Silicon Valley 2016 Fellows

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Meet the 2016 Silicon Valley 2016 Fellows

Annie Adams, Intern, Office of the City Manager, City of Hayward


Annie Adams is in the final year of her graduate program in which she will attain a Master’s Degree in Social Work from San José State University in San José, California, with a focus in Children, Youth and Families. She will also attain a Pupil Personal Services Credential. She has over seven years of experience in working in non-profit, schools, management, advocacy and government. Her former positions as Volunteer Coordinator and Trainer at both the YWCA of Silicon Valley and the Rape Crisis Center of Central New Mexico grew her passion for management, advocacy and community organization. Annie collaborated with the California Coalition Against Sexual Assault to develop and author a training curriculum for YWCA of Silicon Valley Volunteer Rape Crisis Counselors. Annie is a member of the National Association of Social Workers, the International City/County Management Association and the American Civil Liberties Union. While attending graduate school, she has taken part in the NASW Lobby Days in Sacramento, California and will serve as a lead lobbyist in 2016. Currently, Annie serves as an intern with the City of Hayward, California in the Office of the City Manager. She is passionate about public policy, local government and civic engagement. Her primary interests are financial inequality, affordable housing and paid family leave.


Jeremy Avila, Deputy District Attorney, Santa Clara County, Office of the District Attorney


Born and raised in San Jose, California, Jeremy is a Bay Area native with a strong commitment to and interest in public service. The product of a single parent household and son of an immigrant father, Jeremy was the first in his family to pursue a higher education, attending the University of Southern California and UCLA School of Law. His interests in politics, public policy, and the legal system resulted in internships with Senator Dianne Feinstein, the California Court of Appeal, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of California, and the White House Domestic Policy Council. During law school, Jeremy volunteered his time with community legal aid clinics that served the HIV/AIDS community and children with intellectual and physical impairments. Since graduating from law school, Jeremy has returned to the Bay Area where he serves as a Deputy District Attorney. Jeremy has first-chaired over 20 bench and jury trials ranging from misdemeanor DUI to domestic violence and other assaultive crimes. He is currently assigned to the Narcotics Unit where he prosecutes felony narcotics offenses. He aspires to one day advocate for victims of economic fraud and sexual assault. Outside of the courtroom, Jeremy is active in efforts aimed at increasing diversity to the legal community and providing access to services for LGBTQ victims of domestic violence. Jeremy enjoys going to the gym, hiking, finding new restaurants to enjoy with friends, and watching and re-watching the Star Wars and Godfather films.


Anna Bagirov, PropertyMinder


Anna has spent the last 10 years studying and practicing marketing, communications, and writing. Born in the former USSR, Anna immigrated with her family to San Jose in 1989 and spent almost her entire life working, studying, and living in San Jose. She was drawn to art early. She attended Notre Dame High School and graduated in 2002. There she had excellent teachers who pushed her to be a better writer. Her Russian family instilled in her the importance of knowledge of art in its many forms: dance, painting, poetry, and writing, but also instilled in her the importance of balance between studying and have a healthy social life. She attended UC Davis 2006, spent a year abroad in England and travelling around Europe. In 2006 she entered the tech world, saw the company through its IPO. It was not fulfilling. In 2007 after being one of many to be laid off from her job as the recession began, she happily began her Masters at SJSU and graduating with an MS in Mass Communications. There she reconnected with her love of writing, journalism, and began fostering her social media voice. In the last 2 and half years, she has immersed herself in the artistic culture of San Jose's blossoming cultural renaissance and has tackled her lifelong ambition to be a writer. She has become a local writer and blogger and amateur photographer. She has contributed to Content Magazine, The Metro, and began a personal project to highlight downtown San Jose's SoFA District's creative people, places, and accomplishments. She is determined to show the world San Jose's quality impact on the creative scene. She has connected with business owners, photographers, musicians, DJs, bands, and writers in the SoFA District to better understand her community, its trends, and its needs. She does her best to attend as many events in the SoFA District and several other parts of downtown San Jose to support the scene, record it, and observe it. She loves to interview and learn about the many subcultures in SoFA. Her articles have covered musicians, artists, venues, bands, painters, and local business people from a wide variety of backgrounds and artistic genres. Recently, she began a personal project to promote SoFA's bubbling art scene and nightlife. She named it SoFASloane. This project is a combination of her love of art, writing, marketing, the nightlife scene, and in meeting people.


