Human Services Coordinator, Fair Oaks Community Center
Ana Angel Avendaño is the Human Services Coordinator at the Fair Oaks Community Center for the City of Redwood City. In this role, she gets the opportunity to work directly with the community and local partners to develop programs and services that address the needs of the community. Ana is an active member in her community, she co-founded a cultural coalition for the preservation of community-based art, organizes art-focused events, helps coordinate the annual OYE Latinx Youth Conference, and co-facilitates a young women’s circle, Xinachtli. Ana holds a Bachelor’s degree in Ethnic Studies and a Master’s in Chicanx Studies. She is currently finishing her dissertation to earn her doctorate in Racial Justice in Education at the University of San Francisco.
When not working: Ana loves supporting small businesses, checking out local artists, cooks, and creators' Instagram pages. She also enjoys exploring the beauty and culture of the Bay Area with her husband Rafael and 2-year old daughter Alana.
I am excited to receive coaching to develop my management and leadership skills. I also look forward to being in community with other fellows and building a solid network of support.
Executive Director, Redwood City Together
Rafael Avendaño leads Redwood City Together a collective impact organization that collaborates with core agencies, CBO’s and community members to reduce poverty, improve the academic success of all students, increase community engagement, promote health and wellness, and enhance safety. Redwood City Together is committed in helping the community reach its two north stars 3rd grade reading readiness and family prosperity. Rafael has held various leadership roles as a former North Fair Oaks Council member for three years and Sequoia Healthcare District Board member for a year. Rafael has also been a part of various committees with the County of San Mateo to support more equitable transportation and parks in the North Fair Oaks community. Rafael currently holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Public Management with a specialization in Human Resources from Colorado State University and has earned his Master’s degree in Organization and Leadership from the University of San Francisco.
When not working: Rafael enjoys spending time with his family, reading, doing community service, going to church, playing sports participating in biking and running races and spending time outdoors.
I am excited to join SVN as it will better prepare me in leadership to learn how to navigate systems transformation work. I am also looking forward to being part of a team that is committed to peer mentorship and coaching model.
Director of Newcomer & Trauma Programs, One Life Counseling Center
Jennifer leads the Newcomer/Trauma program at One Life Counseling Center. This program serves immigrant children who have gone through a traumatic experience in their life. She also has many other leadership roles at One Life Counseling Center like office management and leading their volunteer program. In addition, during the pandemic, Jennifer led a weekly food distribution drive thru where 500 families are able to get food, arts and crafts, toiletries and diapers. Jennifer received a BA in Psychology with a minor in Child and Adolescent development from San Jose State University. She is currently enrolled in the University of San Francisco and will graduate spring of 2022 with a MA in Marriage and Family Therapy.
When not working: Jennifer enjoys walking her three dogs, cooking and watching movies. She also loves to spend time with loved ones.
Coming from an immigrant family, I understand what these children and families are going through. Seeing my community struggle has made me want to advocate for their mental health. I want to become a leader who can be the voice for the underrepresented and underserved community.
Associate Director, Friends for Youth
Cecilia has almost 10 years experience working in education and youth development. She is currently the Associate Director at Friends for Youth, a Bay Area agency that has perfected mentoring over the last 42 years where she leads programs, recruitment and development. Later this year she plans to take the helm as Executive Director. Cecilia is passionate about social justice and supporting young people. She is active on the Racial Equity Subcommittee for San Mateo County's Community Collaboration for Children’s Success initiative (CCCS) and leads the Racial Justice in Mentoring Workgroup for California Mentoring Partnership. Cecilia is a YCore Fellow Alum. She holds a B.S. in Environmental Sciences and a B.A. in Art from UC Berkeley. She has her Masters of Social Work from Columbia University, where she won the Hoffman Writing Award, the Tamer Fellowship and the Lowenstein Fellowship.
SVN Project Idea: Cecilia enjoys making art, writing, reading, and loves animals, especially dogs. She also really enjoys the outdoors, activities and sports like frisbee (she was on the ultimate team at Cal), biking and spin. As of late, she is learning to golf and surf.
I am excited about SVN because I will be the first woman of color in a leadership role at my organization and have so much to learn. I hope to bring a racial justice lens to leadership and empower others along the way.
Chief Operations Officer, Loaves & Fishes Family Kitchen
Mauricio is the Chief Operations Officer for Loaves & Fishes, he is responsible for the meal programs which distributes over 1.4 Million meals to insecure populations in Santa Clara and San Mateo Counties. Mauricio serves as a trustee in the Technical Advisory Council for Santa Clara County, he also serves as Chair of the Edible Food Recovery Technical Council for the California Recovery Resource Association. Mauricio has BS in Business Administration from CSU East Bay and a Certificate in Nonprofit Organizational Management from UOP. In 2020, he received his Certification from the SWANA/CRRA as a Certified Practitioner in Zero Waste Principles and Practices.
