Advisory Committee

The Richmond Promise Advisory Committee ensures the policy and programming for the Richmond Promise is informed and furthered by a diverse community stakeholders, and in alignment with the mission, vision, and strategic goals of the Richmond Promise. All Advisory Committee members have a record of demonstrated impact and a commitment to provide resources to support the success of the Richmond Promise. The primary function of the Advisory Committee is to provide knowledge and expertise and advise the Board of Directors to help further the Richmond Promise mission, including in the areas related to college readiness, access, persistence, and identification and alignment of educational resources. 

Jim Becker

Executive Director, Richmond Community Foundation

Bio Pic.jpg

ivette chavez

Lead Financial Services Coordinator, Making Waves Academy

Ivette Chavez was born and raised in East Los Angeles and the youngest of nine children. She is a first generation college graduate. She moved to the Bay Area in 2001 to attend college and graduated from UC Berkeley in 2006 with a bachelor's degree in Rhetoric with a concentration in Public Discourse. In 2014, she completed her Master's degree at the California State University, East Bay in Public Administration with a concentration in Organizational Management and Policy Analysis. She started her career at Making Waves Education Program, Richmond in 2005 as a financial aid intern with the business department. In 2009, she transitioned to the position as College Program Administrator, and she is currently the Lead College Financial Services Coordinator.  


Bob connolly

Assistance Vice President and Manager, Mechanics Bank

lorna 2 (1).jpg


Student Program Director, Students Rising Above

Lorna Contreras-Townsend is the Student Programs Manager at Students Rising Above. She attended St. Mary's College receiving a Bachelor's in Politics, then went on to pursue a Master's in Psychology from The Wright Institute. Lorna's passion lies in giving back to the community that once supported her, and lives in Richmond. She is well versed in the college success process for low income students. 


Bob Evans

Linked Learning, West Contra Costa Unified School District

Bob Evans is a lifelong educator who began his career in education as a middle school math teacher. Bob joined the West Contra Costa Unified School District family in 2010 where he had the wonderful opportunity to take over as the Principal of De Anza High School. Through building relationships among faculty and quality collaboration, De Anza developed an academic culture and in May 2015 was announced by the State of California as a California Gold Ribbon School. His previous administration experience was in the Lincoln Unified School District and the Natomas Unified School District. 

Vickis headshottwo.jpg

vicki ferguson

Dean of Student Services, Contra Costa College

Vicki serves as the Dean of Student Services at Contra Costa College. She has over 15 years of experience in higher education. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology and a Masters of Science degree in Counselor Education. She is a proud resident of Richmond, CA.


Dr. Bruce Harter

Former West Contra Costa Unified School District Superintendent

Bruce Harter retired as superintendent of the West Contra Costa Unified School District in June 2016 after 10 years in WCCUSD and 46 years in public education. A Richmond resident, Bruce volunteers at Kennedy and Richmond High Schools. 

IMG_1291 (1).jpeg

miya hayes

Deputy Director of Strategic Initiatives & P-20 Partnerships, Center for Educational Partnerships

Miya Hayes is currently the Deputy Director at the Center for Educational Partnerships. After majoring in Spanish at UC Berkeley, Miya Hayes taught in rural Texas as one of the first Teach for America participants. She then obtained her Master's in Education from Stanford University in Second Language Acquisition and Instructional Technology and returned to UC Berkeley to join the Center for Educational Partnerships. In her 15 years with the University, she has worked with schools and districts in strengthening college-going culture, specifically through course development for A-G approval and teacher and counselor coaching. She also continues to work with major districts and organizations at state and university levels to develop and implement policies and practices to support African American students to and through post-secondary institutions. 


trina jackson

Liaison to the City Council, City of Richmond


Larry lewis

Executive Director, RPAL


david millstein

Executive Director, College Is Real

David Millstein is a board member, mentor, and volunteer Executive Director of College Is Real, Inc. A retired PricewaterhouseCoopers partner, he has served on a number of charity boards, including the Greater Bay Area Make-A-Wish Foundation where he is currently Board Chair. He has also served on public and private company boards, and was a Senior Director of the Wharton School's Institute of Executive Education. A CPA (inactive), he is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School as well as its School of Law and received a Maters in Taxation from the New York University Graduate School of Law. David was an office in the U.S. Army and a Vietnam veteran.  

