Diane brings a lifelong commitment to equity in education as the first generation in her family to attend college and over fifteen years of non-profit management experience. Since joining East Bay College Fund as Executive Director in 2011, the organization has expanded the number of students by 700% and increased the annual scholarships awarded to over $2.5M. Diane lead the development of the Reboot and CREWS Programs that contribute to East Bay College Fund’ college graduation rate of four times the national average for low-income students. She also developed partnerships with the African American Male Achievement Initiative, Oakland Unified School District, community colleges, four year colleges and industry partners to streamline a pipeline for students to enter college and graduate ready for careers. In 2016, she inaugurated the Oakland Promise with Oakland Unified School District and the City of Oakland to triple the number of college graduates in a decade.
Prior to joining East Bay College Fund, Diane was Executive Director of Seven Tepees Youth Program in San Francisco for seven years. She also developed three college access programs that are still supporting youth around the Bay Area: Y-Scholars in Berkeley, College Now in San Francisco, and East Bay College Fund’s college access program. Previous to college access work, Diane was a Bilingual Resource Teacher and administrator in middle and high schools for seventeen years and led projects to empower all youth with the belief that they could attend college. When she’s not working, Diane can usually be found sailing on the bay.
Rachel Antrobus, Director of College Access
Rachel joins our team as Director of College Access after serving as Dean of Merritt College and Senior Program Associate of Strategic Partnerships for Career Ladders Project. With an expertise in community college Career and Technical Education and transfer, Rachel was primary lead for California Community College Linked Learning Initiative, an effort funded by the James Irvine Foundation to realize the promise of post secondary of the linked learning statewide strategy.
Previous to that she served as Partnership manager for Gateway to College National Network, where she lead the development- funding streams and partnerships – of ten new sites across the nation. Rachel has never been a stranger to scaling, previously she served as Director of Transitional Age Youth leading a public/private inter-agency program serving over 7,000 disconnected youth in San Francisco.
Rachel has an expertise in college access and persistence, with years of experience in partnering, strategic planning, program design and implementation, evaluation, and grant writing. Rachel leads East Bay College Fund’s partnership with OUSD, many other access partners in the development of Future Centers at the school site and supports students to successfully transition from high school to college.
In Rachel’s spare time she is working on her Doctorate at USC in Educational Leadership, Higher Education.
Jessica Burgos, Persistence Coordinator
Jessica Burgos is a 2012 East Bay College Fund Alumni with a passion for psychological research, volunteering, and community engagement. She is a recent graduate from San Francisco State University where she received a B.A. in Psychology with minors in both Criminal Justice and Classics. She joins the East Bay College Fund staff as a Persistence Coordinator where she engages with scholars in order to encourage persistence and resilience during their undergraduate careers. Jessica believes that access to higher education is necessary to help foster social change. In her spare time, Jessica enjoys practicing yoga and participating in 5K races.
Tiana was born and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area. She rejoins us as an AmeriCorps 2nd-Year Public Allies member after recently graduating from San Francisco State University with a B.A. in Anthropology in 2015. Tiana has a passion for non-profit work to help the Bay Area community through higher education access and persistence. As the College Persistence Coordinator, she will be supporting the program team’s growth to help more students achieve success with their higher education goals.
Arbour Decker, Director of Strategic Partnerships
Arbour joins East Bay College Fund in September 2016 as the Director of Strategic Partnerships. Working closely with Diane and our committed Board of Directors, Arbour will be responsible for leading EBCF’s talented Development team in forging and fostering collaborations that will further drive our mission of changing the lives of Oakland youth.
Prior to joining East Bay College Fund, Arbour served as the Director of External Relations at OneJustice, a statewide legal organization. Arbour also held development and communications roles at the University of San Diego’s School of International Business, San Diego State University’s College of Professional Studies and Fine Arts, and the Boys & Girls Clubs of Southwest Washington. Arbour received a B.A. in Communication from Western Washington University and a M.A. in Communication from San Diego State University, and holds leadership positions on the Association of Fundraising Professionals’ International Development and Diversity & Inclusion Committees, along with SDSU Alumni Association’s Bay Area Chapter.
Born and raised in Taiwan, Arbour quickly realized her love for Oakland upon arriving here three years ago. Aside from college access, Arbour loves travel, social justice, sampling Bay Area cuisine, watching the Warriors win, and occasionally attempting to sing Karaoke.
