Asset 1ScholarMatch

Our Team


ScholarMatch is a dynamic team of talented and passionate professionals.

San Francisco

Mary Thuy Pham

Director of Human Resources

Mary Thuy Pham

Director of Human Resources

Mary was raised in in the Central Valley, having moved to the U.S. from Vietnam at the age of one with her parents and five siblings. She moved to San Francisco 14 years ago to attend college and decided to stay, as she fell in love with the diversity and culture the Bay Area has to offer. Mary has a Bachelor’s degree in Health Education with an emphasis in Public Health from San Francisco State University and is SHRM-CP certified. During college, she worked part-time as a test prep tutor for students from 8th-12th grade and loved being able to assist them in meeting their educational goals. Mary’s passions include friends, family, her two dogs, and traveling!

Lisa Lopez

Director of College Access

Lisa Lopez

Director of College Access

Lisa’s parents, of Mexican and Guatemalan heritage, immigrated to the United States. Inspired by their struggles, Lisa has been involved in the fields of education and service since high school. Born and raised in South Central Los Angeles, CA, Lisa traveled north to attend the University of California, Berkeley where she earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in American Studies with a concentration in minorities and education. Lisa has over 10 years of college access and college persistence work; she is passionate about empowering students to lead their life with purpose, intention, and action. Prior to joining ScholarMatch, Lisa worked for KIPP Bay Area Public Schools as a Director of College Counseling and a College Persistence Manager. Outside of work, you can find Lisa dancing as part of an Afro-Brazilian dance company or spending time with friends and family.

Paola Gonzalez

Volunteer Manager

Paola Gonzalez

Volunteer Manager

Paola is a first generation college graduate and cultural worker who is passionate about education and youth development. She graduated from Skidmore College in 2014 with a Bachelor’s degree in Sociology and a minor in Studio Art and Intergroup Relations. While at Skidmore, Paola co-facilitated a semester long intergroup dialogue focused on race and social identity and led initiatives focused on migrant rights, education equity, campus climate, and racial justice. Growing up in a low-income, mixed-status home Paola understands firsthand the challenges of navigating the higher education system and is passionate about supporting students on their journey to and through college. As an educator Paola has held the role of Founding Visual Arts Teacher and Teaching Artist where she developed curriculum focused on self-expression, using art as a tool to promote social justice, and art as a source of healing. Outside of ScholarMatch you can find Paola getting her hands dirty inking a new linoblock, watching foreign films and documentaries, or baking.

 

Marisela Garcia

Finance and Program Coordinator

Marisela Garcia

Finance and Program Coordinator

Marisela grew up in the Bay Area but is originally from Mexico. She is a first generation college student and graduated from UC Berkeley with a Bachelors of Arts in Sociology and a minor in Chicano Studies. She spent her college years volunteering and advocating for immigrant rights. Marisela is passionate about education and believes every student should have the opportunity to get a college education. She has experience in college advising from her previous role as a college advisor, a position that has motivated her to continue working with college-bound high school students. She knows first-hand that as a low-income and first generation student, you don’t always have the support or financial resources to attend college, which is why she wants to help students receive the support and information to make college possible.
Marisela habla español y está aquí para ayudarle.

Kevin Guzman

SP Program Coordinator

Kevin Guzman

SP Program Coordinator

Kevin grew up in Southern California where he obtained a B.A. in Asian American Studies at California State University, Northridge. After freelancing with a number of Los Angeles community based organizations, he moved to San Francisco to teach Ethnic Studies and History at Balboa High School. Recognizing the impact of mentorship and college readiness, he transitioned to non-profit youth development where he has worked directly alongside young people to actualize their potential as first generation college students and social agents of change. In his free time, Kevin enjoys traveling to new places and taking his corgi to different dog parks in the Bay Area.

