult program capabilities in supporting teachers as they continue to navigate and utilize new instructional methods.

Margie McGinnis, Volunteer Coordinator

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Margie understands the value volunteers bring to an organization. Since joining Loudoun Literacy Council in mid-2019, she highlights that value through her responsibilities for volunteer recruitment, training, and orientation in support of the overall Loudoun Literacy Council mission. Supporting the many programs requires understanding the individual value unique to each volunteer.

With a strong commitment to community, Margie has served in several capacities with the Girl Scouts of America; Scouts BSA; and the Loudoun County Public Schools as PTA representative, classroom mom, and on several key event committees.

Skilled at working with others for a common good, Margie enjoys bringing people together in support of lifelong learning.

A former licensed professional Engineer, Margie worked with the Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development; and with the Bridge Design and Maintenance, and Road and Bridge Construction of King’s County, Washington State, before moving to Loudoun County in 1999.

Margie earned her Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering from the University of Alabama at Birmingham.

Chris Abbott, Donor Relations Coordinator

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Chris was inspired to join the team at Loudoun Literacy Council as the Donor Relations Coordinator in September 2021. As Individual Fundraising Coordinator at The Washington Ballet and Director of Public Relations at Dance Place both in Washington, DC, Chris experienced first-hand the vital impact that nonprofit organizations have on communities and the immense support necessary for them to survive. As the Donor Relations Coordinator she works with the Executive Director and Board members to expand our donor base, oversee annual giving appeal initiatives, coordinate fundraising events, and partner with national fundraising platforms to broaden support for the programs benefiting so many children and adults offered through Loudoun Literacy.

Chris is a long-time and well-networked Loudoun resident with deep ties to the community. She has been actively involved in the area as a small business owner, wife and mother of four, and volunteer for area organizations; most recently as a member of the Loudoun Medical Reserve Corp during the COVID-19 pandemic. She has served as a volunteer with Loudoun County Public Schools as a PTO Board Treasurer, room parent, chairing schoolwide events, and coaching Odyssey of the Mind teams.

Chris holds a Master of Arts in Dance and a Bachelor of Arts in Theatre both from American University, Washington, DC.

Cynthia Medina, Office Manager

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Loudoun Literacy Council certainly benefits from Cindy’s more than 20 years experience specializing in bookkeeping and accounting; payroll processing; project, contract, and office management; and human resource administration. A true seasoned professional with skills any organization needs, Cindy joined Loudoun Literacy Council in July 2020.

Cindy has vast experience working in bilingual administrative environments and is an asset to serving Loudoun Literacy Council’s English- and Spanish-speaking clientele. In addition to Makpar Corporation, she has served as Business Office Manager at several local businesses, senior living facilities, and property management firms.

Cindy is working toward her Associate of Applied Science in Business Management from Northern Virginia Community College and expects to graduate in 2022.

Jenny Cassidy, Adult Literacy Program Assistant

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Jenny Cassidy loves teaching. She says when she gets in front of that white board with her Expo marker, no matter what, she is delighted. She loves her students and is more than happy to let them laugh at her terrible drawings or her silly jokes. Jenny had no idea that this is what she would do when she went to school for English Literature and while she was getting her MFA in Creative Writing. It all started when she started teaching basic reading and writing to adults while in AmeriCorps in graduate school and then went on to work with GED prep and ESOL students in the New York Public Library’s Literacy Program.

After moving to Virginia and taking time off to raise her 3 kids, Jenny volunteered at a shelter for at risk youth and helped facilitate an art group for mentally challenged adults. But, she also found Loudoun Literacy where she volunteered in the jobsite program, taught a class at Brambleton Library and led a conversation class at Sterling Library. Literacy won out and Jenny is thrilled to be working with the Loudoun Literacy Council team. She loves working with the students and supporting the volunteers. Jenny is also currently enrolled in NOVA’s Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages certification program.

Lauren Gordon, Adult Literacy Program Assistant

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Lauren Gordon has been teaching in both Fairfax and Loudoun Counties for nearly two decades. She taught 3rd and 4th grades for 12 years and then “graduated” to teaching middle school and high school students in the Homebound Program. She takes great pride in her students and the teaching profession. Lauren feels that there is no better gift than providing students with the necessary knowledge and skills to become independent, productive, and self-confident members of their communities. She became acquainted with the admirable mission and dedicated staff of Loudoun Literacy when she volunteered with the Loudoun Literacy Council in 2019. As a volunteer, she worked with Margie McGinnis and Tanya Bosse at various special events to support the Family Literacy programs and attended a training conducted by Karen Feldman with hopes of becoming a volunteer ESL teacher. Lauren enjoys working with learners of all ages and is delighted to renew her involvement with the Loudoun Literacy Council by supporting Karen Feldman in the Adult Literacy Program.

