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New Leaders Council

2013 NLC Fellows: Silicon Valley

Diana Bautista, Government Relations Coordinator, Chamber of Commerce Mountain View

Diana Bautista was born in San Francisco and raised in nearby Daly City. She attended an all girl's Catholic high school in San Francisco and later San Francisco State University where she received a BA in Psychology. She has worked for the City of South San Francisco, in Governor Schwarzenegger's Administration in Sacramento, Google, for the Office of Senator/Lt. Governor Abel Maldonado, and recently for the Chamber of Commerce Mountain View and the San Mateo County Economic Development Association. She is an active member in the community, having served on some sort of board or commission since I was 18. Most notably- the Daly City Library Board of Trustees, the Commission on the Status of Women of San Mateo County, and recently for the Boys & Girls Clubs of Silicon Valley, Girls for a Change, Silicon Valley Reads, and many others. She also volunteers on special committees, like most recently helping to bring the documentary, Miss Representation, to several locations for viewing. In between working and volunteering, she runs a fashion blog called "Bay Area Fashion Eye". She is an avid football and hockey fan. She enjoys spending time with friends, family, and her dog Nikita. She currently lives in San Jose.
Mara Bravo Gonzalez Health Educator Health Plan of San Mateo "Mara currently works as a Health Educator for the Health Plan of San Mateo (HPSM) where she serves on a team to develop, implement and evaluate interventions and programs to improve the health of the San Mateo county residents. Prior to working at HPSM, Mara worked as Manager of Community Education for the Respiratory Health Association of Metropolitan Chicago. In this role she implemented asthma education programs throughout Chicago for both youth and adults. She also helped foster and maintain relationships with Chicago Public Schools and non-profit organizations to improve the health of under served communities throughout Chicago. Mara also served a one year term for the Americorps program City Year in Chicago. Mara's focus area is in the realm of youth development and health education. Her passion is to work with low-resourced and diverse populations with the objective of increasing access to health care and create better learning environments. Mara grew up in Redwood City and lived in Chicago for several years after graduating from Santa Clara University. She obtained her Master's in Public Health with a focus in community health from DePaul University.

Claudia Flores,Latinas Contra Cancer

I was raised in Honduras, Central America, but have been a resident of Silicon Valley for the past seven years. My life experiences have truly shaped my interests and curiosity. I consider myself to be a global thinker, and I am committed to health equity and the creation of progressive immigration policy. One day, I would like to hold a position in public office or be an immigration law expert. Such interest in public service was discovered while I volunteered with the City of San Jose’s Youth Commission and interned with Councilmember Sam Liccardo’s District 3 office. Since then, my passion has only been reinforced with the guidance of mentors and internship opportunities, which includes serving as an intern for Congressman Mike Honda’s district office.
Today, I hold a B.S. in Political Science from Santa Clara University and I am doing some social research work for Latinas Contra Cancer, a service non- profit based in San Jose, CA. My parents and siblings are my source of inspiration and unless I am at work, you will typically find me spending time with my family or enjoying a good cup of coffee with friends. The New Leaders Council fellowship could not have come at a better time in my life, as I venture on career opportunities and solidify my personal values. I have always enjoyed the diversity and have a lot of faith in the versatility of Silicon Valley’s workforce. I look forward to meeting young motivated leaders in my area as I join the class of 2013!

Nelda Gabbay, Associate, Bay Investment Group

Born and raised in the bay area, Nelda graduated from UCLA after studying English and Film. She began law school at Fordham University in New York City, before transferring to UC Berkeley where she completed her JD and LLM specializing in business and technology. Nelda currently works as an Associate at Bay Investment Group with a focus on legal and real estate development. Prior to joining Bay Investment Group, she worked in corporate strategy at NetApp, and taught two international business courses as a Graduate Student Instructor at UC Berkeley’s Haas School of Business. Nelda recently co-founded the Young Executives Board for the Ronald McDonald House of San Francisco with a mission to offer comfortable, temporary lodging and supportive services to families with critically ill children. In her free time, Nelda enjoys art, traveling, hiking, writing, and engaging in the bay area’s progressive movement.