Eric Guico, Director of College Programs
Eric joined East Bay College Fund in 2011 as a college counselor and now as Director of College Counseling works to scale our programs with a lens to persistence. Eric has developed the Reboot, CREWS, and the counseling program with a growing team of near-peer college coaches.
He was raised in San Diego but now considers the Bay Area home. After earning his B.A. in the Study of Religion from UC San Diego, his passion for education led him to pursue a Masters of Education in Student Development Administration at Seattle University. He has worked with universities across the country including Morehouse College, Syracuse University, and UC Berkeley. Through his work on Project SOAR II, Eric also served the students and families of Oakland High School and Skyline High School prior to joining East Bay College Fund. With Diane, he led the development of the CREWS and Reboot Programs. When he is not working towards student success, he practices martial arts and spends time with this friends and family.
Matthew Hulse, Director of Mentoring & Career Development
Matt became our Director of Mentoring and Career Development after more than 20 years in education. After obtaining his B.A. from U.C. Berkeley, he spent over ten years teaching in east bay high schools, including Kennedy High School (Richmond), Far West (Oakland), McClymonds (Oakland), Contra Costa Alternative School (Orinda) and Sacred Heart (Menlo Park). He founded “Aspire Education Project” and served as Executive Director for nine years, providing fundraising, finance, partnership, and programming for the organization. He first became a mentor for EBCF in 2011, and was our Outstanding Volunteer of the year in 2014, both of which illustrate his life-long commitment to educational equity.
He has expanded our mentoring program and deepened our partnerships in summer programs and with industry partners to provide networking, career exploration, and internships.
For 15 years Tonaka has held various positions in Higher Education. Most recently, she worked 10 years as Academic Advisor at the Academy of Art University. Over the years, she gained extensive knowledge of Higher Education administration and policies as well as unique ways of connecting with student populations. Tonaka studied Film and Media at Arizona State University and is currently in pre-production on a video magazine called Oaktown Social, featuring local artists, entrepreneurs, and community leaders making impacts in their communities. Her passions range from culture to social politics.
Marcus Ma, College Access Coordinator (Americrops Public Allies)
Attending the University of Washington, graduating in 2014 with a B.S. in Molecular, Cellular, Developmental Biology, and a Minoring in Microbiology, Marcus himself is a first generation college student. He participated in a College Access programs called Achievers by the College Success Foundation back in Washington State. That program was vital to his college success and persistence.
Following Marcus served as a Peer counselor for College Success Foundation’s Achiever College Experience Program and as a mentor for the University of Washington Dream project. In both programs he coached high school students through the college application process. Now serving his second term at East Bay College Fund Marcus has experience researching and developing various College Persistence models. Equity and Diversity in Education are very important to him.
Michelle McNamara, Leaders for Educational Equity &Public Policy Fellow
Michelle has worked in education and research for over 10 years. She taught first grade in the Bronx as a 2007 NYC Teach for America corps member, and also taught high school English in France. She’s worked as an internal program evaluator for Turnaround for Children and, most recently, worked as a researcher for Character Lab. Michelle has bachelors degrees in Sociology in Psychology from the University of Maryland and a Master’s degree in Education and Politics from Teachers College.
Afi Nkhume-Crecy, Communications & Diversity Outreach Coordinator (Americrops VISTA)
Afi was born and raised in the Bay Area and graduated from Oakland Technical High School in 2012. She is also an East Bay College Fund Alumni class of 2012! Following her passions and majoring in Interdisciplinary Studies, studying a combination of Public Health and Equity, she completed her BA at UC Berkeley in 2016. Afi also minored in African American Studies, while staying on the Pre-Med track.
With a variety of experiences surrounding community outreach and a deep belief in equitable education for all, Afi joins East Bay College Funds team as a Communications & Diversity Outreach Coordinator. Afi works to develop an effective communication and action plan to help raise the visibility of East Bay College Fund and the Oakland Promise in the greater community. She also will engage community members and work to increase the companies “online presence”.
When she is not working, Afi enjoys going on intense hikes, reading about the African diaspora, sketching, and painting.
Rachana Prasad, Data Coordinator
Born and raised in India, Rachana has a Bachelors in Information Science and a degree in Rural Management from Institute of Rural Management Anand. She worked as a software engineer at Schneider Electric for 2 years and as Senior Manager in a Microfinance organization for 2 years. Rachana moved to the United States in November 2014. She strongly believes that education is a means for empowerment and her hobbies are baking, hiking and travelling.
