Dr. Faye McNair-Knox, Executive Director, came to One East Palo Alto in 2004 after serving for five years as Executive Director of Start Up, an East Palo Alto-based nonprofit micro-business initiative. A long-term resident, she has lived, worked, volunteered, and raised a family in EPA since 1965 and is proud to call this city home. Before Start Up, Dr. McNair-Knox was an Associate Professor of Modern Language Education at Florida International University (FIU) in Miami. Prior to that, she held professorial positions at universities located throughout the United States and in Africa, including a Fulbright Senior Scholar appointment at the University of Maiduguri in northern Nigeria (1988-89). In addition, Dr. McNair-Knox’s higher education career highlights include a long-term association with Stanford University, where she completed undergraduate work, earned two masters degrees, and graduated from the Ph.D. program in Curriculum and Teacher Education in 1985 doctoral degrees. She also held administrative and teaching positions there from 1981 to 1991.
Kava Tulua, Associate Executive Director, OEPA Mental Health Initiative & Victor Lopez Community Mentor Project Coordinator currently serves as a consultant on a variety of projects to One East Palo Alto (OEPA) and El Concilio of San Mateo County (ECSMC). Prior to her current role as OEPA’s Special Projects Consultant, Kava was promoted to Coordinator of Programs for the organization after serving as Community Organizer for a year. She is the co-founder of Ta’ahine ‘o Moana, a project that supports the holistic growth of young Pacific Island women which is currently being implemented in Los Angeles. She completed her Master’s Degree in Counseling Psychology from John F. Kennedy University where she was a mentor, panel speaker and teaching assistant to new and continuing students as well as a School-based Counselor for the Cupertino Unified School District. She received her Bachelor’s Degree in History from the University of California, San Diego. In November, 2006, Kava was hired as Executive Director for the Pacific Islander Community Center (PICC) in East Palo Alto. During her time at PICC she re-organized their After-School Program and reconnected it to its community partners and school. Following her work with PICC, Kava was offered an opportunity to work with OEPA which she believes is the culmination of leadership development, and community advocacy and engagement. Finally, as the Community Mentor Project Coordinator for the Sponsored Employment Program, Kava has witnessed community connectedness at its best.
James Childs, Office Manager, came to OEPA in 2010 as part of the Sponsored Employment Program. Born and raised in East Palo Alto, he comes with multifaceted experiences in community services . He has mentored and worked with youth for over eight years and has volunteered at numerous local non profit agencies. He is a deacon at a local faith based organization and is currently seeking his Bachelors in Business Administration.
Carlos Jalpa, a 27 year EPA resident, is a Latino Social worker with over 12 years of experience working in nonprofit sector organizations in both Santa Clara and San Mateo counties. Mr. Jalpa served as Coordinator of the Citizenship Program at the Centro Bilingüe in East Palo Alto for four years. He also served as a home visitor for Family Support Center of the Mid-Peninsula in EPA and as a case manager at El Concilio of San Mateo County’s Emergency Services Partnership, also located in EPA.
Mr. Jalpa moved on and worked as CA Certified Counselor on Domestic Violence at the Support Network for Battered Women in Sunnyvale. Presently, he is working for the Community Health Awareness (CHAC) as parent educator helping and supporting Latino families in Mountain View and Sunnyvale cities.
Mr. Jalpa graduated from California State University at San Jose with a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology and a minor in Mexican American Studies. Prior to that, he earned an Associate of Arts Degree in Individual Studies from Foothill College and a Family Development Credential (FDC) from College of San Mateo. Mr. Jalpa is a member of the Apostolic Assembly Church in East Palo Alto. There, he has served as a leader in different areas such as, Sunday School Superintendent and Sunday School teacher for children, teens and couples. He also volunteered as Director of the Juniors Ministry for several years and is currently Coordinator of the Second Harvest Food Bank distribution at Apostolic Assembly Church.
Samuel Tavera is the Program Associate for YouthEastPaloAlto (YouthEPA). He earned a bachelor’s degree in Theology, and is pursuing a Master’s degree in Theology. He is majoring in Political Science and plans to transfer in Fall 2017 to San Francisco State University. As a high school student, he believed youth needed to speak up about the issues that were affecting them, so Samuel first joined YouthEPA as a high school participant in 2009 because he felt he could make a positive impact in his community. Currently he is the Director of Youth Ministry at the East Palo Alto Apostolic Assembly Church leading over 80 youth. Before joining One East Palo Alto as Program Associate for YouthEPA in 2016, Samuel was an intern in the office of California State Assemblyman Rich S. Gordon, where he worked and advocated for more support of public education in East Palo Alto.
Kala Lacey is the program assistant for Youth East Palo Alto (YouthEPA) and is a native to East Palo Alto. She first joined YouthEPA as a participant her sophomore year of high school, to empower her peers to avoid the stigma of underage drinking and drug abuse among youth in her community. Before working at One East Palo Alto, Kala previously worked at Ravenswood City School District as an after school program assistant. Kala is a second year college student at Cañada College majoring in Education with a minor in Business. She has a long standing commitment to her community with eight years of volunteer experience working with local faith based organizations.
Mele K. Latu is a long time East Palo Alto resident who is committed to improving the mental health of all children in the East Palo Alto community.
