Leadership and Administration 

 Shalom Staub, Director

Bio

Shalom joined the Center staff in September 2018. He has been involved in collaborative, community-engaged program development, pedagogy and research over his multi-sector 42 year professional career in state government, the private non-profit sector, and higher education.

At the Center, Shalom is responsible for strategic leadership to advance community-engaged learning and research opportunities as a cornerstone of the UCLA undergraduate experience. He introduced the new community-engaged course framework in 2019 and secured the approval of the Undergraduate Council for this open, expansive approach. He led the re-design of the Community Engagement and Social Change (CESC) minor, which is now a flourishing free-standing minor with over 90 students. He redesigned the Engaging Los Angeles course, which he now offers each quarter for 120 students. Engaging Los Angeles serves as the gateway to the CESC minor, focusing social inequality in contemporary Los Angeles and strategies for social change. Students in that course are matched with one of nearly 40 nonprofit partners, working with those organizations and gaining insights into the core themes of the course. Shalom has teamed with Prof. Andy Atkeson (Economics) to design and offer a social entrepreneurship practicum each fall quarter. Shalom also developed and new teaches a new online course on Intercultural Communication for the Global Workplace available to students participating in the new summer Global Internships program.

Shalom leads implementation planning for Goal 1 of UCLA’s Strategic Plan: Deepening UCLA’s Engagement with Los Angeles, providing leadership across the university to build the institutional structures and policies that enable community-engaged scholarship to flourish at UCLA. His efforts have successfully increased recognition for community-engaged research and teaching in the academic personnel review process. He designed the Chancellor’s Award for Community-Engaged Scholars program which has now recognized 16 faculty for their community-engaged research, and supported them to develop new undergraduate community-engaged research courses. His efforts have contributed to securing national recognition for UCLA faculty from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation and Engagement Scholarship Consortium: “Exemplary Work” recognition in 2020 for Million Dollar Hoods and the Kellogg Community-Engagement Scholarship Award in 2021 for Congo Basin Institute.

Prior to arriving to Los Angeles, Staub was Associate Provost for Academic Affairs and Civic Engagement at Dickinson College. In his 14 years at Dickinson, he collaborated with faculty colleagues to develop a civic learning and community-engagement program that was embedded in the curriculum spanning the arts, humanities, social sciences and natural sciences. While at Dickinson College, Staub was also a contributing faculty member to the departments of Religion, Sociology, Judaic Studies, Middle Eastern Studies and Social Innovation and Entrepreneurship. He created Dickinson’s Conflict Resolution Resource Services program, offering conflict coaching, mediation, group facilitation, and conflict skills education to the campus community. Prior to his work at Dickinson, Staub was the founding President/CEO of the Institute for Cultural Partnerships, a non-profit organization located in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. He had also served as the State Folklorist and later Executive Director of the Pennsylvania Heritage Affairs Commission, a state agency.

Staub’s publications include Yemenis in New York City: The Folklore of Ethnicity; Craft and Community: Traditional Arts in Contemporary Society; Conference Proceedings: Governor’s Conference on Ethnicity—Exploring the Impact of Pennsylvania’s Cultural Diversity on Public Policy, and numerous articles on Yemeni Jews in Israel, Yemeni Muslims in New York, folk culture and cultural conservation, and civic engagement work in higher education.

Staub received his BA and MA in Anthropology from Wesleyan University, and a Ph.D. in Folklore and Folklife from the University of Pennsylvania. He holds practitioner certification in conflict mediation and as a conflict resolution educator.

 Douglas Barrera, Associate Director for Faculty and Community Engagement

Bio

Douglas (Doug) first joined the staff in 2008, as the coordinator for the Civic Engagement internship course. He became an assistant director with the Center in 2012. He has been involved in community engagement work for over 20 years.

At the Center, Doug works directly with faculty and community partners to develop community-engaged courses for undergraduates. He has developed and directs UCLA’s Collaboratory initiative, the Astin Community Engaged Scholars and the Changemaker Scholars programs. He also facilitates the Center’s Engaged Pedagogy Workshop series and course development for the Chancellor’s Award for Engaged Scholars initiative, and is currently developing a place-based initiative related to youth empowerment in west L.A. He serves as the Campus Champion for the center’s Jumpstart program. Doug teaches courses for the Community Engagement & Social Change minor, and is an adjunct instructor for Labor Studies.

