Gemma Garcia, Pat Glover and Norel Ruiz met in April, 2008, as fellow team members serving on a prison retreat in Homestead Correctional Institution, a maximum security women’s prison in Florida City. They soon realized that they shared a similar interest and passion for not only prison ministry, but specifically to see the recidivism rate for adult female incarcerated women take a drastic nosedive. They agreed that they wanted women to be released from prison, return to society, and make positive impacts in their homes, and in their communities, and not return to prison. The idea of a re-entry and transition program for these women was born, and in May 2009, the Ladies Empowerment and Action Program (LEAP) was incorporated.
Gemma M. Garcia is the co-founder of Ladies Empowerment and Action Program (LEAP). Since LEAP’s inception in 2009, Ms. Garcia has devoted her time and energy to LEAP. In the past, she has been involved with various ministries in St Augustine R.C. Church. These include Soup Kitchen, Rosary Making, Women Emmaus Group and Habitat for Humanity. For numerous years she volunteered at Camillus House serving the homeless, and Creative Beginnings, a non-profit organization that helps homeless women. Additionally, she was involved as a volunteer at Homestead Correctional Facility as a member of Kairos Prison Ministry. Ms. Garcia has a Bachelors Degree in Business Administration from Baruch College in NYC and a Master of Business Administration from Pace University in NYC. She has over 35 years of experience in banking and in trading Emerging Markets stocks and bonds. Ms. Garcia has traveled extensively in Latin America. She is fluent in English and Spanish. Patricia Glover has worked within the Department of Corrections for over twenty years in various capacities. Her passion for this important work began as a volunteer with Kairos, an international prison ministry, at Broward Correctional Institution in Ft. Lauderdale, which has since closed. She has volunteered at Homestead Correctional as a member of Kairos, and as a Chapel guest speaker. Serving on local, state and national boards as well as the time spent in Correctional facilities has shown Ms. Glover how important transition and re-entry work is to not only the incarcerated, but also in the education and support of the community. She has also been employed by the Florida State Department of Corrections as a Chapel Secretary and as a Chaplain. She has extensive training and experience in mentoring and counseling both inside the prison and outside, and loves to see lives change and move in a positive direction. Ms. Glover is currently the small business owner of Step Business Services, which offers Personal and Corporate Income Tax Preparation and Bookkeeping Services, and is the proud mother of six adult children.
Norel R. Ruiz has been a volunteer with Kairos Prison Ministry in Homestead Correctional Institute in Miami-Dade County. This prompted her interest in helping incarcerated women to succeed once they are released from prison and re-enter society. She is also involved in feeding the homeless at Camillus House and helping with Habitat for Humanity. Norel was a member and volunteer with the Children's Education Program of Fairchild Tropical and Botanical Gardens, Venetian Aquatic Club and Girl Scouts of America. Ms. Ruiz did her undergraduate studies at the University of Puerto Rico, receiving her Bachelor's Degree in Science majoring in Medical Technology. She has over 30 years of professional experience in a clinical laboratory, and she is fluent in English and Spanish. Norel resides with her husband and their adult daughter.
 (786) 401 - 2070
PO Box 848 Miami, Florida 33143

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