2012-13 Council

LC member Alex Saldivar

Alex Saldivar
Age: 20
Hometown: Amarillo, TX
Education Level: Some College
Resume Highlights: Featured in Amarillo ISD’s first issue of “Portraits,” Who’s Who-Caprock High School, Hugh O’Brian Youth Leadership-Far West Texas Chapter
Favorite AmeriCorps moment: Actually seeing the kids that I have mentored succeed in not only school, but in life.
Why did you join AmeriCorps: To serve my community in a different way rather than non-profit organizations.
Future Plans: Go to medical school and become a pediatrician.
Hobbies: Tennis, running, and volunteering
Favorite Quote: “You’ve gotta dance like there’s nobody watching, Love like you’ll never be hurt, Sing like there’s nobody listening, And live like it’s heaven on earth.” –William W. Purkey

LC member Andrea Gordon

Andrea Gordon
Age: 23
Hometown: Garland, TX
Education Level: Bachelor's Degree in Development and Family Studies with a Minor in Psychology
Resume Highlights: Site Coordinator at Oak Cliff UMC for Project Transformation (2012-2013), Year-Round Intern for Project Transformation (2011-2012), Community Resource Caseworker for the Children's Advocacy Center of Collin County (2011), AVID Tutor for Mesquite ISD (2011-2012), Youth and Children's Sponsor within the local church (2008-2012)
Why did you join AmeriCorps: The commitment to serve children and families within the community was the most appealing aspect of Project Transformation and being able to better develop those relationships with the communities we serve.
Future Plans: When my AmeriCorps service is complete I plan to attend graduate school where I will gain a Masters degree in Social Work, so that I can better serve communities and their needs.
Hobbies: Soccer, Running, Photography, Traveling
Favorite Quote: "And I think that's what our world is desperately in need of – lovers, people who are building deep, genuine relationships with fellow strugglers along the way, and who actually know the faces of the people behind the issues they are concerned about." – Shane Claiborne

LC member Cesiah Horcasitas

Cesiah Horcasitas

Bio coming soon!








LC member Daniela Martinez

Daniela Martinez
Age: 24
Hometown: San Antonio, TX
Education Level: Bachelor of Science
Resume Highlights: Community involvement via different outlets for over nine years.
Favorite AmeriCorps moment: The reflection of the impact made and unity formed with the cohort of students we worked with in-school and afterschool.  And that likewise with my team members as we said our final goodbye’s at the end of our service term.
Why did you join AmeriCorps: The organization’s ability to provide the adequate opportunities for service-minded individuals to labor on behalf of underrepresented and traditionally ‘insignificant’ populations to bring about equality to these, who are often found in the midst of pressing societal issues in many local communities.
Future Plans: Attend graduate/professional school; remain civically engaged through social entrepreneurship undertakings.
Hobbies: Exploring vegetarian/vegan cooking; allot time to self-teach music theory; play guitar
Favorite Quote: “The best advice you may bestow upon anyone is only the one you have gracefully lived, and thus, led by.”

LC member Danielle Werle

Danielle Werle
Age: 22
Hometown: St. Louis, MO
Education Level: Associate of Arts Degree in General Transfer Studies
Resume Highlights: Vice President of Youth Advisory Board and Board Member of the American Red Cross of Greater St. Louis, NCCC Corps Member and Project Outreach Liaison for AmeriCorps NCCC Pacific Region, Kohl’s A-Team organizer
Favorite AmeriCorps moment: My favorite AmeriCorps moment was team reveal in AmeriCorps NCCC. We were given an object and we had to run around a football field, searching for others that had the same object as us. Long and behold, those same individuals would be the strangers that would eventually become my second family. We were a team of diverse backgrounds, all coming from different states, and we had to live together, work together, eat together, play together, and grow together, ultimately defining the most amazing, eye-opening experience of my life.
Why did you join AmeriCorps: I was an avid volunteer growing up and I really enjoyed serving my community. I joined AmeriCorps for many reasons – to gain experience, pursue various interests, satisfy my desire to serve my community, immerse myself in diverse cultures, meet new people, and, consequently, live outside of my comfort zone.
Future Plans: My ultimate dream is to become an International Pediatric Nurse Practitioner and work in impoverished communities across the world to provide aid. I have nursing school to look forward to next fall.
Hobbies: Traveling, learning, playing/watching Missouri sports, reading, volunteering
Favorite Quote: “And that is how change happens. One gesture. One person. One moment at a time.” – Libba Bray

