Our twenty-five RISE Fellows for the 2018 program year represent some of San Diego’s best and brightest community leaders, activists, practitioners, and agents of social change. They have demonstrated their experience in and commitment to a variety of issues affecting urban communities across San Diego, including education, urban planning and redevelopment, food justice, and gang violence prevention.

ANDREA ANDRADE
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Andrea is an academic specialist providing students in the North County region of San Diego the guidance and support necessary for them to successfully achieve their goals.
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Honing a path in youth leadership and advocacy, she has been actively building the language of emotional leadership and its impact on the holistic approach of youth development and community building. Andrea is a proud embodiment of the culturally diverse Tijuana/San Diego region. She holds a BA in psychology from San Diego State University, which gave her the ability to work in nonprofit organizations supporting at-risk youth, and graduated from the University of San Diego with an MA in leadership studies.
STEVEN ASKAR
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Steve is a husband, father, teacher, and learner and he loves his family, both those directly related to him and those he teaches. As a first-grade teacher for Thrive Public Schools, Steve understands the importance of elevating student voice through agency, advocacy, and access.
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His passionate belief that every child should receive access to an excellent education stems from his identity as the son of an immigrant father, who sacrificed nearly everything to pursue an education in the United States, and a mother who returned to school in her late forties to earn a credential for teaching special education. Like his parents, he deeply values learning and has demonstrated this by graduating as valedictorian from Brigham Young University-Idaho, receiving summa cum laude honors for a degree in elementary education, before graduating summa cum laude from Johns Hopkins with a master’s degree in early childhood education. In addition to formal schooling, Steve has learned a great deal about teaching from his experience teaching preschool in San Diego for two years as a Teach For America corps member. During this time, he was named by the San Diego Association for Education of Young Children (SDAEYC) as San Diego Early Childhood Educator of the year. As a RISE Fellow, he hopes to disrupt systems that act as barriers for kids throughout San Diego and beyond.
MARJORIE BALCORTA
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Born in the Bay Area but raised in Palmdale in Southern California, Marjorie showed an interest at a young age for helping people who have struggled.
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In high school, she studied at a regional occupational program focused on law enforcement and earned an internship at the Michael D. Antonovich Antelope Valley Courthouse and Supervisor Antonovich’s Antelope Valley office. She also volunteered at her local church, taught her younger siblings Filipino cultural dances, sang in the Christmas choir, and was a poll worker during the 2008 elections. She graduated as a California Scholarship Federation student from Highland High School in 2009 and was accepted to the U.S. Coast Guard Academy to study political science and train to become a military officer. Honorably discharged after four years of service, Marjorie moved to San Diego to live with family and pursue her criminal justice studies, receiving an associate’s degree in administration of justice from Miramar College and a Bachelor of Science degree in criminal justice systems from Alliant International University. At Alliant, she gained knowledge and skills about trauma-informed care, collaboration within systems, creating civic bridges with communities, adverse childhood experiences, elder abuse, and restorative justice. As an intern at the Institute on Violence, Abuse and Trauma, she coordinated volunteers for its annual international summit. She also interned at the Urban Collaborative Project where she now works as a program coordinator and is instrumental in planning, organizing, and directing various projects. Marjorie also works alongside families living in affordable housing apartments as a resident services coordinator for Pacific Southwest Community Development Corporation.
TIFFANY WAI-YING BERES
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As a woman of mixed racial background, both Chinese and American, Tiffany grew up with a strong desire to better understand her heritage.
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It was the allure of art that inspired her cultural explorations: she began studying Chinese painting and calligraphy as a child, an experience that led her to the study of Asian art history. Based in China for nearly a decade, Tiffany built her career as an independent curator and exhibition planner with museums and institutions around the world, including the Asian Art Museum of San Francisco, the University of Hong Kong’s Museum and Art Gallery, the Pagoda Paris, Beijing’s Today Art Museum, and the Rietberg Museum in Zürich. Since her arrival in San Diego in 2015, Tiffany has been involved with the local arts and culture scene as a nonprofit museum director, Asian community activist, and most recently as a member of the Commission for Arts and Culture’s Public Art Committee.
