Bay Area Leadership Directory
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Amanda is a Bay Area native and passionate about supporting youth in her home community. As second generation Chinese American, she feels fortunate to have had her family’s support to attend a private liberal arts college. However, during her first two years, she learned how different her life experiences were compared to her peers. Moreover, she realized how these differences, or inequities, impacted college success and belonging. She transferred to a new school where she found her own community, but this experience motivated her to ensure all students have the support and resources to achieve their goals.
Amanda graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Sociology from Occidental College. Since then, she’s worked at several education and youth organizations in the Peninsula and San Francisco. She’s very excited to now be supporting students in the East Bay and North Bay! In her free time, she enjoys hiking in the redwoods, hanging out at the climbing gym, and cooking for her friends and family.
Having spent her entire career in youth development, Anceline is driven by the belief that everyone deserves an equal shot at the opportunity to succeed. As the daughter of a first-generation college student and immigrant, Anceline saw the power in receiving a quality education firsthand.
Prior to working at Summer Search, Anceline worked with adjudicated youth in the Juvenile Justice system. She was drawn to Summer Search for its long-term commitment and willingness to work with students wherever they are at. She holds a BA in Psychology as well as in French and French Literature, and is currently pursuing her Master’s degree.
In her spare time, she loves to hike, draw, travel, and spend time with her partner, family, and friends.
Pronouns: Any Pronouns
Anika was born and raised in Sonoma county in a single-parent household. Her determination to make a difference for her family was to attend college as a first-generation and to attain a full-time career position to end the ongoing cycle of poverty that has been faced within her family. Growing up she had to become resilient towards bullying, discrimination, and poverty but when she got into high school, she was able to join Summer Search where she had mentors that helped her surpass her expectations. When she got into high school, she enrolled at the Santa Rosa Junior College to get high school credits and begin collecting college credits as well. Being able to graduate high school on time and being accepted to colleges right after high school, changed everything for her. To make the best decision for herself, she continued her education at SRJC until she transferred to the University of California, Santa Barbara where she expanded her knowledge on Black studies and Education. With her education, she has strived to advocate for those who may be labeled at-risk in school and those who are also wanting to change their own family cycles of poverty.
“I think the importance of doing activist work is precisely because it allows you to give back and to consider yourself not as a single individual who may have achieved whatever but to be a part of an ongoing historical movement.”
– Angela Davis
Raised in California’s Central Valley, Austin started their college education at Fresno City College. There, a job as a writing tutor sparked their passion for supporting other students and teaching, motivating them to transfer to UC Davis and earn a BA in English. Later, while completing an MA in English at SF State, they coordinated a team of writing tutors in a program designed to support minoritized students. This experience deepened their commitment to countering structural inequalities in higher ed. After a year in academic publishing, Austin is excited to return to working with students, especially in an organization that is dedicated to people’s wellbeing and to equity and justice.
In their free time, Austin enjoys listening to music, walking, and making various arts and crafts (currently: embroidery). Always an English major at heart, they love reading everything from comic books to histories of race in the US. Austin is continually learning from the work and thinking of abolitionists, anti-capitalists, queer and trans feminists, and Black and Indigenous scholars and activists, all of whom help them imagine steps toward a better world.
Brian believes in the importance of introspection, critical thinking and learning by doing. As Regional Program Director, he supports Summer Search staff in their work with participants and helps ensure that the entire program from outreach to post-secondary and beyond runs smoothly. His previous professional experience includes coordinating advocacy projects with youth involved in the juvenile justice and child welfare systems and assisting high school students build their job skills through workshops and internships. Brian holds a B.A. in Health and Societies from the University of Pennsylvania. He likes to travel, read and spend time with friends.
Pronouns: They/Them/Theirs, She/Her/Hers
While pursuing their Women’s and Gender Studies undergraduate degree at Sonoma State University (SSU), Carly worked at SSU’s Cultural Center, tutored at the Writing Center, trained Peer Mentors, and led gender and sexuality trainings for students, staff, and community members. As an out and visible trans student at SSU, Carly found themself advocating for resources and support for queer and transgender students in order to make the college experience more equitable for underserved students. Carly founded and facilitated the Trans and Gender-Questioning Support Group at Sonoma State and taught a course she created entitled “Trans Lives in the New Millennium”, which focused on the ways 21st Century transgender visibility in the United States creates a dichotomy between positive representation and rising levels of gendered violence against trans people. Carly had students reflect on the messages they received about transgender people, and the deeply held beliefs they had about gender, race, and class.