Prior to working for the Center, Doug was a research analyst with the UCLA Center for Community Partnerships and the Higher Education Research Institute. Before coming to UCLA, he was a program director for the Consensus Organizing Institute in San Diego, and taught community-engaged courses at UC San Diego and the University of San Diego. Dr. Barrera has published scholarly articles on student development through service learning and the development of community-campus partnerships. He is co-author of the Council of Europe publication, Advancing Democratic Practice: A Self-Assessment Guide for Higher Education, and the Higher Education Research Institute’s publication, First in My Family: A Profile of First-Generation College Students at Four-Year Institutions Since 1971. He serves on the editorial board for Collaborations: A Journal of Community-Based Research and Practice, and was previously a member of the program board of directors for a social service agency in Pacoima, CA. Doug received his Ph.D. and M.A. in Education from the University of California Los Angeles, and an M.A. and B.A. in History from San Diego State University.

Bemmy Maharramli, Associate Director for Strategic Initiatives

Bio

Bemmy brings with her experience as a practitioner in the environmental and international development field. She earned her Ph.D. in Urban and Environmental Planning and Policy at the University of California, Irvine (UCI), where a central focus of her urban social-ecological research was community engagement.

At the Center, Bemmy is responsible for advancing community-engaged scholarship institutionally. This encompasses working closely with departments to develop Community Engagement Frameworks, including community-engaged teaching and research and facilitating socially innovative ways to enable sustained and reciprocal partnerships. She provides leadership in removing structural barriers, creating incentives and expanding resources for engaged teaching and research. Bemmy also oversees the Center’s environmental, sustainability and international development efforts.

Bemmy was a Senior Pedagogical Fellow at UCI’s Division of Teaching Excellence and Innovation, where she developed and led campus-wide pedagogical workshops. She was a UCI Engage Fellow, contributing to the campus community engagement hub. Before pursuing her Ph.D., Bemmy was the Manager of the Food Security Initiative at Conservation International in Washington D.C, where she played a leadership role in the collaborative development of the institution’s food security strategy. At USAID in Azerbaijan, Bemmy was a Project Management Specialist for public health and environmental policy projects. Bemmy earned a Master in Environmental Science and Public Affairs from Indiana University and a B.A. in Environmental Studies from the University of San Diego. Her publications encompass civic ecology, campus-community environmental partnerships, green infrastructure in cities, and social ecology of the Anthropocene.

Munia Bhaumik, Program Director, Mellon Social Justice Curriculum Initiatives

Bio

Munia Bhaumik is the Program Director of Mellon Social Justice Curricular Initiatives and an award-winning scholar of comparative literature, politics, and law. An alumna of UCLA, where she received her M.A. in Urban Planning, her research and teaching critiques racial and gender inequities as well as the multiple social factors impacting whose lives count before the law. Thus, as an academic researcher, she rethinks citizenship and democracy theory from the perspective of vulnerability, considering how marginalized noncitizen refugees, migrant workers, incarcerated persons, and undocumented (child) detainees are crucial social actors. Dr. Bhaumik received her PhD in Comparative Literature from the University of California, Berkeley before joining the faculty at Emory University in Atlanta where she engaged with new Asian/Latinx immigrant and African American community voting rights alliances in the South, while also developing a vibrant undergraduate degree program in comparative literature and critical theory. Based on her research about noncitizens as the “uncounted,” data and democracy, as well as on poetry as political action across the Global South, she received the prestigious Stanford Humanities Center, Herman Melville Society, and Cornell Society for the Humanities faculty awards. Prior to entering academia, Dr. Bhaumik also spent a decade as a primarily Spanish-speaking labor/community organizer on the staff of leading progressive organizations in Los Angeles shaping national debates about social justice through direct action. Her academic book, In Liberty’s Shadow: The Noncitizen in American Letters and Law, deploys close literary and theoretical readings of seminal literary and philosophical texts defining American political culture before 1900 to argue for a new democratic ethos of recognition for our present. Equally motivated by the humanities as by social movements, particularly the ethical dilemmas communities-of-color are mobilizing in this global (post)metropolis, her work brings to attention research protocols in alliance with the demands for abolition and noncitizen citizenship as well as multilingual, queer, migrant, worker, healthcare, and Black equal rights.