CIRIA BREWER
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For over twenty years, Ciria has served as an educator with the San Diego Unified School District in the communities where she was born and raised.
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Her mother was a special educator in Logan Heights for over three decades and a driving inspiration in Ciria’s own journey: special education sparked her passion for equity and she became laser-focused on serving the social-emotional needs of students and families in the classroom and school setting. She moved into teaching at a high school in City Heights—mere blocks from her childhood home—and when a dean of students position opened at the school she knew she needed to be in that role to make a difference with the students. Ciria worked diligently to shift the school’s traditional punitive disciplinary approach to a restorative justice model and implemented practices such as positive behavior supports and trauma-informed learning. As dean of students, her work had a direct impact on reducing suspensions and expulsions and these accomplishments have been a factor in reducing the school-to-prison pipeline of children from a San Diego urban community. In her current role as an advocate for family and youth, Ciria works tirelessly to close the opportunity gap and has made significant progress with the support of community organizations operating in the school district. She remains passionate about trauma-informed and restorative approaches and how each has the power to fundamentally transform school and community climates. She primarily works in the City Heights area, focusing on the challenges in the immigrant and refugee populations. Ciria recently received her administrative credential and master’s degree in educational leadership. She is committed to ongoing advocacy in the community and the importance of making progress toward more equitable opportunities for all students and families. As a RISE Fellow, she hopes to continue her work as a strong and passionate leader in education.
KRYSTAL CARRILLO
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Born and raised in southeastern San Diego, Krystal is first-generation college student in her family and it is her goal to help students realize their potential as she was helped to realize hers.
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After working for Compact for Success, an educational program at San Diego State University (SDSU), she quickly realized that some of her students could not think about pursuing higher education due to their basic needs at home not being met. While obtaining her BA in psychology at SDSU, Krystal stumbled onto a new minor—counseling and social change—and those classes led her to pursue a Master in Social Work at the University of Southern California. Currently, she provides therapy to low-income individuals in the community as a bilingual licensed clinical social worker for a local nonprofit. She is a mentor for the Hermanitas Program at MANA de San Diego, volunteers with Barrio Logan College Institute, and is interested in connecting mental health needs and higher education. Krystal enjoys spending her free time with her family and friends and traveling.
PATRICIA CEBALLOS
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Patricia is a native San Diegan and the reentry program coordinator for the San Diego County Sheriff's Department.
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An integral part of the Reentry Services Division leadership team, she is responsible for overseeing reentry services at all seven jail facilities. Throughout her career, she has worked on multi-disciplinary teams to identify issues, develop innovative solutions, and track outcome measures to determine program effectiveness. Patricia has been part of state and national committees to develop systems of care related to reentry and rehabilitation; locally, she works collaboratively with community providers, criminal justice partners, and community members to develop and implement reentry programs designed to provide ongoing support and stability by cultivating positive and meaningful opportunities. She enjoys engaging people in the community and offering opportunities to increase education and training on effective interventions for justice-involved individuals. As a young person, Patricia worked on many different extracurricular activities and was the first in her family to complete high school. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in criminal justice administration from San Diego State University and a Master of Arts in human behavior from National University.
RONALD CLARK
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Ronald is a native of San Diego, where he spent his youth fulfilling speaking engagements, volunteering for the late Charles Lewis III during his campaign for City Council District 4 and serving as the first president of the District 4 Youth Advisory Board (YAB).
