What is our goal in the long run?

We build stronger, happier, and safer communities by empowering our clients to be sustainably self-sufficient. We do this by offering to program and collaborating with the best of other local providers to create opportunities for economic change. Our goal is the create a model program that can be duplicated in other areas.

You are their hero, and ours too! Bridge to Hope is made possible by the generous support of our funders, retail partners, and caring people just like you.



Executive Director & Founder

Executive Director and Founder of Bridge to Hope. Vanessa is a Miami Leader, Class of 2016. She has a certificate in Non-Profit Management from the Florida Association of Non-Profit Organizations, a Bachelor in Theology, and a Masters in Worship Arts. She is an ordained minister, spiritual leader, and advisor who spent 30 years teaching Fine Arts, Sacred Studies and Religion and also served as Chaplain and Director of Family Ministry in the Episcopal Diocese of Southeast Florida. Vanessa began working as a Public and Motivational Speaker in 1994 and has presented at conferences is in the U.S., Spain, Puerto Rico, and the Dominican Republic. Vanessa is a Graduate of the Social Entrepreneur Bootcamp, and the District 8 Non-Profit Academy. Her life mission is "to leave people better than I found them."




Cassandre is a first-generation Haitian-American and local attorney in Miami. Her strong familial and cultural background rooted in Christianity instilled in her the value of service to others and community support.  Over the past two decades, Cassandre was actively involved with the American Heart Association, volunteered with WLRN’s Radio Reading Service, and served at Camillus House.  In 2009, She began volunteering with Bridge to Hope and found a home. She joined the Board of Directors in 2015.

Cassandre earned a Bachelor of Science in Communications from FIU’s School of Journalism and Mass Communication, and her Juris Doctorate from FIU’s College of Law. She is the Owner/President of Anglade Law, LLC since 2017.




MBA, Banking Nova Southeastern.

The College of New Jersey BA, Art Therapy and Psychology

Publisher of Gables Living Magazine, providing solutions for clients through networking via print media, and connecting businesses to affluent buyers. Before joining us at Bridge to Hope, Raquel was Director of Development for Alfalit International responsible for fundraising, community awareness, and donor relations. She brings more than 20 years of experience in banking and finance. Additionally, Raquel is a member of the South Miami Rotary Club as well as a member of the Board of Directors for the Coral Gables Chamber of Commerce.




Retired Former Vice President and Partner at Bugdal Group Inc. Miami Florida, and Graphic Artist for Milici Valenti Advertising, Honolulu Hawaii Margi brings experience as Production Director, Project Manager, Administrator, and Graphic Designer. Margi is fully bilingual in English and Spanish and speaks conversational French. Margi is a co-pastor of Basileia International Ministries and speaks internationally. Besides teaching, she is responsible for all publishing; promotion; administration; and co-authoring and translating the ministry books, manuals, and resources for Basileia International Ministries. She has co-authored four books. Margi studied Fine Arts at the Hunter College City University of New York, School of Visual Arts New York, New York, and Florida International University.




Former Business Owner and Youth Ministry Director, Al serves as Senior Associate Pastor at Abundant Life Christian Centre in Margate Florida where he has been serving since 1974. In addition to teaching and counseling at the church, he has also ministered in Thailand and Vietnam. Pastor Al counseled/ministered for 12 years at the Sonrise Drug and Alcohol Rehabilitation Center and currently does counseling ministry at Banyan Treatment Center of Pompano. He holds a Bachelor in Theology.




Senior Master Sargent in you the United States Air Force currently working for Headquarters Air Force Reserve Command as the MAJCOM Training Manager.  She oversees policy and implementation, on-the-job training requirements, unit training, and development as well as providing budget requirements and oversight.  She was awarded Senior Non- Commissioned Officer of the Quarter in 2014, 2016, and 2017 and in 2017, a Sharp Award in 2018, as well as being awarded South Florida Federal Employee of the Year Administrative Division in 2014.  Julie holds an A.A. and 2 A.S., a B.A. in Training Specialist and is currently pursuing her Masters in Management with a focus on Training and Talent Development.