Carina Bustos, Partner Engagement & Success Specialist, Anita Borg Institute


Carina grew up in East Palo Alto, California, an impoverished community where she was exposed to violence and a failing educational school system, which ignited her passion for social justice. She is a recent graduate from Occidental College, who majored in Critical Theory & Social Justice and studied Post-Genocide Restoration & Peace Building in Rwanda. Carina aspires to create systemic change to end intergenerational poverty through cross-sector partnerships with business, non-profit, and government leaders. Carina is a Partner Success & Engagement Specialist at Anita Borg Institute, a non-profit organization that strives to recruit, retain, and advance more women in technology. Carina works with fortune 500 companies to help implement effective gender diversity strategies to create more inclusive spaces for women technologists. Carina is passionate about a diversity of issues including increasing the percentage of women and minorities that pursue careers in technology, increasing the population’s financial literacy and creating more sustainable affordable housing options to address wealth inequality. In the future, Carina plans to obtain a dual degree in business administration and urban planning. On her free time, Carina enjoys reading, learning about local politics, exploring the outdoors and taking boot-camp classes at the gym.


Paul Escobar, Senior Associate, Silicon Valley Leadership Group


Paul Escobar is the Senior Associate for the 1000 Hearts for 1000 Minds initiative. As such, he manages the development and implementation of 1000 Hearts. In addition, he works on several other education-related Silicon Valley Leadership Group Foundation programs. Paul previously worked with the UC Student Association as the Director of Graduate and Professional Student Advocacy. He helped graduate and professional students articulate their goals and priorities to UC administration and faculty through their statewide Jobs! campaign. Prior to joining the Leadership Group, Paul worked on Mayor Sam Liccardo’s campaign for Mayor as the campaign Deputy Field Director. Paul is very active in the Silicon Valley community, volunteering with a variety of local organizations. He received a B.A. in French and Rhetoric from UC Berkeley and an MTS in Philosophy of Religion from Harvard Divinity School.


Chris Gonzales, Jr. Supervising Clinician, HealthRight 360

sv-Gonzales2.JPGChris has over 8 years of experiences in the human services field, and a lifelong commitment to supporting people and communities struggling with mental health, elder justice issues, and poverty. Chris served in several capacities such as supervising, direct mental health counseling, interfaith organizing, and volunteering. In 2012, while serving as a VISTA for AmeriCorps, Chris was awarded a National Economic Development Impact Award in Chicago for developing a homeless resource center in Sacramento, CA. Chris is currently a Supervising Clinician at Asian American Recovery Services/HealthRight360. He received his Masters in Social Work from San Jose State University.



Tahsina Haq, Lab Technician, Reed and Graham, Inc. 

siliconvalley-Haq.jpgTahsina Haq is a lab technician working for an asphalt lab at Reed and Graham Inc. since 2014 and recently celebrated her second year work anniversary. She enjoys testing and sampling the construction materials produced by her company before they are sent over to other contractors for construction purposes, and recently has started work on learning how to develop new materials for the 2016 production season. Aside from that Tahsina is also the General Secretary for the Bangladeshi American Democratic Coalition or BADC. She is passionate about helping the Bangladeshi community develop their own unique signature in the American political world, and works tirelessly to learn, create, and foster meaningful relationships in order to achieve this dream. She had an instrumental role in the formation of and development of the organization, and happily works with the millennial and the younger generation to ensure continued interest in the American political process. Tahsina is currently pursuing her Master’s Degree in Archives and Records Administration from San Jose State University from where she also received her Bachelor’s in Sociology back in 2012. She is quite fond of her alma mater because that is where her passion for helping people, and specially the community was discovered and nurtured. Since starting work for a small business Tahsina has recently developed an interest in the way businesses are run and operated. She hopes to learn more about the principals and practices that are important in the business world, and hopes that one day she herself may open a small business of her own which will be imbued with progressive values of respect, integrity, and solidarity with the community so the traditional world of business as is described by most people will evolve into a practice which thinks of and tries to help everyone involved. A dedicated, resourceful, and passionate individual, Tahsina believes that educating oneself and sharing of one’s experiences not only helps an individual further refine their values, but at the same time also helps to show and provide an example for others who perhaps want to pursue the same path but are lacking or unknown of resources to help further their goals and aspirations. As the General Secretary of BADC Tahsina practices this belief every day, and hopes to refine it further by acquiring more knowledge, and developing a strong network of like-minded individuals from whom she hopes to learn important lessons.


