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Bios: Student Organizers

Learn more about these passionate student leaders working on different projects and campaigns, on and off campus!

VIDA

VIDA Internal

About the Project

 VIDA is a hub, a place to build community, work in solidarity, and dream of transformation! Students gather in the office to organize, work on projects, get plugged into campus activities, and hang out!

For students to build skills and knowledge outside the classroom, students engage in various social justice campaigns on and off campus. As volunteers, one might sign up and have different levels of commitment, eventually taking on leadership roles. However, as a paid Intern, students are identified/placed in specific roles and are accountable for major responsibilities on the campaigns. The ultimate goal is to build student power and to be agents of change in this world.

Students can also earn a Leadership and Social Change Certificate by taking courses at De Anza College.

Related Project: Office of Equity (De Anza Department), Students for Justice (Club)

HEFAS

About the Project

HEFAS (Higher Education for AB 540 Students) is an institutional program at De Anza that provides many resources, reduces financial stress, and creates a safe learning environment for all students, with an emphasis on undocumented, AB 540, and DACAmented students. Their free services include printing, textbook/calculator rentals, scholarship and transfer information plus access to computers, counselors, mentors, and tutors. Their vision is to give students, parents, educators, and community members the tools to help undocumented students reach higher education regardless of the barriers that may exist.

Brenda Pantoja 

 brenda

Born in Guadalajara, Mexico, Brenda Sulette Pantoja is DACAmented and proud of it. Brenda recently received her AA degree and is taking a year off for personal and professional development before transferring to a CSU. She is majoring in Business Administration with a concentration in Entrepreneurship. Meanwhile, she is also working on the Business Development team at a local B2B marketing start-up. She would like to obtain her MBA down the road.  


I’m very excited to be a VIDA intern this year with HEFAS - I can’t wait to show you what’s in store!

About the Project

HEFAS (Higher Education for AB 540 Students) is an institutional program at De Anza that provides many resources, reduces financial stress, and creates a safe learning environment for all students, with an emphasis on undocumented, AB 540, and DACAmented students. Their free services include printing, textbook/calculator rentals, scholarship and transfer information plus access to computers, counselors, mentors, and tutors. Their vision is to give students, parents, educators, and community members the tools to help undocumented students reach higher education regardless of the barriers that may exist.

Other Roles and Activities:

Mentor for LEAD (Latino Empowerment at De Anza)

408.864.5559

ab540hefas@gmail.com

Office Hours:

M: 9:30AM-1:30PM TUE: 10am - 12pm

WED:9:30am - 1:30pm THR: OFF
 FRI: 1pm - 2pm


Manny

manny

Hello, my name is Manuel Alonzo Barrios, but I like to go by Manny. I was raised in Oaxaca, Mexico. At the age of 11, I moved to Gilroy, California, along with my mother. Today, I’m pursuing a major in Biological Sciences here at De Anza College. My main educational goal is to become a General Dentist one day. I’m really excited to be part of the HEFAS team as the Office Coordinator; I’m ready to dedicate my time and the experience that I’ve gained as an AB 540 student to help others like me. I know being an AB 540 student brings up many challenges when it comes to pursuing a higher education. But trust me, out of all the things I’ve learned, there’s always a way around them - all you need is ganas!

Other Roles and Activities:

(408) 864 - 5559

ab540hefas@gamil.com

Office Hours:

M: 9am - 3:30pm TUE: OFF

WED: 9am-3:30pm THR: 12pm- 2:30pm

 FRI: 9:30am - 2pm

Itzel

itzel

I was born in Mexico City. I was raised more than half my life in America. I will obtain my A.A degree (Spring 2017). My goal is to double major--Sociology and Political Sciences. Ieventually want to work for the government. I have been working at HEFAS since 2014 and I am very proud to see all the effort that was put into the program in order to grow. I am glad to know how HEFAS has been assiting, supporting, and advocating for the undocumented community (on and off campus). 

