Lorelei Atalie Vargas serves as chief community impact officer at Trinity Church Wall Street, which has been a part of New York City history for over 300 years. Trinity has evolved into a global institution leading advocacy around social and racial justice; partnering with nonprofits; offering grants to support mission aligned programs; and, having developed high quality music, educational and social programming. Prior to her current appointment, Lorelei served as deputy commissioner for child and family well-being with the City of New York’s Administration for Children’s Services where she was responsible for administering the agency’s first division dedicated to using a two generation approach to strengthen programs, leverage existing resources and build on the assets that are inherent in the children and families of New York City. Lorelei also ran the country’s largest publicly-funded subsidized early care and education system, serving the needs of close to 110,000 children with a budget of over $1 billion annually, where she successfully led reforms, including expanding access, implementing a trauma informed care model across the system, and developing two-generation programs. Lorelei has over two decades of executive-level experience in the non-profit sector with a strong focus on creating community-level opportunities and helping to strengthen the lives of children and families. Fully bilingual in English and Spanish, Lorelei earned her Bachelor of Arts degree from Bryn Mawr College and holds two Master’s degrees, one in Public Policy and one in Education Administration and Policy, both from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, where she was a Woodrow Wilson Fellow.
Building on the success of two-generation initiatives focused on early care and education, the launch of CFWB will position ACS as being the first child welfare agency in the nation that has invested in primary preventive services for children and families. Charged with leading this effort, I envision developing a trauma-free New York City. A city where regardless of what zip code you’re born in, your religion, color of your skin or socioeconomic status, children and families will have the opportunity to thrive. I envision building protective factors among children, families, and communities, with the goal of minimizing high ACE scores and mitigating toxic stressors for parents, leading ultimately to child and family well-being.