Don Ho, Associate, IDG Ventures

siliconvalley-Ho.pngDon Ho is an Associate at IDG Ventures, a global venture capital firm investing in high-growth technology companies. Most recently, he lived in Los Angeles and launched the Los Angeles Football Club, the 24th MLS franchise soccer team. Prior, he helped launched the big data analytics company, Ayasdi. Don graduated from the University of California, Davis with high honors and is a proud native of San Jose, CA. 





Kieran Kelly, Policy Aide, Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors


Kieran currently serves as a Policy Aide to Santa Clara County Supervisor Ken Yeager. His portfolio includes transportation, land use and planning issues. Prior to this position, he served in the California State Legislature as a Senior Field Representative for Assemblymember Mark Stone, where he assisted in drafting several pieces of legislation covering a variety of subjects ranging from improving broadband access for underserved communities to streamlining regulations for small businesses. Born in Berkeley and raised in California's San Joaquin Valley, Kieran has been actively involved in wildlife conservation efforts and progressive politics from a young age. As a first-generation American, he is passionate about reforming the US immigration system to make it more humane, equitable and efficient. Due to this interest in immigration policy, Kieran found his start in public policy by interning for US Congresswoman Zoe Lofgren at her Washington D.C. office. Following this experience, Kieran traveled extensively throughout the US to work on political campaigns for Senator Barbara Boxer, firefighters and police officers in Ohio, and President Barack Obama's reelection campaign in Virginia. Between campaigns, he participated in a landmark study of endangered species in California's Mojave Desert. Kieran graduated from the University of California-Santa Cruz in 2010 where he received a B.A. in Politics and a minor in Literature. Kieran lives in Santa Cruz where he likes to hike and surf.


Darya Larizadeh, Policy Research Consultant


Darya Larizadeh is a policy research consultant. Her work focuses on criminal justice reform and women’s rights. After graduating from the University of San Francisco School of Law in 2011, Darya spent two years representing indigent clients in criminal court at the San Francisco Public Defender’s Office and in private practice. Since that time she has devoted her efforts to creating meaningful change in the criminal justice system through her work at the Chief Justice Earl Warren Institute on Law and Social Policy at U.C. Berkeley. Her research has focused specifically on wrongful convictions in California, probation department sentencing recommendations, and the quality of representation for indigent juveniles. She is the co-author of “CRIMINAL (IN)JUSTICE: A Cost Analysis of Error in California’s Criminal Justice System,” Rebecca Silbert, John Hollway, and Darya Larizadeh, The Chief Justice Earl Warren Institute on Law and Social Policy at UC Berkeley School of Law (Forthcoming). In addition to her criminal justice work, Darya has also advocated on behalf of women and other marginalized groups. Abroad, Darya spent time in India working with the Karnataka State Women’s Commission and in Haiti’s Internally Displaced Person’s Camps documenting living conditions and human rights violations after the 2010 earthquake. She co-authored a report entitled, “We’ve Been Forgotten: Conditions in Haiti’s Displacement Camps Eight Months after the Earthquake”, USF School of Law, Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti, LAMP for Haiti. Following her trip to Haiti, she wrote a policy paper for the Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti on the subject of women’s participation in the rebuilding process after the earthquake. Locally, Darya devotes time to serving her community. She currently is a College Mentor at College Track of East Palo Alto and will begin serving as a Commissioner on the San Mateo County Commission on the Status of Women in January of 2016. Prior to her work in law, Darya received a Master’s degree in political science from the City University of New York, Graduate Center and graduated with Honors from U.C. Santa Cruz with a B.A. in politics.


