Founder and CEO
One day in October 2019, Luis remembers sitting down in his car outside a school, debating whether or not he should go in to the Ed Tech competition he signed up to pitch Juntos2College. “My idea is stupid. People like me don’t do these things. They’re hard.” and then he remembered what his parents did: they left their home country to migrate to a new country where they don’t speak the language, and know nobody. “Now that’s hard. This is going to be a place where we all speak the same language, and talk about education and helping other people, now that’s easy.” Luis got out his car and the rest is Juntos.
Meet The Team
Fryda Faugier Ferreira
Monica Perez Valdovinos
Eric H. Pavri
Board of Directors
Johnny Salazar was born and raised in Northeast Los Angeles and moved to Humboldt County in 2010 to pursue his degree in Social Work. Currently the General Manager, he joined the Seventh Generation Fund team in 2014 as a Data Entry Intern. Johnny’s passion for social justice is rooted in his uncle’s involvement as a revolutionary guerrilla fighter in the Salvadorian Civil War fighting for the betterment of the common people. Johnny hopes to continue the legacy of his uncle by engaging and assisting relatives across Turtle Island who fight for self-determination, environmental justice, and decolonization. In his free time, Johnny likes to spend time with his dog Lady hiking, backpacking, and going to the beach. Other hobbies include: playing chess and doing mechanical work.
Thuyvi (pronounced as “twee-vee”) was born and raised in Denver, CO. As a first-generation professional, she’s passionate about advancing equity and access across different sectors, specifically health care and education. She has dual-Master’s degrees in Public Health and Social Work, with a commitment to putting justice and equity at the forefront of her work. She is honored to serve as a board member for Juntos2College with hopes to support and celebrate the community in all its richness. Other than work and all its seriousness, Thuyvi enjoys spending quality time with family and friends, eating delicious foods, and more. Also, she loves puns and jokes because seven days without a pun makes one weak (week) haha.
Originally from New York, Emily has always had a passion for working with people, especially youth. This passion took her from undergrad at Fordham University in the Bronx, to a high school counselor in rural Belize, and finally to Colorado to pursue her master’s degree in Social Work at the University of Denver in 2011. Since then Emily has worked to provide educational opportunities and support to youth in Denver Public Schools, and finds that fighting for equity in education, especially for our students who are undocumented, is not only beneficial for students but society as a whole. She is ecstatic to serve as a founding board member for Juntos2College, and to continue our shared commitment to youth and our community.
Thalia was born in Guerrero, Mexico and moved to her new home in Denver, Colorado at the age of seven. She earned her bachelor’s degree, from Metropolitan State University of Denver, in Healthcare Management with a minor in Psychology. Thalia is currently enrolled in graduate school earning her Master’s in Health Administration. Her passion surrounds reducing healthcare disparities to create positive health outcomes. She has worked/volunteered in the nonprofit sector for the last 14 years and aligns her passion through her work in the behavioral health sector. Thalia values spending time with her husband, daughter and three dogs. She also enjoys the outdoors, traveling, trying new foods, attending symphonies, and operas.
Emma was born and raised in San Antonio, TX and is a proud Tejana. She went to Colorado College in Colorado Springs and received her B.A. in Psychology before moving to Denver to work with Denver Public School students on accessing college. Emma loves to teach first generation students from low income backgrounds because she believes in the power of education to fight systems of oppression while it also changes families and lives. When she is not working or teaching she is eating good food, listening to music that inspires or uplifts, or hanging with her gato, Fatty.
Gabriel "Gaby" Mas
Born in Puerto Rico, Gaby was raised in New England and spent summers with family back on the island. He now lives in Colorado and advises businesses looking to achieve best-in-class sustainability performance as a Senior Manager in a climate change and sustainability consulting practice. Having supported Juntos2College through previous volunteer efforts, he was impressed with the organization and inspired by the immediate positive community impact they were making. Believing strongly in the power of education and knowing he wanted to be more involved, Gaby quickly jumped at the opportunity to join the team. In his free time, Gaby loves to spend time outdoors with his wife Jamie and their dog Koda.
