Jesus was raised in Lamont, California, a small community in the Central Valley. Jesus has enjoyed participating and organizing projects and events to improve his community. He has organized the painting of murals at local parks, advocated for changing the disciplinary systems in schools, and has walked precincts to increase voter turnout. He worked on passing several propositions, including Measure L, a 1¢ sales tax to improve recreational opportunities.
Gabriela migrated to the United States from Brazil at the age of 15. As a new immigrant, she watched dozens of families torn apart by deportation in Texas. After moving to Hawaii in 2011, she became involved with a local non-profit organization and led DACA workshops (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) and immediately knew she wanted to be a community organizer.
Robert Rodriguez Donoso
Robert is from Rancho Cucamonga, California and recently graduated from Occidental College. Robert led several student and faculty coalitions aimed at promoting a more inclusive and equitable campus for marginalized students through community activism, research, policy analysis, and advocacy. Robert is passionate about continuing to organize against systems of racial exclusion and sexual violence. He looks forward to working with TOLA in order to be better prepared for a career of combating inequities.
Deyanira recently graduated from UC Davis. For the past year she has been interning at Latino Coalition for a Healthy California where she has worked to advance the shared vision to increase healthcare access for all Californians and also ensure that the social and economic environments within communities support opportunities for a long and healthy life. Deyanira is passionate about healthcare access, environmental justice, and education reform. She hopes that through TOLA she will gain the necessary skills to work in the community and make positive change a reality.
Gabriela Mares was born and raised in Fresno, California. With her parents support and through hard work and dedication, she was able to pursue her higher education. Gabriela received a degree from California State University, Fresno. She is currently in the field of public health working with Cultiva La Salud in the Central Valley, promoting access to healthy eating and active living.
Mercedes Del Carmen Carreto Vasquez
Mercedes was born and raised in South Central Los Angeles. As the oldest of four children she is the first in her family to graduate from college. She currently holds a BA in Public Policy from the University of California Riverside. Mercedes sees her future in community organizing and working to affect policies that can benefit her community and others like hers.
Mary Janet Ramos
Mary is from Long Beach, California and is a graduate of UC Riverside. She is passionate about immigration and worker’s rights and hopes to work in the non-profit sector to advocate for the rights of the immigrant community. In college she helped to develop coalitions with student organizations, organized phone banks, and direct action campaigns and educational workshops on immigration issues. In the future she aspires to open a community center in Southern California to address the needs of the Latino immigrant community.