Irene joined Operation Jump Start in 2009. She received a dual Bachelors of Arts degree in Sociology and International Studies from the University of California, Santa Barbara. As a Latina born and raised in an underserved community, she is indelibly passionate about the work done at Operation Jump Start. With over a decade of experience in the non-profit sector focused on serving families and children, her passion for the students OJS serves and the organization’s mission is second to none. She works closely with the agency’s Board of Directors to oversee all office operations including human resources management, technology, marketing, enrichment and academic programming, fundraising efforts as well as financial management systems. Irene has the proven skills as a manager and the vision as a leader to take OJS to new heights in achieving its mission.
Brittany King-Pleas officially become a part of the Operation Jump Start team in 2013. She has grown to serve as the College Success Program Manager for the 11th and 12th grade mentor-mentee teams. She also works closely with OJS graduates to ensure they are able to access on-campus resources and graduate from their respective universities—as well as stay connected to OJS. As a first-generation college student, Brittany is passionate about not only helping students get to college, but also encouraging them to be open to all of the opportunities a college-education can provide (study abroad, clubs, intramural teams, etc.). Additionally, Brittany identifies incoming students; recruits program mentors and manages student and student-mentor team progress. Through OJS, Brittany become a Posse Scholar and now holds a Bachelor degree from Kalamazoo College in Psychology and a concentration in Women, Gender and Sexuality. She is currently pursuing her Masters in Social Work at Cal State Long Beach.
College Access Program Manager (Lead Case Manager)
Maria is a graduate of California State University, Long Beach. She received her Bachelors of Arts in Sociology and a minor in Criminal Justice. She believes education is the foundation to build a better community. Maria herself is a first-generation college graduate who attributes her success to mentoring. As Operation Jump Start’s dedicated College Access Program Manager Maria oversees the academic progress of students 8th through 10th grade. Her roles include academic advising, records keeping, managing effective mentor-mentee matches and workshop facilitation. She is passionate about working with youth and believes a successful college experience exposes deserving students to high quality opportunities. In 2016, Maria became the agency’s lead case manager overseeing event quality assurance and evaluation of ongoing academic success across all agency programs.
Lawrence oversees all aspects of Operation Jump Start’s successful on-site tutoring program as well as the newest OJS capacity building initiative: Volunteer Corps. He works closely with dedicated tutors, volunteers, OJS’ program managers and the executive team to ensure students receive extensive academic support and volunteers are effectively placed in essential support roles. Additionally, Lawrence oversees the agency’s web-design and information technology systems. He is a graduate of California State University, Long Beach.
Communications and Development Manager
Yanira joined Operation Jump Start in 2011 as a Program Assistant. Throughout the years, Yanira’s taken on roles of increasing responsibility and professionally blossomed. She is currently the agency’s Development and Communications Manager responsible for coordinating and executing fundraising events and leads all agency communication and marketing efforts. Yanira received her undergraduate degree from California State University, Long Beach. A proud alumna of OJS, she profoundly believes all youth deserve equal access to a college education.
Sandra started her tenure as a BSW intern in 2016. An internship that was supposed to last a period of 10 weeks ended up turning into a summer internship and eventually becoming an official position at OJS. She currently attends California State University, Long Beach where she is finishing her BA in Social Work and minor in Sociology. Sandra provides administrative and secretarial support to both Communications and Development Manager and Lead Case Manager. She coordinates proper tracking systems and maintains proper data entry. In addition, she is in charge of maintaining budgets, record keeping, and assisting in daily operations.