Ryan Miller


- BA Colgate University Molecular Biology
- MHSA, University of Michigan School of Public Health
- AVP Operations, HCA Ambulatory Surgery Division - East Florida

Ryan Miller was born in Los Angeles, California. He graduated from Colgate University with a Bachelor of Arts in Molecular Biology. He continued his education at the University of Michigan School of Public Health where he received a Masters in Health Services Administration. He is currently the Assistant Vice President of Operations for HCA’s Ambulatory Surgery Division - East Florida market.


Barbara Vega

Barbara Vega is a nonprofit leader with a proven track record in management, mentoring and leadership. She has a demonstrated ability to excel through innovative, out of the box thinking. She has strong interpersonal skills combined with strengths in business development and facilitation. She possesses strong communication and relationship management skills, with a proven track record in successfully building working relationships with donors for maximizing nonprofit revenue. She currently leads a fundraising effort for a large non-profit organization with overall revenue of over $42M (and of over $380M including GIK). She is successful in delivering industry leading results, and is also skilled in driving operational performance through leadership and strategic planning. Ms. Vega has a proven track record in building and leading high performing teams that succeed in producing fundraising results. Barbara is a bilingual CFRE candidate.


Barbara holds a BA in Economics/Management from the University of Pennsylvania, and a Masters’ Degree in Adult and Secondary Education (Bilingual/Bicultural Studies) from California State University. After graduation she worked in accounting and as a management trainee at a major insurance company in Atlanta, GA. She then lived and worked abroad, teaching English as a Foreign Language to company executives in Mexico City, Mexico and in San Juan Puerto Rico. Upon returning to the U.S., Barbara spent over ten years in adult and secondary education in greater Los Angeles, CA, where she set up and directed career-based ESL/English language learning programs at vocational and community colleges. She later decided to move into grant-seeking, writing multi-million dollar grants for a major law enforcement software company, a subsidiary of 3M. After marrying in 2004, she relocated to South Florida, where she has served as Director of Development at ECHOCuba, and as Director of Missions Expansion-Foundation Relations for Cross Catholic Outreach. Barbara has also completed the Harvard Executive Education Program certificate in Nonprofit Performance Measurement.  Ms. Vega has traveled to countries in Latin America, the Caribbean, and Africa. She enjoys being with her family, and playing tennis.

Sabina Smits

Sabina Smits

 is Senior Vice President at Bridgeport Capital Services, a financial service company in Coral Springs, Florida.  She is a seasoned sales professional with over twenty-five years of marketing experience structuring working capital financing to startup and rapidly growing businesses.  Sabina has cultivated and acquired a significant client base offering financing and mentoring clients on management of day-to-day operations of their business and assisted in making their companies profitable.  

She has been able to combine her entrepreneurial background, sales and marketing expertise in assisting the growth of many businesses, some producing revenues in excess of $100MM per year in a variety of niche markets.

Sabina was personally responsible for consulting with startup companies to large rapidly growing companies sharing her vast knowledge of the industry and what it takes to succeed and achieve profitability.  Because of her expertise and entrepreneurial skills many business owners have looked to Sabina to help resolve their tax liability issues and secure workers compensation insurance in addition to financing assistance.   

Sabina started her career selling undeveloped land in North Florida and servicing a $10MM real estate portfolio whose owner subsequently acquired a finance company providing funding and back office support services exclusively to the staffing industry.  Sabina was primarily responsible for the marketing and growth of the company before it was acquired by a Bank.  In her capacity as Vice President and Business Development Officer of the Bank, Sabina was the top producer year after year, receiving the Top Dog Award for her outstanding accomplishments.  

Sabina has been active for the past 25 years and currently serves on the Board of Directors of the Florida Staffing Association (FSA) working closely with the Association to represent and support the staffing industry and its important impact on today’s Florida economy.    




Director Emeritus

Diana currently works in Health Management Administration and has a degree in Business from Florida State University. She has worked extensively with physically challenged children and has a passion for helping families. Raised in South Miami-Dade, Diana volunteered with Bridge to Hope for 15 years and currently serves on the Board of Directors.