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Our Team

Anna Dinh

Position: Senior Program Manager, Bay Area
Email: adinh@build.org
Top: 7

Anna is the Senior Program Manager for the Peninsula. She supports teachers with the implementation of curriculum and leads the planning of school and community-based student events. Anna brings a wealth of experience as an educator in varying cultural and country contexts. Prior to joining BUILD, Anna taught primary and secondary school students in South Korea, Taiwan and Hong Kong. She earned a BA in Child and Adolescent Development from San Jose State University and a Master of Education Degree from the University of Hong Kong.

Anna is the Senior Program Manager for the Peninsula. She supports teachers with the implementation of curriculum and leads the...

Anna Dinh

Senior Program Manager, Bay Area

Anthony Walker

Position: Senior Program Manager, Bay Area
Email: awalker@build.org

Anthony Walker is an entrepreneur from San Diego, CA. He is a Licensed Life Insurance Agent based in Oakland, CA and the founder of Finance Friday, a financial literacy platform. Anthony has been an educator, as well as the Founder and Director of National Elite LLC, an organization focused on summer football camps for youth in Oakland and San Diego. Anthony received a bachelor’s degree from Whittier College and a master’s from Saint Mary’s College in Sports Management.

Anthony Walker is an entrepreneur from San Diego, CA. He is a Licensed Life Insurance Agent based in Oakland, CA...

Anthony Walker

Senior Program Manager, Bay Area

Chelsey Brown

Position: Program Director, Bay Area
Top: 4
: Cali4

Chelsey was born and raised in East Palo Alto in a blended working-class family. The first in her family to attend and graduate college, Chelsey attended San Francisco State University. Chelsey’s own life experiences led her to design programs and advocate for underrepresented youth as Program Director of the well-known non-profits in the Bay Area and in Austin Texas. As the BUILD Program Director for the Bay Area, Chelsey uses her leadership to guide the Oakland team in implementation of the BUILD program for highest impact. Chelsey is responsible for overseeing regional implementation of BUILD’s program, curriculum and events and developing and managing partnerships with district leaders and school administrators to ensure impact with BUILD target students.

Being a living testimony to what programs such as BUILD can do for a student’s life, Chelsey BUILD’s to continue provide other students like her, with the opportunity to be exposed to a world of endless opportunities!

Chelsey was born and raised in East Palo Alto in a blended working-class family. The first in her family to...

Chelsey Brown

Program Director, Bay Area

Elia Hernandez

Position: Development and Operations Manager
Top: 18

Elia Hernandez

Development and Operations Manager

Felipe Duran

Position: Community Engagement Manager, LA
Email: forozco@build.org

Felipe Duran is excited to join BUILD Los Angeles as the Community Engagement Manager. Felipe is an experienced non-profit professional having worked with disconnected youth and youth experiencing homelessness in the Los Angeles area. In his prior experience designing and leading holistic youth programs, Felipe has applied research-based mentoring tools and developed various community partnerships to support youth in their personal and professional development.

Having grown up and still currently living in Northeast Los Angeles, it is his mission to support youth in his community. He looks forward to leveraging his experience to support a network of mentors for student entrepreneurs. In his spare time, Felipe enjoys watching professional football, playing golf, and going on walks with his wife and daughter.

Felipe Duran is excited to join BUILD Los Angeles as the Community Engagement Manager. Felipe is an experienced non-profit professional...

Felipe Duran

Community Engagement Manager, LA

Itzel Franco

Position: College Access Coach, Bay Area
Top: 12

Itzel is a first-generation Chicana who recently earned a BA in Sociology from the University of California, Merced. In recent years, Itzel have worked with youth in various roles. This is where she grew her passion for mentorship and community empowerment. Itzel believes that if we provide guidance and resources to empower our youth, it would better everyone’s future. Itzel’s at BUILD because she truly believes in keeping our students in the center. Itzel also spends her time being a dog mom, traveling, and creating.

Itzel is a first-generation Chicana who recently earned a BA in Sociology from the University of California, Merced. In recent...

Itzel Franco

College Access Coach, Bay Area

Jaren Sorkow

Position: Director of Strategic Partnerships, CA
Email: jsorkow@build.org

A Los Angeles native, Jaren has dedicated his career to community engagement and working with disenfranchised populations. Prior to joining BUILD, Jaren served as the Director of Casa Esperanza, a Los Angeles-based nonprofit focused on gang intervention and prevention activities for Latinx youth and their families. He has also held senior positions at Special Olympics World Games Los Angeles, CASA of Los Angeles, Los Angeles Animal Services, and Union Station Homeless Services.

He earned a BA in English from the University of California, Berkeley, a Master of Nonprofit Administration from the University of San Francisco, and a Master of Public Administration, with a focus on public policy, from California State University, Northridge.

A Los Angeles native, Jaren has dedicated his career to community engagement and working with disenfranchised populations. Prior to joining...

