Adrienne Keel

Director of LGBTQ Programs, Caminar

Adrienne (she/her) has led LGBTQ Wellness and The LGBTQ Youth Space since 2018, and she’s been with Caminar’s LGBTQ programs for eleven years altogether. She is a proud graduate of Evergreen Valley College and San Jose State University, where she received her BA in Psychology in 2010. For her work serving queer and trans communities, she was awarded the Santa Clara County Behavioral Health Services Department’s “Mover and Shaker” Community Hero Award in 2018 and the Santa Clara County Commission on the Status of Women’s Community Hero Award in 2021.

When not working: Adrienne enjoys attending concerts and stand-up comedy shows, attempting recipes she finds on Instagram, reading, hiking with her partner and child, and family karaoke nights in the living room (The singing is not good, but the choreography rivals Broadway).

Asra Hussain

Senior Program Manager, Foundation for a College Education

Asra (she/her) has been working in education since 2004. In 2010, she left the supplemental education industry to pursue her master’s in counseling at Santa Clara University, where she began working with underrepresented populations. 

Currently, Asra manages high school transition programming, working with College Bound Grade 9 and Grade 10 families. Understanding the significance of foundational skills, Asra works with her students to develop emotional intelligence and mental health awareness. Since joining FCE, she has secured more than $100k in funding for new programming aimed to strengthen student academics.

When not working: Asra enjoys spending time with family, basketball, staying on top of social issues, and photography.

Brian Ho

Senior Director of Operations and Administration, Music for Minors

Brian (he/him) is the Senior Director of Operations and Administration for Music for Minors.    He manages HR, finance, and IT.   He is passionate about fostering and helping Music For Minor’s mission which is about bringing music education to children.   Brian spent his college years at UC Davis.   In addition to working at Music for Minors, Brian is a jazz musician who has performed and recorded worldwide at jazz festivals and clubs.   

When not working:  Brian enjoys spending time with his wife and keeping up with his four year old daughter.  He likes listening to music, bike riding, trying out new restaurants/breweries with friends, and is a long time Warriors fan.   

Celia Benavides

Associate Director, Peninsula Conflict Resolution Center   

Celia (she/her) serves as the Associate Director for the Peninsula Conflict Resolution Center.  Located in the City of San Mateo. PCRC provides Mediation, Facilitation, & Training Services to county residents by way of increasing civic engagement in order to strengthen the community.  Celia has held a variety of roles with PCRC over the years. In her current role, she oversees finance, operations and gives support to HR.  Celia received her BA in Business Administration from Notre Dame de Namur University in Belmont, California.  

When not working: Celia enjoys trying new foods and takes advantage of all the Bay Area has to offer, spends time with close friends and family, and when time permits puts together a floral arrangement and visits the San Francisco Flower Market.

Diana Viscarra

Programs Director, Upward Scholars

Diana (she/her) provides overall management and direction to all programs and services across Upward Scholars’ four pillars—Financial, Academic, Career Development, and Holistic. In addition, she manages program-related Student Fellows and supports the executive director in developing and managing the programs’ budgets. Her work involves helping immigrants and first-generation English learners move up the economic ladder to have better opportunities for themselves and their families. As an Upward Scholars alum, Diana knows firsthand the importance of education and how it can positively change immigrants’ and first-generation Americans’ lives and perspectives. Thanks to her community’s support, Diana radically changed her life and obtained higher education. She earned a BA in Political Science from San Francisco State University.

Jorge Arellano

Senior Director of Advocacy and Community Engagement, Alpha Public Schools

Jorge (he/him) heads the advocacy and community engagement efforts at Alpha Public Schools in East San Jose. An experienced school leader with over 20 years of experience working in underserved communities, Jorge has worked as a youth mentor, counselor, teacher, and has held various school leadership roles including a 3 year principalship at Alpha Cindy Avitia High School. Jorge attended San Jose City College before transferring to Santa Clara University where he graduated with a BS in Sociology, a Multiple Subject Teaching Credential and a Masters in Education. He also holds an Administrative Credential from the Santa Clara County Office of Education. 

I grew up in the 90’s in one of the poorest and most dangerous neighborhoods in East San Jose at the time. Like many of the youth in that neighborhood, I succumbed to the pressure of gangs and spent most of my teenage years in and out of the Juvenile Justice System. Having experienced first hand the challenges my parents and family faced as under-resourced immigrants in this country, I have dedicated my career to supporting and educating students and families from underserved communities to reach their full potential. 

When Not Working: Jorge enjoys traveling, camping, hiking, biking, reading and watching movies with his wife and four children. Lately, he spends a lot of time in his backyard, caring for chickens, bug hunting and feeding wild spiders with my two year old son. My personal hobbies include gardening, reading, dancing with my wife, playing and watching basketball.

Julie Ngov

Director of Human Resources, AchieveKids

Julie (she/her) leads the people operations and is a strategic leadership partner at AchieveKids. She has served in various leadership roles in other nonprofit and private organizations, whose core mission also focuses on education, social justice, and the support and advocacy of underserved communities. Julie holds a B.A. from UCLA in Sociology and a minor in Anthropology. She also attended Gonzaga University’s graduate program in Communication and Leadership Studies with an emphasis in undergraduate teaching and pedagogy, and earned a graduate certification in International Media through in situ ethnographic studies abroad. 

