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Los Angeles Area

Our Team

  • 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.
  • Kayla Weems

    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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Alina Arana

    Special projects associate

    A Southern California native, Alina attended California State University, Northridge, where she received her B.A. in Psychology. Her passion for service and education led her to serve a term as an AmeriCorps member in Austin, Texas where she worked to advance family literacy, engaging with Spanish-speaking families and children daily. For her second term as an AmeriCorps member, Alina returned to Los Angeles to serve as a program coordinator with Reading Partners. During both of her service years, Alina loved working directly with families and students, and saw firsthand the positive effects of non-profit work, further cementing her desire to empower and serve communities. This year, Alina is excited to transition to the Reading Partners LA full-time staff as a special projects associate and to continue building resources to enhance Reading Partners’ reach.
  • Shelley Agostini

    Development associate

    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 college, 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 education space, Shelley was thrilled to join the Reading Partners team in 2021 to utilize her variety of skills to fundraise for an organization dedicated to educational equity and closing the opportunity gap. In her spare time, Shelley enjoys hiking, painting, and road trips with her friends.
  • 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.
  • 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. 

AmeriCorps team

Community engagement

Chachie Royster-McNeish, Volunteer Coordinator

Iza De Leon, Senior Volunteer Coordinator

Josephine Hannah, Volunteer Coordinator

Program

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

Americorps

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