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SLI announces board appointments

HARRISONBURG, Va., May 19, 2022 – Scholars Latino Initiative (SLI) has announced the appointments of Cecilia E. Barbosa (pictured, left) and Veronique N. Walker to its board of directors, bringing its membership to 13.

“We are pleased to welcome Cecilia and Veronique to the SLI board,” said Jason Good, SLI board chair. “Their professional experience and expertise will strengthen SLI as we pursue our mission to support students with college access opportunities.”

Cecilia E. Barbosa, Ph.D., M.P.H., M.C.P., is founder and principal of cBe consulting, which provides consultation in public health and nonprofit leadership to community groups, and private and public organizations. She has worked for over 20 years in public health in Virginia, including several years as an independent consultant; as director of the Virginia Department of Health Division of Child and Adolescent Health; and as executive director and board chair of the Virginia Public Health Association. She was appointed by the governor to the Virginia Health Workforce Development Authority and the Virginia Latino Advisory Board, where she served as chair.

Barbosa is secretary of the board of the Jenkins Foundation and past vice-chair and secretary of the board of Dancing Classrooms of Greater Richmond. She holds a doctorate in social and behavioral health from Virginia Commonwealth University, master’s degrees in public health and city planning from the University of California at Berkeley, and a bachelor’s degree in biology from Smith College. A citizen of the United States and Brazil, she is fully proficient in Portuguese, Spanish, and French, and can converse in German and Catalan.

Veronique N. Walker, Ed.D., L.P.C., N.C.C., is the equity and family empowerment coordinator for Winchester Public Schools. She previously served as a school district associate superintendent, director, and coordinator; a school counselor; and a community in-home therapist and lead family service specialist.

Walker is a licensed professional counselor and a national certified counselor, and has facilitated and organized 150+ trainings, workshops, mentoring sessions, and conferences focused on professional growth and development; multiculturalism and cultural proficiency; bullying prevention, safety, and anti-harassment; mental health and social services; and child, youth, and adolescent trends. She holds a doctor of education degree in organizational leadership and certification in administration and supervision from Shenandoah University, a master of arts degree in counseling from Marshall University, and a bachelor of arts degree in psychology from Shepherd University.


Shenandoah Valley Scholars Latino Initiative Inc (SLI) is a 501c3 nonprofit that supports Latino/a/x high school students with college access through rigorous academic challenge, leadership development, scholarships, and supportive mentorships.

Through collaborations with public school teachers and local university faculty, staff, and student mentors, SLI provides college access opportunities throughout high school, plus financial support for college success. With support from generous donors, since 2012 SLI has provided more than $392,000 in college scholarship awards, computer awards, and dual enrollment tuition assistance. Its alumni have attended 21 colleges and universities.

SLI is celebrating its 10th year as a Virginia corporation, but the foundations of SLI’s mission began well before SLI’s first decade. The original SLI was founded by Peter Iver Kaufman and others in 2003 at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. In 2008 Kaufman brought SLI to the University of Richmond, Virginia, and later to the Shenandoah Valley, where this organization was incorporated in 2012 and became a 501c3 public charity. Kaufman continues to serve as the SLI program director in Richmond.