Mary Keipp, Program Director of the Community Youth Programs

Bio

Mary Keipp has been the Program Director of the Community Youth Programs (previously the UCLA Community Based Learning Program) since 1989. During these past 33 years under Mary’s direction, the program has grown from a single $100,000 youth workforce program to over 10 extramurally funded youth programs, with contracts totally $3.5 million. The Community Youth Programs work directly with underserved adolescents and young adults, providing a variety of youth workforce development activities that strengthen the educational attainment and career readiness for approximately 700 youth annually. The program operates two youth centers: one in West LA and one in the Pico Union area. The other major area of Community Youth Programs endeavors is providing traditional afterschool programming to young people at six LAUSD high schools and one elementary school. Mary’s current tenure at UCLA is her “second time around” with the University, having first been employed from 1963 to 1968, as a Program Assistant initially fort he Institute of Government and Public Affairs and then the UCLA Overseas Programs Office. In the 21 years between her two UCLA engagements, Mary worked for Cal State Los Angeles and Cal State Northridge in workforce and school related programs. Those years also found Mary volunteering in a host of school committees and community organizations, primarily focused on youth development and civil rights initiatives. These included the LAUSD Citizens Advisory Committee on Student Integration, the Martin Luther King Legacy Association, LACER, Communities in Schools Advisory Committee and YPICS Charter School Board of Trustees.

Clearly Mary’s passion for youth has guided her work and community activities for many years, but she has found time for her other loves. These include her nine adult grandchildren and of course, the Los Angeles Dodgers.

William MelendezAdministrative Assistant

Bio

William serves as the Administrative Assistant for the Center for Community Engagement. He received his B.A. in Political Science from California State University, Long Beach. His experience includes working with the Outreach and School Relations office at El Camino College, working with a non-profit centered around improving and providing resources to LBUSD students, and most recently working with student retention in higher education. 

Valeria Coronado, Community Partnerships Coordinator

Bio

Valeria is from Los Angeles, CA, and received her B.A. in Labor Studies and Chicanx/Central American Studies from UCLA. Throughout her time at UCLA, she worked closely with social justice organizations providing legal service support, advocacy, and community outreach to working-class communities in Los Angeles. Valeria participated in the 2021-2022 Astin Community-Engaged Scholars program, a participatory research program that collaborates with undergraduate, graduate, and community members, examining the intersections of labor and the dismantling of systems of incarceration through community-engaged research. Valeria is excited to continue expanding community-engaged research and increasing student engagement in the community.

Rachel Charime, Program Representative

Bio

Rachel Charime oversees UCLA’s Quarter in Washington Program and UC Center Sacramento Program. As an alumna of the Quarter in Washington Program herself, Rachel believes programs like QIW and UCCS provide students with invaluable experiences and is passionate about assisting students prepare for their internship each quarter.

Prior to UCLA, Rachel has worked as a Conduct Student Ambassador at the University of California, Santa Cruz, where she addressed the importance of university conduct whilst incorporating a student-facing approach. She also worked as a Resident Advisor and served as a Diversity Facilitator where she focused on creating and conducting interactive diversity trainings for students and faculty members at the University of California, Santa Cruz campus.

Maritza Sondhi, Academic Advisor

Bio

Maritza advises undergraduates on the Community Engagement and Social Change (CESC) minor. Maritza is an academic counselor within the College of Letters and Science. Before coming to UCLA, she was an academic counselor at California State University, Los Angeles. Prior to that, she worked at the Financial Aid Office at Los Angeles Pierce College and various offices at California State University Northridge such as Student Outreach and Recruitment, Matador Involvement Center, and Career Center.

As a first-generation college student, she believes that every student can succeed with the right support and guidance. She is passionate about helping students achieve their personal and academic goals. Maritza earned her Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and Masters of Science in Counseling, with an emphasis in College Counseling and Student Services from California State University Northridge (CSUN).

