SEED Lab 2018 Cohort

Slider

MARYLOU ADRIATICO

Seed Program, Moreno Valley, CA

Marylou Adriatico is the Co-Founder and Program Director of The Seed Program. Her experience as a Social Worker for Riverside County Child Protective Services and a Foster Family Agency, along with her serving and mentoring marginalized youth, have been important factors to her dedication to serve and advocate for youth in foster care.

Marylou is a doctoral student in the Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership Program at CSU San Bernardino. Marylou also earned a Master’s in Social Welfare (’16, University of California, Los Angeles) and a B.A. in Social Welfare, Minor in Education (’14, University of California, Berkeley).

The Seed Program‘s mission is to establish a comprehensive support network for youth in foster care based on mentorship, community, and awareness. The program was created to provide youth with the support that they have been lacking in their family system, education system, and child welfare system. Its co-founders’ goal is to support foster youth in their educational journey through high school and beyond, ensure and encourage a successful transition into adulthood. The idea of The Seed Program (formerly called Mustard Seed) was developed in the summer of 2014. In November 2017, The Seed Program started implementing a pilot at its founders’ high school alma mater in Moreno Valley, California. Currently, Marylou and Joseph are preparing a reiteration of the pilot project for the 2018-2019 academic year.

JOSEPH POSADAS

Seed Program, Moreno Valley, CA

Joseph Posadas is the Co-Founder and Program Facilitator of The Seed Program. Joseph has worked for Renaissance Scholars at Cal Poly Pomona, a support program for former foster youth, and is currently a Child Care Worker for Riverstones Inc., a residential treatment facility for boys in foster care. His commitment to working with this population was inspired by his work as an Older Youth Leader at a local high school where he spent his time supervising and mentoring hundreds of students everyday after-school.

Joseph earned a M.S. Education: Emphasis in Higher Education (’18, California State University, Fullerton) and a B.S. Business Administration (’14, University of California, Riverside).

The Seed Program‘s mission is to establish a comprehensive support network for youth in foster care based on mentorship, community, and awareness. The program was created to provide youth with the support that they have been lacking in their family system, education system, and child welfare system. Its co-founders’ goal is to support foster youth in their educational journey through high school and beyond, ensure and encourage a successful transition into adulthood. The idea of The Seed Program (formerly called Mustard Seed) was developed in the summer of 2014. In November 2017, The Seed Program started implementing a pilot at its founders’ high school alma mater in Moreno Valley, California. Currently, Marylou and Joseph are preparing a reiteration of the pilot project for the 2018-2019 academic year.

DR. JERMARA DAVIS-WELCH

The Supermodel Society, Moreno Valley, CA

Dr. JerMara Davis-Welch, the Founder of The Supermodel Society, is committed to increasing private business ownership in African American and Latino communities. JerMara’s work is inspired by her experience as an educator who has witnessed first-hand the importance of encouraging the development of entrepreneurial skills as a tool to empower underserved individuals. In addition to her work with her organization, JerMara presently serves as the Assistant Dean and Director of Teacher Education at University of California, Riverside, Graduate School of Education.

With a focus on culturally marginalized youth—namely African American and Latinos — The Supermodel Society seeks to develop curriculum and programs that teach entrepreneurial literacy and economic principles that will lead to an increase in successful business ownership within these groups. The Supermodel Society encourages underserved youth to explore and expand their entrepreneurial potential and trains them on how to overcome the barriers they have been facing. The goal is to steward a new generation of role models and infuse marginalized communities with opportunities and hope. The Supermodel Society will launch its pilot project in October 2018.

ORCHID DAOUDIAN

FUTURE

Orchid Daoudian is the Founder of FUTURE, an innovative high tech workforce training program, she designed based on the lessons learned while shadowing her father as he was building his business in the healthcare sector. Orchid’s entrepreneurial experience includes the establishment of an authorized training partnership with the American Red Cross certifying students in Red Cross classes like First Aid, CPR, Lifeguarding etc. She earned her BA in Business Administration – Marketing from University of California Riverside (’18).