Auvria Hampton, Senior Admissions Evaluator/Counselor University of California Santa Cruz

Auvria Hampton was born in Little Rock, Arkansas, raised in San Bernardino, California, and now is a current resident of Monterey, CA. She received her Bachelor's degree from California State University Monterey Bay with a major in Human Communication in 2008. Previously, Auvria worked as an Admissions Counselor and Recruiter at California State University Monterey Bay from 2008 to 2011 and in November of 2011 she accepted a position as a Senior Admissions Evaluator and Counselor at the University of California Santa Cruz. She is also on the Board of Directors for the Alumni Association of her Alma Mater, California State University Monterey Bay; and facilitates for the Parent Institute of Quality Education (PIQE). In 2012 Auvria was afforded the opportunity to work for President Obama’s grassroots reelection team. She earned a position as a Neighborhood Team Leader for Salinas, California and became a fellow for Organizing for America. In these positions she was exposed to politics through a different lens. Meeting President Barack Obama in Oakland, California affirmed her position and encouraged her spirit to do more and be more for her community and communities at large. Working with students and their families over the years as a counselor has helped her realize the needs of our communities. She has found providing services to working class communities with historically undereducated, underserved, and underrepresented, low-income families rewarding. Her aim and passion is to help students realize their dreams of completing high school and going on to acquire higher education.

Carlos Jimenez, Manager of Programs, ALearn


I am a first generation Latino that moved to the United States at 16 years of age. My life experiences in Mexico and San Jose have instilled in me a deep passion for social justice issues, particularly those concerning bridging the opportunity and achievement gap in education and advocating for a humane immigration policy, which most profoundly affect the Latino community in Silicon Valley. I have been involved in education ever since I graduated from Santa Clara University, where I obtained a BS in Political Science and later a Single Subject Teaching Credential. I taught Spanish, Social Studies, and Geography at Sacred Heart Nativity School in San Jose, a middle school for inner-city, low-income youth. While at Sacred Heart, I also served as the Graduate Support Director, a position that required me to help graduates and their families navigate through the hurdles of high school and provide the necessary support to ensure that the students reached graduation. I am currently the Manager of Programs ALearn, a non-profit educational organization that helps underrepresented students achieve proficiency in Math and raises their motivation to go to college.
My role in ALearn is to help design, plan, and successfully implement its four different programs. I am also in charge of devising the college-focused strategy of the organization. This includes organizing and leading college campus tours, recruiting college teaching assistants, drafting and compiling college-themed materials for first generation students and parents in English and Spanish, and serving as the bilingual main speaker at college information nights. Throughout my journey as an immigrant, a person of color and an educator, it has become increasingly clear to me that education truly is the key to justice. I have been fortunate to have met inspiring mentors and role models that have instilled in me the desire to take action in this pressing matter.
My goal is to become an agent of change for the Latino community in Silicon Valley and in Mexico by leading unique educational organizations that ensure that all students have an equal opportunity to achieve their education and career goals. I am certain that this is my calling in life and wish to gain the skills and support necessary to make it a reality.

Diana Bautista, Government Relations Coordinator, Chamber of Commerce Mountain View

Diana Bautista was born in San Francisco and raised in nearby Daly City. She attended an all girl's Catholic high school in San Francisco and later San Francisco State University where she received a BA in Psychology. She has worked for the City of South San Francisco, in Governor Schwarzenegger's Administration in Sacramento, Google, for the Office of Senator/Lt. Governor Abel Maldonado, and recently for the Chamber of Commerce Mountain View and the San Mateo County Economic Development Association.

She is an active member in the community, having served on some sort of board or commission since I was 18. Most notably- the Daly City Library Board of Trustees, the Commission on the Status of Women of San Mateo County, and recently for the Boys & Girls Clubs of Silicon Valley, Girls for a Change, Silicon Valley Reads, and many others. She also volunteers on special committees, like most recently helping to bring the documentary, Miss Representation, to several locations for viewing. In between working and volunteering, she runs a fashion blog called "Bay Area Fashion Eye". She is an avid football and hockey fan. She enjoys spending time with friends, family, and her dog Nikita. She currently lives in San Jose.