195 CE Internship Courses

Kenton Card, Senior TA Coordinator 

Bio

Kenton is the Senior TA Coordinator at CCE, a PhD Candidate in Urban Planning, filmmaker, and Guest Researcher at the WZB Berlin Social Science Center and Free University Berlin. He is formerly an organizer with the Residents United Network of Housing California and Project Manager at the Planning and Conservation League in Sacramento.

He previously taught in CCE for three years running the Political Science internship program. Kenton has also twice worked with the UCLA Community Scholars Program, which combines graduate students and community leaders to collectively learn and co-develop insurgent planning reports in the Los Angeles community. He also ran a two-year community architectural process to design and build a sustainable agricultural greenhouse for Marlboro College, Vermont.

His dissertation compares how tenant movements affect housing policy in the United States and Germany. He is a former Managing Editor of Critical Planning Journal, and is currently collaboratively guest editing special issues on housing movements and racial capitalism (Environment Planning C) and care (Antipode: A Journal of Radical Geography). His films have been featured by Antipode (“Geographies of Racial Capitalism with Ruth Wilson Gilmore”) and Interface: a journal for and about social movements (forthcoming, “Why Abolition Now?”). He has published in Housing Studies, Architectural Theory Review, Jacobin, Progressive City, Design Philosophy Papers, Horizonte: Zeitschrift für Architekturdiskurs, and numerous edited volumes.

His dissertation research has received funding from the Study Foundation of the Berlin House of Representatives, The John Randolph Haynes Foundation, the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD), the American Institute of Contemporary German Studies at Johns Hopkins University, among others.

Jumpstart

Brandy Guinn, Jumpstart Site Manager

Bio

Brandy is a Jumpstart alumna, from Oakland California. She completed her undergraduate career at the University of Southern California earning a degree in psychology while serving for 3 years in both Corps member and Team leader roles. Brandy, alongside Cory, now oversees the Jumpstart UCLA program where teams of college students implement Jumpstart’s research-based curriculum in underserved preschools in surrounding LA neighborhoods. While working to support UCLA students, Brandy is pursuing a masters in social work at the University of Southern California.

Cory Knudtson, Senior Site Manager

Bio

Cory manages the day-to-day operations of Jumpstart, a nationally recognized early literacy program. A lifelong youth mentor, Cory has worked professionally with youth for nearly a decade. He has always been passionate about community engagement, and as a college student his resume included experiences such as partnering with the City of San Leandro to offer middle and high school students the opportunity to visit local college campuses, collaborating with the Race and Pedagogy Institute to organize a quadrennial conference and Youth Summit, and joining the Freedom of Education Project Puget Sound to provide support during a college program created for people who are currently incarcerated. Upon graduating from the University of Puget Sound with a double major in Communication and African American Studies, Cory was hired by the YMCA to pilot a before and after school care program in a local elementary school. After a successful year of programming, Cory moved on to Seattle, Washington where he worked in an inclusive early learning center that utilizes a peer-based learning model to support children of all abilities. All of these experiences solidified Cory’s commitment to providing equitable access to quality education with an explicit focus on anti-bias education. 

After School Programs

Jamie Garner, After Schools Program Manager 

Bio

For the past sixteen years, Jamie has worked with at-risk youth in vulnerable communities helping support their academic achievement. Throughout the time in Education, she has worked in early childhood education, primary and secondary school settings and managing after school programs.

Since 2005 she has been developing Expanded Learning Programs, that include working directly with youth program development, leadership roles, and collaborating with Los Angeles Unified School District’s Beyond the Bell, community-based organizations, and public and private agencies to help youth create pathways to higher education, and professional development through leadership opportunity.

She has witnessed firsthand the impact after school programs have in student success and is committed to providing services that demonstrated positive student outcomes in academic achievement, increased school day attendance, engaging learning, and social and emotional skills

Ariana Betts, School Site Coordinator 

Bio

Ariana serves as one of the School Site Coordinators for the Community Youth Programs providing services at Alexander Hamilton High School in the West Los Angeles Area. Ariana’s major responsibilities include daily support throughout the school day for students, providing after school programming and building a strong community of young people whom are actively engaged in productive activities.

