Please join us in saying farewell to Celia Yapita, Chief Program Officer and Director of the Center for Refugee Support of Catholic Charities. After 10 years with our organization, Celia has elected to pursue a career change.
Celia began her career with Catholic Charities as a volunteer in our Refugee Resettlement program. She was soon hired as the program’s Volunteer Coordinator and served in several other positions in the agency over the years before being named Program Director in 2016. She then oversaw the program through a major transition when, in 2017, it shifted from resettlement to an ongoing support model. In 2018, Celia was promoted to Chief Program Officer.
Her leadership, organizational skills and many partnerships and collaborations with the community were demonstrated throughout her career at Catholic Charities. One of her many memorable accomplishments was coordinating the Companions on the Journey effort in February – June 2019. By training and collaborating with organizations throughout the community, including the City of Albuquerque, this effort collectively helped thousands of asylum-seekers fleeing violence in their countries to reach safe homes with sponsors/family members throughout the United States. Our Board of Directors awarded Celia the “Hands of the Holy Spirit” award for her remarkable leadership in this initiative. In August 2020, Celia began an anti-racism workgroup in Catholic Charities to examine how the agency can better address racial injustice and inequality, both internally and within the greater community.
These are only a few instances of the outstanding contributions Celia has provided during her time with Catholic Charities. “We know that Celia will excel in her new position with the United Way of Central New Mexico, and we wish her well,” said Dolores Nunez, Chief Executive Officer for Catholic Charities in the Archdiocese of Santa Fe.