FUTURE aims to revolutionize the marketplace in order to give value to well-trained employees, while alleviating the hiring needs of employers by transforming modern day learning and educating students through fun and high-tech animation. It is designed to provide individuals in search of a sustainable career better and affordable access to high quality training. It seeks to reduce barriers to already working individuals who due to financial and scheduling reasons are not able to improve their skills, identify new opportunities and start their professional transition.

CARLOS JAVIER IDEA

Green Roofs

Carlos Javier Idea is the Founder of Green Roofs, an initiative he started planning and developing since his early days as a student at University of California Riverside, where he enrolled in 2017. The winner of the 2018 UCR Highlander Challenge, he came to focus on environmental issues and their correlation to improving student experience on campus while volunteering in the campus garden and pantry.

Green Roofs works to improve the student experience by means of turning the on campus concrete rooftops into green spaces. Rethinking and giving a different purpose to these spaces, Green Roofs aims to tackle issues like increasing students’ interest in environmental issues by giving them the opportunity not only to learn about but also to participate in sustainable living, and providing environment friendly recreational zones, on campus student employment and food security, and air quality.

GABRIEL GUZMAN

Project Pride, Riverside, CA

Gabriel Guzman is the Founder of Project Pride. As a first-generation student, Gabriel’s work reflects his queer and Latinx background and his interests to empower the LGBTQ artistic community in Riverside. At the University of California Riverside, he focuses on the intersections between cultural representation and neon signage, queer Latinx representation in fiction, nonfiction, media, and art using queer theory as the foundation for his approach.

Project Pride aims to create, educate, and mobilize support for the LGBTQ community by using art as a medium to communicate shared experiences. Simultaneously, the project seeks to build and empower this community by connecting queer identifying artists and secure potential jobs for the artists who seek to create positive change for the LGBT community. The queer art collective wants to inspire critical thinking and action and create visible histories and relationships that will serve as a reflection of the diverse queer population in Riverside.

CASSIE A. NGUYEN

Spotlight On Hope Film Camp, Riverside, CA

Cassie A. Nguyen, the Founder of Spotlight on Hope Film Camp – SOH, is a pediatric brain cancer patient whose traumatic experience with isolation and depression associated with her condition inspired her to establish this program in 2013. Going through her own battle with death, she found a lot of support in the outreach programs she was involved in that provided various social activities for children diagnosed with brain cancer and gained a therapeutic experience from her participation.

Spotlight on Hope Film Camp provides free of cost film instruction classes for pediatric and young adult cancer patients and their siblings. Its goal is to serve as an escape from the emotional and physical drain cancer treatment places on them and their families and provide a safe creative space that the whole family can enjoy. Since 2013, SOH has been running workshops for cancer patients and their families in collaboration with various student associations at University of California Los Angeles, University of Southern California, University of California Irvine and University of California Riverside, serving over 100 participants.

SILVIA PAZ

Alianza, Eastern Coachella Valley, CA

Silvia is the Executive Director and founder of Alianza Coachella Valley. Her most vivid childhood memories are about the mobile home park she grew up in, about 1.5 miles from the community of Mecca, California. The first time she left her community was to attend college at the University of San Diego. Unlike many of her peers who left Coachella, Silvia returned and started teaching at the local high school. When she took over the management of the Building Healthy Communities initiative in the Coachella Valley, she realized she had the opportunity to tackle the most relevant issues in our community in a way that wasn’t done before. Silvia worked for the California State Legislature specializing in housing, infrastructure, economic development, renewable energy, and the Salton Sea in the 56th Assembly District. In 2013, she was elected to represent Division One of the Desert Recreation District and has since worked with her board colleagues to increase equitable access to parks and recreational opportunities. She holds a BA in English from the University of San Diego and a Master in Public Policy from the Harvard University Kennedy School of Government.

Alianza Coachella Valley, launched in the summer of 2018, builds on the experience of Building Healthy Communities initiative and aims to become a long-term sustainable organization that reflects and meets the needs of those living in Coachella Valley. The services Alianza offers aim to address issues at their root through personal coaching, leadership development, and cultural healing. The most innovative aspect of this coalition is that Alianza is uniting a rather isolated sector to combine resources for collective change. Given Alianza’s focus on a community’s ability to self-determine, its expertise lies in being the best at staying rooted and providing the platform for community to have a voice. Moreover, Alianza’s long term goal is to become a self-sustainable organization.

