Biography of Migdalia Toro

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” Home to me means a warm, inviting family place filled with peace, comfort, love, laughter, and dreams.”

Personal

Migdalia Toro known as Maggie Toro was born to Felix Luis Otero, blue collar worker, and Ana Celia Otero, homemaker, in Coamo, Puerto Rico. Within her first year of life, her parents moved to Brooklyn, New York and in her second year her mother became legally blind; her family continued to live in Brooklyn in the Farragut Housing projects next to the Brooklyn Navy Yard in one of the toughest neighborhoods in Brooklyn, Fort Greene. Her educational journey began in Brooklyn until 7th grade, at which point, her parents had decided there was too much violence in the schools, and sent both her and her brother Luis Alberto to Salinas, Puerto Rico to finish school.  Once Migdalia graduated high school, she attended one semester at the Inter American University of Rio Piedras, and decided to return to Brooklyn to complete her college education. She has been happily married to her husband Luis Norberto Toro for 15 years, who was also raised in Brooklyn, but their lives crossed paths in Rochester. Her brother, in fact, was her husband’s mailman in Brooklyn.

Career

Mrs. Toro is the Homeownership Coordinator for NeighborWorks® Rochester. She is responsible for teaching Homeownership classes, providing program budgeting, and counseling participants on credit. Through the Homeownership Program in 2012, Migdalia helped create 123 brand new homeowners. Through her time here she has been trained at several national NeighborWorks® Training and received certification in Homeownership Education, Mortgage Lending, Homeownership Counseling, and Foreclosure. She received the NeighborWorks Rochester 2011 Employee of the year Award.

Prior to joining NeighborWorks® Rochester, Mrs. Toro was a Certified Credit Counselor and Housing Counselor at Consumer Credit Counseling Service of Rochester providing Credit and Debt Management Counseling, Bankruptcy Counseling and Foreclosure Prevention During this time, she taught Money Management, Energy Conservation to RG&E’s Recap Program participants, and Pre and Post Bankruptcy Classes. Additionally, in 2009, Mrs. Toro volunteered to be a Financial Coach in C.A.S.H. where she helped a program participant achieve their financial dream of becoming a homeowner.

From 1980 to 1987 Migdalia worked as a Legal Assistant for a Brooklyn Law firm Weinbaum & Price focusing on Real Estate, Landlord and Tenant law. Both attorneys from the firm took Migdalia under their wings, and taught her how to complete Case Law Research, write Legal Briefs, process Real Estate Closings, and accomplish writing her first Appeal at the age of 19. In the fall of 1987, Mrs. Toro moved with her parents and brother to Rochester. She worked as a Legal Assistant at the Law firm of Pauley and Barney, focusing on Matrimonial and Real Estate Law while volunteering at her Church on weekends and traveling with her brother to the Mink Farm in Bloomfield, New York to teach Religious Education to the children of the Migrant workers.  In 1990, she worked as a Billing Specialist for St. Mary’s Hospital Satellite Offices near Clinton Avenue and Dewey Avenue doing third party billing.

In 1991, she worked as a Pastoral Assistant for St. Francis Xavier Catholic Church organizing Liturgical Celebrations, and teaching Religious Education to the Youth Group.  She also was a participating member of the Diocese of Rochester’s Synod Committee, and would travel to Geneva, New York for the meetings. In 1992, she worked for DiMarco and Riley Law firm focusing on Collection, and Real Estate Law. In 1995, Mrs. Toro went on to work for 8 years with Mr. DiMarco’s brother at Admar Supply Company as Credit and Collection Specialist. In 2004 she worked as Accounts Receivable and Collection Specialist for Dox Electronics.

Education

Mrs. Toro received her BA in Political Science in 1984 from Saint Francis College in Brooklyn New York. While attending, she was a Senator on the Student Government Council and received an award for her dedication and service to the History and Political Science Society. She participated in The History and Political Society’s fundraisers, and raised $3,000.00 to help with the repairs of the Statue of Liberty Torch.

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