Ariana is committed to developing well-rounded students by enhancing their involvement of activities outside of the classroom and fostering a responsibility to contribute positively to his/her community. She is passionate about youth self-development and their awareness as they become young adults. Ariana earned her Bachelor of Arts in Recreation and Leisure Studies and Masters of Arts in Recreation Management with an emphasis in Community Engagement from California State University, Long Beach. You can find her hiking all throughout LA County and enjoying outdoor fun with her fur animals!

Nefthaly Gutierrez, School Site Coordinator 

Bio

Nefthaly Gutierrez has been a Site Coordinator for over six years at RFK UCLA Community School in Koreatown.  She works closely with the school community to ensure the after-school program supports students learning beyond the regular school day.  She is proud to have a strong support from school staff, faculty and families that she attributes to the successful of the program. Nefthaly is grateful to work with our youngest grade band and she plans on doing so for many years to come. She loves being able to motivate and encourage students to strive to do their best, and be better students and community members.

Stephaine Khan, School Site Coordinator 

Bio

Stephanie Khan serves as the Site Director for UCLA After School Programs at Nava College Preparatory Academy. She manages day-to-day operations providing high school students with academic, enrichment and recreational opportunities to prepare them for college. She focuses on bolstering youth advocacy and leadership by preparing students to organize and facilitate clubs that they are passionate for.Stephanie has worked in education for 12 years with experience working with students from Kindergarten through 12th grade and their families. She has worked with community partners to provide quality-based curriculum and help bridge the digital divide in the Los Angeles community.

MaryAnn Szyskowski, School Site Coordinator 

Bio

MaryAnn Szyskowski has been with UCLA for twenty-years; first working for the Workforce Investment Act program and since 2008 has been housed at University High School Charter as the School Site Coordinator for UCLA After School Programs. Additionally, Ms. Szyskowski is the advisor for the Peer Mediation program at University High School Charter which trains high school student in conflict resolution. In her spare time, Ms. Szyskowski volunteers with a local dog rescue and has fostered and adopted many rescue dogs over the last fifteen years.

Destiny Torres, School Site Coordinator 

Bio

Destiny Torres is the Site Coordinator for UCLA After School Programs at Sotomayor Arts and Science Magnet School. Before UCLA, Destiny worked four years in the after-school setting and two years in the social services field with foster youth. As a proud alumna of UCLA, Destiny earned her B.A. in Sociology with a minor in education. Destiny is passionate about working with K-12 and empowering her students in the expanded learning field.

Yeinsy Venoza, School Site Coordinator 

Bio

Yeinsy Venoza has been a Site Director for several years with experience in all grade levels. She began her journey with the team as a participant of the YouthSource program in 2009 and continues to work closely with the Youth of Los Angeles through the UCLA After School Program. Yeinsy is grateful for the opportunity of being able to empower and motivate our youth as they navigate through their academic lives.

Yenny Yi, School Site Coordinator 

Bio

Ms. Yenny Yi is the Site Director of the UCLA AfterSchool Program at Franklin HS. She has been designing and implementing programs at Franklin HS for 10+ years, but has been working as an educator for over 20 years. Through her work, she has been able to provide opportunities for a variety of student interests and needs. Most of her work has been in promoting underrepresented young people in the STEAM fields. She has been a proud champion for advocating for equity in technology since she started coaching and running a high school cyber security education program. Her team has competed at the top level of the CyberPatriot competition and placed in top 12 in the country 5 of the past decade of competing in CyberPatriot. This ignited her passion for cyber security competitions and promoting underrepresented people in the computing fields. She is a member and had a leadership role in the Southern California chapter of the organization, Women’s Society of Cyberjutsu. Providing resources and opportunities to support our young people in these ever changing disciplines is exciting and makes every day feel fresh and challenging. Supporting students in finding their passion is what has kept her going strong all these years

Youth Workforce Readiness Programs

Amanda Gonzalez, Work Force Program Manager 

Bio

Amanda Gonzalez has dedicated 20+ years to working with at risk youth ofLos Angeles.Amanda has worked for UCLA since 2000. This is when her passion for mentoring and assisting youth began. She started her career with UCLA as a case manager for the Community Based Learning Program working with at-risk youth enrolled in the Workforce Investment Opportunity Act(WIOA) and Summer Youth Employment (SYEP) Programs funded by the City of Los Angeles’ Economic Development Workforce Department. In 2007 she began supervising a team of case managers and part time support staff while overseeing the daily management of program operations oft hree youth workforce programs, WIOA, SYEP, and LA Rise Program.These programs offer work readiness training, education, career, and financial literacy guidance, and job coaching to up to 700 young individuals annually from underserved communities in Los Angeles that range in age from 14-30 years old.