Guadalupe Morales Photo.jpg

Guadalupe Morales

Youth Services Coordinator, City of Richmond

Guadalupe Morales is the Youth Services Coordinator in the Richmond Community Services Department. She received her B.A. in Health and Human Biology from Brown University. In 2015, she served as an Americorps VISTA with the City of Richmond on the Love Your Block Initiative, strengthening neighborhood volunteerism in the community. By serving on the Advisory Committee, Lupe hopes to use her experience as a first-generation Latina, college graduate to help Richmond Promise Scholars along their own path to higher education. 


ramona neveu

Director, CSU East Bay MESA Schools Program

Ramona Neveu is the Director of the MESA program at Cal State East Bay and has worked in in college access and academic preparation programs for educationally disadvantaged students for more than 20 years.  From 1996 to 2000, she worked as the Associate Director of Minority Outreach and Retention at the California Institute of Technology, as a guidance and academic counselor at the Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy, and as the Assistant Director of MESA Statewide overseeing operations for 24 MESA pre-college centers in California. She earned her Bachelor's of Science in Sociology from UC Berkeley and Master's in Organization Management from the University of Phoenix. 


maddie orenstein

Early College Programming and Alumni Support Coordinator, Leadership Public Schools

Maddie Orenstein is the Early College Programming and Alumni Coordinator at Leadership Public Schools, Richmond. She also teaches a class on Education Justice for seniors. She believes that college persistence and success is a Richmond-wide issue that requires deep collaboration between all of us. She also loves empowering students to be leaders in education reform. 

DSC_0338 (2).JPG

irene perdomo 

Director of Projects and Programs & Education Representative, Office of Mayor Tom Butt

Irene Perdomo is the Director of Projects and Programs and Education Representative in the Office of Mayor Tom Butt. She was raised in Richmond and attended public schools in WCCUSD. As a public servant and Richmond native, she is committed to ensuring the opportunities through the Promise are maximized for our Richmond/North Richmond youth.


jessica petrilli

Principal, Helm Middle School

Jessica Petrilli started working in WCCUSD in 2006 as a teacher at Richmond High School. She is now in her third year as principal of Helms Middle School. Jessica sees middle school as an essential bridge for a successful transition to high school and looks forward to bringing more college and career readiness to students and families through partnerships such as the one with the Promise. 


jose rivas

Executive Director, UC EAOP

Jose Rivas attended UC Berkeley as a first generation college student. Since then he's had the opportunity to serve in a variety of positions and with various college access programs. He sees these programs as proven solutions to helping low income first generation college-going youth to pursue a college education. 

8287 BizCamp.jpg

demetrio rodriguez

High School Senior, El Cerrito High School

Demetrio Rodriguez is a Chicano Latino from Richmond, California, and a soon-to-be graduate from El Cerrito High School. He enjoys being in the natural environment and backpacking. He loves reading memoirs (maybe he'll write one in the future) and looking up at the stars. But what he truly loves is helping out the community and teaching others what he knows. He was never heard; now he is. He also loves Oori (a rice triangle eatery in Albany).


anita templer

Executive Director, WriterCoach Connection 

Anita Templer was born in England, educated in Europe and, with a lifelong commitment to programs that improve the lives of marginalized youth, has provided leadership at the Boys & Girls Clubs of America, Peninsula College Fund, Girls Speak Out, and Summerfield Waldorf School. Rooted in core values of integrity, dignity, and compassion, she currently serves as Executive Director of WriterCoach Connection and brings an entrepreneurial perspective to initiatives and processes that elevate and sustain youth serving programs. 


veli waller

Program Director, West Contra Costa Public Education Fund


ali wohglemuth

Program Director, Bay Area Community Resources

Ali Wohlgemuth is a Program Director with Bay Area Community Resources where she runs project-based, leadership programs that empower youth to improve community health and personal academic outcomes in West Contra Costa County. During her free time, Ali enjoys sharing good food with great friends, gardening, traveling, and relishing life in the great outdoors.