Abel C. Velazquez, Abel C. Velazquez has been a resident of East Palo Alto all his life. He came to One East Palo (OEPA) with substantial experience volunteering in a local community-based organization. A graduate of San Francisco State University he holds a Bachelor’s degree in Philosophy, and a Bachelor’s degree in Philosophy and Religion. Abel participated in the Sponsored Employment Program (SEP) as Peer Mentor in the Summer of 2017. OEPA recognized his hard work as Peer Mentor and hired him where currently, he works part-time at The Barbara A. Mouton Multicultural Wellness Center (The Mouton Center) as the Program Communications Facilitator, while also working part-time with the Behavioral Health Advisory Group Ambassador Team (BHAGAT), which operates in partnership with the Ravenswood City School District (RCSD) as a school-based mental health crisis response team and is a certified in Mental Health First Aid.
Rev. Teirrah McNair, Sponsored Employment Program Coordinator, is an ordained Christian minister, educator and writer with over 35 years of experience building people through the arts, literacy and biblical studies. A product of both Ravenswood City School District and Sequoia Union High School District, McNair was active in EPA’s struggle for incorporation, taught English and drama at Nairobi College, was a California Arts Council artist in residence at Kavanaugh School (now Cesar Chavez Academy) and the Shule Mandela Academy, and spent nine years as a literacy specialist assigned to the local nonprofits East Palo Alto Senior Citizens Center, Free At Last and Our Common Ground. Her continuous goal has been to empower students and audiences to step up, speak out and boldly walk into their destinies. As such, Rev. McNair has graced auditoriums, schools, churches, museums and sound stages as both actor and workshop facilitator. Bay Area theater aficionados will remember her critically acclaimed performance productions of “Dirty Laundry”, “Faithwalker: The Life and Times of Dr. Mary McLeod Bethune”, the revelatory “Hiding Out”, as well as her many other works.
Rev. William Chester McCall, comes to One East Palo Alto Neighborhood Improvement Initiative (OEPA) with over 45 years of experience working in the community-based nonprofit and community organizing sectors. His work has taken place within federal, state and local governmental agencies as well within multicultural, multiracial and economically diverse communities. Rev. McCall has served as Executive Director of the East Palo Alto Senior Center and as Homeless Program Supervisor for the City of Oakland. He has also shared a 16 year street ministry in San Jose, California. From 2009 to present, he serves as Lead Consumer/Family Member Program Facilitator at The Barbara A. Mouton Multicultural Wellness Center (The Mouton Center) operated by OEPA.
Rev. McCall earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Sociology from California State University of San Jose and a Masters of Divinity degree with emphasis in pastoral counseling and theology from Pacific School of Religion of the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley, California. He is a certified Mental Health First Aid instructor. Rev. McCall serves as a National Anti-racism-Anti-oppression Multicultural Diversity Trainer for the Unitarian Universalist Association, working with congregations and community- based organizations seeking to be anti-racist-anti-oppressive multicultural and diverse entities
Ligia Hernandez, as a 19 year resident of East Palo Alto (EPA), Ligia Hernandez, comes to One East Palo Alto (OEPA) with work experience in Ravenswood City School District. Ms. Hernandez has worked as an After School Program Leader at Willow Oaks Elementary, which she herself previously attended for nine years. As After School Program leader, she worked with all grades, but predominantly kindergarten, first, fourth and fifth graders. Her additional work experience includes OEPA’s Sponsored Employment Program (SEP) where she took on the role of Peer Mentor (PM) for young people ages 14-24. In the PM role, Ms. Hernandez supported her SEP mentees’ efforts to resolve work related disputes as well as personal tensions.
Ms. Hernandez earned an A.A in Psychology from Cañada College. She is preparing to attend San Francisco State University where she will work towards completing a Bachelors of Arts degree in Communicative Disorders and a minor in Special Ed.
Viliami Young, a consumer of mental health services, currently serves as TMC’s part-time Consumer/Family Member Program Facilitator and will assume the full-time role of Peer Wellness Mentor Coach. He is a native of the Island of Tonga whose commitment to community service has been lifelong. A former police officer in the Tongan police force and founding member of Fili Tonu, a youth health initiative sponsored by the Tonga Family Health Association, Viliami is an experienced community health advocate and educator who turned his personal struggles with mental health into triumph through service. In his role at The Mouton Center, he draws upon personal experiences to advocate for members of the Pacific Islander community who, like himself, have been stigmatized for their struggles with mental health. September 2012 will mark his second year in the C/FMPF position, where he has used his thorough knowledge of San Mateo County services to help himself and other consumers of mental health services navigate through wellness and recovery processes. At TMC, Viliami has also provided peer support to Pacific Islanders and other ethnic group residents of East Palo Alto, East Menlo Park and Redwood City who utilize the center’s support services.
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EPASAPC's Youth Substance Use Baseline Survey
is NOW AVAILABLE ONLINE!
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Responsible Beverage Service Training
The East Palo Alto Substance Abuse Prevention Coalition (EPASAPC), convened by One East Palo Alto, offers FREE Responsible Beverage Service Training workshops. Please contact OEPA at email@example.com