When not working: I enjoy reading, cooking and watching sports (Hockey, baseball and soccer). Exercising 3-4 times a week and spending time with my wife and daughters.
Silicon Valley Next is a great opportunity to develop my leadership skills, learn from my peers in the industry and expand my network.
Senior Staff Attorney, Legal Aid Society of San Mateo County
Jonathan is a bilingual attorney with a passion for immigration law. As a LIBRE (Linking Immigrants to Benefits Resources and Education) attorney, Jonathan provides free direct legal services to low-income residents of San Mateo County, conducts presentations, outreach, and strives to build a bridge between immigrants and legal services. His favorite part of the job is telling clients they do not have to pay for the legal services, and empowering the immigrant community. Jonathan earned his BA in Sociology and History from the University of California Santa Barbara and a JD from the Ventura College of Law.
When not working: Jonathan enjoys visiting America’s National Parks, traveling to Steelers games, watching movies, and spending time with family and friends.
I am grateful for the opportunity to join SVN and learn from others and how to harness my strengths (and strengthen my weaknesses) to better serve the non-profit community.
Executive Director, Latinas Contra Cancer
Darcie is the Executive Director of Latinas Contra Cancer which exists to create just and equitable access to health and healthcare for the Latino community around issues of cancer. Latinas Contra Cancer is an organization that believes in the power of women to change the world and that invests in the leadership of Latinas. In her role at LCC, Darcie leads efforts to build the capacity of Latino communities to advocate effectively for themselves in healthcare settings and guides LCC’s commitment to providing culturally and linguistically sensitive cancer education, navigation, and survivor support.
When not working: Darcie spends time with her mom, dad, sister, and amazing son Hathorne.
I am excited to join Silicon Valley Next because of the opportunity to expand my abilities as a nonprofit leader in community with other nonprofit leaders of color.
Director of Programs, Sunnyvale Community Services
David Hernandez is currently the Director of Programs and Services at Sunnyvale Community Services. David joined Sunnyvale Community Services in 2013 as SCS’s first Case Manager, bringing his social work and case management expertise to support vulnerable clients engaging with Sunnyvale Community Services. In the past 8 years, David has helped to grow the overall case work and case management team, and helped secure new funding to assist families and seniors who are homeless or at risk of homelessness. David’s extraordinary compassion is matched by his deep understanding of social work practices and program management. He brings an innovative approach to social services program design and takes the initiative to collaborate across the seven Emergency Assistance Network (EAN) agencies throughout Santa Clara County.
When not working: David enjoys trying different cuisines, traveling around the world, gardening, dinners with family and wine tasting.
I am the 3rd of 7 children. I was born in Texas to immigrant parents and raised in Guanajuato Mexico by my maternal grandparents. I reunited with my mother and siblings in the small town of Gilroy. I am a product of my environment and have developed a passion to serve underprivileged communities who by design continue to be underserved and under resourced a direct result of the systemic problems that contribute to the inequitable distribution of resources. As a trained social worker, I aspire to engage in meaningful and impactful work that addresses the root causes of poverty in our communities.
Youth Utilizing Power and Praise Organization
Shelene leads Youth Utilizing Power and Praise Organization (YUPP ORG) in creating a cross cultural network that empowers youth through the means of performing arts, fine arts, public speaking and sports programming. In addition, she serves as the Children's ministry director of WestGate Church. In 2020, she was invited to the Board of Directors for The Family Giving Tree Organization. She holds a BA in Music from Santa Clara University and a Masters in Management (Public Administration) from University of Phoenix.
When not working: Shelene enjoys creating music, hiking and collecting Winnie the Pooh Bear.
My life's goal is to be a bridge that connects the underserved and the overlooked to opportunities that help them cultivate their gifts, fully understand their value and share it unapologetically with the world. My greatest joy in life is seeing someone thrive because they finally accepted the truth that they were loved and known. Silicon Valley Next is an amazing opportunity to grow and connect with like minded peers and deepen my passion to accomplish what I am called to do.
Community Engagement Program Manager, School of Arts and Culture at the Mexican Heritage Plaza
Born and raised in San Jose, Edgar Ochoa is passionate about meeting new people and building relationships with folks from all walks of life. Currently, he is the Community Engagement Program Manager at the School of Arts and Culture at the Mexican Heritage Plaza where he oversees multicultural programming that celebrates the diverse communities around us. He works closely with a plethora of community partners and artists, in order to activate the East San Jose community hub known as La Plaza.
