Silicon Valley

Our Team

  • Mario Vargas

    Mario Vargas

    Executive Director

    Mario has committed his life to empowering youth from diverse, low-income, undeserved communities to reach their full potential. In the 30 years since graduating with bachelor’s degree from University of California at Davis, he has built an impressive career focused on outstanding leadership in fundraising, programming, volunteer and staff management and strategic planning and community building. Mario has over 19 years experience as an accomplished executive director for a variety of organizations including: the East Valley YMCA, the Southwest YMCA, Bay Area After-School All-Stars, Think Together and most recently All Stars Helping Kids. Professionally and personally he has given his time and efforts to the greater south bay community for the betterment of our youth; especially in East San Jose. Mario relocated to the Bay Area in 1997 where he and his wife, Cheryl have raised their family of four children and 2 dogs. Mario values his faith and gives back to the community and has been actively involved in his children's sports programs and their education. More recently, the family has named a scholarship at Purdue University and now have plans to establish a foundation in honor of their son, who passed away at the age of 20 in 2018.
  • Sydney Burrell

    Deputy Program Director

    Sydney serves as deputy program director for the Silicon Valley team. She is originally from Austin, Texas, but moved to the Bay Area three years ago from Los Angeles, where she served as an AmeriCorps member with Reading Partners LA. Sydney's Bachelor of Arts in linguistics and previous opportunities working with struggling readers and English Language Learners led to her passion for literacy-based education. Her Master of Science in Education with a focus in curriculum and instruction in reading and her past experiences as a regional site coordinator and program manager with Reading Partners helps her bring a broad range of knowledge and excitement for literacy education. After work hours, she enjoys cooking, trying out new restaurants, and hiking with her dog.
  • Monique Garcia

    External Relations Manager

    Monique Garcia is originally from San Jose, California. Her role is to engage new and existing volunteers as well as corporate partners. She works closely with the executive director on regional development operations, such as grant writing and donor stewardship. Monique has spent the majority of her career working at nonprofit organizations, including the Silicon Valley Community Foundation in Mountain View and International House in New York City. As a former Peace Corps volunteer, she values dedicating time and energy to national service. During her spare time, she enjoys traveling and spending time with family and her new kitten, Clementine.
  • Jeannette Lee

    Program Manager

    As the San Jose and Milpitas program manager, Jeannette Lee supports a team of AmeriCorps members with running and maintaining successful reading centers and school partnerships. After first tutoring with Reading Partners NYC for three years and then serving two AmeriCorps terms with Silicon Valley, Jeannette understands what is needed for effective one-to-one tutoring from multiple viewpoints. Originally from New York City, Jeannette holds a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration and enjoys hitting the gym, traveling and exploring, and simply passing the time with great company and food.
  • Ivy O'Connell

    Program Manager

    Originally from Indiana, Ivy graduated from Purdue University with her Bachelors of Arts in English. Since graduating she has been involved in education in various aspects, such as teaching English in Peru, acting as an athletic director, and serving two service years with AmeriCorps in the Silicon Valley. Working in school environments with English language learners has inspired Ivy to continue her time with Reading Partners making a difference by equipping learners with the fundamental skills to thrive and enjoy reading. In her spare time, Ivy is usually traveling, playing board games, or enjoying the California weather.
  • Chris Johnson

    Program Manager

    Chris is originally from a small town in northeast Ohio, where he graduated from Ohio University in 2013 with a Bachelor of Business Administration in economics. Since leaving Ohio, Chris has lived in the Bay Area for four years, including San Jose and San Francisco. Before joining the Reading Partners team, Chris has worked as an AmeriCorps member with City Year, taught English at a university in Thailand, and returned to the US to lead outreach efforts for a small nonprofit helping high school students gain admission to summer programs. Chris is excited to use this experience to help more students in the Bay Area realize their full potential and the importance of reading. Outside of work, Chris enjoys exploring new places and being anywhere outside with his dog.
  • Elaine Washam

    External Relations Associate

    Elaine Washam serves as the External Relations Associate for the Silicon Valley team. She moved to the Silicon Valley from Boise, Idaho—where she was born and raised. She studied Mass Communications with an emphasis in Broadcast Television at Idaho State University in Pocatello, Idaho. She jumped into the fast-paced world of Local News as a producer—first in Idaho Falls, Idaho and then in Boise. She also tried her hand at substitute teaching before receiving a fellowship with Planned Parenthood Votes Northwest and Hawaii. The fellowship helped launch her career in the nonprofit world. She served a year as a Development Coordinator AmeriCorps VISTA for Reading Partners before joining the team as a full time staff member in March 2019. In her free time she enjoys Sci-Fi television series, board games, photography, hiking, and camping.

AmeriCorps team

Volunteer coordinators

Sudeepto Chakraborty, Volunteer Coordinator, Sunnyvale

Gabrielle Le, Volunteer Coordinator, San Jose

Martha Lefebvre, Volunteer Coordinator, Redwood City & Mountain View

Regional site coordinators

Brittany Garcia, Regional Site Coordinator, Sunnyvale

Brittany Hilker, Regional Site Coordinator, San Jose

Joseph Molnar, Regional Site Coordinator, Redwood City & Mountain View

Site coordinators

Ivan Abrego, Senior Site Coordinator, San Miguel Elementary School

Mariah Acuna, Site Coordinator, Bishop Elementary School

Kaila Belgarde, Site Coordinator, Cesar Chavez Elementary School

Ayana Dykes, Site Coordinator, Taft Community School

Erika Endo, Site Coordinator, Mariano Castro Elementary School

Audrey Fallon, Site Coordinator, Hawes Elementary School

Roberto Marquez, Site Coordinator, Aptitud Community Academy at Goss

Krysta Penfield, Site Coordinator, Alexander Rose Elementary School

Marlyn Quiroz, Site Coordinator, Clyd Arbuckle Elementary School

Jasmine Sanchez, Site Coordinator, Lakewood Elementary School

Kelsey Schroder, Site Coordinator, Ellis Elementary School

Lorena Torres, Site Coordinator, San Antonio Elementary School

Koula Von Hoppe, Site Coordinator, Selby Lane Elementary School

Kayla Weeks, Site Coordinator, Vargas Elementary School


Board of directors


Eli Khouri, Board Chair, Strategic Advisor/Consultant

 


Anne Campbell, San Mateo County Superintendent of Schools

 


Dan Casetta, Region Manager, Western Region at Vector Marketing/Cutco Cutlery

 


Kenneth Coleman, Chairman, Saama Technologies, Inc.

 


Rebecca Fallow, Director of Philanthropy, Swagelok Northern California

 


Jamie Keenan, Managing Partner, Keenan Capital

 


Bill Kelly, Senior Counsel, Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP

 


Phil Mahoney, Executive Managing Director, Cornish & Carey Commercial

 

Rahul Patel, Senior Vice President and General Manager of Connectivity, Qualcomm

Americorps

Thanks to our partners

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