Evan is a serial-entrepreneur with extensive experience in strategic leadership, business operations, and building impactful teams. He is currently a VP of Software Engineering at Uplight, the industry-leading technology partner for energy providers transitioning to the clean energy ecosystem. Before joining Uplight, he was the Co-Founder and COO of Nikola Power, a venture-backed energy tech startup — and was also the Co-Founder and CEO of Zipskee, a travel tech startup. Evan has led various verticals for multiple startups as well as Fortune 500 companies, including teams that generated over $180M in annual revenue. He is deeply involved with Conscious Leadership and is a mentor/coach at Techstars, EforAll Longmont, and Greenhouse Scholars in Boulder. Evan received his BA/MS from Wake Forest University, and his MBA from Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business.
Judy is the CEO of iLearn Collaborative and has been identified as a national level expert in K-12 online and blended learning by the U.S. Department of Education. Prior to founding the iLearn Collaborative, she directed district-wide blended learning at Jeffco Public Schools and led their online school from turnaround status to Performance accreditation. Judy's career in education includes science teacher, assistant principal, principal, district leader and CAO for the Charter School Institute at the Colorado Dept. of Education. In her 29-year career as an educator, she led districtwide and statewide implementations in innovative learning environments impacting 50+ Colorado school districts. She led and developed Colorado's largest statewide multi-district online school middle school and a districtwide blended learning program for Colorado's largest school district. She is a recognized national expert in blended and online learning contributing to research for the U.S. Dept. of Ed, iNACOL, State of Colorado, and numerous publications. Judy has consulted for the Secretary of Education Manizales, Colombia, S.A., Universidad Nacional de Colombia, The ASCENT Initiative, and other international agencies. She most proud of her role as mom of blended learners.
Ricardo Rocha is the CoFounder and CEO of Bondadosa, a logistics and technology platform designed to facilitate access to groceries and goods for low to moderate income families. Ricardo is a passionate community leader who utilizes his knowledge, skills, education, and life experiences to assist the members of our communities. He seeks to create change through entrepreneurship, public policy, and the implementation of organizational processes. Formerly an undocumented immigrant from Guanajuato, Mexico, Ricardo graduated from MSU of Denver and was nominated for a 2020 Forbes 30 Under 30 Award and received the Metro Denver Chamber of Commerce American Dream Award in 2017. Some of his favorite distractions are snowboarding, design, eating great food, music, and drinking coffee.
Jorge is an entrepreneur and sales leader, highly involved with his community. Previously, he spent 14 years leading and developing teams in the Marine Corps as well as 4 years as a financial advisor with a leading investment company. Most recently he was the Head of Sales for an EdTech company growing them to the #2 player in the market in 3 years. Jorge currently serves as President of the Board for Beads of Courage, an international non-profit. Jorge received his MBA in Entrepreneurship and Strategy from IE Business School in Madrid and his Bachelor of Science in Finance from the University of Arizona, in Tucson, AZ. He and his wife live in Denver, Colorado, where they love camping, hiking, and doing other fun mountain things year-round.
Victor is the first Political Field Director for United for a New Economy after 8 years at the Colorado Immigrant Rights Coalition. He leads voter integrated organizing programs and door campaigns that have impacted over 200,000 voters and community members. Victor has led to bi-partisan work on license legislation that increased access to driver’s licenses to undocumented Coloradans; he worked on campaigns that won passage of ASSET (instate tuition for undocumented students), and Law Enforcement and Community Trust Act which did away with Colorado’s “Show me you papers” law. Victor brings with him all of the passion and skill he has developed through his work in the immigrant rights movement. Victor is dedicated to organizing voters year round to engage on the issue of economic justice through the lens of our most disenfranchised members of our community. “It is our duty to fight for our freedom. It is our duty to win. We must love each other and support each other. We have nothing to lose but our chains.” -Assata Shakur
Alejandro Flores-Munoz is a seasoned entrepreneur, activist, and author who has made it his mission to advocate for marginalized communities. As an outspoken queer, DACA, Latinx person Munoz’s life’s work aims to champion for the next generation of intersectional entrepreneurs. Brought to the United States by his mother in 1997, Alejandro had strong progressive values instilled into him from a young age. His family upbringing and willingness to overcome adversity is what inspired him to open his businesses: Unum Sunglasses, Progressive Button, Stokes Poke, and Combi Tacos. He recently published his first book, “No Papers No Fear You Can Do Business Here,” a how to guide for undocumented immigrants looking to start their business. His willingness to be open about his experiences have landed him commentary roles at leading media outlets like Univision along with coast to coast speaking tours. Alejandro proudly served as the Program Director for America Votes Colorado and most recently has been awarded both the Transformative Leadership for Change and Immigrants Rising Fellowship.
