We are so excited to celebrate National Volunteer Week 4/18-4/24. Below are profiles of some of our superstar volunteers.

Ramon Peralta

Founder and Creative Director of Peralta Designs Ramon Peralta holds a BFA in Visual Arts and an Honorary Doctorate from the University of Bridgeport. A Tuck Executive Business MBE Alumni, he developed a passion for entrepreneurship and launching brands after serving as Senior Art Director on the original start-up team behind Priceline.com.  Ramon is passionate about giving back to the community as a Life Member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc., by volunteering for Junior Achievement of Fairfield County and serving on various non-profit boards. Outside of work, Ramon is a car enthusiast who enjoys autocross, golfing, traveling and cycling. Ramon and his college sweetheart Nancy have two adult children and are currently enjoying life as empty-nesters.

Tina Foraker-Blackwell

Tina is a long-standing volunteer and Board member with Junior Achievement of Greater Fairfield County.  As a high school student, Tina participated in JA for three years, an experience that shaped her personal and professional goals.  She loves giving back to this exceptional program by helping students develop their financial literacy skills and prepare for the world of work.  As both a professional and a parent, she recognizes the importance of the skills that JA brings to our youth.   During her career, Tina has held senior-level positions in strategy, corporate development, and operations across multiple industries.  She holds an M.B.A. from The Fuqua School Business at Duke University and a B.S. in Electrical Engineering from Purdue University.

Connor Hartgraves

Connor Hartgraves is the Director of Compensation and Information Systems at Sacred Heart University, and holds a Master’s Degree in Finance and Investment Management, as well as a certificate in management from Harvard Business School Online.




Dina Francisco Pereira

Dina is the AVP, Community Relations at Union Savings Bank. When asked about why she likes to volunteer, Dina said, “Volunteering when done from the heart is not something we’re asked to do, but instead something we’re called to do. I’m humbled to be able to impact if even in small ways. If we each tried to do something good every day imagine how beautiful our world would be.”



Jennifer Brand

Jennifer has worked at Prudential Financial for almost 24 years. Her and her husband of nearly 25 years live in Shelton with two incredible children, and two fur babies. She enjoys walking, baking/cooking, volunteering, and finding ways to make others smile. Jennifer is passionate about Junior Achievement and is proud to have partnered with JA for over twenty years – 10 years with Prudential. She is truly privileged to work for an organization that allows me to share my love for JA with my peers and grow the community of volunteers here at Prudential. She approaches each JA visit as an opportunity to inspire the students and believe they all walk away with at least one nugget of knowledge that they can share with their families.

“My most memorable visit as a Junior Achievement volunteer came with a first grade class, where the students were asked to pick out of pictures some ‘needs’. The first student approached the board and could have selected from the obvious choices for a first grader, including food, a home, a toy, or puppy. However, this student selected a college education. When I asked this student why he selected this, he told me because he could not have any of the other things without a good education. This story will stay with me forever!”

Sandy Capellaro

Sandy is the Funding Plan Leader at GE Capital and a proud member of our Danbury Community Board. “Volunteering for JA is a great way to share my experiences & professional knowledge with students across CT. I strive to inspire them to pursue successful, rewarding careers that they will enjoy while making an impact in their own communities.  I also love to connect other volunteers who are passionate about JA with opportunities where they too can help shape, educate & mentor students.”


Thank you to all of our amazing volunteers!