Lena Ringstrom, Volunteer Coordinator (Americorps VISTA)
Lena’s professional experience post college (UC Santa Cruz) mainly involved providing case management and referral services to young adults in the mental health community. Gaining invaluable experience and perspective working in multiple residential group homes, she worked with adolescents from all walks of life, including those of varied gender identities, sexual orientations, and cultural backgrounds. In spite of her clients’ differences, she still observed one common theme: there was a serious lack of access to quality, affordable education. Being a queer, social justice advocate, Lena decided she wished to have a greater impact on changing the very systems that put them in these circumstances, thus her shift of focus to education.
Working as our newest Volunteer Coordinator, Lena is dedicated to supporting our scholars’ ability to succeed through recruiting, training, and maintaining the team of volunteer mentors that partner with and support our scholars on their journeys through college. When not at work or volunteering, Lena deeply enjoys traveling like a local to faraway places, pretending to be a food critic, and attending live music shows.
Sara Sandhu, Development & Communications Manager
Sara joins the East Bay College Fund team with a commitment to student success and equity in public education. Sara recently held posts within the Peralta Community College District at both Merritt College and Berkeley City College, supporting the development and expansion of Career and Technical Education (CTE) programs and early college credit opportunities for local high school students. Sara graduated with her BA from the University of California, Berkeley and is planning to pursue a GreenMBA with a focus on sustainability and social enterprise.
Eric Smith, Director of Finance and Administration
Eric provides strategic leadership to our organization as we continue to scale including budgeting, grant management, projections, and strategic financial partnerships.
For 10 years Eric has served as the Director of Finance at the Ed Roberts Campus. In this role, Eric was responsible for the financial leadership of a $47 million dollar capital campaign, strategic partnerships with seven organizations, and critical development projects both public and private. Eric has also served as Co-Executive Director of Center for Accessible Technology, in charge of development, finance, and strategic partnerships.
When Eric isn’t going over our numbers he is spending time with his family, doing art projects, or supporting his many endeavors as a disability advocate.
McKenzie Stewart, College Persistence Manager
McKenzie was born and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area. From an early age, her family instilled in her the idea that a life of service and giving back to the community is a life of fulfillment and success, and that a four-year college education is not only a necessity but a privilege. After attending Spelman College in Atlanta, Georgia, for her first year of school, McKenzie completed her Bachelor’s degree in International Studies at the University of California, Irvine. She believes all students have the right to a quality and equitable education. And all deserving students should have access to higher education without the fear or burden of the cost. McKenzie has supported and mentored low income, first generation, youth of color across the Bay Area as they pursue their dreams of completing a 4-year college education. She works hard to ensure students have guidance and the proper tools to be successful in a university setting. When not supporting students she enjoys exploring the beautiful sites of Northern California or cooking and baking for her friends and family. Prior to working for East Bay College Fund, Mckenzie was a College Coach and Youth Development Program Coordinator at Juma Ventures.
Melanie Teng, Operations Manager
Melanie joined East Bay College Fund in 2011 and served as Development Associate and expanded her role to facilitate our data tracking and scholarship selection process.She joined the East Bay College Fund after graduating from the University of California – Berkeley with a Bachelor’s degree in Political Economy. She has spent most of her career volunteering and working for nonprofits in San Francisco and the East Bay supporting youth from disadvantaged communities. to As the first generation to graduate from college in her family, Melanie is passionate to support other students from immigrant families.When Melanie isn’t writing a grant she is competing in swing dancing or hiking in the Sierras.
Jen-Jackson Tribbet, Persistence Coordinator (Americorps Public Allies)
Jen-Jackson studied Women’s, Gender, & Sexuality Studies at the college of Wooster with a Full tuition scholarship from Posse Atlanta. The summer of his Junior year, he interned at Transgender Law Center here in Oakland as the Advancement Intern, working on donor relations, communications, and database organization. The year after that summer Jen graduated with her B.A. in Women’s Gender in Sexuality studies in May of 2016 and started working here at East Bay College Fund through Public Allies SF/Silicon Valley.
Jen-Jackcon’s interests mainly revolve around arts, equity, access, and community building. In college Jen felt very hyper visible and was often verbally attacked as a queer feminine person black person in a predominately white institution, but also felt very grateful to have the opportunity to afford to go to a college without the burden of paying a ridiculously large tuition. The way their college experience played out fuels their goals to serve the students of East Bay College Fund in their educational goals in way that fosters equity, diversity, and well-being.
On the behalf of the East Bay College Fund Staff, Happy Holidays!