Nuestro Equipo

Las personas con una pasion por ayudar a la comunidad.

Javier Munoz - Founder, Co-Director

Javier Muñoz founded HGSA College PATHS in the Fall of 2015. He grew up in East Los Angeles, graduated from J. A. Garfield High School in 2009, and is currently a PhD Student at the UCLA Department of History. His experiences in East LA and education at UCLA explain his commitment to helping underrepresented students achieve their goals. Javier is also a Humanity in Action Senior Fellow (Copenhagen 2014).

Vanessa Calderon - Co-Director

Vanessa Calderon grew up in East L.A. and graduated from Garfield High School in 2009. She received her B.A. in Psychology from Yale University and is currently pursuing her Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology and Master of Public Health at USC. Her work centers on issues of identity, intersectionality, discrimination, and mental health disparities among communities of color. Vanessa is also passionate about advocating for educational access for first-generation students and those underrepresented in higher education. She is thrilled to form part of the CollegePATHS team!

Gabriela Gonzalez - Community Outreach Coordinator

Gabby Gonzalez is from East Los Angeles and graduated from James A. Garfield High School in 2009. She attended Brown University '13 where she majored in Business and currently works as a manager for a health services company. Gabby joined HGSA College PATHS as a way to reconnect with her community and help students realize their potential.

Jaime Castaneda - Admissions & Recruitment Coordinator

Jaime, more commonly referred to as Jimmy, first became involved with College PATHS in the fall of 2015. He was born and raised in East L.A., California and graduated from Garfield High School in 2009. Jimmy later graduated from UCLA 14’ with a double major in History and Political Science. Over the last few years, he has worked as an immigration paralegal for two non-profits, providing free or low-cost legal immigration services to the undocumented community in Los Angeles. Jimmy is passionate about giving back to his community and believes that every East L.A. youth should have the opportunity to pursue higher education.

Carolina Ugalde - Programming Coordinator

Carolina Ugalde earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science and Business Management at UC Merced. She is currently a legal assistant for an immigration law firm located in the heart of East Los Angeles. Carolina is passionate about uplifting her community and ensuring that future generations find the support and resources necessary to thrive. Her desire to directly impact her community led to her involvement with HGSA College PATHS.

Justin Jordan - Branding Coordinator, Web Architect

Justin Jordan graduated from James A. Garfield in 2009 and UCLA in 2015 with a B.S. in Computer Science. He is currently working as a Software Engineer in Pasadena. With a willingness to give back to the community, especially one he grew up in, he joined Javier in his quest to help underprivileged students.

Araceli Centanino - Programming Contributor

Araceli joined HGSA College PATHS in the Fall of 2015. She grew up in San Diego and graduated from Patrick Henry High School and is currently a Ph.D. Student in the History Department at UCLA. As a former community college student, Araceli understands the importance of mentorship and supportive programs, like College PATHS, to the educational success of underrepresented students. She is committed to increasing access to higher education for first generation and students of color.

Fernando Lopez - Programming Contributor

Fernando Lopez holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in History and Public Affairs and a Master of Arts degree in Urban Teaching from UCLA. Mr. Lopez is a high school social studies teacher in the northeast region of Los Angeles. His ultimate goal is to support students through their academic and personal journeys. His courses are centered on helping students develop the skills they will need to succeed in college and navigate life. In the end, he wants young people to become active participants in shaping the course of our society.

Patricia Gonzalez - Programming Contributor

Patricia Gonzalez graduated from James A. Garfield High ́13 and earned her B.A. in Literature with a minor in Education from UC Santa Cruz in ‘17. Currently, Patricia serves as a mentor/tutor at a local middle school in East Los Angeles. Aside from her current role at her school, Patricia wanted to find other opportunities that could allow her to contribute back to her community, which led her to HGSA College Paths. Her leadership mission is to make a positive impact for the community she grew up in by encouraging students to thrive within and outside of East LA. She hopes that her contribution will allow her to connect with new generations of students whose successes will inspire positive perceptions about underserved communities and their students.

