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Lisa has more than 30 years of experience in a wide variety of educational settings. Most recently, she was Head of Lower School at Black Pine Circle in Berkeley, where she led a student body of 130 kindergarten through fifth graders and a faculty of 25 teachers, specialists, and other staff. Previously she was a division director for education at Catholic Charities of the East Bay focusing on college entry and success for first-generation students and building multi-service collaboratives in Contra Costa County. She has also been involved with WestEd, a San Francisco-based nonprofit working to promote educational excellence as a trainer in the areas of early numeracy and family-school partnerships. Ms. Raffel recently finished her five-year term as a Koshland Fellow with the San Francisco Foundation. She has a B.A. in Peace and Conflict Studies, a California teaching credential, and an M.A. in education from UC Berkeley, and administrative credential from St. Mary’s College.
Rachel Carlin is thrilled to join Bridge the Gap College Prep. She has extensive non-profit administration experience working with the Mountain Play, Berkeley Symphony, Crowden School and San Francisco Community Center. Ms. Carlin is also an accomplished violinist and has performed with groups such as the Fresno Symphony, Santa Cruz Symphony, Vallejo Symphony, and Symphony Napa Valley. She holds degrees from the Eastman School of Music and University of Rochester.
Rosita was raised by two immigrant parents from Guatemala, who emphasized the importance of education. Being a first-generation student, she couldn’t rely on her family to teach her about university life. She learned to be proactive and intentional about obtaining information that continuing-generation students arrive knowing or can easily access. Her experiences in higher education are why she was drawn to BTGCP and what it has to offer to marginalized students. She recently graduated from Gonzaga University with a degree in Business Administration. In this next step of her journey with BTGCP, she feels fortunate to be a part of an organization that is creating an environment that encourages a love for learning. She is excited to continue creating a safe space for students and pushing the boundaries of what a community looks like and what it can achieve.
Kristen is passionate about providing youth with the support and opportunities they need to grow into healthy and happy adults. She has designed and managed Youth Development & Healthy Living programs at the YMCA of San Francisco for more than 20 years. Most recently, she was the Executive Director of the Mission YMCA. Kristen enjoys building meaningful relationships with volunteers and community partners to create positive changes in the lives of others. She has a B.A. in Human Development from UC San Diego and a Masters of Nonprofit Administration from the University of San Francisco.
Carl Featherston is a San Diego native, with 15 years of professional experience in the field of education. He began his career in San Diego working for the Southwest Region Naval Child Development and Youth programs where he served 2 years as an early childhood educator, and 3 years as an Assistant Lead School Age Care teacher for children ages 5-7. He later transitioned his career into the classroom for charter schools in the San Diego Unified School district, while attending graduate school. Establishing himself as a professional in K-12 education, Carl moved to Fresno, CA where he spent 4 years as a middle school teacher, 2 years as a school site leader, and 3 years providing regional training and technical assistance to school districts across the western United States.
Carl currently holds a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and a Master of Arts in Education from Alliant International University in San Diego, CA; an Education Specialist degree in Teaching and Learning from Liberty University in Lynchburg, VA, and will be continuing his Doctorate of Education in Learning and Instruction from the University of San Francisco. Carl brings an enthusiasm for education, cultivated by the breadth of experience he has supporting students across multiple grade levels and various educational settings.
Cheryl started her career as a lawyer and last practiced Trust, Estates, and ERISA law with Provident National Bank (now PNC). Before coming to Bridge the Gap College Prep, she served as a Non-Profit Advisor for organizations seeking tax-exempt non-profit status. Between her work and raising 4 children, Cheryl has volunteered for a wide variety of organizations-both local and abroad, including volunteer stints working alongside her children and husband in Tanzania, Costa Rica and Scotland. Cheryl graduated from U.C. Berkeley with a B.A. in Psychology and went on to earn her J.D. from UC Hastings College of Law.
Pam brings a strong background in project management, marketing, and communications to her role as Volunteer Manager. Her past professional history includes positions at Levi Strauss & Co, The Republic of Tea and Hal Riney & Partners advertising. An avid supporter of education, Pam spent several years volunteering in the classroom and as an active board member in various capacities at private and public schools in Marin and believes you can change a child’s life through learning. She is thrilled to be part of the team at Bridge the Gap College Prep and making a difference in the community we serve. A native Californian, Pam graduated from UCLA and has two kids in college.
In partnership with 10,000 Degrees, Chinna manages Bridge the Gap College Prep’s college success program. She is an experienced Program Manager with a demonstrated history of working in the education management industry. She completed her undergraduate degree in Ethnic Studies at Cal State University, East Bay with a minor in Genders and Sexualities in Communities of Color. She has held many positions at 10,000 Degrees including college access fellow, board member, college access advisor and success manager. She is very passionate about social justice and making an impact within her community. She resides in Vallejo, CA with her partner and two children.
Born in Malaysia, Jenny was raised in a racially complex society where access to education is determined by race and religion. She understood the role of discrimination in limiting access to higher education from a young age. Jenny left Malaysia to attend high school in Australia and subsequently earned her undergraduate degree in Economics and Psychology at the University of Melbourne, Australia.
Jenny started her career in corporate banking with Citibank, first in Malaysia and then Hong Kong. After completing her MBA at the London Business School, she transitioned to strategic marketing and brand management with L’Oreal and then Yves St. Laurent UK as the Marketing Director. In 2000, Jenny moved with her young family to the Bay Area where she remained active in various ways, including supporting non-profits focused on education. At BTGCP, Jenny is able to apply her corporate background in a non-profit organization whose mission aligns with her lifelong belief in the power of education.
Andy was born and raised in Southern California and grew up in an economically disadvantaged neighborhood where he encountered many barriers to his academic success. The youngest son of immigrant parents from Mexico, he became the first in his family to graduate college with a BA in Psychology from California State University, San Bernardino in 2006. Andy began his career in nonprofit at Goodwill Industries as a case manager for people with disabilities, then as a job developer for underrepresented people in the San Bernardino and Los Angeles communities. He then worked as an elementary school teacher and administrator at a small private school in Orange County, CA where he fulfilled his desire to be an educator for four years. Andy then received an MBA from the University of Redlands, after which he took a position at the Simon Family Foundation, a nonprofit youth development and college access program. As the Director of Programs, he was responsible for the long-term success of over 200 high school students and several hundred more college students across the country.