Mario Lopez, Policy Aide, County of Santa Clara, Board of Supervisors, Office of Dave Cortese

siliconvalley-Lopez.Mario.jpgMario, a native of Mexico City, grew up in East Los Angeles before transferring to UC Berkeley to pursue his undergraduate Political Science and Public Policy degree. While at Cal, he strengthened his political identity and grassroots organizing skills by being actively engaged and leading multicultural, student-led movements on and off campus. His work experience extends to the California Immigrant Policy Center, the Greenlining Institute, Young Invincibles, and most recently, Congressman Mike Honda's 2014 re-election campaign.  Mario currently serves as a Policy Aide to Dave Cortese, President of the Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors. 




Ivan Montes, Director of Impact Design, City Year


Iván Montes serves as the Director of Impact Design with City Year San José/Silicon Valley. In this capacity, he designs the impact models for City Years work in thirteen East San José schools, which has led to the piloting of a year-long science, technology, engineering, art, and math (STEAM) program impacting 1,200 students in grades 1 through 8. This standardized STEAM curricula is implemented across twelve schools and provides learning opportunities to enhance content knowledge, and to foster students’ abilities to think critically and creatively. As a San José native and former teacher, Iván is passionate about education and ensuring that all students in Silicon Valley receive access to an education that humanizes them and provides them with the tools to navigate our society and succeed. Iván’s previous experience includes serving as the Curriculum Support Specialist of English for the Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) program for Miami-Dade County Public Schools’ Education Transformation Office, where he advocated for students in 13 high-needs secondary schools. The practice of conducting socio-historical research at the Bahrain Ministry of Culture and completing a US Fulbright Fellowship deepens his impact within our culturally diverse community. Iván earned his Master of Arts from the American University in Cairo and his Bachelor of Arts from the University of California, Santa Barbara, with a double major in Political Science-International Relations and Middle East Studies.



Craig Montuori, Executive Director, Global EIR Coalition


Craig is the Executive Director of Global EIR (Entrepreneur-In-Residence) Coalition, which solves visa problems faced by immigrant entrepreneurs. Currently, no visa specifically exists for startup founders, who struggle to simultaneously build their companies and grapple with our broken immigration system. Through Global EIR, Craig facilitates partnerships between universities and startup founders to provide mentors to college students considering entrepreneurship as a career path and generate work visas for the entrepreneurs to get back to the hard work of building great companies. He is personally passionate about using Global EIR Coalition to open up more technology careers for women and minorities underrepresented in the tech industry through growing their networks and providing them with the mentors they need to prepare themselves to succeed. He is also a partner with Venture Politics, which implements targeted solutions to policy problems affecting portfolio companies for leading VCs and startup accelerators. He previously founded and led PolitiHacks, a non-profit advocacy group for startup visa and other causes that contribute towards a stronger, more vibrant startup community. He also put PolitiHacks on hold for the 2012 election to help reelect President Obama through working as a Summer Organizing Fellow and FO in Virginia and considers himself a proud progressive. Through his work with the startup community, Craig has long been a champion of immigration reform legislation, and he has long sought to build an advocacy bridge between the startup community—separate and distinct from the community of big tech companies—and the policy world. He is also passionate about digital privacy and civil liberties, and he served in a community organizing capacity in mobilizing the San Francisco Bay Area startup community to oppose the SOPA/PIPA bills in 2012, as well as the CISA/CISPA bills. He also has consulted in support of efforts to reform the Electronic Communications Privacy Act of 1986 and bring it up to date with modern technological developments. He sees himself with one foot in both the worlds of technology and policy and hopes to use that split identity to help both connect and enact changes to benefit the world. With degrees in aerospace engineering from Caltech and public affairs from the University of San Francisco, he offers a technical take on politics using the language of the startup community on hacking through the red tape of Washington DC and state and local governments.