Amanda has expert experience assisting youth with disabilities, teen parents, foster, unstably house, justice involved, and LGBTQ youth. In 2014 she collaborated with Los Angeles LGBT Centerto create the Transgender Youth Employment Toolkit, which was developed as a part of the Transitions to Work (T2W) project. The T2W project was a pilot project to address the challenges and issues that transgender youth face when entering the workforce. The experiences and best practices learned and developed are contained in this toolkit which is intended to be used by employment caseworkers and others in preparing this marginalized and disconnected youth population for the workforce.

As a first-generation college student Amanda graduated with a bachelor’s degree from the University of Southern California where she studied Public Policy and Management under the School of Public Administration. In her free time, Amanda enjoys attending Broadway musicals, watching movies, and cooking.

Carolyn Gandy, Youth Coordinator

Bio

Carolyn began her tenure at UCLA in 1989. She began as receptionist for the Community-Based Learning Program and Field Studies. Throughout her 33 years, she has held different positions from receptionist to Case Manager to her current role as Information Management Specialist.She keeps staff updated on where we are in enrollments by providing bi-weekly tracking reports and reminders of what is needed for our files.She assists Case Managers with follow-up activities after our youth have exited the program for 12 months.Carolyn has been able to absorb the programmatic changes over the years and has been able to transition from the JobTraining Partnership Act (JTPA) to theWorkforce Investment Act(WIA), to our current Workforce Innovation & Opportunity Act Program (WIOA). She has acquired a wealth of knowledge and expertise on CalJOBS, which is the State of California’s system for participant tracking, and federal and state reporting.She regularly attends trainings to keep abreast of the updates and changes made to the system. Carolyn is passionate about helping youth find their voice, direction, and resources to become successful self-sufficient adults. Carolyn enjoys cooking, crocheting, and listening to all genres of music.

David Herrera, Youth Coordinator

Bio

David Herrera has worked in non-profit organization and Educational Programs for over 20+ years. His activism was nourished at the University of San Francisco where the Jesuit philosophy of service rooted in justice and love for others was introduced. He started his career at Bienestar Human Services where he worked alongside his community helping the LGBTQ+ youth In East Los Angeles by providing targeted programs to bring awareness, prevention and stigma reduction around HIV/AIDS. He was then introduced to the Community Based Learning team by a researcher Dr. Ayala who had mentored him while serving as a board member for APLA Health agency representing Queer Latino/a youth for the City of Los Angeles. While at CBL David was able to work with diverse organizations all over the City of Los Angeles from the Harbor to the Valley and everywhere in between. He helped with resources for youth to gain knowledge in the world of work and financial literacy. He was then placed in the Beyond the Bell Program where he provided after school programming for at one point three South Los Angeles High Schools gaining a true understanding of service to others. Eventually continuing his Jesuit Education by attending Loyola Marymount University achieving his Master’s in Business.Now he looks forward to continue his service alongside the community in need of resources and support.During the Pandemic he focused on trainings around inclusion and diversity and implemented that knowledge to better serve his community and students. On the weekends you can find him enjoying a musical or concert when he is not playing tennis or creating art. David credits his great network of loving friends for reminding him every day that his work matters and is having a positive impact in our community.

Kevin Matthews, Youth Coordinator

Bio

Kevin Matthews has worked for UCLA since 2016. He began as a case manager for the Community Based Learning Program working with at risk youth enrolled in the Workforce Investment Opportunity Act (WIOA) and Summer Youth Employment (SYEP) Programs, and LA Rise Program. These programs offer work readiness training, paid internships, support services, and education and career guidance to underserved youth within the Los Angeles communities. Youth in these workforce programs range in age from 14-30 years old.Kevin manages a caseload of up to 60 youth annually.