Sergio Valenzuela - Programming Contributor

Sergio Valenzuela is a first generation Mexican American born and raised in East LA. He attended James A. Garfield High ’09, and completed his undergraduate at UCLA ’13 where he received a double Bachelor of Arts in International Development and Spanish Language. Sergio currently works for one of the largest federally qualified health centers (FQHC) in the U.S. as a Human Capital Professional. Through his work experience, Sergio has developed a passion for providing access to healthcare to those that need it the most. This is the first year being involved with HGSA College PATHS but he is extremely excited to share his knowledge and resources with fellow Bulldogs!

Rudy Torres - Programming Contributor

Rudy Torres hails from East Los Angeles, California. He graduated from Garfield High School in 2012 and completed his undergraduate at Brown University in 2016 with a B.A. in Sociology. Rudy is passionate about social justice work, plays guitar, and drinks damaging amounts of coffee for no particular reason. He enjoys writing about constructs of masculinity, language and identity, as a means of grappling with his own Latinidad. For the past year and half, Rudy has worked in the non-profit sector, primarily in education, ensuring the success and persistence of first-generation, low-income students of color in college. When he's not working on College PATHS, Rudy is probably out dancing Cumbia, eating pizza, or running around East Los Angeles.

Melina Melgoza - Community Outreach Contributor

Melina Melgoza graduated from Alexander Hamilton High School in 2013 and is currently a graduate student at UCLA obtaining her Masters and teaching credential in Social Science and Ethnic Studies. Her personal and academic experiences have motivated her to pursue teaching and mentoring as a means to support underrepresented students in the educational system. Currently she is student teaching at Robert F. Kennedy UCLA Community School and teaching a Child Development and Parenting course to parents in Boyle Heights, Watts, and South Los Angeles. She is also currently working as an Arts Educator at the Hammer Museum and mentoring students at the Garment Worker Center on weekends. She hopes to share her experiences as a first generation college student with young individuals.

Joshua Rodriguez - Branding Contributor

Joshua helps set the short and long term direction of the program. He grew up in Boyle Heights and graduated from Garfield High School in 2009. He received his B.A. in Economics from Pomona College and currently works for NBCUniversal. His personal, professional, and academic experiences have motivated him to become a community advocate for equal access to higher education. He's excited to mentor GHS students and help them achieve their goals.

Magali Campos - Mentor

Magali Campos is from South East Los Angeles and graduate from Huntington Park High school in 2007. She then attended University of California, Santa Cruz and graduated in 2011 receiving a B.A. in psychology. Magali is now a Ph.D. student in the School of Education in UCLA, and coordinates an undergraduate research cohort of students who are interested in entering the field of education. She recognizes that without the help and support from her community she would not be where she is now. For that reason, she joined HGSA College PATHS in 2015 as a mentor and is passionate about giving back and helping students reach their goals.

Stephanie Rodriguez - Mentor

Stephanie graduated from UCLA in 2013 with a Bachelor of Arts in English – World Literature and a double minor in Spanish and Education. She then attended and graduated from USC in 2015 with an M.A. in Teaching while also receiving her teaching credentials and a Bilingual Certificate. She is an elementary school teacher, as well as a private tutor helping with SAT prep. She has tutored high school students and helped prepare them for the SAT for 4 years now. She joined HGSA College Paths in order to continue to give back to the community as much as she can.

Jose Alvarez - Mentor

José grew up in the Eastern Coachella Valley, where he graduated from Desert Mirage High School in 2016. He was admitted into UCLA in 2016, where he is currently pursuing a B.A in history and a minor in education. He joined College PATHS in the spring of 2017 because he recognizes the importance that exists in terms of assisting underrepresented students in their quest to attain a higher level of education. His ultimate goal is to return to his community with a doctorate in the field of education policies in order to provide students from the Eastern Coachella valley with the same resources found in the Western Coachella Valley.