Angelica Gomez–UCSC Arboretum
A Central California transplant, Angelica received her BS in Psychology from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, where she served her initial year with SLO-CASA. She has a passion to serve and help others in any capacity and this is her second term at the UCSC Arboretum & Botanic Garden and third Americorps term! Angelica enjoys music, hiking, thrifting, and cooking in her spare time. She is looking forward to learning and growing more in her current position.
Angela Tapia – Young Writers Program
An aspiring teacher and perpetual writer, Angela Tapia is a recent graduate of UC Santa Cruz, where she earned a B.A. in Literature and a minor in Education. Across all professional pursuits, she values collaboration that results in stronger communities and louder voices. Volunteering with Young Writers Program last year inspired her to be as open and brave as the young people she mentored. She juggles reading too many books at a time, spent last summer improving stories for kindergartners, and enjoys her free time being with family.
Brianna Del Franco – Digital NEST,Watsonville
Brianna K. Del Franco is a native of Watsonville, California. Throughout her educational trajectory at Watsonville High School, Brianna was an avid leader of the Business and Technology and the Watsonville Ivy League Project. Brianna was recognized in 2010 for her award winning piece on “My Story, It’s just Beginning.” Upon graduating from Watsonville High School, Brianna furthered her education at University of California, Los Angeles. Brianna holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science and Chicana/o Studies, with a minor in Education. Brianna traveled to France and Italy to study comparative politics-particularly looking closely at Europe’s relationship with other states and the role it increasingly assumes in both Africa and the Middle East. Brianna is a passionate educator of bridging the achievement gap between low-income first generation and second generation students. Aside from her research in France and Italy, Brianna also has an extensive background in education throughout various parts of Los Angeles. Brianna now gives back to her hometown by serving in the AmeriCorps VIP Fellow position partnered at the Digital NEST.
Sandra Pineda – Digital NEST, Watsonville
I am a recent graduate from University of California Santa Cruz. I majored in Sociology with a concentration in Global Information and Social Enterprise Studies. I am originally from Tulare, California and decided to stay for a while longer within Santa Cruz county to give back to the community in the form of volunteering.
I strive to advocate for underrepresented communities; whether it pertain to food insecurity, educational inequality, or poverty. I am thrilled to be working with Digital Nest and to have the opportunity to learn more about the nonprofit sector while working with and mentoring youth to build skills and pursue career opportunities. Digital Nest goes above and beyond to empower the underrepresented youth of this community by helping them pursue professional aspirations, and I am very excited to be a part of their mission.
Erin Devitt – Ecology Action
Originally from Ohio, Erin lived in four states in the East, Midwest, and South before moving to her favorite place of all, Santa Cruz. Here she obtained her BA in Politics from UC Santa Cruz. She is passionate about social and environmental justice and intends to help create a more sustainable and humane world. In her spare time, you can find Erin DJing local events, doing yoga, hooping, and exploring nature.
Elana Sanford – Volunteer Center of Santa Cruz County
Originally from Santa Cruz, Elana received her BS in Biology and Economics from Tufts University in Boston. As an undergrad, she was involved improving access to college for first generation college students. In the future she hopes to attend medical school and is passionate about health and early childhood education. In the meantime she is excited to be the Lead AmeriCorps VIP Fellow, working with the wide variety of organizations that the Volunteer Center of Santa Cruz County supports.
Melissa Miketa – Volunteer Center of Santa Cruz County
Originally from North Carolina, Melissa graduated from East Carolina University, majoring in Psychology and minoring in Criminal Justice. She moved to Santa Cruz shortly after graduation for a change of scenery and to be part of community engagement here at the Volunteer Center. She has a passion for meeting new people and experiencing new things. Melissa is a hardcore foodie, sunset chaser, and music enthusiast. In her free time she enjoys cooking, hanging out with friends, and watching her east coast sports teams.