Mara Bravo Gonzalez, Health Educator, Health Plan of San Mateo

Mara currently works as a Health Educator for the Health Plan of San Mateo (HPSM) where she serves on a team to develop, implement and evaluate interventions and programs to improve the health of the San Mateo county residents.

Prior to working at HPSM, Mara worked as Manager of Community Education for the Respiratory Health Association of Metropolitan Chicago. In this role she implemented asthma education programs throughout Chicago for both youth and adults. She also helped foster and maintain relationships with Chicago Public Schools and non-profit organizations to improve the health of under served communities throughout Chicago. Mara also served a one year term for the Americorps program City Year in Chicago.

Mara's focus area is in the realm of youth development and health education. Her passion is to work with low-resourced and diverse populations with the objective of increasing access to health care and create better learning environments.

Mara grew up in Redwood City and lived in Chicago for several years after graduating from Santa Clara University. She obtained her Master's in Public Health with a focus in community health from DePaul University.


Claudia Flores, Latinas Contra Cancer

I was raised in Honduras, Central America, but have been a resident of Silicon Valley for the past seven years. My life experiences have truly shaped my interests and curiosity. I consider myself to be a global thinker, and I am committed to health equity and the creation of progressive immigration policy. One day, I would like to hold a position in public office or be an immigration law expert. Such interest in public service was discovered while I volunteered with the City of San Jose’s Youth Commission and interned with Councilmember Sam Liccardo’s District 3 office. Since then, my passion has only been reinforced with the guidance of mentors and internship opportunities, which includes serving as an intern for Congressman Mike Honda’s district office. Today, I hold a B.S. in Political Science from Santa Clara University and I am doing some social research work for Latinas Contra Cancer, a service non- profit based in San Jose, CA.

My parents and siblings are my source of inspiration and unless I am at work, you will typically find me spending time with my family or enjoying a good cup of coffee with friends. The New Leaders Council fellowship could not have come at a better time in my life, as I venture on career opportunities and solidify my personal values. I have always enjoyed the diversity and have a lot of faith in the versatility of Silicon Valley’s workforce. I look forward to meeting young motivated leaders in my area as I join the class of 2013!


Nelda Gabbay, Associate, Bay Investment Group

Born and raised in the bay area, Nelda graduated from UCLA after studying English and Film. She began law school at Fordham University in New York City, before transferring to UC Berkeley where she completed her JD and LLM specializing in business and technology.

Nelda currently works as an Associate at Bay Investment Group with a focus on legal and real estate development. Prior to joining Bay Investment Group, she worked in corporate strategy at NetApp, and taught two international business courses as a Graduate Student Instructor at UC Berkeley’s Haas School of Business. Nelda recently co-founded the Young Executives Board for the Ronald McDonald House of San Francisco with a mission to offer comfortable, temporary lodging and supportive services to families with critically ill children.

In her free time, Nelda enjoys art, traveling, hiking, writing, and engaging in the bay area’s progressive movement.


Auvria Hampton, Senior Admissions Evaluator/Counselor, University of California Santa Cruz

Auvria Hampton was born in Little Rock, Arkansas, raised in San Bernardino, California, and now is a current resident of Monterey, CA. She received her Bachelor's degree from California State University Monterey Bay with a major in Human Communication in 2008.

Previously, Auvria worked as an Admissions Counselor and Recruiter at California State University Monterey Bay from 2008 to 2011 and in November of 2011 she accepted a position as a Senior Admissions Evaluator and Counselor at the University of California Santa Cruz. She is also on the Board of Directors for the Alumni Association of her Alma Mater, California State University Monterey Bay; and facilitates for the Parent Institute of Quality Education (PIQE).

In 2012 Auvria was afforded the opportunity to work for President Obama’s grassroots reelection team. She earned a position as a Neighborhood Team Leader for Salinas, California and became a fellow for Organizing for America. In these positions she was exposed to politics through a different lens. Meeting President Barack Obama in Oakland, California affirmed her position and encouraged her spirit to do more and be more for her community and communities at large.