Viviane Nguyen, Sales & Business Development Representative, Oracle


Throughout her life, Viviane Nguyen has been driven by a passion to fight for issues impacting low-income communities. She leverages internships and fellowships for first-hand experiences to embrace her passion. Viviane worked as a Bank of America Student Leader at the Silicon Valley Education Foundation (SVEF), where she helped staff integrate technology into the curriculum for low-income middle school summer programs. This led her to wanting to contribute more to the local San Jose community, and Viviane began interning then eventually working part-time for Councilmember Kansen Chu, while still a student at De Anza College. This experience motivated Viviane to pursue her lifelong interest in politics and policy. In 2013, Viviane was selected into the Asian Pacific American Islander Congressional Studies (APAICS) Summer Internship Program to work for Congressman Mike Honda in Washington D.C. The following 2014 summer, Viviane was a recipient of the UC Berkeley’s Cal-in-Sacramento (CIS) Fellowship, one of the nation’s most prestigious campus-based public service internship programs; as a CIS Fellow, she researched water and drought policies and impacts on urban versus rural areas in the Governor’s Office of Planning and Research. In 2015, Viviane was notably selected as a Public Policy and International Affairs (PPIA) Fellow, where she received a fully funded public policy analysis summer training at the UC Berkeley Goldman School of Public Policy. She hopes to pursue a Master of Public Policy in the next two years. Viviane was also an AmeriCorps volunteer for JusticeCorps, where she committed 300 hours of service to help Contra Costa County low-income residents with the legal eviction process at Housing Law Clinics, run by the non-profit Bay Area Legal Aid. Meanwhile, she worked at the UC Berkeley Asian Pacific American Student Development (APASD) office as a program intern and started a semester mentoring program for low-income transfer bound students from De Anza College. A native of the Bay Area, Viviane Nguyen graduated from Piedmont Hills High School and Accel Middle College in 2012. She then attended De Anza and transferred in 2013 to UC Berkeley. Viviane will be graduating from Cal in December 2015, where she studied Political Science. During college, she also studied abroad in Bangkok, Thailand at Thammasat University. She will be starting her job at Oracle as a Sales and Business Development Representative. Viviane is excited to join the NLC to learn how to advocate for under-resourced communities in Silicon Valley.


Ashley Pangelinan, Teacher, San Jose Unified School District


Ashley Pangelinan is a third grade teacher at Allen at Steinbeck K-8 School in the San Jose Unified School District. The road for Ashley has been one riddled with challenges and joy. Growing up across the Bay Area and Northern California, Ashley attended over half a dozen elementary schools in three counties during her parents’ tumultuous divorce, falling greatly behind in her academics. She attributes this hardship to her passion for education and community since she was once restricted from attaining a stable learning environment as a child herself. Finally her family settled down to live in a multi-generational family house with her Nana, father, great uncle, uncle, cousin, and two brothers. She reminisces coming home to a house full of people and developing a strong sense of community. Ashley attended UCSB where she graduated with a Double Major in Asian American Studies and Global Studies, specializing in the Asian-Pacific Region. She spent six months studying abroad in India at the University of Delhi and another three months working as a Getty Multicultural Fellow in Los Angeles at the community organization Visual Communications. Upon graduation, Ashley received honors in Asian American Studies, presenting her senior thesis to the 2010 Asian American Studies Consortium Conference in Austin, Texas. Ashley recently earned her Masters in Urban Education with a focus on Policy and Administration from Loyola Marymount University. Her work centered around Volunteerism in the Classroom. After college, Ashley went on to serve her community with the educational non-profit organization, City Year. Her time at City Year was spent tutoring and mentoring students on the East Side of San Jose. After serving at City Year San Jose for two years, she went onto teaching with Teach For America. Ashley still remains engaged with the Teach For America community, volunteering on the Bay Area Development and Recruitment Team. As a full time teacher, Ashley integrates activities to promote culture and community into her classroom. She works to develop a strong sense of community, stability, and pride in her students in efforts with their parents and families. When Ashley is not working in the classroom, she can be found volunteering for a number of organizations including Girls on the Run of Silicon Valley. She is an active board member for the City Year San Jose Alumni Board. Ashley also enjoys flying kites, cooking, swimming and spending time with family and friends.