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After attending Hampton University and working as a high school sports reporter in northern New Jersey, Ronald returned to San Diego in 2011 to attend UCLA’s Professional Program in Screenwriting. Yet he never left the community as he volunteered his time performing poetry and discussing writing, education, and college with students at high school throughout the city. Ronald’s love for education grew and he began his teaching journey at the Charter School of San Diego, Mt. Erie Christian Academy, and Gompers Preparatory Academy, where he has served in numerous roles, including his first full year teaching eleventh-grade American literature for the 2016-17 school year. He started the Young Brother Book Club at Gompers for black male students, who meet bi-weekly to discuss literature, life, and educational pursuits. With the Get Lit Coalition, the club hosted its first literacy fair in 2018; through his role as a RISE Fellow, Ronald plans to host more of these events for boys and girls enrolled in secondary education. He was a member of the 2013 Elevated! San Diego Poetry Slam Team that finished fourth in the country and for four years he hosted “Lyrical Exchange”, an open mic where he was a key contributor in fostering a community and culture among people from all walks of life who needed an escape through the arts. Ronald is a Benbough Diamond Fellow and was recently accepted to the University of San Diego’s MEd cohort program for secondary education curriculum and instruction with an English teaching credential. He continues to pursue his passion for education, our youth, and the dismantling of America’s Eurocentric education system.
JOSEPH EKYOCI
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Obstacles in life are hard to overcome, but not impossible. As a young African man, Joseph faced many challenges throughout his fledgling academic career yet never gave up.
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While living in a refugee camp in Tanzania he was a member of the Young Man Refugee Organization, which gave him the means to make money for school by selling shoes, clothes, and school supplies. At first unable to collect enough funds, he persevered because he knew that through education he could make a difference—he had to find a way to attend school. This meant being creative and flexible to find other opportunities to raise funds, being enthusiastic to empower other students to do the same, and encouraging them not to give up—listening to feedback and being understanding of his group to keep them united. This experience was challenging because it was difficult to sell goods when people did not have money to buy food for their survival, but Joseph was able to achieve his goals and became a better person for doing so. Africa is a place where life can be hard and there are often many cultural and political barriers to obtaining a good education. As a poor boy in Tanzania, Joseph knew he had nothing more valuable in his life than school. While a high school freshman, his teacher asked for money in exchange for a good grade, threatening to fail Joseph if he did not pay; in Tanzania, a student is kicked out of school for life if they fail one class. Discouraged and disappointed with no way to pay, he found a solution: if he got an A in all his other classes, there was a chance he would be excused from the zero in math. He stayed focused, worked hard, and at the end of his freshman year was ranked third out of 65 students in his class, passing with flying colors with support from his parents and the principal. After immigrating to the U.S. at the end of his freshman year, Joseph stayed focused and sought alternatives around barriers. Starting with very high hopes at College de Lacharites in Tanzania, Joseph pursued his high school diploma in the United States and now is attending college. The time he has given himself to learn optimism has changed his overview on life and that is why he is the person he is today. He is confident because he excels in academics and enjoys working with his community.
TEKARA GAINEY
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Originally from Philadelphia, Tekara has called San Diego home for the past five years. She holds a BA in anthropology from Temple University and is completing her MA in anthropology at San Diego State University.
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Tekara integrates her passion for community building and health, economic, and education equity in her role as the community affairs and engagement manager at the Jacobs Center for Neighborhood Innovation, a place-based philanthropic nonprofit in southeastern San Diego. In her role, she is responsible for advancing the organization’s strategic educational, business, physical development, and human development initiatives in partnership and concert with the community in which she works. She believes joint decision making, authentic communication, and civic engagement are critical to community and capacity building. When she’s not building bridges, Tekara offers compassionate, non-judgmental, accessible, support to womxn and their families as a full-spectrum doula, supporting womxn across the spectrum of their reproductive needs.
TANISSHA HARRELL
FELLOW
Tanissha, or “Tee” as she is affectionately known, is a mother, servant leader, and advocate for disregarded people groups.
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She is a program specialist at San Diego Workforce Partnership and has worked in the nonprofit sector for more than twenty years. She resides in City Heights and where she is regarded as a faithful servant within her community; her friends affectionately refer to her as the “community lady” because she is widely known and there is not a single person she is unwilling to help or be of service to. Passionate and able to relate to the challenges facing individuals in marginalized communities, Tanissha invests her whole heart into whatever she does, whether it is working with individuals with disabilities and reentry initiatives, or providing employment and training opportunities, counseling, or prayer. She works tirelessly to assist the members of her target communities with identifying and securing the necessary tools while establishing support mechanisms to assist with future resource needs. Tanissha is rooted in the communities she serves and highly respected by everyone she encounters.