LC member Estefania Gonzalez

Estefania Gonzalez
Age: 20
Hometown: Brownsville
Education Level: College Junior
Resume Highlights: I am currently pursuing my bachelors in mechanical engineering, and this will be my third year in the AmeriCorps Program in Brownsville, TX.
Favorite AmeriCorps moment: When I see a student I served in college and for them to take the time to say thank you for helping me.
Why did you join AmeriCorps: For the satisfaction of serving my community.
Future Plans: I plan to finish my bachelors and get a masters in industrial engineering.
Hobbies: Read, soccer, and spend time with my friends and family.
Favorite Quote: “Our lives begin to end the moment we become silent about things that matter.” – Martin Luther King Jr.

LC member Eyitayo Omoyeni

Eyitayo Omoyeni
Age: 33
Hometown: Austin, TX
Education: Bachelor’s Degree
Resume Highlights: Graduated from Texas Southern University/Bachelors of Social Work, Some leadership experience from AmeriCorps Jumpstart Programs, Dean’s List and Honors Awards
Favorite AmeriCorps moment: My favorite moment was when I was a part of putting together a college tour for high school kids who were a part of a program called Upward Bound and we were able to get 50 college bound kids to travel outside of Houston, TX to visit their colleges. During the tour I found out how inspired the kids were and some of them had never been outside of Houston, TX and said they want to go to college.
Why did you join AmeriCorps: Initially I joined AmeriCorps because of the stipend and the seagal award, but I became more familiar with AmeriCorps I enjoyed what I was doing. I was also proud of the accomplishments.
Future Plans: I will be working on my master’s degree in social work at University of Houston part time and I will also maintain a part time job.
Hobbies: I play the violin. I like to practice with my daughter when I have time.
Favorite Quote: This is one of  my favorite Bible verse: Jeremiah 29:11; For I know the plans I have for you declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, to give you a hope and a future.

LC member Frank Moreno

Frank Moreno
Age: 26
Hometown: Roma, TX
Education: Bachelor’s Degree
Resume Highlights: AmeriCorps Alumni (2011-2012), active volunteer at Behive (Marshall), active member in Perez Elementary Green Team
Favorite AmeriCorps moment: My favorite moment in AmeriCorps was Make a Difference Day at Bastrop. We helped clear debris and ash from a home that had been destroyed by the wildfire that year. It was such a moving experience because I saw everyone work together to make such a positive thing happen out of such a tragic event. In the end, I firmly believe it brought hope to the people of the home and inspired the will to rebuild.
Why did you join AmeriCorps: Initially, I joined AmeriCorps for professional development. I wanted to see if teaching was something I would like to do later on as a career. I am glad I joined because I found that it is and it has enabled me to network with administration and gain valuable skills from faculty.
Future Plans: I have future plans of obtaining a teacher’s certification in Texas in ESL Generalist 4-8.
Hobbies: Video-editing is a newfound hobby, Song-writing, Gardening, and Sightseeing
Favorite Quote: “When a person really desires something, all the universe conspires to help that person to realize his dream.” –The Alchemist by Paulo Coehlo

LC member Helen Kondos

Helen Kondos
Age: 22
Hometown: Plano, TX
Education: Bachelor’s Degree
Resume Highlights: I graduated with honors from the California Institute of Technology. I have worked with the human rights group Amnesty International, Dallas Child Protective Services and Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison. I specialize in using statistics to demonstrate institutionalized injustice.
Favorite AmeriCorps moment: My favorite AmeriCorps moment has been seeing my students motivated to succeed because they will be the first person in their family to go to college, and possibly even the first person in their family to graduate from high school.
Why did you join AmeriCorps: I joined AmeriCorps to serve urban youth in this country by improving their educational opportunities.
Future Plans: I plan on earning my Ph.D. in Statistics at the University of Oxford.
Hobbies: I enjoy reading, playing piano, participating in theater and volunteering.
Favorite Quote: “Well behaved women rarely make history.” –Eleanor Roosevelt

LC member Hilda Luna

Hilda Luna
Age: 41
Hometown: Cd. Juarez, Chih
Education: GED Diploma
Resume Highlights: Volunteered at the El Paso ISD helping with fundraising efforts and chaperoning on field trips.
Favorite AmeriCorps moment: My favorite moment was when I signed the AmeriCorps contract and I was officially a part of AmeriCorps.
Why did you join AmeriCorps: I joined AmeriCorps because I saw an opportunity to better myself and be an independent woman and to have better goals in life.
Future Plans: My future plans are to improve my English, attend college, and obtain my college diploma.
Hobbies: I have a lot of hobbies. I like to sing, dance, read, and learn new things, but the hobby I enjoy the most is to spend time with my family.
Favorite Quote: “Yo Puedo ser la persona que quiero ser” Translation: I can be the person I want to be.