Sylvia Hom

HR Coordinator

Sylvia Hom

HR Coordinator

Sylvia is the daughter of immigrants and a first-generation college student. She was born in Illinois and grew up in Illinois and Minnesota. She attended St. Olaf College, majoring in both Asian Studies and Religion, before moving to California to attend Berkeley Law School. After practicing corporate law for a few years in San Francisco, she found her true calling in nonprofit administration and has worked at social services and educational organizations. Outside of work, Sylvia can be found spending time with family, volunteering at her church, having coffee with friends, baking or traveling.

Los Angeles

Karla Salazar

Executive Director

Karla Salazar

Executive Director

Karla was born in Nicaragua, raised in Los Angeles since she was eight years old, and study abroad in Mexico. She is an experienced bilingual leader in the public and private sector. This diverse intersection of public and private industry experience has allowed her to have the ability to work effectively with multidisciplinary professionals. The guiding principle that drives and motivates Karla as a professional is her ability to empower, impact and influence individuals and organizations toward a common good. Her life mission is to contribute to a more humane world by collaborating with visionary leaders, developing and implementing transformative ideas, strengthening organizations, and being of service to our communities.

One of her proudest collaboration was as an undergraduate student at UCLA. Karla was the first Director of Centro Coatlicue for MEChA Calmecac, she was part of the founding of the student-initiated, student-run, and student-funded retention program created in response to the problem of high attrition rates for Latinx UCLA undergraduate students. The program still exists at UCLA.

In the public sector, she worked as an Assistant Manager at the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco’s Los Angeles branch, Field Director in the California State Controller’s Executive Office, and an Analyst at the City of Santa Monica’s Finance Department. Since 2010, she has management experience in nonprofit organizations such as the California Community Foundation, Nonprofit Finance Fund, Board Treasurer, Interim CEO and COO for Families In Schools, and most recently as Interim CEO of Casa Treatment Center.

In 2013, she launched her financial and strategic management consulting work under SOS Strategies partnering with nonprofit organizations interested in strengthening their organizational workflow and effectiveness in the areas of business planning, leadership transition, restructuring, governance, revenue model realignment, and financial literacy and training.

Karla’s professional experience is enhanced through her engagement as a volunteer with several community organizations. She is a board member of the United States Selective Service System, Grand Performances, and continues to be involved in several community projects.

Karla earned a Master of Arts Degree in Public Policy from the Claremont Graduate University and a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science with an emphasis in international relations and specialization in Chicana/Chicano Studies from the University of California, Los Angeles. Ms. Salazar also completed the Executive Program in General Management at the University of California, Los Angeles, John E. Anderson School of Management.

When she is not working, she enjoys spending time with her son and family, hiking, attending outdoor concerts at Grand Performances, and traveling while doing landscape photography.

Francisco Prado

Program Data Analyst/IT Manager

Francisco Prado

Program Data Analyst/IT Manager

Francisco is a native Californian from Los Angeles, the son of Mexican immigrants, and he is the first male in his family to graduate college. He graduated from California State University, Northridge and holds a Bachelors degree in Sociology. His 12 years experience in working with at-risk youth and families in the non-profit sector have given him the tools to assist those that are in need of increasing access to higher education and social services. He has developed and coordinated programs for low income communities that assist in Life Skills, Counseling, Crisis Intervention, and increased academic enrichment and career planning. He is dedicated to his passion which is to see today’s youth succeed and to make sure they are well prepared for the world of tomorrow.

Alma Zaragoza-Petty, Ph.D.

Senior College Advisor

Alma Zaragoza-Petty, Ph.D.

Senior College Advisor

Alma is a native Californian who was also raised in Acapulco, Mexico. She has worked with students for almost 20 years in various capacities and settings. She started as an enrollment officer at East Los Angeles College, where she began her studies. While at UCLA she tutored and advised students in South Central and Huntington Park, where she grew up. As the first in her family to go to college, she became interested in learning about educational equity, and went on to complete a Masters in Counseling at CSU Northridge and a predoctoral internship at UC Berkeley. She lived in NorCal for three years while working for the EAOP and Cal-SOAP programs assisting students become college-ready. She returned to SoCal for her doctoral studies at UC Irvine where she graduated from in 2016. When she is not working with students, she enjoys spending time with her two daughters and partner, performing artist Propaganda.