Working with students and their families over the years as a counselor has helped her realize the needs of our communities. She has found providing services to working class communities with historically undereducated, underserved, and underrepresented, low-income families rewarding. Her aim and passion is to help students realize their dreams of completing high school and going on to acquire higher education.


Carlos Jimenez, Manager of Programs, ALearn

I am a first generation Latino that moved to the United States at 16 years of age. My life experiences in Mexico and San Jose have instilled in me a deep passion for social justice issues, particularly those concerning bridging the opportunity and achievement gap in education and advocating for a humane immigration policy, which most profoundly affect the Latino community in Silicon Valley.

I have been involved in education ever since I graduated from Santa Clara University, where I obtained a BS in Political Science and later a Single Subject Teaching Credential. I taught Spanish, Social Studies, and Geography at Sacred Heart Nativity School in San Jose, a middle school for inner-city, low-income youth. While at Sacred Heart, I also served as the Graduate Support Director, a position that required me to help graduates and their families navigate through the hurdles of high school and provide the necessary support to ensure that the students reached graduation.

I am currently the Manager of Programs ALearn, a non-profit educational organization that helps underrepresented students achieve proficiency in Math and raises their motivation to go to college. My role in ALearn is to help design, plan, and successfully implement its four different programs. I am also in charge of devising the college-focused strategy of the organization. This includes organizing and leading college campus tours, recruiting college teaching assistants, drafting and compiling college-themed materials for first generation students and parents in English and Spanish, and serving as the bilingual main speaker at college information nights.

Throughout my journey as an immigrant, a person of color and an educator, it has become increasingly clear to me that education truly is the key to justice. I have been fortunate to have met inspiring mentors and role models that have instilled in me the desire to take action in this pressing matter. My goal is to become an agent of change for the Latino community in Silicon Valley and in Mexico by leading unique educational organizations that ensure that all students have an equal opportunity to achieve their education and career goals. I am certain that this is my calling in life and wish to gain the skills and support necessary to make it a reality.


Lisset Nevarez, HR Coordinator, Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati, P.C.

Born and raised in San Jose, California, Lisset Nevarez received a Bachelor of Science in Justice Studies from San Jose State University. Currently a Human Resources Coordinator for the law firm of Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati, PC, Lisset also works at Santa Clara County’s Office of Pre-Trial Service part-time which allows her to apply her Justice Studies degree. She is able to assist the Court in making custody release decisions and setting bond conditions by reviewing investigative reports, interviewing inmates, and assessing defendants’ pretrial risk and public safety after they are booked into jail.

Having grown up on the east side of San Jose, Lisset witnessed many social inequities and works diligently to ensure social justice by focusing on diversity and inclusion in both her work and home communities, and by providing Pro Bono Spanish translation services to indigent legal clients. The mother of a pre-teen son, Lisset is President of the North Valley Council of PTAs and serves on the county-wide Nominating Committee for the Sixth District PTA. Lisset also serves as the Silent Auction Chair of Sabor del Valle, an event showcasing Latino vintners and chefs whose proceeds benefit three local non-profit organizations.

Lisset enjoys attending foreign and independent film festivals, volunteering at the local food bank, trying new local restaurants in search for the best salmon dish and is currently mastering the art of parenting her son.


Mindy Nguyen, Youth Development Specialist, Asian Americans for Community Involvement

I received my bachelor’s degree at the University of California, Berkeley in Ethnic Studies in May 2011. During my time there, I was actively involved as a student organizer for REACH!, the API recruitment and retention center, and the South East Asian Student Coalition (SASC). I was dedicated to fighting the social, economical and political injustices that the Asian American community still face. I spent most of my time working with low-income students in the Richmond and Oakland area. Not only did I become more aware of such social injustices, but also it was there did I develop my identity as a daughter of Vietnamese refugee parents. My work lies in honoring my parents’ sacrifices they have made coming to America. My interests are in empowering youth from marginalized communities, promoting cultural competent curriculum in classrooms, and ensuring equal access to quality education regardless of income, class, or race.