As a queer trans professional, Carly centers people with intersecting marginalized identities and experiences in their work. Having conversations about oppression and liberation and watching moments of deep connection happen for youth inspires Carly. As a Program Associate, she engages students in conversations about their identities and goals, helps them process the impacts of historical and institutional inequities, and encourages them to recognize their potential and resilience. Carly loves listening to her students, offering advice when appropriate, and hyping them up for all the incredible things they accomplish every day.
Carly enjoys finger-tapping to music as if she actually knows how to play the drums, is a big fan of cats, and thoroughly appreciates eating large amounts of sourdough toast in late hours of the night.
Born to immigrant Filipino parents, Christine Capacillo was born and raised in the Excelsior District of San Francisco, CA. Growing up, she was surrounded by strong family ties and embraced her community. She was accepted into Summer Search as a student at Balboa High School. Her life changing summer experiences gave her the early exposure to becoming a leader in advocating for educational equity. Christine propelled to be the first in her family to attend college. At UCLA, she immediately emerged as a student activist and leader focusing on local and international social justice and educational equity issues. She went on to serve in various roles between the Summer Search San Francisco and New York City sites. In 2002, she served as the very first Summer Search Alumni Director.
Christine has dedicated her entire career in ensuring equity for underrepresented communities and has worked in the educational non-profit sector for the past 20 years. She earned her M.A. in Developmental Psychology at Columbia University Teachers College and led efforts in bridging access to higher education for underrepresented students. She has contributed her work and leadership at other nationally recognized organizations such as Harlem Children’s Zone, College Summit (now known as Peer Forward), iMentor and Black Girls CODE. After living in New York for 13 years, she thrilled to be back in Bay Area and return to Summer Search full circle as the Director of Alumni Relations and Career Services. She is eager to lead efforts to address, combat and remedy the racial inequity in the workforce and provide thoughtful, relevant and quality programming to her fellow alumni community. She is also a founding member of Level, a diverse professional women’s network taking action in addressing the racial wealth gap by investing in Black women entrepreneurs. Christine enjoys attending concerts, hosting gatherings, and traveling with her fiancé and son.
Dani is a Summer Search Alumna! She was a part of the SS High School Program (Class of 2018) and will now be a Program Associate for the Bay Area Team in San José! She was born in Trujillo, Peru, but has grown up in Bay Area. Dani is a first-generation college graduate and has a B.A in Public Health with a minor in Business from San José State University. During her free time, she enjoys being outdoors, baking, gardening, traveling to new locations whenever possible, and learning to cook different Peruvian dishes. Music is a huge part of her life, she loves to listen to salsa, pop, K-pop, reggaeton, rock, R&B, classical – honestly, any genre!
Prior to Summer Search, she started her professional development career in high school doing internships and community service hours volunteering at her local hospital and elementary school. While being a full-time college student, she immersed herself into the workforce with various non-profit organizations, private medical practices, hospitals, schools, and learning centers. She is passionate about working with her local community, health, social justice, universal equity, and being a youth advocate.
Donaciano was born in Michoacan, Mexico and came to the United States when he was two months old. He was raised in a small town in Sonoma County, where his father worked as a farm worker and his mother as a maid. Raised on the belief that higher education was not only a possibility but an expectation, his status of being an undocumented student did not deter him from pursuing a four-year degree. He graduated from Windsor High School in 2006, and went on to attend Sacramento State University where he doubled majored in Sociology and Ethnic Studies; he now pursues a Masters in Higher Education Leadership there. He feels grateful for the various mentors who guided him throughout his educational career and provided him with a sense of empowerment and motivation.
Donaciano is a keen social advocate, and brings to our team broad experience from his prior work in community organizing and student support within institutions of higher education. His passion to serve others is what propels him at Summer Search. As an alumni of the Summer Search North Bay program, he is aware of the challenges of being a low-income, first generation student. He is proud to come back full circle and work for Summer Search at the office that provided him the support and motivation to succeed, not only in high school, but in life.
Fernando has had the pleasure of working with hundreds of college students during his seven years at Summer Search! He is excited and eager to help young adults transition after high school and excel in their academic, professional, and social endeavors.
Fernando grew up in Morgan Hill, California. The first in his family to graduate from college, he values the relationships and opportunities that have shaped his journey. He believes in the power of storytelling and the strength in community. Fernando earned a degree in Psychology from the University of California, San Diego. He is passionate about engaging young people in career exploration and connecting them to local internships and employment opportunities. Outside of work, he enjoys time with his daughter and family/friends and appreciates the outdoors, food, music, and art.
