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Yesenia Mata

U.S. Army Reserve
Active Service

As the daughter of formerly undocumented immigrants and the sister of an Army veteran, Yesenia has been a strong advocate for immigrant rights and works to bring more resources to support our men and women in uniform.

She currently is the Executive Director of La Colmena an Immigration/Day Labor Rights organization and serves in the U.S. Army as a Military Police Specialist.

As Staten Island’s undocumented immigrant workers toiled on through the height of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic — risking their health as they kept residents safe, businesses clean and stocked, and families fed — Yesenia Mata had their back. The brand-new executive director of La Colmena said the decision to remain open and offer even more services when much of the city and other immigrant rights organizations were closing was a “no-brainer” for her and her small, dedicated staff. Yesenia organized food pantries to support immigrant families, donated face masks to help protect immigrant workers, nurses, bus drivers, and police officers, and raised money to support struggling local businesses and essential workers who worked in supermarkets and pharmacies. For this work, Yesenia was named a “Woman of Achievement” by the Staten Island Advance.

Yesenia credits her military training in confronting the COVID-19 economic and health crisis. Yesenia goes jogging in her free time. She also loves to invite friends so they can taste the delicious cuisine at Port Richmond Avenue’s restaurants row.

Sponsored by Robinson Iglesias