I currently work at Asian Americans for Community Involvement, a non-profit agency serving the low-income population in Santa Clara County. I am part of the youth department where I co-coordinate a program titled Project PLUS (Peer Leadership Uniting Students). Project PLUS focuses on at risk youth, particularly those who are Southeast Asian. Project PLUS is a 14-week life skills program that runs weekly groups and one on one mentoring with youth who are impacted by gangs and substance abuse in East Side San Jose. Our goal is to promote healthy decision-making and promote a more positive image in our students.

I am originally from Lawndale, Ca, a small city in Los Angeles County, but have been residing in the Bay for the last 5 years.


Richard Nguyen, Political Law Attorney

With a strong desire to have a positive impact on people’s lives, Richard Nguyen recently made the decision to leave his job at the Sutton Law Firm to explore other opportunities. While at the law firm, Richard provided legal advice to public officials, PAC’s, nonprofits and lobbyists regarding campaign finance, election, conflict-of-interest and municipal laws. He also assisted with litigation involving the California Public Records Act and ballot-related issues.

Prior to working at the law firm, Richard attended UC Davis School of Law. During law school, he was a law clerk for the Asian American Justice Center and the election law firm Olson, Hagel & Fishburn. He also served as a legal intern at the California Fair Political Practices Commission and as a research assistant for a professor focusing on voting rights issues. Furthermore, Richard worked on the Anthony Woods for Congress campaign.

In addition to a law degree, Richard earned a master’s degree in public policy at the University of Michigan and received his bachelor’s degree in political science and international studies from UC Irvine. During his studies, he held several leadership positions including serving as president of the American Constitution Society at UC Davis, a member of King Hall’s Moot Court Board, president of the Young Democrats at UC Irvine, and director of UC Irvine’s LobbyCore.

Having returned to his hometown of San Jose, Richard currently serves on the board of the Lincoln High School Foundation and is an attorney-coach for the high school’s mock trial team, which he participated in when he was a student.


Lexi Paza, Program and Outreach Manager, Housing Industry Foundation

Lexi Paza currently manages two programs at the Housing Industry Foundation, an industry-based nonprofit that provides emergency grants to people in housing crises and renovations to local shelters in Santa Clara and San Mateo Counties.

Originally from Williamsport, Maryland, Lexi completed her B.A. at Washington College (Chestertown, MD) in 2006 and attended graduate school at the University of Chicago, where she earned a Master of Arts in Social Service Administration in 2009. In Chicago, Lexi served as a grant writer for a youth development program as well as completed two academic fellowships: the first as a housing case manager for people living with HIV/AIDS and the second at the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, where she led a land-use verification project for Supportive Housing Program grantees.

After graduate school Lexi relocated to the Bay Area, where she served as a member of AmeriCorps at Rebuilding Together, a nonprofit that provides home repairs for low-income elderly and disabled homeowners. After completing her AmeriCorps term, Lexi served as a community-build project manager at KaBOOM!, a nonprofit that builds playgrounds nationwide through projects led by local stakeholders. While with KaBOOM!, Lexi built playgrounds in North Carolina, Maryland, Texas, California, Washington, Florida, Pennsylvania, Illinois, and Georgia.

Lexi fills her free time by hiking and camping her way through the abundance of beautiful places on this side of the Mississippi, as well as furthering her studies of the impact of the built environment on communities’ social fabric. Lexi volunteers regularly for several Bay Area nonprofits, including Public Architecture, Rebuilding Together Silicon Valley, and Girls for a Change, and returns as often as possible to volunteer in the staggeringly resilient communities in Louisiana and on the Mississippi Gulf Coast.


Laura Pedersen, Fellow, KIPP Bay Area Schools

Laura Pedersen is currently a Fellow at KIPP Bay Area Schools’ Regional Support Office where she conducts grant research, assists with fundraising events, and cultivates donor relationships.