Beyond his current role, he has worked within the non-profit sector for over a decade in leadership positions for summer camps, after-school programs, and arts education programs. Recently, Edgar revamped the School for the Performing Arts in Palo Alto which meant adding visual arts classes to the program and expanding the classes offered to a wider age range. The program was rebranded as the School for the Arts and offered arts education for preschool-aged students all the way to adults. Edgar is also a muralist who has led the painting of local community murals with the help of hundreds of South Bay residents of all ages.
When not working: During his spare time, Edgar enjoys painting and spending time in the outdoors with his wife and two dogs.
I am most excited to meet other homegrown leaders from Silicon Valley while learning and sharing in their experiences.
Regional Director of Employment and Training Programs, JobTrain
Kenya leads JobTrain’s expansion project addressing employment and training gaps within the Homeless and Housing Systems of Santa Clara County. Prior to her current role, she was the WIOA Youth Program Manager at Work2Future, where she successfully created workforce development opportunities for underserved youth in conjunction with the San Jose Mayor’s Gang Task Force and East Side Union High School District. Before launching into the workforce development industry, Kenya helped 100s of clients exit out of homeless, while working at LifeMoves and Abode Services. Kenya received her BA in Behavioral Science and a BA in Sociology from San Jose State University.
When not working: Kenya enjoys spending quality time with her two beautiful daughters and traveling the world to places like Egypt and Paris.
Over 19 years of working in Human Services has led me to this moment: now it’s my time to “Lean-in”. Professional Development + A Growth Mindset = Success!
Habitat Restoration Director, Grassroots Ecology
Kristen is the Habitat Restoration Director at Grassroots Ecology where she oversees community based land stewardship at public open spaces in Santa Clara and San Mateo counties. Kristen grew up in the North Coast town of Mendocino which greatly influenced her love of nature and community, and most importantly the intersection of the two. Kristen has a BA in Geography and Environmental Studies from UCLA.
When not working: Kristen likes to hike, botanize, look at maps, and explore the many natural wonders of California.
I am looking forward to strengthening my leadership skills through Silicon Valley Next so that I can develop a deeper and more meaningful impact in creating equitable access to nature and the outdoors.
Founder and Lead Facilitator of Silicon Valley Next
Curtis leads Consulting Within Reach, a firm serving nonprofits and government in strategic planning, marketing, fundraising, and other consulting services. Clients have included multiple MacArthur “Genius Grant” winners, the U.S. State Department, Stanford University, the Silicon Valley Community Foundation, and hundreds of community based nonprofits. Curtis has won national recognition from the Obama White House for innovative work in the social sector. He holds faculty appointments at Duke University and American University. Curtis graduated from Harvard University with a B.A. summa cum laude in Government, and is a past winner of a Rockefeller Fellowship.
When not working: Curtis enjoys hosting parties with his wife Jody, doing crossword puzzles, playing Pickleball, and learning to play the piano in his middle age (as repentance for short-sightedly resisting lessons when he was 9 years old).
I’m convinced that the most meaningful legacy we leave in our life is embodied in relationships where we have offered our best selves to others. I hope Silicon Valley Next will give me the opportunity to do that with some amazing young leaders.
Co-Facilitator of Silicon Valley Next
Kris is an executive and leadership coach who helps mission-driven rising leaders and managers tune into and amplify their inner wisdom, and align what they do in the world with what matters most to them. Prior to launching her coaching practice, Kris spent nearly 20 years working for fast-growing and justice-focused nonprofit organizations and schools, including Education Pioneers, Teach For America, and Beyond 12. Kris holds a Masters in Social Work from U.C. Berkeley. She is an ICF certified coach & Energy Leadership Index, Master Practitioner, a consultant, coach, and facilitator for Consulting Within Reach and Inclusion Ventures, an Advisory Board Member for Teachers of Oakland, a Professional Mentor for Braven, and a mom to three curious, imaginative, and at times exhausting, kids.
When not working: You might find Kris hanging with her kids or husband, starting an impromptu dance party, enjoying a warm cup of tea with a good book (and no kids around), jumping in a cool river on a hot day, hiking, swimming, or slowly jogging around her neighborhood in Berkeley, CA.
I believe meaningful societal change is sparked through individual connections and personal growth. I’m honored and excited to be a part of this inaugural SVN program and to help hold a space for Fellows to connect deeply, to tune into their inner wisdom and innate talents, and to practice vulnerability and courage as leaders.