EBONY JONES
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Ebony is an example of true resilience, strength, and leadership. A passionate woman who believes her success is greater than her past lived experience, she has overcome the street mentality and uses her life experiences to give back.
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She was raised in the streets of southeastern San Diego and graduated from High Tech High, not knowing that her unique but dreadful experience in sex trafficking and prostitution would develop a heart of mercy for all people involved. After successfully being out of that lifestyle for eight years, Ebony quickly learned about the true impact of the underground sex economy and desired to take part in providing exit routes for others. She works for an organization that offers services to victims of sexual exploitation and/or prostitution ages 12-24. She provides mentoring and advocacy for girls and women and is a certified facilitator for curricula including My Life My Choice, Ending the Game, and Word on the Streets. Formally a contractor with Child Welfare Services, Ebony serves as a Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children (CSEC) trainer and consultant for social workers, medical personnel, law enforcement staff, and the community alongside many other providers in San Diego. Ebony is a member of the Joan B. Kroc School of Peace Studies’ Women for Social Impact, Survivor Leader Network of San Diego, and Bayview Church; a volunteer for N.U.B.I.A. and Free to Thrive; and a victim advocate for the San Diego County District Attorney. She previously served on the CSEC San Diego Steering Committee, providing feedback and education to help develop and edit policy, protocol, and programs. Ebony lives by transparency and believes it is the purest form of helping others. “Don’t hide from your truth; everyone is a survivor of something. You can use your story to help many. 1 broken person is 1 too many”. One of her biggest projects in 2018-2019 will be to open up a drop-in center in southeastern San Diego to provide a safe space for youth to attend groups for help with mental health, substance use, financial stability, employment, basic needs, and more. A first-generation college student in her family, she attends San Diego City College and hopes to transfer to Point Loma Nazarene to pursue a bachelor’s degree in psychology with a minor in nonprofit organization under the Beauty of Ashes Scholarship. Ebony is a newlywed and enjoys spending quality time with her family.
CINDY LOPEZ
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Cindy is a first-generation college graduate and a native of City Heights. After graduating from university, she worked at Teach for America - San Diego before becoming a corps member in 2015 and committing to teaching in a low-income community for two years.
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She is a bilingual educator at the Chula Vista Learning Community Charter School where, as an educator, she integrates social justice issues and global perspectives into her curriculum. Cindy holds a bachelor’s degree in political science and Latin American studies from San Diego State University and a Master of Education from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign.
JANICE LUNA REYNOSO
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Janice is the first of six children born to Mexican immigrant parents. Raised in National City and southeastern San Diego, she grew up learning to make a difference and helping others from her mother, Yolanda, who continuously helped the community by translating and filling out documents for immigrants and those in need.
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Janice was also influenced by her family’s farm worker heritage, stories of marching off the field with Cesar Chavez, and learning of other pioneers in the civil rights movement. Gang violence was prevalent in her youth and she lost friends and family to violence, drug use, or incarceration; these experiences inspired her desire for social justice and learning more about systems. Janice is a mother of three, a community leader involved in projects—such as founding Mundo Gardens—with a focus on community gardening and health advocacy. Believing complete health includes active healthy living, education, holistic choices, and the celebration of arts and culture, she carries that vision as a facilitator in her work with refugee and immigrant youth at YALLA San Diego.
FRANCISCO "PANCHITO" MARTÍNEZ
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Panchito is the oldest child of parents who immigrated from México in search of a decent quality of life.
