LAUSD VISTA Community Partnership Program » LAUSD VISTA Members

LAUSD VISTA Members

The goal of an LAUSD VISTA Member is to expand and build the capacity of schools in the areas of family and community engagement, resource development and increasing student attendance. Based on needs assessments at each school, VISTA projects include: developing and implementing parent educational curricula; implementing internship and mentorship opportunities and after school programming; and generating new or supplemental resources and services for students and families. VISTAs work closely with LAUSD's Parent Community Services Branch team, as well as staff in Educational Service Centers, school sites, and external partner organizations to build and refine school-centered community support networks, as well as recruit and retain volunteers.

Patricia Isabel C. Amoroto

John W. Mack Elementary

Patricia Isabel C. Amoroto is a recent graduate of California State Polytechnic University, Pomona where she received a B.A. in Gender, Ethnicity and Multicultural Studies. Before serving as an LAUSD VISTA, Patricia was a peer mentor in her university's Upward Bound program and traveled to South Korea as a guest lecturer in UNESCO's Cross Cultural Awareness program. Patricia was inspired to serve by the Peace Corps volunteers in her home country of the Philippines.

Emilee Anderson

Attendance Improvement Program

Emilee Anderson is a recent graduate of Coe College where she received a B.A. in English and Sociology. As an LAUSD VISTA, Emilee has developed attendance awareness campaigns and hosted student award ceremonies for the communities of Weigand Elementary, Woodcrest Elementary, Caroldale Learning Community and Washington Prep High School. Emilee was born and raised in Winterset, Iowa.

Sahira Barajas

Attendance Improvement Program

Sahira Barajas is a recent graduate of the University of California, Santa Cruz where she will receive a B.A. in Feminist Studies and Education. As an LAUSD VISTA, Sahira has facilitated the County of Los Angeles' Toy Loan Program for the communities of Allesandro and Plasencia Elementary Schools, and promoted attendance habits to the families of Bell High School. Sahira was raised in Baldwin Park, California.

Esteban Cruz Trujillo

Social Justice Humanitas Academy at Cesar E. Chavez Learning Academies

Esteban Cruz Trujillo is a recent graduate of the University of Vermont, where he received a B.S. in Environmental Studies. As a Rubenstein Steward in the School of Environment and Natural Resources, Esteban supported awareness of local and global environmental issues in the Burlington community by hosting solar-powered wellness fairs and community clean-ups. Esteban was born in Gurabo, Puerto Rico.

Lucita Diaz

Public Service Community School at South Region High School #2

Lucita Diaz is a recent graduate of the University of California, Davis where she received a B.A. in Political Science with a minor in Middle East/South Asia Studies. Last year, Lucy served as an LAUSD VISTA at Ritter Elementary School, where she organized a community literacy campaign. Born and raised in southwest Los Angeles, Lucy previously interned in the press office of California Assembly Speaker John A. Perez and the office of California Assembly Member Curren Price, and translated for the Family Court of Sacramento County Superior Court.

Jacqueline Escobar

Dr. Julian Nava Learning Academy

Jacqueline Escobar is a rising graduate of the University of California, Los Angeles where she will receive a B.A. in Latin American Studies. Before serving as an LAUSD VISTA, Jackie was a teacher assistant at Dr. Julian Nava Learning Academy and Jefferson High School. Born in San Jose, California, Jackie has lived through the struggles faced by low-income, immigrant families, which greatly influenced her decision to serve communities in poverty as an LAUSD VISTA.

Veronica Estrada

Attendance Improvement Program

Veronica Estrada is a recent graduate of California State University, Northridge where she received a B.A. in History. As an LAUSD VISTA, Veronica has developed promotional materials for counselors at South East High School, and worked closely with ninth graders and chronically absent students at Washington Prep High School to increase attendance. Before her year of service, Veronica worked at El Pueblo de Los Angeles Historical Monument.