Jason is a committed youth worker who possesses a proven ability to challenge young people to think about their values and attitude in order to develop, achieve and manage their behavior.
A first generation college graduate, Jason received his B.A. from California State University East Bay with a degree in sociology and served as recovery counselor at Thunder Road. Jason brings an understanding of the needs of young people to his role as Program Associate and is eager to help our students raise their aspirations. Jason currently resides in Oakland where he went to Skyline high school. Jason connects with summer search because he is also a first generation graduate.
Currently a resident of Oakland, Jason was a former athlete at Skyline high school and in college, and he enjoys running and weightlifting in his spare time.
Jen is compelled to do work that inspires authenticity and understanding to promote shared wellbeing. As someone who has had nonprofits play a major role in developing the values they hold nearest, Jen is thrilled to be in the position to be a part of facilitating the growth of the young people of today who will be the adults of tomorrow.
After finishing a BA in Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality studies from The College of Wooster Jen started working with young people as a College Persistence Coordinator at East Bay College Fund. Following working at East Bay College Fund Jen took a short break from structured office work to pursue the arts, which eventually landed him at YR Media. At YR Media Jen assisted in teaching high schoolers various aspects of media, from digital art to journalism. Having felt very accomplished as a journalist, from working with NPR to winning the Excellence in Multimedia Award from the NLGJA, Jen also felt the pressure of consistently churning out quality stories was getting to be a bit much, but wanted to hold on to the energy that young people were optimistically bringing to the work environment. The goal of working with young people to shape the future is ultimately what brought Jen to Summer Search and what inspires Jen to do the best work on their behalf.
In Jen’s spare time he likes to listen to music of various genre’s, listen to podcasts, watch anime, cook and sew.
Jocelyn is committed to serving underprivileged youth and seeing them soar to reach their dreams. Being a first-generation college graduate in her family with a Masters in school counseling, she encourages her students to challenge themselves while providing support along the way.
She joined Summer Search in the beginning of 2015 as a program associate. She excited to begin the college process with her caseload of seniors and looks forward to explore all the opportunities that await them. After finishing graduate school in NYC, Jocelyn moved to Seattle for two years where she worked as a high school counselor. It was there that she learned about Summer Search while mentors were conducting interviews at the school. Jocelyn was inspired by the kind of work Summer Search does with their student’s and knew that was the route she wanted to take for her own career path.
In her free time, she enjoys reading, being outdoors and spending time with my friends and family. She also really enjoys spending time in the kitchen practicing her cooking and baking skills… and then eating.
John Poole is a dynamic and experienced professional with a background in nonprofit, tech, and education. As a program manager, he has led successful diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives, utilizing his expertise in data analysis, curriculum innovation, strategic planning, and leadership to drive positive change. John’s commitment to learning and growth is evident in his academic achievements, including a DEI certification and a master’s in psychology from Cornell University. When he’s not working, John enjoys indulging his love of music and the arts, participating in karaoke, cooking meals or enjoying horror movies. Hit him up for some good Cajun cuisine.
Julia is passionate about “getting curious” and believes in the power of learning about ourselves through shared experience. This is at the root of her life-long fascination with all things science. She’s also interested in understanding the correlation between personal and global health and has, consequently, spent her career focused on personal wellness and youth development. This is why the work she does at Summer Search is aligned and meaningful for her.
Before Summer Search Julia spent over a decade teaching pre-K through 8th grade Science, Health and Physical Education. In her summers she was a Camp Director for an innovation camp that encouraged growth through collaboration, failing and fun. In both of these venues she sharpened her leadership skills, empathy and deepened her understanding for how to truly support others.
Julia graduated with a BS in Biology from Cal Poly Pomona. When she isn’t steeped in mentor calls she enjoys tending the fig tree, exploring the oceans from behind a scuba mask, singing a capella with her Monday night chorus, and eating good Oakland food.
A lifelong passion for working with youth and the belief that access to quality education should be available to all drew Justin to Summer Search.
Justin earned his B.S. in Music from the University of Central Missouri and a M.M. in Jazz Studies from Rutgers University. It was through music and his time at Rutgers that Justin fully realized his desire to pursue a career in education. Prior to joining Summer Search, Justin worked in development for Jazz House Kids, a non-profit music organization based in New Jersey.
In his spare time, Justin enjoys traveling, cooking, watching baseball, and exploring the many jazz clubs of New York City. Justin lives in Newark with his girlfriend and their extremely feisty cat.