Aurora Castellanos

Aurara Castallenos

Aurora was born in Mexico and grew up in Oakland. In high school, she was given the opportunity to participate in a variety of internships that encouraged youth empowerment and community engagement. Guided by her Xicana world view to make a difference in her community, she continued to pursue organizing in college, where she actively participated with various community organizations. She is excited to continue following her interest in social justice at TOLA.


Harold Dela Cruz

Harold De La Cruz grad 10

Harold was raised in Long Beach, CA and is a recent graduate from the University of California, San Diego. Harold is very passionate about social justice and hopes to dedicate his life to reducing health disparities through community organizing. Harold enjoys dancing, playing guitar, and spreading love and positive energy through artistic mediums.


Geovanni Gomez


Geovanni was born and raised in Chicago and graduated from Grinnell College in Iowa. He has worked with organizations in Chicago dedicated to affordable housing, community education, and support for LGBTQ prisoners. He strives to make a difference in communities by increasing equitable access to education and housing. He is excited to be a part of TOLA and gain leadership skills that will help him grow as an organizer.


Monica Gomez

Monica Gomez

Monica is a recent graduate of the University of California, Riverside and a proud single mom of two children, She has been actively involved with her children’s education and helping her community by volunteering for Brown Issues and Inland Congregations United for Change (ICUC) a PICO California affiliate. Monica continues to dream big while helping others.


Claudia Haro – Contreras

Claudia Haro-Contreras

Claudia was born in Tlaltenango, Zacatecas and immigrated with her family to Inglewood, California as a child. Claudia is a recent graduate from the University of California, Santa Cruz, where she organized major events on campus, and the cities of Santa Cruz and Watsonville. Claudia hopes to continue growing as an organizer while at TOLA.


Grace Luk

Picture - Grace

Grace was born in Hong Kong and immigrated to the United States at the age of 8. She is a recent graduate from San Jose State University where she was involved in Peer Health Education, Health Leadership Organization, and the Health Science Honor Society. Within these organizations, Grace helped students manage their stress levels, delivered presentations, organized and led student programs, and volunteered at local church and community events. In the future, Grace hopes to make a positive impact on the health of all communities.


Sharon Merino


Sharon is the daughter of Central American immigrants who migrated to Inglewood, CA during the 1980s. She is a recent graduate from the University of California, Santa Cruz, where she was part of a grassroots solidarity organization dedicated to supporting the Salvadorean community in El Salvador and the United States. She has organized local workshops, community events, speaking tours, and petitions that benefitted community members. As a TOLA fellow, Sharon hopes to use the skills she learns to continue to create positive change in communities.


Kyle Peerless


Kyle is a 2015 graduate of Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles, California. Inspired in his development through LMU’s Jesuit social justice-emphasis and a series of transformative volunteer experiences in Tijuana, Mexico and Frankfurt, Germany, Kyle has become passionate about being an effective agent of change for the world’s marginalized.


Roger Saechao



Roger is a recent graduate from the University of California, Davis and a native of Oakland California. At UC Davis Roger worked as a peer advisor at the Asian American Studies Department where he provided support and academic advising to students. Roger looks forward to improving his role as a leader and to take on the challenges of what it means to be an effective community organizer.