Giselle Holloway, Executive Director of First Friends of New Jersey and New York

Giselle Holloway

Executive Director

As Executive Director of First Friends of NJ & NY, Giselle Holloway is responsible for the overall planning and integration of the organization’s programs, operations, finance and staff. She has over 23 years of experience helping mission-driven organizations achieve their goals.

Giselle holds a BS in Marketing from the Boston College Carroll School of Management, an Executive Certificate in Transformational Nonprofit Leadership from the University of Notre Dame, and is a passionate advocate for human and civil rights.

Rosa Santana, Program Director

Rosa Santana

Program Director

Rosa Santana is a native of Honduras who became involved in immigrants’ rights in 2010 after witnessing the injustice of detention and the impact that separation had on her own family.  She first joined First Friends of NJ & NY as a volunteer, visiting immigrants in detention.  Her devotion and commitment led First Friends of NJ & NY to hire her in 2012. She is now their Program Director.

Rosa also serves as the Detainee Advocate at the Hudson County Jail, where she investigates detainee grievances and complaints. She was recently appointed as a member of the Essex County Civilian Task Force, which will work with the jail’s administration to address systemic issues.

Jackie Zapata, Direct Services Coordinator

Jackie Zapata

Direct Services Coordinator

Jackie Zapata joined the First Friends of NJ & NY staff as the Direct Services Coordinator in March of 2020.  She is responsible for the organization’s post-release efforts, helping our clients immediately following their release from detention and anytime afterwards.

As a daughter of immigrants from Colombia and Peru, Jackie has previously worked in the immigration support space and advocacy, was a Community School Coordinator for Paterson Public Schools and a Family Case Manager for Homeless Solutions. She holds a BA in Criminal Justice & English from Nyack College.

Stephanie Lopez, Volunteer Coordinator

Stephanie Lopez, MSW

Volunteer Coordinator

Born in Honduras and having immigrated to the U.S. with her parents and sister when she was only 5 years old, Stephanie Lopez’s experiences ignited her passion for social justice and advancing immigration rights. Stephanie has been part of the First Friends team since December 2018. It is meaningful and motivating for her to belong to an organization that deeply values the importance of providing hope and support to vulnerable immigrants.

Stephanie earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in 2014 from Seton Hall University, where she majored in Political Science and Philosophy. She completed her Master of Social Work from Kean University in 2020 and is a Licensed Social Worker (LSW) in the state of New Jersey.