Laura has an extensive background in public interest legal work. As an undergrad at Princeton University, she interned at the Superior Court of California in 2009, helping low-income customers file for restraining orders and divorce. As an intern at the Department of Justice, she supported the launch of the Radiation Exposure Compensation Act Program’s first Navajo Internship in 2010 and worked with the Office of Immigration Litigation in 2011 on an asylum law research project.

The social justice education she received in these positions helped put into focus the social challenges she observed while growing up in suburban San Jose and attending high school downtown. Studying Spanish for eight years and writing for the San Jose Mercury News for five likewise familiarized her with the region, its unique features, and its unique struggles. Her fundraising work at KIPP has recently reinvigorated her interest in the tech culture of Silicon Valley.

Laura is delighted to be an NLC Fellow and will use this opportunity to explore new ways of combining politics, business, and historical scholarship to create positive social change.

Laura graduated from Princeton summa cum laude in 2012 and is currently applying to law school. She enjoys rock climbing, wine tasting, and surfing start-up websites like Kickstarter. Three years of comedy improv taught her the best response to life is "Yes! And…"


Yacanex Posadas Global Business Operations Intern, McAfee

Yacanex Posadas was born and raised in San Jose, CA. He is a senior at San Jose State University, and is pursuing a degree in Business Management.

He is currently a Global Business Operations intern with McAfee, a wholly owned subsidiary of Intel. His current responsibilities support Strategic Sourcing and Procurement strategies.

Yacanex previously worked for Intuit in two different roles. The first was in Finance Operations within Quote-to-Cash, and the second was in Business Unit Finance working on the Payments Solutions Division. Additionally, one of his greatest passions is supporting Latino business students and developing Latino professionals.

In his spare time, Yacanex enjoys spending time with his siblings and playing traditional Mexican folk music. He is also an avid reader.


Lucas Ramirez, Sales Associate, OnlineSheetMusic, Inc.

A virtually lifelong resident of the California Bay Area, Lucas graduated from Santa Clara University in 2011 with a major in music and a minor in history. He currently works as a Sales Associate with a digital sheet music distributor, OnlineSheetMusic, Inc.


Victoria Ramirez, Director of Operations, Robinson Communications, Inc.

Victoria is the Director of Operations at Robinson Communications, a government relations and political consulting firm in San Jose. Victoria is responsible for coordinating outreach programs and implementing comprehensive strategic plans for several political campaigns. She has successfully organized volunteers on behalf of candidates and community organizations in ground operations as well as put together several fundraising functions for campaigns.

Victoria is currently involved in numerous political and community ventures. She serves on the executive boards of the California Young Democrats Latino Caucus and the Silicon Valley Young Democrats, both organizations where the focus is to foster and stimulate in young people an active interest in politics. She is a Commissioner for Santa Clara County's Commission on the Status of Women, which acts in an advisory capacity to the Board of Supervisors to study and investigate conditions which demonstrate discrimination or prejudice against the women and girls in the county.

Victoria has a passion for working with communities where fear may keep individuals from reaching out for help or resources. One of her key interests is to voice the concerns of underrepresented people and provide them the knowledge and confidence needed to change negative stereotypes and myths often held by many in the general public.

Victoria is a graduate of San Jose State University where she received a Bachelor of Science degree in Public Relations with a focus on Mexican American Studies. Victoria grew up in California’s Napa Valley and currently resides in San Jose.


Sarah Robb, Program Manager, City Year

Sarah currently serves as a Program Manager for City Year San Jose/Silicon Valley where manages a team of AmeriCorps members who provide tutoring, mentoring, and after school programming at a title 1 school on the east side of San Jose.

Sarah obtained her B.S. from the University of Michigan with honors and earned duel degrees in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology and Evolutionary Anthropology. Through these studies she gained experience in research and evaluation of complex systems. She participated in studies analyzing hydroelectric dams in Patagonia Chile, fresh water ecology in northern Michigan, and land use management in New Zealand.

Her experiences in college through service learning projects fueled a passion for social justice and after graduation Sarah joined Teach For America and taught 10th grade biology on the south side of Chicago. This led her to her current role in San Jose and incited her passion for education reform.

