Meet the Operation Jump Start Team.
Irene joined Operation Jump Start in 2009. She received a dual Bachelor 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 almost two decades 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.
Outside of OJS, Irene enjoys podcasting, spending quality time with her fun-loving husband and children, as well as extensive traveling! She is also co-founder and partner of Level Up Latina, LLC.
Connect with Irene: firstname.lastname@example.org
Maria joined the team in February of 2015. She is a graduate of California State University, Long Beach where she received her Bachelor 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. When Maria first joined the team as the College Access Program Manager, she demonstrated early on her talent and ability to lead programs, later managing and playing a critical role in the expansion of the College Success Program.
Now as Operation Jump Start’s dedicated Program Director, Maria oversees both OJS Programs. She effectively leads the programs team, assuring the overall quality and execution of our programs, while monitoring the academic progress and success of all OJS scholars (8th-12th grade and college students). She is also the preceptor for master’s and bachelor’s Social Work interns. She is passionate about working with youth and believes a successful college experience exposes deserving students to high-quality opportunities.
When Maria is out and about she enjoys coffee shops, reading, family time, and tropical vacations! Connect with Maria: email@example.com
Student Success Coordinator
Emily joined the OJS team in February 2020 as a Youth Leadership Intern. As an OJS Alumna, Emily first started in OJS as a 9th grader in 2010 and is excited to return to the organization that gave her so many memorable experiences. She is currently pursuing a bachelor’s degree in Recreation and Leisure Studies at Cal State Long Beach. Emily serves as the staff liaison for the Youth Leadership Ambassadors, aiming to create an inclusive and positive learning environment that gives OJS students the opportunity to grow as leaders.
When not at OJS, you can find Emily enjoying an outdoor run, hiking near the mountains, and camping.
Connect with Emily: firstname.lastname@example.org
Community Outreach Supervisor
Rebecca joined Operation Jumpstart in February 2020. She graduated from the University of California, Davis with a double major in Communication Theory and Gender, Sexuality, & Women’s Studies and a minor in Education. As the first in her family to attend college, she is passionate about providing all students with access to higher education and about the imperative need to support them throughout their journey.
In her free time, she loves to craft, work on ceramic projects, cook, and spend time with her cat, Luna.
Connect with Rebecca: email@example.com
Community Outreach Coordinator
Chelsea (she/they) joined the team in March 2022. She graduated with a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Louisville with an interdisciplinary studies degree in English, Philosophy, and Communications. As a first-generation American and first-generation college student from a rural, under-resourced town in eastern Kentucky, they care deeply about educational equity. She is particularly passionate about addressing the nuanced and complex intersections between race, gender, sexuality, class, disability, and immigration status in education.
She worked and volunteered as a movement and political organizer for two years in Philadelphia before moving to southern California, where she now lives with her partner, three cats, and several dozen houseplants.
In their leisure time, Chelsea enjoys film photography, going to museums, bubble tea, Cambodian food, reading, writing poetry, cooking vegan food, hiking, and basking in the sun!
Connect with Chelsea: firstname.lastname@example.org
Student Access Coordinator
Kevin joined Operation Jumpstart as a college access coordinator in November 2021. He graduated from Bates College in 2017, with a major in psychology and a minor in Japanese. In 2016, he worked as an intern for Operation Jumpstart, helping with the student recruitment process, which motivated him to continue on his journey of helping younger students. As a part of that journey, he has conducted research on homeless youth’s barriers to education in Lewiston, Maine, and worked four years as a behavioral therapist for children on the autism spectrum. His passion for helping youth excel in education has finally brought him back to Operation Jumpstart, where he hopes to continue his mission of fostering success in young students.
When he’s not at OJS, he likes to spend his free time playing video games, watching anime, working out, or spending some quality time outside roller skating.
Connect with Kevin: email@example.com
Jasmine joined the OJS team as a tutor in April 2022. She is a first-generation college student currently studying Mathematics at the University of Hawaii at Manoa. Jasmine has worked for organizations such as the Engineer Factory, Mathnasium, and Long Beach City College’s Math Success Center. She is passionate about Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) and hopes to empower others to pursue higher education.
During her free time, Jasmine enjoys trying new restaurants and binging the latest TV shows and movies!
Connect with Jasmine: firstname.lastname@example.org
Retired, Disney Executive
Director of Global Recruitment,
Board Co-Vice President
Associate Director of Operations, Southern California Linde
Board Co-Vice President
CEO, Alameda Corridor East Construction Authority
Retired, City of Long Beach Administration/Finances
Controller, Tessie Cleveland Community Services Corp, Inc.
Sr. Communications Specialist, The Walt Disney Company
Diann and Walt Zenda
Interested in board membership?
Contact us: email@example.com to learn more