Upward Ventures is a diverse group of core staff and volunteers of all ages and professions. We all hold in common the strongest conviction that poverty is unjust, dehumanizing and intolerable. We believe every person is precious and unique, loved by God and deserving of the opportunity to thrive in life, to pursue their calling and reach their full potential.

We believe poverty must be eradicated for it is unjust and immoral. It attacks the fundamental rights of a person and the prosperity of us all. We believe no person, independent of her birthplace, race, belief, gender or culture should be left abandoned to a state of deprivation that robs her of the basic capabilities to flourish.

No one should be condemned to a life of poverty & despair.
Not now, not anywhere.

We envision a world free of the injustice of poverty – of communities thriving and in prosperous communion with themselves, with others, the environment and their Creator. We strive to walk in Jesus’ steps – in His passion for the poor, the oppressed, the marginalized and the invisible; the special attention He pays to children and women, especially those that suffer. Our programs strive to be channels of dignity and empowerment for the poor and a hub for all people to join in the construction of a thriving, loving society. 



Kevin Moforte

Kevin is Chilean-American and has worked over a decade in impoverished communities in Latin America. He holds a B.S. in Engineering and a Masters in Public Policy.



Lois Grandmaison

Lois has over 15 years of leadership experience working in faith communities. A natural problem-solver, she ensures everything runs smoothly at Upward Ventures.   




Pedro Soto

Pedro is a Dominican-American with a Masters in Regional Planning. He works in community development and leads Mercyhouse's trips to the Caribbean.




Marketing & Design
Mark Gray (Team Lead)
Zeena Hutchinson
Isabelle Kopack
  Leigh Cappabianca

Web & Media
Shannon Sarkisian
Bill Wanamaker
Tommy Moore

Casey Chon
Jana Abaskalova

Santo Domingo Team
Laura  Hernandez
Heriberto Trinidad

Brian Cromer