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He is the leadership programs specialist at Barrio Logan College Institute (BLCI), an organization that helps students from underprivileged communities access higher education to change the world. A student at BLCI starting in the fourth grade, he was accepted at San Diego State University with a $30,000 scholarship to study leadership development and a city-wide award for work in the community with the help of BLCI. He has been featured in newspapers and magazines, presented at fundraisers, and received several other awards. Panchito has a passion for helping others develop a sense of purpose in life and hopes to impact the lives of many.
BOGDAN MATUSZYNSKI
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Bogdan possesses nonprofit, government, teaching, and entrepreneurial experience specializing in the areas of foreign affairs, criminal justice, international social and economic development, and human security strategies.
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He is a native of San Diego and a first-generation Polish-Mexican-American. Proud to be born and raised in the U.S. while maintaining his ethnic and cultural heritage and learning about the diversity of the world, he has been privileged to experience life as the child of a refugee in a country that has provided his family with the opportunity to prosper. His family history led him to learn languages and ignited a fascination with international affairs and global collaboration, which in turn has led to travel to twenty-four countries for work, education, or pleasure. As a part of his passion for working on education initiatives to promote peace and conflict resolution, Bogdan has organized or facilitated several binational educational events with participants from the U.S. and Mexico. He is building iSERVE (International, Service, Education, Research, Vision, Empowerment), an internationally-focused organization that allows youth to empower themselves through educational resources, personal and professional development workshops, problem solving, and networking. Bogdan has presented his international and domestic security research domestically and abroad to find ways toward better global human security and efforts to counter violent extremism and commercial insurgencies affecting victims worldwide. Working with various assets, he has assisted in the return of kidnapped children, helped with coordinating the rescue of human trafficking victims, and aided operations in counterterrorism and combatting human and drug smuggling, which have led to several awards for his action; he simultaneously maintained his role as a peer support member and interned with the American Red Cross as an armed forces case manager. Bogdan has traveled to the Middle East as a U.S. student diplomat on behalf of the Olive Tree Initiative, was selected as a U.S. student ambassador for a fellowship with the Hansen Summer Institute at the University of San Diego, and recently was a core team member of Humankind San Diego. Bogdan is an alumnus of St. Augustine High School and earned a bachelor’s degree in international security and conflict resolution, with minors in Islamic and Arabic studies and Latin American studies, from San Diego State University (SDSU). He earned a Fulbright Spain English Teaching Assistant Award, SDSU’s 2016 “Quest for the Best” Vice Presidential Service Award, and congressional recognition for his participation in Model United Nations. He was a co-organizer of San Diego’s first “Startup Weekend Social Impact” event, a three-day business innovation challenge focused on using business as a platform for solving global and local issues. As a RISE Fellow, Bogdan looks forward to working with and learning from some of San Diego’s top minds and working on projects to help the local community.
ANTHONY MEDINA
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Anthony is the son of immigrant parents. He was born and raised in Chula Vista and became heavily involved in community organizing and volunteering while double majoring in political science and English at the University of San Diego.
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Through the Joan B. Kroc Institute for Peace and Justice, he volunteered as a mentor and English teacher at San Diego County Juvenile Hall and the South Sudanese Community Center. While a student at California Western School of Law, he spent a summer working at La Raza Centro Legal, a well-respected community law center in the heart of the Mission District in San Francisco, and interned and clerked at the United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, Employee Rights Center in San Diego, American Civil Liberties Union, and California Innocence Project. After law school, Anthony set out to establish his own practice where he could integrate his grassroots mentality and dedication to community service into his legal career; AM Law was the manifestation of those efforts. After representing clients in family law cases in San Diego, Orange, Riverside, and Los Angeles counties, he witnessed first-hand the need for a firm that can represent clients effectively without charging excessive rates. He has used this realization as motivation to establish People’s Legal Services, a sliding-scale, nonprofit law firm.
MEGHAN MONOKIAN
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Born in New Jersey and raised in the U.S. Virgin Islands, Meghan recently moved to San Diego where she hopes to reside for the remainder of her life. From a young age, she has been passionate about helping others and leaving the world a better place.
