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Olga Ponce

Born in Bogota Colombia, Olga grew up in an Airforce family and traveled to countries like Brazil, Panama, and the USA. She lived in Colombia until age 9, moved to the United States with family on a diplomatic visa and grew up in Arlington, VA where she graduated from high school and went to college in San Angelo State University in TX on an Air Force Scholarship.

In 1988 she was awarded the Medal of Honor and Leadership by The Air Force Association when she was a cadet in the AFROTC in San Angelo State University the medal was given to a selected minority cadet for their excellent academic achievement and leadership performance.

Ms. Ponce moved back to Bogota, Colombia to continue studies at Pontificia Universidad Javeriana where she was part of a Nationwide campaign for Premature Birth death on low-income communities and native communities of the Andes Region. She graduated as a nurse in 1995.

Olga worked at Gimnasio Vermont as a Science and Health Ed. teacher for 10 years. At the school with a coeducational system, pioneer in Colombia for the education of boys and girls, with the institution she was awarded the Simon Bolivar Price to excellence in Education in 2001.

The single mother of one in 2003 became a Tahirih client fleeing violence from an abusive relationship with an American citizen. After 2.5 years of immigration processes and divorce from the abuser, she was finally granted a permanent residency through VAWA. Ms. Ponce has been a member of Tahirih’s Wings since 2004 and is an active advocate for the Tahirih Justice Center including writing a piece for the Editor’s page of The New York Times in 2017 on behalf of the organization. In 2021, Ms. Ponce got married.

Olga worked as Liaison at the Rainy-Day Foundation, a nonprofit organization that supports minorities and low-income families by helping them with their mortgage payments and sponsor financing programs to help families keep their homes. She then worked as Patient Care Coordinator at Plastic Surgery Institute of Washington, where she works closely with reconstructive and aesthetic surgeons for cancer patients in the Washington, DC metropolitan area. For the last five years, Ms. Ponce has worked as a Patient and Surgical Care Coordinator at Mid Atlantic Plastic Surgeons and continues to work with breast cancer survivors.