Jaren Sorkow

Director of Strategic Partnerships, CA

Jasmine Ochoa

Position: Senior Program Manager, Bay Area
Top: 9

Raised in East Oakland, Jasmine graduated high school from Lionel Wilson Prep as a BUILD student. Throughout high school Jasmine spent a lot of her time volunteering at a variety of organizations, such as OUSD and The Red Cross. Jasmine attended Holy Names University, where she received her Bachelor’s in Business marketing in 2018 and her Master’s in business administration in 2019. Throughout her college experience she continued volunteering with different organizations and often remembered about BUILD and the knowledge and benefits it brought her. Jasmine greatly believes in the BUILD program and the doors it can open for students, which is why she decided to come back to the organization and work with high school freshmen and sophomores. As the Bay Area Program Manager Jasmine is regularly visiting our partner schools. She attends class sessions to work directly with our 9th and 10th grade students preparing them for showcases and ensuring they are receiving the most from the BUILD program.

Jasmine strives to provide students with the same benefits BUILD provided for her. She loves to get to know our BUILD students closely and aspires to be a positive influence in their life.

Raised in East Oakland, Jasmine graduated high school from Lionel Wilson Prep as a BUILD student. Throughout high school Jasmine...

Jasmine Ochoa

Senior Program Manager, Bay Area

Jessica McGill

Position: Director of Philanthropy, California
Top: 4
: Cali5

Jessica, a graduate of Virginia Tech, has fifteen years of fundraising experience having worked for nonprofits in both California and Maryland and is an active member of the Association of Fundraising Professionals. Prior to joining BUILD in February 2020, Jessica most recently worked for Family Giving Tree where she managed individual and corporate relationships. In her spare time, Jessica has a passion for mentorship and has served as a CASA to foster youth for the past five years.

Jessica, a graduate of Virginia Tech, has fifteen years of fundraising experience having worked for nonprofits in both California and...

Jessica McGill

Director of Philanthropy, California

Mandy Boose

Position: Senior Program Manager, Bay Area
Email: mBoose@build.org
Top: 11

With a degree in Ethnic Studies from UC Berkeley, Mandy has dedicated her life to critiquing and challenging systemic inequalities. Mandy credits her mixed-race identity for fostering her understanding of institutional racism and marginalization and uses this understanding to develop deep connections with BUILD students. In a setting like the Bay Area which combines extreme diversity with extreme wealth imbalances, Mandy is determined to create a more just and equitable future for our E4 students and our communities as a whole. Mandy lives in Oakland, and in her free time, is committed to her art practice and running Lake Merritt.

Positioned at the intersection between family histories of immigration and farm labor, Mandy recognizes the weight of how access to education can impact a family’s economic mobility for subsequent generations. Her family’s love, support, and encouragement to pursue any educational dream is something Mandy strives to emulate with all BUILD students.

With a degree in Ethnic Studies from UC Berkeley, Mandy has dedicated her life to critiquing and challenging systemic inequalities....

Mandy Boose

Senior Program Manager, Bay Area

Maria Raftelis

Position: Grant Writer, NYC/CA

Maria Raftelis has more than a decade of fundraising experience in education. Before joining BUILD, Maria served as Associate Director of Foundation Relations at Columbia University’s Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons. In this role, she oversaw fundraising for the Center of Radiological Research (CRR) and worked with medical faculty across the College to raise funds for research. Prior to Columbia University, Maria served as Grant Writer at the City College Fund, the fundraising organization of the City College of New York (CCNY). During my nine year tenure at the City College Fund, Maria expanded the College’s portfolio of institutional donors to double institutional giving. 

Maria resides in the Bronx with her husband and son. A graduate of the New York City public school system, Maria believed every student should have access to an excellent education that inspires them to dream and achieve their full potential.

Maria holds a Bachelor’s degree in Individualized Studies from New York University and a Master’s degree in Social Science from the University of Chicago.

Maria Raftelis has more than a decade of fundraising experience in education. Before joining BUILD, Maria served as Associate Director...

Maria Raftelis

Grant Writer, NYC/CA

Mariana Lopez-Sutherland

Position: Entrepreneurship Program Coordinator, Bay Area
Email: mlopezsutherland@build.org

Mariana Lopez-Sutherland joins the BUILD Bay Area team with experience working in the education sector, primarily in economically disadvantaged communities. Through her work as a tutor and substitute teacher Mariana has helped several students reach their academic goals. As a first-generation immigrant from Venezuela, she is very passionate about social justice and education equity. She is excited to join BUILD Bay Area to start her career in the nonprofit sector, and to further her work helping the youth thrive. Mariana also loves arts and crafts, being a dog parent to a little Chiweenie called Maya, travelling, and finding new spots to eat. She holds a bachelor’s degree in International Economics from UC San Diego.

Mariana Lopez-Sutherland joins the BUILD Bay Area team with experience working in the education sector, primarily in economically disadvantaged communities....