Matthew Quevedo, Outreach Coordinator, Rebuilding Together Silicon Valley


Matthew Quevedo works as Outreach Coordinator for Rebuilding Together. Matt has left his mark on several local campaigns and most recently led an effort to elect Mayor Sam Liccardo. Beyond working on campaigns, he was a part of the Human Rights Commission (Now Human Services Commission) of San Jose, worked for the Santa Clara Valley Water District and for the City of San Jose as a Council Assistant Intern for former Vice Mayor Madison Nguyen. Matt holds a bachelor’s degree in Political Science from San Jose State University. He is currently studying for his Masters in Urban and Regional Planning from San Jose State University. He is expecting his first child (a boy) in April with his wife A'Dreana. His favorite spots downtown include Caffe Frascati, the MLK Library and Teskes Pub. He was elected as the VP of the SJDRA this year and remains dedicated to working with downtown residents to make things happen.


Sara Ramsey, Communications Officer, Low Income Investment Fund


Sara Ramsey currently works as a Communications Officer for the Low Income Investment Fund, an organization that takes a connect-the-dots approach to issues surrounding poverty and inequality. Investing in nonprofits and community organizations that seek to do good in their regions, LIIF's mission is close to Sara's heart. Hailing from a rural town in Missouri, Sara grew up in a setting where she became increasingly passionate about ensuring individuals from historically overlooked communities were given a voice. Moved by the detrimental effects of dwindling agricultural production and the loss of manufacturing jobs, Sara decided to focus on social justice issues, education reform, and economic inequality. She plans to help address these systemic problems by engaging with them in the political sphere. While attending Stanford University to obtain a B.A. in Communication with an emphasis in political science, Sara conducted research for the Stanford School of Education and worked as a social media intern for the Hoover Institution. After graduation, Sara worked for the Mellman Group in Washington, D.C. conducting public opinion polling and research during the 2014 midterm elections. There, she assisted with the development of media strategy for political leaders, corporations, and nonprofit organizations. One project Sara was deeply involved with included Beyond Differences, a nonprofit dedicated to ending social isolation in schools. The desire to see effective and comprehensive education reform has expressed itself in various aspects of Sara's academic and career aspirations. Believing that education is key to opportunity in the United States, she began working on the Communications and Development team at Summit Public Schools after the 2014 election. This network of 11 charter schools across the Bay Area and Washington state leads the way in personalized learning, ensuring that all students, regardless of their background, succeed in a four-year college. In her spare time, Sara loves to bake new creations, read while sipping on a cup of earl grey, travel with friends, and visit her family in Missouri.


Ana Lucrecia Rivera


Ana Lucrecia was born in Torreon, Mexico, a region suffering from water scarcity, lead and arsenic poisoning. A desire to build a better world, encouraged her to study architecture. Still, she felt that her profession was missing a true environmental knowledge and decided to study a MSc. in Environmental Systems. There she applied geo-information systems and remote sensing to pursue research on urban planning topics, including the impact of cities on the environment, vulnerability assessments of human settlements, flood risk analysis, public policies and urban poverty. After getting married and moving to the Silicon Valley, she realized that despite all the wealth and technology, the region is affected with many environmental and social problems. Since then, she has been volunteering for multiple organizations, as her skills have been needed. Ana is consistently active and productive in applied science projects of diverse nature applying a knowledge-based approach. She strongly believes that knowledge is the best way to empower a community. Particularly, geographic information; which can provide powerful insights of a region. Now, she is a student of the Geography graduate program at San Jose State University where she applies geospatial technology to conduct research on environmental justice. Her goal is that her research helps government officials to design policies to build better and more sustainable cities. She desires to be a good leader, but also an excellent member of a team that works for better futures, one in where everyone could enjoy fresh water and clean air, regardless of their social condition, without the pollutants that she had in her childhood.


Igdalia Rojas, Organizing Director, Californians for Justice

siliconvalley-Rojas.jpgIgdalia was born in Michoacan, Mexico but has lived most of her life in San Jose.  She became a student activist and leader with Californians for Justice while she was a Junior at James Lick High School, and learned to develop not only her skills as a youth organizer, but gained a deep passion for social & racial justice, which made her return to Californians for Justice to organize her community. Over her 14 years of organizing experience with Californians for Justice, Igdalia played different roles within the organization; first as a parent organizer, San Jose lead organizer, statewide youth organizer, and Statewide Organizing Director. As an organizer, she led several policy campaign wins such as a Bilingual Certification for Students at East Side Union High School District, a policy at the Alum Rock Elementary School District that created a college going culture, and the adoption of a resolution in the ESUHSD to make A-G College default curriculum. She holds a B.A. in History from the University of California, Santa Cruz.  Igdalia has centered her life on organizing low-income students of color in her community to fight for social justice and racial justice. 


