"Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting
a battle you know nothing about."
Maria Alfaro is a first-generation Salvadoran-American born and raised in Yonkers, New York. She is a passionate storyteller and a fearless mental health activist. Maria has combined her love for behavioral health, education and most importantly her lived experiences with mental health to form a nonprofit called: Que Paso Latinx™. She is a motivational speaker and a published author. Maria holds nearly a decade of experience in the healthcare field and has attained a bachelor’s in behavioral sciences and a master’s in organizational leadership. In all that she carries out, Maria stands tall on the shoulders of her courageous Salvadoran ancestors, who without, she would not be where she is today.
OUR FOUNDING STORY
The beginning of Que Paso Latinx™ starts with the story of our founder and executive director Maria Alfaro's childhood. Maria’s mother struggled with bipolar disorder from the age of 10. Growing up in Yonkers, Maria had an unstable childhood due to the challenges posed by her mother’s condition.
When Maria was a 16-year-old high school student trying to find her place in the world she began to learn about her mother’s condition. The education she received from both the Scientific Research Program and the Academy of Finance at Lincoln High School sparked Maria’s passion to continue learning about mental health. She went off to Mercy College to study Behavioral Sciences.
After graduating from college in 2017, inspired and empowered by her own mental-health education, Maria decided to establish an organization dedicated to providing today’s youth with the kinds of culturally relevant mental health awareness programs that were unavailable to her when she was growing up. She founded Que Paso Latinx™ in the spring of 2020, to address the need for mental health awareness and education among Latinx youth and their families.
Today, Maria holds a Master of Science degree in Organizational Leadership from Manhattan College. She envisions a future where programs promoting mental health education and awareness are integrated into the public-school curriculum. “Just as physical education is a subject in school,” she says, “mental health should be its own course of study.” She shares this message of hope and empowerment by collaborating with representatives of other educational organizations, social agencies, and community groups throughout the city of Yonkers.
Our logo symbolizes unity. The uneven break in the circle represents healing, emotions, and a reminder that mental health looks different for each individual. It also reminds us that the way is NOT linear. The circle represents community and togetherness. The colors of the logo are a representation of resilience, and the balance between joy and sorrow. Together, the logo represents our mission to provide support and understanding to those struggling with their mental health.