Actor, entrepreneur, vocalist and longtime Americares supporter, Jackie Cruz, became a household name from her portrayal of Marisol ‘Flaca’ Gonzales on Netflix’s critically acclaimed series, “Orange Is the New Black.”
Orange Is the New Black was a launching pad for Cruz’s career. She is a three-time SAG Award winner and was named one of the “Top Latino Powerhouses under 40” by The Hollywood Reporter in 2013. Cruz was also included on Latina Magazine’s 30 Under 30 List in 2015.
She recently starred in feature films “A Nice Girl Like You” opposite Lucy Hale and “Faraway Eyes” opposite Christina Ricci and has a recurring role on the third season of NBC’s “Good Girls.
Cruz’s first love was always music. Returning to her music roots, she released two successful singles “Melly 16” and “Make Me Change,” as well as spectacular video clips. Cruz independently produced and wrote her debut album, titled “Hija de Chavez” in 2018.
In 2019, Cruz traveled with Americares to the Dominican Republic on a volunteer service trip to meet with health care providers and patients benefitting from Americares health programs. She learned first hand about the challenges of providing care in under-resourced health facilities and distributed hygiene kits for families in need. Spending part of her childhood growing up in the country, Cruz felt a deep connection to the cause and also had an emotional visit to an Americares-supported youth center located across from the school where she attended an arts program for gifted students.