Dunia Fernàndez

Educational Service Center East

Dunia Fernàndez holds a B.A. in International Relations and Latin American Studies from Brown University, and a M.Ed. in Educational Leadership from Northern Arizona University. Before serving as an LAUSD VISTA, Dunia founded the educational consulting firm First Generation Institute and managed Pathways to Success in the Maricopa County Community College District. Dunia was born in Michoacàn, Mèxico and raised in East Los Angeles.

Evan Franzel

East Los Angeles Performing Arts Academy at Esteban E. Torres High School

Evan Franzel holds a B.A. in American Culture from Vassar College. This is Evan's second year of service. He previously supported youth and adult leadership programs and developed community disaster preparedness programs as an AmeriCorps VISTA at Canal Alliance in San Rafael, California. Evan was born in Kirkland, Washington, and recently completed a fellowship for foreign language study in Quetzaltenango, Guatemala.

Tony Fuad

Parent Community Services Branch

Anthony Fuad is a recent graduate of Sonoma State University, where he received a B.A. in Communications. Before serving as an LAUSD VISTA, Tony volunteered with the Los Angeles Mission and Habitat for Humanity. During his year of service, Tony is developing the political capacity of parents at Title I schools through his work at the Parent Community Services Branch. Tony was born and raised in Glendale, California.

Mark Gilliland

Attendance Improvement Program

Mark Gilliland is a recent graduate of the University of California, Santa Cruz where he received a B.A. in Economics. As an LAUSD VISTA, Mark has supported Pupil Services by researching dropout prevention and recovery policy, contributing to grant-writing efforts, and developing and implementing the Attendance Improvement Program's evaluation system. Mark was born and raised in Los Angeles.

Nicole Habeeb

Stanley Mosk Elementary

Nicole Habeeb is a recent graduate of the University of California, Santa Cruz where she received a B.A. in World Literature and Cultural Studies with a minor in Education. Before serving as an LAUSD VISTA, Nicole was an elementary substitute teacher and a teacher's assistant in San Mateo, California. Nicole was born in San Francisco and is privileged to work alongside the Stanley Mosk Elementary School community.

Briselda Hernandez

Abriendo Puertas

Briselda Hernandez is a recent graduate of the University of San Diego, where she received a B.A. in Finance with a double minor in Ethnic Studies and Spanish. Before serving as an LAUSD VISTA, Briselda promoted political opportunities for minority communities as a member of her university's American Indian Recruitment Program and Association of Chicana Activists. Briselda is a first generation college graduate from Carlsbad, California.

Suly Hilario

Abriendo Puertas

Suly Hilario is a recent graduate of California State University, Fullerton where she received a B.A. in Political Science with a minor in International Politics. Before serving as an LAUSD VISTA, Suly tutored K-8 students at the Celerity Dyad Charter School in South Los Angeles. Suly was born and raised in Norwalk, California.

Ever Hilleprandt

Public School Choice

Ever Hilleprandt is a recent graduate of California State University, Los Angeles where he received a B.A. in Political Science. Before serving as an LAUSD VISTA, Ever interned in the Washington office of Rep. Xavier Becerra through the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute and was an LAUSD paraprofessional at City Terrace Elementary. Ever was born in El Salvador and raised in Los Angeles.

Guadalupe Huerta

Public School Choice

Guadalupe Huerta is a recent graduate of the University of California, Los Angeles where she received a B.A. in International Development. Before serving as an LAUSD VISTA, Lupe was a literature instructor in the Upward Bound program at Harvey Mudd College and an intern at the Global Initiative on Computers for Schools. Lupe was born and raised in El Monte, California and intends to pursue a career in public service.

Christine Kim

School of Visual Arts and Humanities at Robert F. Kennedy Community Schools

Christine Kim is a recent graduate of Cornell University, where she received a B.A. in Government and recognition for her research in K-12 education reform. Before serving as an LAUSD VISTA, Christine was a volunteer caseworker for the American Red Cross and developed local partnerships as a specialist for the Public Service Center of Cornell. Christine was born and raised in Temple City, California.