Kevin has experience working with youth with disabilities, teen parents, foster, homeless, justice involved, LGBTQ youth, and military veterans. In 2020, he became a lead case manager for Mayor Eric Garcetti’s Student to Student Program. In this program students were recruited from various LAUSD high schools and given a paid internship that allowed them to tutor younger family members at home during the beginning of the pandemic. The program was so successful the first year, our agency was refunded for the project for a second year.

Kevin’s passion for working with youth began with coaching young people. He has been coaching high school basketball since 2014. He enjoys motivating young people and teaching them about responsibilities and how it relates working well with others now and in the future. He also enjoys helping young people develop and improve upon their skills. As a coach he can connect with students in the athletic arena just as he would at work with students in the education and career guidance arena.

Kevin is one of the first in his family to attend college. He graduated with a bachelor’s degree from Cal State Los Angeles where he studied Sociology under the School of Social Work. In his free time, Kevin enjoys attending sporting events, concerts, taking walks on the beach, and riding dirt bikes in the mountains with family.

Ana Pena, Youth Coordinator

Bio

Ana Peña has worked for the department’s Youth Workforce Programs for 21 years. Ana is a hardworking and reliable case manager with strong ability to identify clients’ needs. She provides services to disadvantage youth ages 14 –24 ,offering educational and work readiness training .She case manages up to 100 youth every school year. Ana is highly organized, proactive, and has a team-oriented mentality. When she isn’t case managing youth, you can find her camping with family or crafting.

Carlos Pena, Youth Coordinator 

Bio

Carlos Pena has worked for UCLA and its Community Based Learning Program since 2012. In his role as Youth Program Coordinator, Carlos helps manage the unit’s WIOA, SYEP, and LA Rise programs. Through these programs, Carlos is able to assist underserved and at-risk youth groups within Los Angeles with educational counseling, workforce preparation, mentoring, and other supportive services. Carlos maintains strong working relationship with local high schools, the various UCLA Afterschool programs, and community organizations such as The Rightway Foundation. He specializes in working with high school seniors, foster youth, and other students from low socioeconomic backgrounds. Finally, Carlos works very closely with Human Resources to ensure that all of the program’s hirings are processed efficiently. Carlos personally hires approximately150 student workers every fiscal year.

Carlos is a first-generation college student and proud Bruin, having graduated fromUCLA in 2014 with a degree in Political Science, and minors in both Education and Afro-American Studies. He recently earned his Master’s degree in Higher Education Student Affairs from Grand Canyon University. Outside of work, Carlos enjoys hiking and attending live sporting events.

Laura Rodriguez, Youth Coordinator 

Bio

Laura in her role as a youth program coordinator, primarily works with youth that live in high poverty areas and includes young people who live in households that are considered low income. Additional groups of youth that are served through other programs address the needs of youth that face housing insecurities, are system involved and foster and former foster as well. She has worked with numerous programs in partnership with the City of Los Angeles to provide employment opportunities along with college and career guidance.Special resources for outreach include system involved, immigrant youth, justice involved and other subcategories in these areas. The service areas for working with youth and outreach spread across the Central, East, and West side of Los Angeles. She has been doing this work for over 22 years since she started as a student at UCLA (University of California, Los Angeles). She is a fan of all UCLA sports, especially Softball.

Majestic Williams, Youth Coordinator

Bio

Majestic has been working for CBL since 2021. He received his Bachelor’s in Communication Studies & Political Science from Cal State Northridge. He is currently working on his Master’s in Education with an emphasis in College Counseling. He is also a member of the following organizations: Alpha Kappa Psi Co-Ed Business Fraternity, Alpha Phi Omega Co-Ed Service Fraternity, Phi Alpha Delta Co-Ed Law Fraternity & Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity Incorporated. He is also involved with Hermanos Unidos which focuses on the retention rate of Latinx male students at a four-year institution as well as the African Student Union which focuses on the retention rate of Black students at a four-year institution.When he’s not studying or working, Majestic enjoys hiking, spending time with family & friends, Korean BBQ & Roscoe’s Chicken & Waffles. He also enjoys going to concerts, traveling & video games (Mario Kart 8, Super Smash Bros) on his Nintendo Switch.