BUILD's North/West Oakland Team
Erin Brannan - Site Director
Erin manages the North/West Oakland site with her passion for creating opportunities for youth and experience managing organizations for impact. Erin began her career in the nonprofit and youth development field leading a student-run volunteer service agency that engaged over 1000 university students annually. As a Peace Corps Volunteer in St. Vincent, she developed youth-serving programs and organizations and discovered her love of mangoes, pumpkin, coconut, steel pan, and aloe. Subsequently, she was contracted by Peace Corps to design and implement a new community-based training program for the Eastern Caribbean region. She has also been instrumental in designing and running domestic and international youth development programs for City Year and Global Citizen Year. Erin holds a B.A. from Cornell and an MPA from NYU’s Wagner School. Originally from central California, she continues to incorporate pumpkin and coconut into any recipe possible and takes every opportunity to explore Bay Area hiking trails.
Diane Bezucha - Ninth Grade Program Manager
Diane is responsible for ensuring that first year BUILD students, ninth grade teachers and mentors have a positive and successful first year experience with BUILD. Diane earned her B.A. in English, Political Science and African-American Studies from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. After college, Diane supervised an afterschool enrichment program for homeless youth in the Madison Metropolitan School District, while also serving as the Dane County Youth Board Facilitator. Through these positions Diane developed a foundation and passion for youth work that led her to join Teach for America in 2008. Diane has spent the past three years teaching secondary English and empowering youth in the Bay Area, using hip hop and social justice to engage students in the classroom and connect their education to the larger community. Working together with families, educators, and the community to help students develop into motivated, successful individuals has been the driving force behind Diane’s work, and she is thrilled to continue this movement as part of the BUILD team.
Yancie Davis - College Access Program Manager
Yancie Davis was born and raised in Oakland, CA. He graduated from the University of California Berkeley in 2006. While at Cal, he was very active on campus, serving the Bay Area community through organizations such as the Black Recruitment and Retention Center, African American Student Development and 100 College Black Men. He is a brother of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. Yancie has a deep commitment to raising the profile of men of color. He also works as a freelance graphic designer, having helped design many of the Oakland student business logos. He likes to think he's a creative guy…with a good sense of fashion!
Abraham Abullarade – College Readiness Program Manager
Abraham was born and raised in San Francisco, CA. He earned his B.A. in Broadcasting and Electronic Communications from San Francisco State University. After college, Abraham was a Public Affairs intern at Kaiser Permanente where he facilitated strategic priority meetings and organized various health fairs. He has since worked in different Youth Development organizations doing both direct service and program management in San Francisco, Redwood City and San Rafael. He has a passion for empowering youth to develop the skill sets they need to succeed in college and beyond and believes that the key to a young person’s success and readiness is having positive relationships and high quality programs that support personal and academic growth. In his free time, Abraham enjoys reading, exercising and spending time with his family. He his excited to join BUILD!
Catherine Chavez - Business Program Manager
Cat was born and raised in Los Angeles, and lived with her mother, a phenomenal role model, who taught her the importance of contributing to the community. She knew at a very young age that she was going to pursue a career in public service. She graduated from UC Santa Cruz with a B.A. in Sociology and a minor in Education. Currently, she is pursuing a Master of Nonprofit Administration at the University of San Francisco. She has a passion for working with youth, guiding them towards academic and life-long success. Before joining BUILD, she worked at a group home for adolescent girls, and ran afterschool programs for the YMCA where she was named “Site Supervisor of the Year” in 2009. In her spare time she loves to travel, explore new places, learn new things and be physically active through exercise and sports. She is thrilled to be part of the BUILD family.
Vincent Vallente - Program Coordinator
Born and raised in Salinas, Vincent attended the University of California, Berkeley and received his B.A. in Political Science with a minor in Ethnic Studies. Before coming to BUILD, he held leadership positions within the bridges Multicultural Resource Center at UC Berkeley. He served as SHADOW Coordinator for the Pilipino Academic Student Services and then as bridges' Co-Outreach Director. Vincent has a passion for helping under-resourced youth and enabling them to see their full potential. He has dedicated much of his time to ensuring students have access to the resources needed in order to pursue higher education. During his free time, Vincent enjoys exploring the Bay Area’s culinary offerings, as well as taking hip hop dance classes. He is excited to be part of the BUILD team!