When not working: Julie enjoys adventuring and traveling with her family. She is an explorer and seeks creative opportunities for her squad to learn and grow.

Martha Bastarrachea

Program Director at CASA of San Mateo County

Martha (she/her) oversees the program’s efforts to recruit, train and supervise volunteers to best serve youth in dependency and juvenile justice in San Mateo County. After 16 years of working in market research, Martha switched careers after being a volunteer at CASA. The love of children brought her to CASA and the mission and people of CASA have kept her there.  Born and raised in the Bay Area, Martha is a first generation Mexican American. Martha has a bachelor’s degree in Communications from the Instituto Tecnológico y de Estudios Superiores de Occidente (ITESO), located in Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico.

When not working: Martha enjoys watching movies, taking pictures, hiking/nature walks, listening to music both in Spanish and English, going to Zumba classes, trying out a new restaurant/winery/brewery as well as traveling. Martha always looks forward to spending time with friends and family.

Melissa Canela

Director of Programs at the Hispanic Foundation of Silicon Valley

Melissa (she/her) is a first-generation Latina born and raised in East San Jose. She graduated with her BA in Sociology with an emphasis in education from the University of San Francisco and holds a Masters degree in Justice Studies from San Jose State University. Melissa has worked with East San Jose families for the past seven years and firmly believes in the power of the Latinx community. She is a passionate community advocate and supporter of education-driven programs and initiatives for the community. As Director of Programs, Melissa oversees the Hispanic Foundation of Silicon Valley’s educational and leadership development initiatives. 

When not working: Melissa enjoys watching San Francisco Giants baseball games with her family and spending time with her pups.

Pardis Khosravi

Clinical Director, Children’s Health Council

Pardis (she/her)  is a clinical psychologist by training and the Clinical Director at Children’s Health Council, leading and expanding a wide range of clinical programming. As a psychologist, she specializes in the psychological assessment and treatment of adolescents and transitional-aged youth with the goal of utilizing their strengths to increase resiliency and optimize academic, social and emotional functioning. She is also an adjunct faculty member for the University of San Francisco, teaching graduate courses in the Counseling Psychology department. Pardis holds a BA in psychology from the University of California, Berkeley, and an MS and PsyD in Clinical Psychology from PGSP-Stanford PsyD Consortium. 

When not working: Pardis is a big country music fan and enjoys attending country music concerts or trying out new restaurants/wineries with friends. She also enjoys true crime documentaries and reading a good book.

Sara Reyes

Executive Director at Shine Together, Inc.

Sara (she/her)  is currently the Executive Director at Shine Together, Inc., an organization that supports young mothers’ education, parenting, and wellness goals. Sara began her career at an early age working for the Santa Clara County Office of Education and City of San Jose’s Parks and Recreation. She then worked for Catholic Charities of Santa Clara County (CCSCC) for over 19 years. Sara also held an Interim Executive Director position for the California School Age Consortium, a statewide organization focused on training, leadership development, and advocacy. She attended the National Hispanic University and earned a Bachelor of Arts in Liberal Studies and San Jose State University where she earned a Master of Public Administration. Sara is an American Leadership Forum (ALF) Senior Fellow. 

When Not Working: Sara enjoys traveling, backyard bar-b-ques, and DIY projects. Sara also enjoys walking around the local swamp meet and attending community festivals.

Sergio Lopez

Director of Development, Silicon Valley@Home

Sergio (he/him)  is Director of Development and Councilmember for the City of Campbell. With longtime roots in his community and a lifelong commitment to service, he has served from the local government to the White House, and is a nationally-recognized leader on housing policy. He is also a Director for the Bay Area Air Management District and Vice Chair of the Valley Transportation Authority Policy Advisory Committee.

A historian and author, he has served on the Board of Directors of the Campbell Historical Museum Foundation, and his writing and thought leadership has been published in TIME, Teen Vogue, America, Sojourners, National Catholic Reporter, and many more. He is also a monthly columnist for the Campbell Press.

Lopez is a proud child of immigrants and was the first in his family to graduate college. He attended Yale University as a Questbridge Scholar, received his M.A. at Duke Divinity School, and studies at the Haas School of Business at UC Berkeley.


Curtis Chang

Founder and Lead Facilitator of Silicon Valley Next LinkedIn

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).

Kris Starr-Witort

Executive Coach and Co-Facilitator of Silicon Valley Next

Kris is an executive and leadership coach who helps mission-driven leaders and managers amplify their impact, and align what they do in the world with what matters most to them. Prior to her role with Silicon Valley Next, Kris spent nearly 20 years in the nonprofit sector serving in a variety of roles focused on hiring and growing leaders, and cultivating cultures that center equity and belonging.  Some of the organizations where she did this work include Project Inform, James Morehouse Project, Education Pioneers, Teach for America and Beyond 12. Kris holds a Masters in Social Work from U.C. Berkeley. She is a Professionally Certified Coach, consultant, and facilitator for Consulting Within Reach.

​When not working: You might find Kris shuffling around her three kids, cooking, hiking in the Berkeley hills, participating in an impromptu dance party, enjoying a warm cup of tea, or jumping in a cool river.