Cadence Calixto

Volunteer Program Associate

Cadence Calixto

Volunteer Program Associate

Cadence is a proud community college transfer from the Bay Area. They hold an A.A. in Liberal Arts, Social and Behavioral Sciences from De Anza College, and a B.A. in Anthropology and a minor in LGBTQ Studies from UCLA. Cadence’s experiences as a queer student of color learning to navigate academia pushed them to begin working with student populations at both De Anza and UCLA, and has since sparked their passion to empower, support, and create spaces for students with marginalized identities in higher educational spaces. In their free time, Cadence can be found illustrating, cuddling their kitten, and exploring LA with loved ones.

Min-Ling Li

Destination College Programming Lead

Min-Ling Li

Destination College Programming Lead

Min-Ling is a first-generation UC Riverside graduate who grew up In Chinatown, Los Angeles. She joins ScholarMatch specifically on the DC team with more than 10 years of experience as an educator and facilitator. In her previous role, Min-Ling supported the University of Hawai’i TRIO Programs, planning and implementing their academic and career readiness curriculum along with building rapport with key community stakeholders. Min-Ling is a former high school math and science teacher with significant experience in supporting first-generation college bound students and has managed the expansion of STEAM mentorship programs.

Patricia Arroyos

Destination College Volunteer Coordinator

Patricia Arroyos

Destination College Volunteer Coordinator

Patricia is a first generation college graduate and student of indigenous healing arts. She graduated from UC Berkeley with a B.A. in Sociology and a minor in Education. During undergrad career, she focused on grassroots organizing and politicizing youth around access, equity, and social justice in higher education. She went on to empower UC Students across the state to advocate for themselves and uplift the communities they represent. Since then, she has explored other paths of resistance that are interconnected with her indigenous roots to bring healing back to herself, and in turn, her community. She values and recognizes the importance of mentorship on the path to self-expression and aims to create safe spaces where community can support, guide and thrive alongside each other. In her free time she enjoys tending to her many plants, working on her apothecary, or checking out new thrift shops.

Jamie Hall

College Advisor

Jamie Hall

College Advisor

Jamie Hall is a College Graduate from Cal State Long Beach! He has been working in the Education Field ever since he graduated from High School. He wants to one day be a High School Teacher or College Professor in the Long Beach Area where he grew up.

Remote

Jonathan Ho

Director of Data & Information Systems

Jonathan Ho

Director of Data & Information Systems

Jonathan is originally from Hong Kong, China and is a first-generation college student. He received his bachelor’s degree in Mathematics and Economics from University of California Los Angeles and his master’s degree in Business Analytics from California State University East Bay. Jonathan brings his expertise in data analytics, data modeling and database management to his new role at ScholarMatch. He is passionate about using his skill-sets to bridge the gaps between students, counselors and ScholarMatch, and is excited to be a part of a team that helps students achieve their goals of obtaining a higher education. When Jonathan is not tinkering around databases, he can usually be found playing volleyball, role-playing with his toddler, or looking for a new recipe to try.

Paloma Mariz

Development and Communications Manager

Paloma Mariz

Development and Communications Manager

Paloma grew up in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, surrounded by nature, books, and the arts. Her upbringing amid Brazil’s rich culture fueled her curiosity and love of storytelling, ultimately leading to a career in film and video editing. Eager to explore the world and lured in by New England charm, she moved to Boston, MA, to expand her horizons and further her education. Many snowstorms later, she headed west, excited to embrace California’s diversity and progressive culture. Since arriving in the Bay Area, she has been working for education nonprofits focused on educational equity and committed to helping students thrive. A first-generation college graduate herself, she is excited to use her experience to help advance ScholarMatch’s mission of supporting students through college and beyond.