Dora Maria Silva

siliconvalley-Silva.jpgMs. Dora Maria Silva was born in Guatemala and moved to California at the age of six. After graduating from Hayward High School she pursued higher education at University of California, Berkeley and in 2009 graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Molecular Environmental Biology and a concentration in Human Health. Ms. Silva also founded a nonprofit organization known as Organizing Medicine Globally, while a student at UC Berkeley, which provides health education and referrals to community resources for underserved communities in the Bay Area and in Guatemala. After college, Ms. Silva worked in Santa Clara County at RotaCare Bay Area's free clinics as a Clinic Patient Navigator and later as a Clinic Manager, for over two years. Ms. Silva also worked at Community Health Partnership as a Program Coordinator, for about two years, for the Community Mammography Access Project and later also as a Health Educator for the Every Woman Counts state-funded program. Ms. Silva is now pursuing graduate school to earn joint MBA-MPH degrees, with the goal of continuing her career in healthcare management to increase healthcare access to underserved families.


Christian Valdez, Program Coordinator, Building Skills Partnership

siliconvalley-Valdez.jpgChristian Valdez was born in Mexico City and immigrated to the California at the age of 4.  Raised in Redwood City, he attended public schools through the 7th grade and went on to graduate from Sacred Heart Preparatory in 2009. He then attended the University of California Los Angeles where he earned a BA in Linguistics & Philosophy and a BA in Chicana/o studies with a concentration in law, labor, and policy studies. During his time at UCLA, Christian was involved in Camp Kesem, UCLA Mentorship, and IDEAS where his direct service to immigrant communities commenced.  Christian is currently a regional program coordinator at Building Skills Partnership, a statewide nonprofit that aims to meet labor-management needs through in-depth programming around workforce development, immigrant integration, and community advancement. As a coordinator, he is responsible for programs oversight, evaluation, and development strategies in the region. Christian’s immigrant background and passion for language continues to drive his commitment and dedication to immigrant communities in the San Francisco Bay Area. 


Peter Wang, Director of Growth and Marketing, CrossCircles


Peter is the perfect mixture of fun and professionalism. He strives to create a life where he finds his creates a living off of his passions. Peter graduated UC Davis in 2009 with a Bachelors of Arts in Sociology: emphasis on Organizational Studies and Chinese and a minor in Communications. Peter is currently the marketing director for Trustly, a mobile job searching app designed to be Über for recruiters. He also is starting a Represent.Us chapter in San Jose, bi-partisan political organization aimed at stopping corruption by taking monkey out of politics in the US. Outside of his work and community endeavors, Peter dabbles in standup comedy, salsa dancing, blues fusion, as well as learning how to cook food from his home region of Nanjing China.


Marisol Zavaleta Martin, Healthy Retail Associate, The Food Trust


Marisol Zavaleta Martin is a Healthy Retail Associate with The Food Trust, a nationally recognized nonprofit working to ensure that everyone has access to affordable, nutritious food and information to make healthy decisions. Marisol implements the healthy corner store program in San Jose, CA that increases the availability and awareness of healthy foods in corner stores through a multifaceted approach including: a marketing campaign to make healthy foods attractive, increasing store capacity to sell healthy items, training and technical assistance to store owners to provide the skills to make healthy changes profitable, and linking corner store owners to community partners, local farmers and fresh food suppliers. Previously, she worked both in the private and public sector working to close the achievement gap in marginalized communities and in business development. Marisol’s interests include advancing food access and education, immigration reform, and building a sustainable future. Marisol was raised in San Jose, California and attended Santa Clara University where she got her bachelor’s degree in Accounting and Information Systems. In her spare time, Marisol enjoys strength training and any outdoor activity that feeds her love of nature.