LC member Imory Jefferson

Imory Jefferson
Age: 24
Hometown: Humble, TX
Education: Bachelor of Arts in Psychology
Resume Highlights: Presidential member of the Sigma Alpha Pi chapter of the National Society of Leadership and Success; Wake Forest University Pro Humanitate Service Award Recipient; Bronze Medallion Recipient for the UNC-Greensboro Leadership Challenge Program.
Favorite AmeriCorps moment: Meeting my College Forward team for the first time.
Why did you join AmeriCorps: I believe service is vital to the development of the whole self. I joined AmeriCorps because I wanted to serve without distraction and move forward on my career path feeling grounded and refreshed.
Future Plans: After serving with AmeriCorps I plan to attend medical school and pursue a career in child and adolescent Psychiatry.
Hobbies: Singing, listening to music, thrifting
Favorite Quote: “Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.”

LC member Israel Lopez

Israel Lopez
Age: 24
Hometown: Los Angeles, CA
Education: College Senior at Southern Methodist University
Resume Highlights: Five years with Los Angeles Unified School District and East Youth Services (Beyond the Bell).
Favorite AmeriCorps moment: During training my favorite moment was working with and meeting all of the AmeriCorps members. I also highly enjoyed hearing the speakers we had and their experience with AmeriCorps.
Why did you join AmeriCorps: Simply put, I wanted to give back to the community and help in any way I could.  So many people say they would like to make a difference in their world, but many times little is actually ever done. It’s not enough to speak about change, but to get up and walk outside and make change happen. I believe actions will always speak louder than words, and AmeriCorps is a group that acts. I wanted to stop talking and start doing and AmeriCorps was the perfect organization to get involved in for that purpose.
Future Plans: I plan on graduating from Southern Methodist University in May of 2013 with a BA in English and a minor in Latin American Studies. After that I plan on attending graduate school to receive my MFA in Acting. I would like to write more plays and develop my own theatre company that primarily serves underprivileged youth and exposes them to the different facets of theatre (playwriting, acting, design, management etc.). Eventually I would like to create a national play development program/group that develops dramatic texts that are performed and address social and economic issues for residents within particular neighborhoods across the US. My vision is that these plays not only create a text but would help develop a community where people are able to work together on an artistic endeavor that also addresses community issues. 
Hobbies: Playwriting, theatre and acting, running, soccer, community projects, literature and film.
Favorite Quote: “Think globally, act locally.” -Paul McCartney

LC member Itzel Flores

Itzel Flores
Age: 17
Hometown: Mission, TX
Education: High School Senior
Resume Highlights: I am currently my school’s National Honor Society President, Health Occupation Students of America’s Vice-President, and Mu Alpha Theta’s Historian, as well as part of the Yearbook club.
Favorite AmeriCorps moment: While working in my communities’ Boys and Girls club I could see the enthusiasm in the children’s eyes as they played together in various sport. One particular child caught my attention, he was about 10 years old and part of the basketball team, he was not a very good, but he was proud to be part of a team. I feel his joy as he became great friends with the rest of his team members, and how the rest despite anything did not judge him.
Why did you join AmeriCorps: Inspiration came from my older brother, Jose Ernesto Flores, who was part of the AmeriCorps Youth Harvest this past year. I got to see how much the children in our community that he mentored looked up to him and saw him as a friend. I knew it would be a perfect opportunity to reach out to my community, especially the youth who are the future, more than I had already.
Future Plans: Over the years I have been inspired by various community service events to continue to help; I plan to continue to help by becoming a Medical Doctor in order to give back to my community.
Hobbies: I enjoy public speaking, especially the art of photography, but my main interest is serving my community.
Favorite Quote: “Everything happens for a reason” -Marilyn Monroe

