Yesenia Villalpando-Torres
Building Bridges Service Coordinator and LTE Social Worker, Catholic Charities and Dane County Human Services

Yesenia Villalpando-Torres is a bilingual, bicultural, Certified Social Worker. She received her Bachelor of Science in Sociology with a Human Services Concentration from Edgewood College. She has received the Outstanding Student Award: Rotary Club of Madison South (2013), Dominican Heritage Award: Edgewood College (2015), Who's Who Among Students in American Universities and Colleges (2016), Dominican Justice Award: Edgewood College (2017), and the Mario Garcia Sierra Young Dreamer Award: Centro Hispano (2019).

Yesenia is currently a Building Bridges Service Coordinator within the Madison Metropolitan School District. Through Building Bridges Yesenia serves 4K-8th grade students by providing 90-day wrap around services. Building Bridges teams are composed of one Service Coordinator and one Clinical Coordinator to provide mental health support for youth and their families. Building Bridges' goal is to establish long-term care that promote wellness.

Yesenia is also an LTE Social Worker within the Immigration Affairs Office of Dane County Human Services. Through case management Yesenia assists clients by meeting their short-term and long-term needs. In this role, Yesenia is also part of the Immigration Enforcement Response Team of Dane County, a partnership with other service providers that advocate for and support immigrants in the county. Furthermore, the Immigration Affairs Office works with other county departments to increase accessibility to resources and services available to it's residents regardless of their legal status or background.

As an immigrant herself, Yesenia has always had a passion for advocating for immigrant rights. She has worked with United We Dream, the largest immigrant youth-led network in the United States. In 2017 Yesenia helped campaign for a Dream Act in Washington DC. In 2018 after a Wisconsin ICE Operation, Yesenia helped create a network of volunteers to provide neighborhood watch, transportation, and food pick up/drop off for families affected by the operation. Since then, Yesenia co-founded the Madison ICE Response Network with 600+ volunteers.