Zella Knight

Parent Community Services Branch

As a parent advocate, Zella Knight has supported the LAUSD's efforts to engage families for over twenty years. The mother of an LAUSD graduate and an active participant in district advisory committees, Zella has liaised between stakeholders and regulatory agencies in the development of parent involvement programs and advised the district on policies to support at-risk students. Before serving as an LAUSD VISTA, Zella was formally recognized by the LAUSD Board of Education for her contribution to the annual Parent Summit and certified by the Los Angeles County of Education as a Parent Expectations Support Achievement Facilitator.

Jocelyn Lang

Attendance Improvement Program

Jocelyn Lang is a recent graduate of University of Oregon, where she received a B.A. in International Studies and was a public health intern at the University Health Center. As an LAUSD VISTA, Jocelyn has served the communities of Alta Loma Elementary and Venice High School and built the capacity of Educational Service Center (ESC) West to generate external resources and services for schools. Jocelyn was born and raised in Portland, Oregon.

Brenda Larios

Arts Theatre Entertainment School (ArTES) at Cesar E. Chavez Learning Academies

Brenda Larios is a rising graduate of the University of California, Los Angeles where she will receive a B.A. in Chicano/a Studies with a minor in Education. Before serving as an LAUSD VISTA, Brenda was a teacher assistant at Jefferson High School and a volunteer organizer at Saber es Poder. Born in San Jose, California, Brenda is serving to increase access to education at four-year universities in immigrant communities.

Christopher Lobo

Cienega Elementary School

Christopher Lobo holds a B.S. in Business Administration from Humboldt State University. This is Chris' third year of service. Previously, Chris was a Team Leader with AmeriCorps National Civilian Community Corps (NCCC) and a volunteer coordinator for Straight Up AmeriCorps in Eureka, California. An LAUSD graduate of South Gate High School, Chris is proud to serve his home community as an LAUSD VISTA.

Patricia Lomax

Parent Community Services Branch

Patricia Lomax holds a B.A. in Sociology/Anthropology from the University of Redlands. This is Patricia's second year of service as an LAUSD VISTA at the Parent Community Services Branch. Patricia has been instrumental in the expansion and upgrades of the District's Parent & Family Centers and has developed formal infrastructure for the LAUSD Family Summit held at the University of Southern California. Patricia was born and raised in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Yuri Lopez

Academy of Medical and Health Sciences at Roosevelt High School

Yuri Lopez is a recent graduate of the University of California, Irvine where she received a B.A. in English. This is Yuri's second year of service. She previously developed early literacy programs as a member of the First 5 Service Corps in Santa Ana, California. Yuri is from Baldwin Park, California and intends to pursue a career in education policy.

Martha Maciel

Attendance Improvement Program

Martha Maciel is a recent graduate of California State University, Northridge where she received a B.A. in Journalism. Born in Mexico and raised in Compton, Martha has reported for the Ventura County Star and produced bilingual segments for CSUN Radio and El Nuevo Sol. As an LAUSD VISTA, Martha has served the communities of Huntington Park High School and Bell High School by hosting parent workshops and generating donations to increase student attendance.

Ilya Malinsky

Attendance Improvement Program

Ilya Malinsky holds a B.S. in Journalism from Boston University. As an LAUSD VISTA, Ilya has recruited community partners to sponsor schools supported by the Attendance Improvement Program, and contributed to the research, design and writing of major federal and foundation grants to support the program's expansion. Ilya was born in Vilnius, Lithuania.

Brighton McCloskey

Academic Leadership Community at Miguel Contreras Learning Complex

Brighton McCloskey holds a B.A. in English from Vassar College. Before serving as an LAUSD VISTA, Brighton developed public programming in the education department of the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art and taught drama as a volunteer at the Luis Cardoza y Aragón Popular Culture Center in Quetzaltenango, Guatemala. Brighton is serving to increase access to education in low-income communities.

