Important COVID-19 information: Our Programs | FAQs | Resources for families

Los Angeles Area

Our Team

  • Chloe Oliveras

    Executive director, Los Angeles

    Chloe Oliveras is a nonprofit professional with experience in both community-building and fundraising. She has a passion for education equity, which has brought her both into the classroom and beyond. In her time at Reading Partners, she has built a robust volunteer program and worked with a number of collective impact groups and local community organizations to build strong ties to the neighborhoods surrounding LA’s Reading Partners tutoring centers. She has served on two Los Angeles young professional boards for reproductive rights organizations, as well as chaired Planned Parenthood LA’s signature Bingo For Choice fundraiser. She’s a proud University of Florida alum with a bachelor’s degree in journalism and gender studies.
  • Shelley Agostini

    Development manager

    Shelley’s favorite place has always been the classroom, and she knew early on that she wanted to pursue a career related to education and helping others. Throughout her collegiate career at UCLA, she tutored and taught students of all ages where she quickly understood the foundational role that literacy plays in all learning. The COVID-19 pandemic kick-started her career in the nonprofit space and led her to spend a year working at some of LA’s largest testing and vaccination sites. Seeking to return to the world of education, Shelley was thrilled to join the Reading Partners staff team in 2021 to utilize her variety of skills to fundraise for an organization dedicated to educational equity and closing the opportunity gap. In the last two years, Shelley has proudly supported the development team in growing the region’s revenue. When she’s not writing grants, Shelley enjoys hiking, painting, and road trips with her friends.
  • Jenna Chaffee

    Program director

    Ever since moving to LA and joining the Reading Partners team in 2014, Jenna has been dedicated to the Reading Partners mission and feels deeply connected to the Los Angeles community. Jenna started out running a Reading Partners tutoring center as an AmeriCorps program coordinator. She felt passionately not only about her students and volunteers, but about improving and growing the program to best serve as many students as possible. As program director, Jenna is able to do this for all Reading Partners schools across LA and is responsible for ensuring students across the region are meeting their literacy goals. Before joining Reading Partners, Jenna became interested in literacy and educational equity while volunteering at a school in her hometown of Knoxville, Tennessee. Prior to that, she had worked doing research in several language acquisition labs and earned her degree in Psychology and Linguistics at Cornell University.
  • Annie Chin

    Community engagement director

    Annie hails from the foggy shores of the Bay Area, where she discovered a love of reading and storytelling at a young age. Shortly after receiving her B.A. in Communication Studies at UCLA, Annie chose to apply her passion for literacy to two years of AmeriCorps with Reading Partners Los Angeles. Annie joined the Reading Partners Los Angeles staff in 2018, supporting both fundraising and community engagement efforts. In her current role of community engagement director, Annie’s love of storytelling serves her well; in the last few years, Annie has onboarded thousands of new volunteers and fostered dozens of community partnerships. When she’s not working, Annie can often be found exploring Los Angeles, drinking coffee, chatting with friends, or -- you guessed it -- reading.
  • Maricor Garaniel

    Program manager

    Maricor loved growing up in the San Fernando Valley and attending LAUSD elementary schools. She credits her early education for giving her a strong foundation for her educational career. She earned her Bachelor's Degrees in Political Science and Sociology from the University of California, Irvine and her Master's degree in Public Policy (with an emphasis in education) from the University of Southern California. Her passion for educational equity led her to serving as an AmeriCorps member for Read to a Child, another literacy and mentorship organization in Los Angeles. She later worked for this same non-profit as a program manager, helping them to expand the number of students they served while also creating new successful partnerships, including one with PricewaterhouseCoopers. Maricor has also worked as a case manager in education and in homeless services. She enjoys motivating and guiding the students and clients she serves, so they can achieve their own dreams and goals. In her spare time, she loves thrifting, trying dessert and boba spots, and going to museums. 
  • Fatima Gutierrez

    Program manager

    Fatima has over a decade of experience working in the nonprofit sector serving youth from diverse and underserved communities in the greater Los Angeles area. Prior to joining Reading Partners, Fatima held the position of program manager at COPE Health Solutions where she was responsible for the management of the COPE Health Scholars Program, a Workforce pipeline at Adventist Health Glendale. Her role includes supervision of all program operations with a focus on program management, recruitment, training, and the professional development of program participants. Additionally, Fatima has over three years of experience working with individuals with special needs, specifically those on the Autism Spectrum, providing Applied Behavior Analysis services in school and home settings. Fatima received her Bachelor of Arts in Child and Adolescent Development at California State University, Northridge. During her time at CSUN, she was a part of the Education Opportunity Program and CSUN helpline. As a first-generation Latina, Fatima’s passion continues to be to help diverse communities and all individuals find their path to a more equitable future.
  • Iza de Leon

