Joel Valencia
Peninsula Open Space Trust, Individual & Planned Giving Coordinator

Joel grew up in the Belle Haven neighborhood of Menlo Park. He comes from a home of first-generation Mexican Americans with family from Michoacán and Guerrero.

Having spent his childhood near the Baylands Nature Preserve and traveling often to Half Moon Bay, Marin Headlands, and to visit family in scenic mountain and beach towns in Mexico, Joel has a life-long appreciation for the value of our natural environment. He is currently the Individual and Planned Giving Coordinator for Peninsula Open Space Trust in Palo Alto. He works collaboratively with a fundraising team to ensure that open space, farms, and parkland on the Peninsula and in the South Bay are protected in perpetuity.

In addition to environmental causes, Joel's professional background includes extensive program work at various nonprofits benefiting low-income communities in Menlo Park and east Palo Alto. He is passionate about ensuring that all people are presented with the opportunities and guidance they need to be successful. He has worked on a range of issues including: foreclosure and homelessness prevention, anti-predatory lending, small business development and financial literacy, and youth mentorship.

Joel holds a bachelor’s degree in Philosophy from Princeton University. In his free time, he enjoys going hiking and camping, visiting art museums, watching soccer games, and having meaningful conversations with friends.