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.
Chief of Staff
Jane joined the team in June of 2017 when the Office of the Executive Director was created to include the Executive Director and the Chief of Staff. OJS is happy to have Jane Bemis join our team, bringing her skills in developing programs and projects, technology and process integration, and leading effective teams. Jane cares deeply about the organization and is very excited to step into her new role as this opportunity allows her to partner with our Executive Director and support the staff.
College Success Program Manager (Lead Case Manager)
Maria joined the team February of 2015. She is a graduate of California State University, Long Beach where 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.
College Access Program Manager
KeVonna Scott joined Operation Jump Start in 2017 as a Program Manager. Also a first-generation college graduate, KeVonna is a key contributor to the expansion of our programs, coordinate and support with upcoming events, workshops and projects to ensure that our students receive the necessary tools to access their full potential. KeVonna received her undergraduate degree in Communications from Alabama State University and has a Masters in Educational Counseling from National University. She comes with over seven years of experience in the non-profit sector providing academic advisement to high school and college students in regards to the college admission process, financial aid inquiries, scholarships, internships, and goal setting. Also, KeVonna has mentored students and has worked closely with guidance counselors, teachers, parents and community leaders to cohesively mentor and monitor students for academic success. Not only is she particularly interested in providing efficient and sufficient resources and opportunities for students but for parents as well.
Learning Resource Center Coordinator
Lawrence oversees all aspects of Operation Jump Start’s successful on-site tutoring program known as the Learning Resource Center. He works closely with dedicated tutors, volunteers, OJS’ program managers and the executive team to ensure students receive extensive academic support. Under Lawrence’s guidance as event lead, students have participated in many firsts including the first-ever traveling college tour to Stanford University in Northern California and first-time snowboarding excursion to Snow Summit in Big Bear Lake. Additionally, Lawrence oversees the agency’s web-design and information technology systems. He is a graduate of California State University, Long Beach as well as a long-time OJS volunteer mentor.
(Operations) Development and Communications Manager
Yanira first joined Operation Jump Start in February of 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.
2017 Board Members
Board Vice President
Retired, Disney Executive
Mary Lou LaLonde
Retired CEO, LaLonde Equipment Company
Associate Director of Operations, Southern California Praxair
Recruiting Manager, MaxLinear, Inc.,
Alexis “Al” Regnier
Retired, CEO Manufacturing
Retired, City of Long Beach Administration/Finances
Deputy District Director, CA State Legislature, AD 59
Diann and Walt Zenda
Retired CA Assemblymember
LA District Attorney
Pacific Life Insurance
Long Beach Police Department
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