Staff

Linyi "Nikki" Yu

Program Coordinator
EBSCC

Nikki Yu was born in Guangdong, China, and migrated to the United States with her family at age of 10. She first attended middle school in Los Angeles, California, but shortly moved to Oakland, California. Nikki graduated from the University of California, Berkeley receiving a Bachelor of Arts in Legal Studies with two minors in Education and Chinese in May 2021. Her passion for youth empowerment and education started when she was in high school through her experience as a Tutor in a summer camp where she was later promoted to Program Director Assistant. Starting her first year at...

Lorena Cortez

College Advisor
Pre-College TRiO
ETS

Luis Yataco

Outreach Specialst
CCTS
TAP

Luis Yataco lived in Peru before moving to California to complete his high school education. Although he felt intimidated by the complexity of the college process and did not consider pursuing a university education while in high school, he was lucky to find great mentors at his community college, where he also discovered his passion for education and promoting educational access. After transferring to UC Berkeley, he continued working with fellow students and was fortunate to become involved at the Transfer Student Center, the Office of Undergraduate Admissions, and the Starting...

Mayzia Thompson

Program Assistant (Office Manager)
Pre-College TRiO
CEP Admin

Mayzia was born and raised in Sacramento, California. She is a product of the Early Academic Outreach Program (EAOP) and Academic Talent Search (ATS) program. A wildcat for life, Mayzia graduated from The University of Arizona in 2014 with a Bachelor’s in Nutritional Sciences, with an emphasis in Dietetics. At an early age, she recognized the importance and vast impact of college readiness programs, and now takes pride in being a part of a team that is making the same positive impact on younger generations. Mayzia enjoys shopping, traveling, watching and playing...

Melinda Martinez

High School Teacher Training Coordinator
Puente

Melinda Martinez identifies as a Chicana and grew up roller skating in the LA suburbs. She has her BA in English from UCLA where she fell in love with Latinx writers who reflected experiences and cultures similar to her own. This fired up her passion to teach literature, which began her 20 year journey as a high school English teacher in the San Francisco Unified School District. She feels privileged in her role working with amazing teachers across the state to support underrepresented students as the High School Teacher Coordinator for the Puente Project. She loves...

Melissa Calderon

Program Coordinator
Pre-College TRiO
UB
UBMS

A little bit about myself - I was born and raised in Los Angeles and decided to move to the bay when I got accepted to UC Santa Cruz. I studied Environmental Studies/Biology and Legal Studies. After graduating, I had the opportunity to work with the Educational Partnership at UCSC with a college access program called GEAR UP. This opportunity led me to realize that I had a passion for education and that I should continue to pursue equitable access to higher education for first generation students like myself. Outside of work, I love to read books, work out, and hang out with my dogs...

Monica Montenegro

Executive Director
EBSCC
CEP Leadership

Mónica has dedicated her professional career to advocating on behalf of low- income students and broadening their access to higher education. She has served as Executive Director of the East Bay Consortium since the year 2000 and serves as Director of the East Bay and Solano County Consortium, a Cal-SOAP Project. Mónica started working at EBC while she was a student at Cal. She was hired full time when she graduated from Cal.

Mónica came from Chile with her parents and three of her five siblings when she was 16. She graduated from Richmond...

Nicholas Childs

Math & Science Programs Coordinator
Pre-College TRiO
UB
UBMS

Following six years with the University of Hawai’i at Manoa’s Educational Talent Search program, Nick is entering his first year as UCB’s Upward Bound Math and Science Academic Preparation Specialist, primarily working with high school students in California, Nevada, and Hawai’i. He is a first-generation college graduate, earning both his Bachelors and Masters degree from University of Hawai’i at Mānoa, focusing much of his research on indigenous agency and political relationships with western methods of energy production. Nick believes that through decolonizing education, and...

Nikko Roxas

Interim Co-Director
EAOP
DCAC
CEP Leadership
A LITTLE ABOUT ME I was born in the Philippines and moved to the United States when I was 13 years old. I am a former Pittsburg High School Pirate (Class of 2006) as well as an EAOP alumnus! With the support of EAOP, I had the opportunity to attend UC Berkeley. As an immigrant, I didn't have much knowledge of the college systems here in the US. All I knew was that furthering my education was something that was in my future. EAOP showed me the path towards my goal and for that I will be forever grateful. WHY I AM COMMITTED TO THIS WORK The advice that I...

Paola Gutierrez

College Advisor
Pre-College TRiO
UB
UBMS

Paola Gutierrez was raised in Richmond, California. She graduated with a Psychology and Chicanx Studies double major and an Education minor at the University of California, Davis. She is very passionate about advocating for first-generation students because she wants to ensure she is a support system. She is an EAOP and TRiO alumnae. During her undergraduate education, she worked at the Educational Opportunity Program (EOP) as a peer advisor for first-generation, low-income, and former foster youth students. In addition, she was a part of a non-profit organization, an academic sorority,...