Mariana Lopez-Sutherland

Entrepreneurship Program Coordinator, Bay Area

Meilani Meleisea

Position: Community Engagement Manager, Bay Area
Email: mmeleisea@build.org

Meilani Meleisea joins the BUILD CA Team with extensive experience surrounding Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion work within higher education at her alma mater, the University of California, Berkeley. As founder and Executive Director of the university’s only institutionalized Pacific Islander-centered advocacy organizations, she partnered with local organizations in California and international partners in Aotearoa to build pathways for the recruitment of Indigenous Pasifika students and to support retention programs for continuing students. Moreover, Meilani arrives at BUILD with years of experience in Volunteer and Community Engagement at GLIDE sf, where she managed a workforce of approximately 25,000 annual volunteers to further the organization’s mission of creating a radically inclusive, just, and loving community, working to break the cycle of poverty and marginalization.

She is elated to join BUILD CA to continue supporting and empowering the next generation of leaders along their journeys through secondary school and beyond. Meilani is also an active proponent of cultural advocacy organizations, both domestic and international, concerning equitable representation and access for Pacific Islanders worldwide. In her spare time, she enjoys vocal performance, cooking, and strolls through Oakland’s Chinatown with her dog, Beb.

Meilani Meleisea joins the BUILD CA Team with extensive experience surrounding Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion work within higher education at...

Meilani Meleisea

Community Engagement Manager, Bay Area

Michael Arellano

Position: Program Director, Los Angeles
Top: 19

Michael holds the Senior Program Manager role for the Los Angeles region.  He brings with him over 15 years of experience working for nonprofit organizations dedicated to youth development.  Having grown up in a Boys & Girls Club, he understands the importance of empowering young people through quality programs and engaging mentors.  His personal mission is to support the creation of collaborative communities that generate opportunities for youth to thrive.

Born and raised in Southern California Michael is excited to expand BUILD’s programs in the Los Angeles area and to bring Spark Skills to the area’s diverse student population.

Michael holds the Senior Program Manager role for the Los Angeles region.  He brings with him over 15 years of...

Michael Arellano

Program Director, Los Angeles

Mo Foster

Position: Senior Program Manager, Oakland
Top: 13

Mo Foster

Senior Program Manager, Oakland

Racquel Carter

Position: Program Data Associate, Bay Area
Email: rcarter@build.org

Racquel Carter graduated from Dominican University of California, receiving a Bachelor of Science Degree in Psychology. She volunteered at various outreach youth development programs within the Bay Area then provided mental-health and behavioral health services to children and teens for eight years. Racquel was then led to mentor youth in preparation for college success and provide community-based resources. She joins BUILD Bay Area as a Program Data Associate and is excited to join the team!

Racquel Carter graduated from Dominican University of California, receiving a Bachelor of Science Degree in Psychology. She volunteered at various...

Racquel Carter

Program Data Associate, Bay Area

Rodrigo Alfaro

Position: Executive Director, Bay Area
Email: rAlfaro@build.org
Top: 5
: Cali2

Rodrigo Alfaro brings over a decade of experience in community outreach and nonprofit leadership from churches to college access orgs across the Bay Area. A true relationship builder, Rodrigo consistently seeks ways to unify diverse partners in service to equity for under-represented communities. As a native of El Salvador who moved to the Bay Area at a young age, Rodrigo brings a deeply personal perspective to his role. He experienced first-hand the challenges many immigrants face balancing diverse cultural identities, and the transformative power of entrepreneurship for families like his own.

Rodrigo Alfaro brings over a decade of experience in community outreach and nonprofit leadership from churches to college access orgs...

Rodrigo Alfaro

Executive Director, Bay Area

Ryan Oliver

Position: Regional Director, California
Email: rOliver@build.org
Top: 1
: Cali1

Ryan Oliver serves as Regional Executive Director for BUILD Bay Area and Los Angeles, holding primary responsibility for leading growth initiatives and directing strategy. Ryan brings twenty years of experience as an innovative educator, leader, and program designer in urban schools, from Boston and Pittsburgh to Los Angeles and East Oakland. Previously, Ryan served as Founding Program Director for BUILD Boston. A Bay Area native, Ryan has lived, learned, and worked on both coasts. He earned a Bachelor’s Degree from Harvard University, a Master of Arts in Education from California State University Monterey Bay, and Principal Certification from University of Pittsburgh.

Ryan Oliver serves as Regional Executive Director for BUILD Bay Area and Los Angeles, holding primary responsibility for leading growth...

Ryan Oliver

Regional Director, California

EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITIES

WE DREAM BIG & GET THINGS DONE.

VIDEO PREPARATION GUIDELINES

HOW TO RECORD

1. iPhone, iPad, Zoom and Loom are all choices of recording tools for their video presentation 
2. Record with both students and their presentation in view
3. Record horizontally for the best view of the students and their presentation
4. Follow Presentation Diagram to the Right

PRESENTATION TIPS.

- Make eye contact with the camera
- Notecards may be used as cue cards
•Pro Tip: Notecards should avoid having a full script
- Even when you are not speaking, don’t forget the camera is still recording!
•Be aware of your body language while you and your business partners are speaking
- Everyone has an opportunity to speak
- Professional dress is encouraged
- Practice makes perfect
•Practice how you will transition from each speaker
•Project your voice when you speak​

Follow positioning format Above

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