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 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 hosting dinner parties for friends and family, spending quality time with her fun-loving husband and three children, as well as traveling!
Connect with Irene: firstname.lastname@example.org
College Success Program Manager
Maria joined the team 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. As Operation Jump Start’s dedicated College Success Program Manager, Maria oversees the academic progress of students 11th and 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, tropical vacations, and recently has found her love for fitness. Her current favorite authors are Erika Sanchez and Rachel Hollis. Look them up, they are amazing!
Connect with Maria: email@example.com
College Access Program Manager
Andres joined the team January of 2019. Like our students, he is a first-generation student, and also a DREAMER who was brought to the United States at the age of 5. He received a bachelor’s degree in Chicano/a Studies from California State University Northridge in 2013 and is currently pursuing a master’s degree in Nonprofit Management at Antioch University. Andres has over five years of nonprofit experience, specifically in education. Through his experience, he has helped many students with academic advising from A-G course completion to the college admission process, and everything in between. He loves helping students realize their full potential and achieve their dreams of attending college. This includes empowering them to have a voice and take action through their journey to success. Additionally, he is a firm believer that through education anything and everything is possible. This includes creating systematic changes within our communities to uplift future generations to come.
Connect with Andres: firstname.lastname@example.org
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 received her BA in Social Work and minor in Sociology at California State University, Long Beach. Sandra provides support for our Programs Team. She coordinates effective student events and workshops.
Connect with Sandra: email@example.com
(OJS Alumna - Class of 2009)
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 currently handles operations and is also 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.
Connect with Yanira: firstname.lastname@example.org
(OJS Alumnus - Class of 2017)
Axel joined the OJS team in August of 2017 as a Development Assistant. As an OJS Alumnus, Axel has an intimate understanding of what OJS does for students, and now he aims to contribute to the amount of heart and effort the OJS staff puts into each and every event, student, and mentor-mentee matches. He is currently pursuing a BA in English Education at Cal State Long Beach. Axel currently serves as the staff liaison for the Youth Leadership Ambassadors, maintains computers and general tech in the OJS office, and provides support to the Development and Programs teams.
Connect with Axel: email@example.com
Learning Resource Center Coordinator.
Picture coming soon.
Maria joined Operation Jump Start in March 2019. She began her outreach work with youth right after graduating Poly High in 2003. A transfer student from Long Beach City College, Maria graduated from the University of California, San Diego where she majored in Sociology with a concentration in Social Inequalities. Maria is a strong mental health advocate, so she promotes wellness and healing amongst marginalized communities and strives to break the stigma of therapy. She admires the work of Angela Davis, bell hooks, and Gloria Anzaldua.
When Maria is not in the Learning Resource Center she spends her time with her three children; Jayla 5, Jayce 3, and Julio 2. She loves learning about mental wellness, interior design and anything in the Arts.
Connect with Maria: firstname.lastname@example.org
Development Support AmeriCorps VISTA Volunteer
Parisia first joined OJS February 2019. She is a recent graduate of Hampton University where she received a Bachelor’s degree in Sociology with a focus on Incarcerated Women and Disenfranchised communities. Parisia considers herself a student in every aspect of her life. With a passion and experience in mentoring, she has taken her ability to support others cross-culturally from South America, Africa, to Europe, and now Long Beach. She is excited to be apart of the lasting development of others within her own local community. As Operation Jump Start’s newest Development Support AmeriCorps VISTA, Parisia is fundamental further developing the agency's fundraising efforts, brand development, and external communications.
In addition to creating content for OJS, Parisia is a writer and author for her own blog. She enjoys utilizing writing and storytelling as a form of healing and connecting with herself and others.
Connect with Parisia: email@example.com
College Success Expansion AmeriCorps VISTA Volunteer
One of the newest members of the team, Jevante joined OJS in April 2019. Like our students, he is a first-generation college student. He received his Bachelor of Arts in Linguistics with an emphasis in Language, Culture, & Society from UC Santa Barbara. Through his work with OJS and his love for language, he hopes to spread a positive ideology towards education. As an AmeriCorps VISTA volunteer, Jevante will be essential to the expansion and Career and Professional Development of the College Success Program and developing an Alumni Association.
When he’s not in the office, you can find him musing over some Langston Hughes, sampling some Miles Davis, or crushing the competition on the wrestling mat.
Connect with Jevante: firstname.lastname@example.org
Masters of Social Work - Counseling Interns
Yasmilet Yanez Velasquez
CSU Dominguez Hills
CSU Long Beach
CSU Dominguez Hills
CSU Long Beach
Retired, Disney Executive
Mary Lou LaLonde
Retired CEO, LaLonde Equipment Company
Associate Director of Operations, Southern California Praxair
Director of Global Recruitment, MaxLinear, Inc.,
President, Social Work Abroad Program (SWAP)
Retired, City of Long Beach Administration/Finances
Marketing Consultant, Private Practice
Controller, Tessie Cleveland Community Services Corp, Inc.
Diann and Walt Zenda
Interested in board membership?
Contact us: email@example.com to learn more.