While she is a Michigan native, she has fallen in love with the Bay Area culture, climate, and beauty. Most weekends you can find her hiking, camping, or exploring some place beautiful. She is an avid runner and completed her first marathon this past fall.


Samantha Seng, Learning Coach, Alpha Public Schools

Proud of her diverse background and driven by the struggles her parents faced as immigrants to the United States, Samantha brings her passion for education reform, strong sense of social justice and community organizing skills to the New Leaders Council.

Samantha moved to Silicon Valley two years ago to pursue an AmeriCorps Teaching Fellowship at Campbell Middle School. As an after-school educator, she taught math and college-readiness classes to 6th-8th grade students to increase their academic achievement and put them on the path to higher education. In co-coordinated family outreach events, Samantha helped to build a community among school staff, families of students, and local community members who invest in their local middle school.

Samantha continues to engage middle school students in after-school academics at Alpha Blanca Alvarado Middle School in Alum Rock, San Jose. When she is not teaching, Samantha represents Speaker pro Tempore Nora Campos at the Assemblymember’s District Office, further serving her student’s community and the greater San Jose area.

Just before joining the Speaker pro Tempore’s office, Samantha engaged voters and local businesses as a Justice Summer intern with Working Partnerships, implementing pre-campaign strategies for the recent successful passage of a city measure to set a citywide minimum wage in San Jose. Also during this past election season, Samantha held effective phone banks for the grassroots campaign to re-elect President Obama as a Fall Fellow.

Having grown up in the San Diego public school system, Samantha is driven to influence education policy in order to empower and prepare the next generation of leaders. Since graduating from the University of California, Berkeley, where she developed a heightened passion for social justice, she has pursued and achieved a Master’s in Education from Lesley University. She looks forward to bringing about a more inclusive society with this opportunity of such a unique collaboration among progressive leaders.

During her spare time Samantha enjoys running, playing the piano, and dancing salsa and flamenco. She is also an active member in several local democratic clubs.


Alex Shoor, Policy Aide ,Santa Clara County Supervisor Ken Yeager

Alex Shoor is committed to collaborating with others to build a more enticing, equitable and sustainable Silicon Valley. Currently, he is a Policy Aide for Santa Clara County Supervisor Ken Yeager, for whom he covers issues such as land use, criminal justice, government operations and the environment.

As a volunteer in the last year, Alex has co-hosted a fundraising event for the LGBTQ organization Soulforce, recruited prospective students to his undergraduate alma mater, and helped Downtown Streets Team launch its Employment Advisory Council to mentor homeless individuals in San Jose seeking permanent employment. He is honored and thrilled to be a part of NLC and hopes it can help him expand his contributions to the Silicon Valley.

Alex has worked in numerous sectors in his career. In the field of communications, Alex has served as an Assistant Press Secretary for the Public Advocate for New York City, an Account Executive for Fenton Communications, an Account Manager for Consensus Inc., and the Southern Media Strategist for the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD).

Alex has spent many years in and around government and politics. He has experience on Capitol Hill and numerous political campaigns from both the national and grassroots perspective. Alex has also been a part of government at the federal, state and local levels.

Alex has been deeply shaped by the many places he has resided and people he has met since going off to college. Before moving back to the Bay Area recently after a dozen years away, Alex lived in Nashville, TN; Washington, DC; Alaska, New York City and Los Angeles.

Alex studied Political Science and African American Studies while earning a Bachelor of Arts from Vanderbilt University and holds a Master of Public Administration from the University of Southern California.

Raised in the Silicon Valley, Alex has two outstanding parents who were high school sweethearts in Saratoga and two very creative brothers. His amazing significant other Kristen works in the field of education reform.


 

 
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New Leaders Council is a 501 (c) (3) public charity dedicated to educating a new generation of leaders and to providing those leaders with the tools they need to succeed. NLC does not engage in political or legislative activities of any kind, does not support or oppose any candidate for public office, and serves only as an educational leadership training ground.


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