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A Coast Guard veteran who served in Alaska, Florida, and New Jersey, her primary missions were urgent search and rescue and law enforcement. After her enlistment, she earned a BS in small business management and entrepreneurship from California State University Chico and held many leadership positions with the school’s Student Veteran Organization. Currently, she is attending the University of San Diego for an MS in global leadership and is helping grow a nonprofit organization, Empowerment Through Golf. Meghan enjoys spending her free time with loved ones, going to the beach, hiking, golfing, and practicing yoga.
GRISELDA RAMIREZ
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Griselda is a Los Angeles native and a graduate of California State University Fullerton, where she earned a degree in communications with an emphasis in public relations.
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She relocated to San Diego in 2010 and began her work pursuing social justice: working on several political campaigns, fighting for worker rights, and getting involved with several community organizations. In 2015, she began working at Mid-City CAN (Community Advocacy Network) in City Heights where she has organized community members for transportation justice and helped build a successful grassroots civic engagement program; recently, she was promoted to director of civic engagement. Her mission in life is to bring resources to those who need them and help build a culture of voting in her community. Griselda’s inspiration comes from her family and friends, life experiences, and traveling.
SARAH SETIAWAN
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Coming from a family of public school teachers, education has always been a priority and a passion of Sarah’s that has led her to work in a variety of roles with education nonprofits over the past decade.
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In her current position as director of the Girard Foundation, she helps support the work of innovative educators who are driving change and improving K-12 education for San Diego students. She is inspired by these leaders who are creating equitable quality learning experiences and eager to deepen her own contributions. Sarah is glad to have called San Diego home for the past eight years and is proud to have roots in both the Midwest and in Bali, Indonesia. In her free time, she can be found hiking Southern California’s mountains and deserts, cooking for friends, and making music with the San Diego Peace and Freedom Singers.
JASON SHANLEY
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Jason is a husband of twenty-two years and the father of two daughters ages 17 and 13. He grew up in St. Paul, Minnesota and moved to San Diego in 1986.
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A fire captain with the San Diego Fire-Rescue Department where he has worked for almost eighteen years, he currently serves as its first full-time recruitment officer: his goals are to have staff department-wide that more accurately reflects the diversity of San Diego and to encourage more women and minorities to consider various careers in the fire service. Jason enjoys dealing with controversy and talking about tough topics. Though direct involvement in politics has never interested him, issues of social justice have always been near to his heart. His passion for justice stems from a deep theological commitment to the idea that every person is created in the Imago Dei (image of god) and deserves to be treated with dignity, which includes opportunities to dream big, pursue their passions, get an education, and leave a legacy for their families. His dream is to see the black neighborhoods in southeastern San Diego become a place where political action is strong, public safety accountability is realized, and progressive community is formed.
ZENIA TORRES
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Born in Riverside and raised in San Diego, Zenia represents City Heights and other vibrant neighborhoods like it.She is a returning student majoring in psychology and social work with the dream of transferring to San Diego State University or the University of San Diego.
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A published writer, her work has been featured in the City Works Journal at San Diego City College and the Reclaiming Our Stories book by Pillars of the Community, and she has performed her creative writing at So Say We All’s “VAMP Showcase: Borderlines”. Zenia brings her extensive experience in equity and community-based knowledge to her work as the administrative coordinator at San Diego Grantmakers. Her passion is to uplift and amplify the strengths and qualities of marginalized communities to make positive, impactful change in San Diego.
ALBERTO “BETO” VASQUEZ
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Beto is the youngest of four children born to Mexican parents. Raised in Logan Heights—a community riddled with gangs, drugs, and violence—and once a high school dropout, he overcame homelessness, incarceration, and addiction and changed the trajectory of his life.