GABRIELA ARMENTA SANTOYO

Aztec Dance and Talking Circle Citlaltonac, Coachella Valley, CA

Gabriela ‘Gabby’ Armenta is the Co-Founder of Danza Azteca Citlaltonac, a traditional Mexica group founded in the Coachella Valley in 2007, and of the Talking Circle Citlaltonac. The legacy and spirit of this group’s origin comes with the belief of Musica, Canto, y Danza…mantiene el cuerpo y el espíritu en armonía / Music, Song, and Dance keeps the body and spirit in harmony as a way of LIFE. A longtime resident in the Coachella Valley, growing up in a Mexican cultural household and a dedicated community builder has inspired Gabby to establish an initiative that combines music and arts, religious roots, and community empowerment throughout the Coachella Valley. Gabby’s family history and connection to her roots are at the foundation of her work and determination to empower others and incentivize them to participate in healing practices and community resilience through dance and traditional talking circles. Gabby’s experience, patience, and dedication to her community inspire others to learn about the beauty of this culture, traditions of their ancestors, and understand the importance of activism and social justice to all generations.

Aztec Dance and Talking Circle Citlaltonac is an initiative that promotes Mexican heritage, rooted in Aztec ceremonial traditions. The group is open to anyone interested in learning the native traditions and practices of the Anahuac people of Mexico, including natural medicine. Through dancing and talking circles, traditions that have been passed down through generations, this initiative provides a safe healing space where the participants are able to find their sense of belonging, balance their daily lives, and connect with others. For the past several years, each gathering has become more than just a tool to bring their community together. It is about learning a new language, the poetry behind the songs, the medicinal properties and the use in everyday herbs, the structure, and discipline of being a part of a circle.

Established in 2007 in Coachella Valley, Citlaltonac has expanded its reach to local and out of town communities participating in a variety of venues such as museums, organizations, city hosted events, and inner tribal ceremonies in the areas of Coachella Valley, Banning, San Bernardino, Riverside, Baldwin Park, Los Angeles, Orange County, Yuma, and Phoenix Az.

CLAUDIA J. ARMENTA SANTOYO

Aztec Dance and Talking Circle Citlaltonac, Coachella Valley, CA

Claudia Armenta is a co-founder of Danza Azteca and Talking Circle Citlaltonac along with her sister Gabby Armenta. Claudia’s commitment to her community and her cultural traditions stems from empowering community members to be a part of something deeper that holds traditional and ancestral meaning. This understanding comes directly from the acts of resistance through dance, music, art, and the passing down of knowledge to younger generations. Claudia’s empowerment is embodied in her dedication to this group and its unique development of cultural practices along with evolving identity of indigeneity and her Mexican descent. In the community, Claudia is a strong community leader and dancer that has been directly involved in regional and local politics, building relationships with various community and social organizations, and holds strong ties with the regional and local religious groups.

Aztec Dance and Talking Circle Citlaltonac is an initiative that promotes Mexican heritage, rooted in Aztec ceremonial traditions. The group is open to anyone interested in learning the native traditions and practices of the Anahuac people of Mexico, including natural medicine. Through dancing and talking circles, traditions that have been passed down through generations, this initiative provides a safe healing space where the participants are able to find their sense of belonging, balance their daily lives, and connect with others. For the past several years, each gathering has become more than just a tool to bring their community together. It is about learning a new language, the poetry behind the songs, the medicinal properties and the use in everyday herbs, the structure, and discipline of being a part of a circle.

Established in 2007 in Coachella Valley, Citlaltonac has expanded its reach to local and out of town communities participating in a variety of venues such as museums, organizations, city hosted events, and inner tribal ceremonies in the areas of Coachella Valley, Banning, San Bernardino, Riverside, Baldwin Park, Los Angeles, Orange County, Yuma, and Phoenix Az.