Jen Wilbur has extensive experience in government relations and public policy. She is currently the Hawaii State Director for Planned Parenthood and had previously worked for the Hawaii State House of Representatives, Chamber of Commerce Hawaii and YWCA Oahu.
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Jorge Castañeda was born in Nogales, Sonora Mexico. His family immigrated to the United States when he was a child. Jorge was raised in Nogales, Arizona. Growing up in the Nogales border area gives Jorge a unique perspective on the issues that affect immigrants. Jorge began his legal career in 2001 at the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office. During his time at that office Jorge litigated all aspects of a felony criminal case. In 2006 Jorge left the county attorney’s office and went into private practice, where he began his immigration practice. He quickly realized the close connection between criminal and immigration proceedings and made it his goal to provide exceptional representation in both areas. Jorge believes that it is essential that any non-citizen charged with a crime consult with an attorney who can not only evaluate a criminal case but can also guide them through the potential immigration consequences. He’s litigated hundreds of felony cases including Murder, Sexual Assault, Armed Robbery, Kidnapping, Mortgage Fraud and Illegal Re-Entry cases. He has represented clients in Justice Courts, Municipal Courts, Superior Court, United States District Court and Immigration Court. Jorge is one of the few lawyers who has extensive experience in both the criminal and immigration courts.
Hannah has experience working with mission-focused organizations of all types, from Charles Schwab, Slalom Consulting, Teach For America, and LinkedIn to private equity backed mid-sized businesses, impact investing and venture capital firms, startups, public private partnerships, and local nonprofits. Her work, most recently as the owner of a growth-focused management consulting practice, has increased social impact outcomes and revenue across a variety of international geographies and sectors. A highly-involved resident of a small suburb outside Denver, she is currently on the board of directors for a community development nonprofit and serving in the city government on its City Council. Prior to management consulting, Hannah spent her career driving transformational change in education – starting off as a middle school literacy teacher on the Navajo Reservation. She attended undergrad at Wesleyan University and received her MBA at the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University, and has served on boards and acted as an advisor to a variety of organizations across economic development and gender equity.
Sara Lomelin is a connector of people and ideas, a relationship builder and a firm believer that everyone can be a philanthropist. A self-proclaimed philanthropy disruptor, Sara has traveled the world speaking about the power of collective giving and the correlation between civic engagement and Latino philanthropy. She is an expert in diversifying philanthropy. As founding CEO of Philanthropy Together, Sara is growing a movement of people-powered philanthropy to resource grassroots nonprofits, shift power dynamics, and promote widespread philanthropy. Sara is frequently featured at high- profile conferences and events for innovative leaders and big ideas, including TED 2022, Netroots Nation, and Unity Summit. An expert on the future of philanthropy, Sara is often quoted in news outlets including Forbes, The Associated Press, and the Chronicle of Philanthropy. Prior to Philanthropy Together, Sara served as Senior Director of Leadership Philanthropy at Opportunity Fund, now Accion Opportunity Fund. Previously at the Latino Community Foundation, Sara served as VP of Philanthropy for eight years and created the Latino Giving Circle NetworkTM—the largest network of Latinx philanthropists in the US with 22 circles and 500 members. She currently serves on the National Council of the Women’s Philanthropy Institute at Indiana University’s Lilly Family School of Philanthropy and the Board of Directors of Giving Tuesday and Battery Powered.