LC member Jennifer Yoo

Jennifer Yoo
Age: 27
Hometown: Roswell, GA
Education: I graduated from the University of Georgia with a Bachelor of Arts in French and Women’s Studies.
Resume Highlights: Some of my resume highlights include teaching English at a middle school in South Korea, volunteering as a healthy eating class instructor with Ready For Work, which is a residential substance abuse program that helps chemically dependent women who are pregnant and/or have children, and working as a first grade teacher at a summer school in Atlanta, GA.
Favorite AmeriCorps moment: My favorite AmeriCorps moment so far has been meeting with the young people I will be serving.
Why did you join AmeriCorps: I joined AmeriCorps because I believe that serving with AmeriCorps would give me the opportunity to help people in bigger and more impactful ways than I have been able to do before.
Future Plans: After my service with AmeriCorps, I would like to go to graduate school for Social Work. After graduate school, I would like to work as a College Career Counselor in a high school.
Hobbies: I enjoy hiking, listening to music, and travelling. I also like going to the movies and cooking.
Favorite Quote: “One voice can change a room. If it can change a room, it can change a city. If it can change a city, it can change a state. If it can change a state, it can change a nation. If it can change a nation, it can change the world. We will change the world with your voice.” – President Barack Obama

LC member Leslie De La Rosa

Leslie De La Rosa
Age: 22
Hometown: Mission, TX
Education: College Graduate
Resume Highlights: UK-US Fulbright Commission Summer Institute Award, St. Edward's University Presidential Award, McNair Scholars, Mellon Foundation Fellowship.
Favorite AmeriCorps moment: Doing our Breakthrough cheers at the end of training.
Why did you join AmeriCorps: I simply wanted to serve our community.
Future Plans: Get my doctorate in Latin American Studies and be a professor.
Hobbies: Reading, singing, dancing, traveling, community service, and, on occasion, sleeping.
Favorite Quote: “I am only one, but I am one. I cannot do everything, but I can do something. And I will not let what I cannot do interfere with what I can do.” ― Edward Hale

LC member Lisa Potter

Lisa Potter
Age: 24
Hometown: Shorewood, MN
Education: College graduate- B.A. in Psychology and minor in Latin American Studies
Resume Highlights: 5.5 months with the California Conservation Corps’ Backcountry Trails Program, studying abroad in Chile and Peru, working on a ranch in Montana for 6 months.
Favorite AmeriCorps moment: Running through a field in Northern New Mexico with my crew, during a thunderstorm, watching the sunset in one direction and a double rainbow over a volcano in the other.
Why did you join AmeriCorps: To help protect the beautiful natural areas our country has, and get to live and work in them too.
Future Plans: Another AmeriCorps term with Texas Conservation Corps!  This time leading one of our newly formed Emergency Response crews. 
Hobbies: Reading, hiking, and working with my hands.
Favorite Quote: “A purpose of human life, no matter who is controlling it, is to love whoever is around to be loved.” – Kurt Vonnegut, Jr.

LC member Nathan Kinsman

Nathan Kinsman
Age: 25
Hometown: Yarmouth, ME
Education: Bachelor’s Degree
Resume Highlights: Completion of 1700 hours of direct community service while working in a Title 1 public elementary school. Also, provided weekly individual tutoring for an English Language Learner so that they may make use of community programs and obtain a better quality of living.
Favorite AmeriCorps moment: My favorite AmeriCorps moment was when I accompanied third grade students from Perez Elementary to the Martin Luther King Jr. Day community march where we paraded through the streets of Austin from the Capitol building to the Huston-Tillotson campus.
Why did you join AmeriCorps: I joined AmeriCorps to fulfill my passion for education by having the opportunity to work closely with low-income students. By providing these students with a strong literacy foundation, I have felt the tremendous sense of fulfillment that comes with empowering young minds.
Future Plans: I intend to continue working in education and to take a leadership role in the field by establishing a non-profit education organization that will provide economic opportunity for the impoverished.
Hobbies: In my spare time I enjoy running, hiking, camping, bicycling, playing the guitar and collecting vinyl records.
Favorite Quote: “Respect is the ultimate currency.”