Like all teachers, Lauren loves reading, but, she is also passionate about the visual and performing arts. She is looking forward to getting back to museums, galleries and the theater when they re-open! Lauren earned a B.S. in Humanities & Social Sciences from Carnegie-Mellon University. She holds Masters in Business and Education from University of Maryland and Marymount University, respectively.

Amishi Bhagat, Adult Literacy Program Assistant

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Amishi firmly believes that the happiest people are not those who get more but those who give more. This life long guiding principle led Amishi to join Loudoun Literacy Council in 2017 as a volunteer tutor. Her volunteer teaching has also included Hindi and Gujarati.

Amishi is now Adult Literacy Program Assistant, responsible for jobsite literacy, including on-site and customized work-focused English instruction at local businesses. She is also responsible for the School Success program, teaching limited English proficiency parents to navigate Loudoun County Public Schools learning and support systems, interact with school personnel, understand school communications, including customized interactive conversation classes.

Moving to the United States as a young bride 25 years ago, she understands firsthand the overwhelming feeling of assimilatinginto a new culture, speaking a different language. She strongly relates to a quote she once read: “Literacy is a Right. Not a Privilege”.

Demonstrating a strong commitment to her community, she’s volunteered with many organizations including Scouts BSA, Backpack buddies, several DC community services, local food pantries and shelters.

As a long time Loudoun County resident, she has over 17 years’ experience as a successful offshore technology company entrepreneur and Investment Property Manager, owning and overseeing end to end property related processes. She is also a dedicated substitute teacher for Loudoun County Public Schools. Her main focus area is working with children in the Special Education program.

Amishi brings an outstanding ability to establish priorities, multi-task, and meet deadlines.

Sandra Amaya, Outreach Coordinator

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Working with current and potential students to help better serve their literacy needs is very important to Sandra. She joined Loudoun Literacy Council mid-2019 to pursue this interest as the Outreach Coordinator.

Under Sandra’s leadership, Loudoun Literacy Council is expanding services to provide specialized English classes and instruction under the umbrella of a new program, School Success, to help parents navigate the Loudoun County Public School system. She is keenly interested in empowering parents to take an active role in their children’s education.

Sandra has served as the Sterling Elementary School Community Coordinator (LCPS- Loudoun Education Foundation), San Francisco Unified School District Administrative Assistant and Special Education Teacher Assistant, El Salvador Government Institution International Trade and Customs Specialist at and El Salvador Boys Scout Association Coordinator. She currently works at Sugarland Elementary School as an Attendance Secretary.

Sandra holds a professional certificate from Insituto Cultural Oxford and graduated, with honors, from Centro Cultural El Salvador-Estados Unidos with a major in Business Administration, Finances and English as a Second Language.

Maria Flores, Programs and Administrative Assistant

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As a daughter of immigrant parents, Maria is committed to helping adult learners reach their maximum potential through literacy and education. “I was drawn to Loudoun Literacy Council because they provide the English classes my parents once attended. They also provide tools which my immigrant family utilized or wish we had access to, like the School Success Program.”

As Loudoun Literacy Council Program and Organizational Assistant, Maria provides support to Adult and Family Literacy programs and completes administrative tasks. She also coordinates the Health and Financial Literacy programs.

Maria is very involved in her community. Most recently she participated in INMED’s Madres, Abuelas y Mas group. This group’s mission is to mentor and provide support to Loudoun County young mothers. She is also a member of Loudoun’s Housing Justice Coalition, which advocates for decent, safe and affordable housing.

Before joining Loudoun Literacy Council, Maria worked at Virginia Cooperative Extension, implementing the federally funded Family Nutrition Program. Maria served as Community Engagement Specialist for Habitat for Humanity of Greater Charlottesville. In Charlottesville, she also served as a mentor for young Latina high schoolers to help them reach their goals beyond high school, through a program called LADYS.

Maria likes spending her free time with her family and enjoys being outdoors, reading, and listening to audiobooks.

Maria holds a Bachelor of Science in Public Health from James Madison University, holds a minor in Medical Spanish and is a certified Bridging the Gap Medical Interpreter.

Sara Anderson, Organizational Assistant

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Imagine all the different projects that support an organization involved with literacy. To provide the needed support, Sara is responsible for special projects, including Loudoun Literacy Council’s monthly newsletter, updates to the organization’s website, and upkeep of the informational database.

Joining the organization in 2018, she served the first year as the Volunteer Coordinator and Program Assistant.Prior to joining the organization, she served as Reference Assistant at the Handley Regional Library in Winchester.

Sara earned her Bachelor of Arts in English from the University of Virginia and Master of Arts in Communications, Culture, and Technology from Georgetown University.