Ronald Hicks

Advising Manager

Ronald Hicks

Advising Manager

A Mississippi Native, Ronald Hicks is a passionate Academic Advising and Student Success Strategist driven to achieve results. Ronald has gained experience in education as a classroom teacher, academic advisor, and HBCU program director. He attended Tougaloo College and Jackson State University studying both Biology and Music. He continues advanced graduate study at Jackson State University in Higher Education Administration. Ronald is an avid researcher and loves perusing ProQuest, reading dissertations as food for thought. He is an active member in a number of civic service/social organizations including 100 Black Men of America, Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc., National Association of Blacks in Higher Education, NACADA, Toastmasters International, Rotary Club International, NAACP, just to name a few. Ronald plans to one day move to the west coast and enjoy the sunny weather. He loves classical music, running, and watching Youtube.

Devon Moore

Senior Director of Programs and Compliance

Devon Moore

Senior Director of Programs and Compliance

(She/her/hers) Devon has worked in higher education for the past fourteen years at various highly selective colleges, supporting and creating more equitable spaces for first-generation and lower-income students. She is passionate about educational access and believes that students should have the opportunity to succeed and thrive through higher education. A native to the Bay Area, Devon relocated to the East coast after high school and received her bachelor’s degree in art history at Princeton and her master’s degree in higher education at Harvard. Prior to joining the ScholarMatch team, she was the founding director of the Center for College Student Success for first-generation, lower-income, and undocumented students at the University of Chicago and also co-founded the FGLI Consortium, a non profit organization for college administrators supporting and empowering FGLI students. Outside of work, Devon enjoys reading, running, and spending time with her extended family.

Julie Angulo

Director Of advancement

Julie Angulo

Director Of advancement

With over 20 years of experience in nonprofit management, Julie has a demonstrated fundraising track record in the higher education, healthcare, and social services sectors. Prior to joining ScholarMatch, Julie was the Senior National Director of AmeriCorps, National Director of Foundations & Grants, and Regional Director of Programs & Development at Up2Us Sports. In her previous capacity at Big Brothers Big Sisters of Miami, she was the Director of Group Engagement & Mentoring where she oversaw youth enrichment programs. In her previous role as Donor Relations Manager at the University of Miami, Julie was responsible for identifying sources of funding as well as preparing grants/proposals to foundations, corporations, and government agencies which resulted in over $1.25M in awards. She also served as the Development Manager for Malteser International Americas as well as the Project Administrator for the International Union Against Tuberculosis & Lung Disease (a non-governmental organization based in France) where she managed a grants portfolio of over $4M. Julie started her career as an intern at Massachusetts General Hospital where she became Project Manager & Consultant in the Department of Radiology’s Quality Management & Education division. A native of Miami, Julie is trilingual (English, Spanish and French). She holds an MBA from Boston University and a B.S. from the University of Miami.

Shay Jones

Senior College Advisor

Shay Jones

Senior College Advisor

(They/Them/Theirs) Shay was born and raised in the midwest, attended the University of Iowa for their undergraduate degree, and began supporting fellow students as a TRiO tutor. After graduation, they moved to Seattle where they worked for two years at Northwest Education Access, supporting students through their GED and into college. Shay then pursued a Masters in Social Work at the University of Washington. While in graduate school, they honed their skills in advocating for students and for their LGBTQ+ community. Upon graduation, they moved to Northern California where they worked at College of the Redwoods CalWORKs, TRiO, and Upward Bound programs. When not working with students, they enjoy hiking with their partner and dog, watching women’s soccer, and eating vegan food.

Board of Directors

Karen Grace-Baker

Right College Choice

Miriam Karpilow

Nutanix

Martha Castillo

Seeds of Grit Educational Services

Sheila Doucet

ScholarMatch Volunteer

Jaime Huling-Delaye

San Francisco Deputy City Attorney

Julie Huang

Alector, Inc.

Jose Martinez

Stanford University

Luz Gomez

Mastercard Center for Inclusive Growth

Terrance R. Mayes, Ed.D.

Stanford University

Alicia Perla

Sacramento Country Day School

Esteban Rodriguez

O’Melveny & Myers LLP

Isaac Kim

Managing Director, Evergreen Coast Capital