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Beto is committed to becoming a role model to his four kids and his community as a professional in higher education. He is a recent graduate of UC San Diego where he earned a master’s degree in biology; his plans are to fulfill a doctoral degree and pursue a career as a community college administrator. As an educational advocate for marginalized groups and a great proponent of diversity in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields, Beto has assisted in designing programs and events for ex-offenders and men of color in STEM. He has worked in the nonprofit sector, local government, and higher education and has been instrumental in successfully implementing programs supporting underserved communities, disenfranchised populations, and students of color. He actively uses his lived and professional experience to serve as a motivational speaker, class instructor, professional development facilitator, author, and director of equity grants locally, nationally, and internationally. Within the community, he serves on grant selection committees, nonprofit boards, and as a community organizer working closely with probation, parole, and other agencies. Beto is co-chair of the Warden’s Community Advisory Board at R.J. Donovan Correctional Facility, president of the Nosotros Alumni Association, and founder/co-advisor of San Diego City College’s SACNAS Chapter and Urban Scholars Union. Nationally, he is Just Leadership USA Fellow and has collaborated on several education-based workshops, trainings, and conference presentations. He was recognized by San Diego Metro Magazine as one of its “40 Under 40” persons to watch in 2016 and by the City of San Diego for his civic engagement in 2017. Recently, he served as outreach coordinator for San Diego Continuing Education, creating its very first outreach department to boost their facilities, free programs, and educational opportunities. He is now employed with the Center for Research on Educational Equity, Assessment and Teaching Excellence (CREATE) at UC San Diego where he spearheads efforts to increase STEM diversity, access, and interest to disenfranchised communities throughout Southern California.
BRENT WILLIAMS
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Brent is a 24-year veteran of the San Diego Police Department (SDPD) and holds the rank of Lieutenant.
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During his tenure with the department he has worked in a variety of assignments in patrol, including Central Division, the Neighborhood Policing Team, and the Logan Heights walking team; as an investigator in the domestic violence unit; and in backgrounds and pre-employment, elder abuse, and financial crimes. As a sergeant, Brent worked in both the homicide and the sex crimes units; as a lieutenant, he has also served in the Southeastern Division and is now the public information officer for the department’s Media Services. Brent is an adjunct faculty member at San Diego Miramar College and Ashford University. He has developed and/or presented many dynamic law enforcement related courses and workshops to law enforcement officers, the regional police academy, military personnel, and numerous community members across the county, and has collaborated with the US Department of the Navy to develop and facilitate training courses on violence against women that blend leadership with criminal justice concepts. Brent has a bachelor’s degree from California Lutheran University and a Master of Science in forensic science from National University.
ROOSEVELT WILLIAMS III
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Roosevelt is a native San Diegan and an industrious, conscientious, disciplined, and self-motivated small business owner.
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Currently San Diego’s only African-American cobbler, he is also the 2018 CEO and president of Young Black & ‘NBusiness (YB&NB), a community organization devoted to serving and motivating the overlooked and the underserved majority, and working together as one to be healthy, happy, and successful. Previously, Roosevelt was a lead consultant for the Reinvestment Task Force for City of San Diego Council District 4 and liaison for the San Diego Youth Commission. He has used his consulting services and leadership skills to positively impact his community as a council representative and community liaison to eighteen neighborhoods in Council District 4. He has written policies and ordinances for the City of San Diego to benefit low- to moderate-income communities and underserved populations and drafted the Responsible Banking Ordinance to help eliminate redlining by banks, which was passed unanimously by the City Council in 2008. Roosevelt has served as president of San Diego Urban League’s 21st Century Youth Leadership Team and its College Career Club, and has interned with Presidential Classroom in Washington, D.C., where he learned about the political process and its effect on the nation. He is a three-time pageant winner—Mr. Gold Coast Classic (2004), Mr. Black San Diego (2008), and Mr. Heritage (2010)—and was inducted into the Walls of Excellence in southeastern San Diego. One of Roosevelt’s personal goals is to remain a teachable, life-long learner and a man of noble character. Encouraged and mentored by city officials and dignitaries to be both a servant leader and a change agent, he is most indebted to his great-grandfather, whom he credits with making him into the man he is today and will become in the future. He governs his life by the self-coined phrase, “Start with a commitment, deliver with quality, and finish with success.”