Magdalena Mireles

Miramonte Elementary School

Magdalena Mireles holds a B.A. in Political Science from the University of California, Berkeley and recently received an M.A. in Latin American Studies from San Diego State University, where she completed a master's thesis on unaccompanied undocumented children. Maggie was born and raised in Los Angeles and intends to pursue a career in the field of education.

Thomas Moore

Parent Community Services Branch

Thomas Moore is a recent graduate of the University of Washington, where he received a B.A. in Law, Societies and Justice. Through his work at the Parent Community Services Branch, Tommy has facilitated increased participation in the district's volunteer program and assisted in the development of the district's Title I Parent Involvement Policy. Born in Oak Park, Illinois, Tommy is serving as an LAUSD VISTA to develop his skills in the nonprofit sector.

Omar Muñoz

Educational Service Center South

Omar Muñoz holds a B.A. in Political Science from Grinnell College. This is Omar's third year of service. As an two-term AmeriCorps serving with the Cesar Chavez Foundation in Phoenix and Somerton, Arizona, Omar managed after-school programs in three affordable housing communities. Omar was raised in Los Angeles.

Sandra Naranjo

Attendance Improvement Program

Sandra Naranjo holds a B.A. in Cultural Anthropology and Psychology from California State University, Dominguez Hills and recently received her M.Ed. in Social Research Methodology and Evaluation from University of California, Los Angeles. As an LAUSD VISTA, Sandra has designed and implemented the evaluation plan for the Attendance Improvement Program.

Courtney Nelson

Attendance Improvement Program

Courtney Nelson is a recent graduate of Azusa Pacific University, where she received a B.A. in Psychology. As an LAUSD VISTA, Courtney has developed attendance incentive programs for the communities of Fremont High School and Dorsey High School, and outreach and engagement strategies for Educational Service Center (ESC) West. Courtney was born and raised in Los Angeles.

Vanessa Oandasan

Frank del Olmo Elementary School

Vanessa Oandasan is a recent graduate of California State University, Los Angeles where she received a B.A. in Sociology. This is Vanessa's second year of service. She previously provided in-class support to students at Virgil Middle School as a corps member of City Year. Vanessa was born and raised in the Philippines and serves as an LAUSD VISTA to engage local communities to support education.

Yaquelin Perez

Los Angeles High School of the Arts at Robert F. Kennedy Community Schools

Yaquelin Perez is a recent graduate of the University of California, Los Angeles where she received a B.A. in Psychology. Born and raised in Downey, Yaquelin serves as an LAUSD VISTA to support parent involvement in education. Before serving, Yaquelin tutored students in Watts and Vernon as a volunteer with Project Literacy and assisted self-represented litigants as an intern with Justice Corps.

Jazmin Sandoval

East Los Angeles Renaissance Academy at Esteban E. Torres High School

Jazmin Sandoval is a recent graduate of the University of California, Irvine where she received a B.A. in English. Before serving as an LAUSD VISTA, Jazmin volunteered with LA's BEST at Los Angeles Elementary School. Born and raised in South Los Angeles, Jazmin is a first generation college student and serves to help families overcome the economic and social barriers to higher education.

Eric Teszler

Educational Service Center West

Eric Teszler graduated in May 2011 with a B.A. in English and Philosophy from the University of California, Berkeley. Before serving as an LAUSD VISTA, Eric was a writing tutor at Cypress Community College as well as an in-home tutor for students of families who qualify for Supplemental Educational Services. Eric was born in Los Angeles and raised in Orange County, California.

Lisa Yi

Attendance Improvement Program

Lisa Yi holds a B.A. in International Relations and Broadcast Journalism from the University of Southern California. As an LAUSD VISTA, Lisa has served the schools supported by the Attendance Improvement Program, including Civitas Leadership School and Jefferson High School, by generating incentives to improve student attendance and coordinating volunteer recruitment for LAUSD's annual Student Recovery Day. Lisa was born and raised in Cerritos, California.