    Community engagement associate

    Growing up in Manila, Philippines, Iza has seen firsthand the stark disparities in access to education. Driven by her passion for educational equity and her advocacy to ensure every child in her community has access to quality education, she found herself joining Reading Partners Los Angeles as an AmeriCorps member in 2020. She recently joined the Reading Partners Los Angeles staff as the community engagement associate. In this role, she is excited to help expand the region’s volunteer network and community outreach. In her free time, she loves to go for a walk while soaking up the morning sun, enjoy game nights with friends, and explore Los Angeles with its range of diverse cuisines.
  • Alison Petsod-Hixon

    Program operations associate

    Alison grew up in the Bay Area and became passionate about working in the nonprofit sector at an early age. She went to UCLA and graduated with a B.A. in Communication Studies and a minor in Food Studies. After graduating, Alison started her career in the nonprofit sector and later joined FoodCorps as an AmeriCorps garden and nutrition educator for two years in Oakland. She fell in love with working with kids and continued to hold various positions within education in both Oakland and Los Angeles. Alison first joined Reading Partners as a volunteer and literacy intervention tutor, and is excited to continue her passion for educational equity through her role as program operations associate with Reading Partners Los Angeles. In her free time, she loves to spend time outdoors, try new restaurants, and travel to different parts of the world. On the weekends, you can find her volunteering with Food Forward at one of LA’s farmers’ markets!
  • Cecilia Rivas

    Program manager

    Cecilia was born and raised in Southern California. She attended San Francisco State University where she received her B.A. in Communicative Disorders and minored in Special Education. Her passion for education and literacy brought her to Reading Partners as a tutor in the Bay Area, and her desire to continue working with and being a role model for students from diverse backgrounds led her to serve three terms as an AmeriCorps program coordinator at Saturn Street Elementary. As an AmeriCorps member, Cecilia saw firsthand the positive impact Reading Partners had on the lives of the students and families she served. Cecilia continues to work towards closing the opportunity gap as a program manager with Reading Partners, managing six AmeriCorps members across the LA region.
  • Dekunle Somade

    Development director

    Dekunle began working in community development in 2008 when he became director of the Prison-to-College Pipeline program, a non-profit organization that provided arts-based, mentoring and tutoring services to the incarcerated youth detained at New Beginnings Detention Center, a facility located just outside of his hometown of Washington, D.C. Dekunle went on to attend graduate school at NYU's Tisch School of the Arts and afterward founded Cry Baby a community events organization that provides live event programming to neighborhoods in Brooklyn, Washington, D.C., Philadelphia, and Baltimore. Dekunle is an avid reader and writer, and since joining Reading Partners has put his passion for literacy to work by finding new ways for the program to reach its fundraising goals. 
  • Kayla Vokal

    Program manager

    Since 2013, Kayla has followed her passion for community empowerment and educational equity in the non-profit sector. She is a two-time AmeriCorps alumnus and served as Foster Grandparent Program project director at Jumpstart, where she trained older adult volunteers to help preschoolers from underserved communities build foundational language, literacy, and social-emotional skills. At Reading Partners, Kayla manages a portfolio of AmeriCorps members to deliver exceptional literacy programming with an emphasis on tutor training and support. Kayla is a San Diego Native, a proud UC Berkeley golden bear, and enjoys road trips, camping, and of course, reading.

AmeriCorps team

Community engagement

Chachie Royster-McNeish, Volunteer Coordinator

Iza De Leon, Senior Volunteer Coordinator

Josephine Hannah, Volunteer Coordinator


Adam Magdaleno, Program Coordinator

Cicely Majeed, Regional Program Coordinator

Destiny Perales, Program Coordinator

Elizabeth Aguilar, Program Coordinator

Elyssa Smith, Program Coordinator

Glory Ebinama, Senior Program Coordinator

Helen Rossi, Program Coordinator

Iva Mrkonjic, Senior Program Coordinator

Jaimi Zwerling, Senior Program Coordinator

Joanne Kang, Program Coordinator

Karla Zamora, Program Coordinator

Kim Ta, Program Coordinator

Michele Chester, Program Coordinator

Niesha Colbert-Junior, Senior Program Coordinator

Robert Sanchez, Program Coordinator

Tim Harris, Program Coordinator

Board of directors

Stefanie Bond, Chair, Reading Partners Tutor

Barbara Mitchell, Community member

Kelly King, Foundation for the Los Angeles Community Colleges, Executive Director

Pam Kunick-Cohen, Cracker Jax Entertainment LLC, Managing Partner

Michelle Lee, Community member

Veronica Troung, Woodland Investments, Asset Manager

Roberto Escobar, Scripps College Academy, Director

Lauren Hernandez, CKW School Uniforms, Chief Executive Officer

Vani Lewerke, Lewerke Consulting, Owner, Founder and Principal Consultant

Alex Evans, Writer

Arthur Moore, Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP, Managing Consultant

Lauren Diaz, Monitor Institute by Deloitte, Manager

  • Logo for Accelerate
  • Logo for Five Below
  • Logo for Hellman Foundation
  • Logo for Bezos Family Foundation
  • Logo for George Kaiser Family Foundation
  • Logo for Panda Cares
  • Logo for The Duke Endowment
  • Logo for Deerbrook Charitable Trust

Thanks to our partners

Site by Vermilion Credits Privacy Policy ©2024 Reading Partners