LC member Nicole Gabler

Nicole Gabler
Age: 22
Hometown: Schulenburg, TX 
Education: B.A. in Mass Communication and currently enrolled in the Nonprofit Graduate Certificate program at Texas A&M University
Resume Highlights: I worked with the legendary White House Press Secretary assistant, Peter Roussel.  I honed my public relations and event planning proficiency under his guidance at Sam Houston State University.
Favorite AmeriCorps moment: My favorite AmeriCorps moment is witnessing the community support for the Healthy High/Healthy Choices program.  Volunteers and local officials take time off from their busy lives to help AmeriCorps teach children healthy eating choices and lifestyles, and the effect of health on their mental acuity. 
Why did you join AmeriCorps: I joined AmeriCorps because I felt an innate urge to help others. I needed an outlet to express my creative and altruistic energies, and wanted to be part of something bigger. AmeriCorps has had a big impact on the community, and I am grateful that I can contribute. 
Future Plans: I will earn my master’s degree in Nonprofit Management from Texas A&M. I will use that knowledge to further my involvement with AmeriCorps or start my own animal shelter. 
Hobbies: I love creating my own necklaces and antiquing. My favorite time of year is the Warrenton-Round Top Antique Show. I spend days exploring miles upon miles of hidden treasures. 
Favorite Quote: “You can only become truly accomplished at something you love. Don’t make money your goal. Instead pursue the things you love doing and then do them so well that people can’t take their eyes off of you.” ― Maya Angelou

LC member Sarah Garza

Sarah Garza
Age: 23
Hometown: Baytown, TX
Education: Bachelors in Business Administration
Resume Highlights: Resume highlights includes a four year membership and elected position within Alpha Phi Omega National Service Fraternity, a two year commitment with City Year including a Team Leader position, and an international Marketing Internship with Concern World Wide.
Favorite AmeriCorps moment: My favorite AmeriCorps moment was participating in the Martin Luther King Day of service and march in San Antonio, Texas. It was moving to see an empty lot be transformed into a community center and more importantly to see people using the space we created during the march.
Why did you join AmeriCorps: I joined AmeriCorps because I wanted to help meet the needs of my community while making a positive impact in the lives of those around me. City Year San Antonio allowed me the opportunity to help tutor and mentor the disadvantaged youth in the community I had become familiar with. I was fortunate as a child to have great parents who instilled the values of education and hard work in my life be coupled with an education system that held me to very high expectations. Now as a young professional I know that it is my duty to make possible the opportunities that provide a real chance at success for our nation’s youth.
Future Plans: I plan to pursue a career with a non-profit organization. I also plan on returning to school to obtain a M.B.A. with a concentration in non-profit management.
Hobbies: Some of my hobbies are long distance running, reading, and traveling.
Favorite Quote: “Two roads diverged in a wood, and I, I took the one less traveled by, And that has made all the difference.” –Robert Frost

Sarah Hawkins LC memberSarah Hawkins
Age: 26
Hometown: Austin, TX
Education: B.A. in Communications from Concordia University Texas
Resume Highlights: In 2008 I graduated on the Dean’s List from Concordia University Texas with a B.A. in Communications, I began working for The Boys and Girls club as a Program Specialist at Webb Middle School. I wrote and taught curriculum in a variety of subjects. After I left Boys and Girls Club, I joined AmeriCorps VISTA and served in New Hampshire. As the Events and Operations Coordinator for Welcoming Light, I coordinated a number of events including the annual Thanksgiving dinner that provided 300 homeless or needy members of the Nashua community with a healthy meal on Thanksgiving. Through other events, like Project Homeless Connect, I coordinated donations that provided coats, blankets, and hygiene products to Nashua citizens. When I moved back to Austin, I was excited to serve for a second year in AmeriCorps, this time my hometown.
Favorite AmeriCorps moment: My favorite AmeriCorps moment so far was organizing The Partnership for Successful Living’s 2011 Thanksgiving Dinner. I loved seeing members of the community enjoy volunteering to help their neighbors.
Why did you join AmeriCorps: I joined AmeriCorps because it gave me the opportunity to gain professional experience while working for an organization that provided valuable resources to the community.
Future Plans: After AmeriCorps, I hope to complete my Masters in International Studies and find work with an NGO or major non-profit. I want to do international development for an organization that focuses on education.
Hobbies: Soccer, Reading, Traveling
Favorite Quote: “The only people for me are the mad ones, the ones who are mad to live, mad to talk, mad to be saved, desirous of everything at the same time, the ones who never yawn or say a commonplace thing, but burn, burn, burn…” -Jack Kerouac, On The Road