 

Other roles and activities:

(408) 864-5559 Office Hours:

ab540hefas@gmail.com M: OFF  TUE: OFF

itzelm.sanchez1@gmail.com  WED: 1:30pm- 4pm  THR: 1:30pm-4pm   FRI: 11:30am- 4:30pm

 
AnaKaren 

Ana

Born in Mexico City and raised in San Jose, I am a first year student pursuing my AA degree at De Anza College. I hope to transfer to a UC where I will obtain her Bachelor’s degree. Although undecided in my exact major, I hope to choose one that will make me content and exemplify my passion for helping people.

I am excited to be part of HEFAS and aid in helping undocumented/AB540/DACA students pursue a higher education and overcome the obstacles that are faced on a daily basis. Being undocumented does not mean we should give up a dream of higher education and HEFAS provides a community of people that understand and strive for greatness.

Fund Our Future
Education POLICY Interns

About the Project

Four billion dollars will be taken away from our education budget if prop 55 does not pass! We need volunteers to register voters and identify voters interested in voting yes on prop 55. After the election, we will transition into fighting for free college tuition, textbook affordability on-campus, and increased funding for education.

Ben Wergin

Fund Our Future Intern

Bio

Born and raised in the south bay. A psych major looking to provide help to my committee. I’m striving to bring funding to California’s desperately underfunded education system.  I want to stop the decline of quality and availability of educational opportunities for today’s students and future generations of Californians.

Other Roles and Activities:

408-429-3085

brwergin@gmail.com

Office Hrs:


 

Sara

Fund Our Future Intern

saraSara is a sophomore at De Anza College. She has spent four years volunteering as a teacher and substitute teacher at the Weekend Islamic School. She is passionate about good comedies, small children, and mass social movements. As an intern for Fund Our Future, Sara is dedicated to reforming the K-12 and community college systems

Other Roles and Activities:

(408) 444-1264

sara.elzeiny@gmail.com

Office Hrs:

 TRANSITIon Intern

Keerthana Muthukrishnan

TRANSITion Intern

keerthanaKeerthana Muthukrishnan is a sophomore at De Anza College and is also a member of the honors program. Aside from being an intern for TRANSITion De Anza, she is a Vice Chair of the finance committee in the DASB Senate. She has contributed over 700 hours of community service with organizations such as Tri-City Food bank, Thrift Store, Rebuilding Together Silicon Valley, Mike Honda for Congress, Kidango, Century Village Apartments, and the City of Fremont. Her interest in social change and justice was sparked when she joined the DASB Senate and continued to grow as she became a volunteer for TRANSITion. Her moral values have expanded and she now works with others towards producing a more sustainable planet by advocating for an efficient public transportation system. She aspires to organize others into caring about the environment. Her academic goals are to transfer within two years to a UC and major in Environmental Economics to implement initiatives that will create a better community around her.

Other Roles and Activities: DASB Senator (Finance Committee, Marketing and Communication Committee), System Affairs Directors for SSCCC

muthukrishnankeerthana@gmail.com

Office Hrs:

 Elias Kamal

EliasElias Kamal is a second year student at De Anza College interning for TRANSITion De Anza through VIDA. Currently a double major in political science and environmental sustainability, Elias is passionate about education policy, environmental issues, and socioeconomic justice. On campus he is also involved in the Leadership and Social Change program, community organizing efforts, writes for the student newspaper La Voz, and currently serves as the Student Trustee for De Anza. With TRANSITion he hopes to encourage students to mobilize, organize, and take direct action for a more sustainable society.

Other Roles and Activities: Student Trustee

e-mail: kamalelias@fhda.edu  Office hours: Tuesdays and Thursdays 

 12:00 - 1:30

Renters Rights

Join a movement in San Jose to fight back against skyrocketing rents. Housing is a human right! Participants will attend meetings and join some of the most influential non-profits in San Jose in spreading awareness and getting voters to approve a measure to decrease or stabilize rents in San Jose and make the area more affordable to live in.

Some activities for students: getting tenants to sign letter to city council, attending housing related meetings, meeting with council members, coming out to rallies, holding renters' rights and organizing workshops in SJ districts, getting SJ college student governments to pass a resolution in support of renters' rights, and much more!

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