Kava Tulua M.A., Executive Director,
Kava Tulua assumed her role as Executive Director (ED) on November 1, 2018, succeeding long-term ED Dr. Faye McNair-Knox who made her transition on September 12, 2018. One of the major tenets that guided Dr. Faye McNair-Knox’ work was her commitment to preparing the next generation of community leaders. This principle was greatly reflected throughout the organization’s programs and initiatives, and more directly, in her grooming and preparation of Ms. Kava Tulua, her chosen successor. During Kava's 12 year tenure with OEPA, she served in several capacities and worked very closely with Dr. Faye. No matter the task or the title, she consistently displayed exemplary skills, commitment to excellence and the highest level of integrity in her work. It is for this and many other reasons that Dr. Faye chose to mentor and prepare Kava for the future of the organization.
Kava brings to the table over 20 years of experience in community organizing, building partnerships, mentoring and training. She was exposed to OEPA’s work in 2004 while volunteering for a local nonprofit during her graduate studies. She then became engaged with OEPA as a community partner in 2006 as well as a Board member. In March of 2007, Kava was hired to oversee OEPA’s mental health initiative. Within a year, she was promoted to Coordinator of Programs, a role she served in until 2009. From 2009-2018, she served as Special Projects Consultant in which she helped build a number of organizational initiatives from the ground up, assisting with program development, instruction and facilitation as well as grants development and management.
Samuel Tavera, Office Manager,
He earned a bachelor’s degree in Theology. 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 Youth Pastor along side his wife Karina Tavera, 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.
Vei Finau-Mahe, Senior Community Organizer/Program Coordinator,
Veiongo Finau serves as One East Palo Alto’s Senior Community Organizer/Program Coordinator for YouthEastPaloAlto (YouthEPA) responsible for overseeing community and school site-based components of its youth-led substance use prevention initiative, as well as serve as lead staff for the initiative’s Steering Committee. Veiongo grew up in eastern Menlo Park/Belle Haven a neighborhood adjacent to East Palo Alto (EPA) that is smaller, but demographically very similar. Before coming to OEPA in 2010, she completed a Family Services Certification in Human Services. She held the position of Program Coordinator/Parent Liaison for Pacific Islander Outreach, a community center that provided counseling, school site mentorship, after school tutoring and cultural education for youth and their families challenged with substance use, criminal history, truancy and other identified issues. Over the last 19 years, Veiongo has worked in a variety of local youth-focused nonprofits where she developed excellent planning and analytical problem solving abilities, and an impressive array of community organizing, outreach and recruitment skills. She is also a creative, articulate youth advocate who is passionate about helping to bring disconnected youth back into the fold.
Rev. William Chester McCall, Lead Consumer/Family Member Program Facilitator
Affirming the inherent worth and dignity of all people, Rev. McCall is celebrating ten (10) years of working for One East Palo Alto (OEPA) at The Barbara A. Mouton Multicultural Wellness Center (The Mouton Center) as Lead Consumer/Family Member Program Facilitator. Rev. McCall is a sixty-five (65) year African American resident of East Palo Alto and comes to OEPA with over fifty (55) years of work experience in community based non-profit and community organizing sectors. He has worked with federal, state and local governmental agencies and with multicultural, multiracial, multilingual, and economically diverse communities. Rev. McCall served as the Executive Director of the East Palo Alto Senior Center, the Homeless Program Supervisor for the City of Oakland, and shared a sixteen (16) year street ministry in San Jose, California. Ordained a United Church of Christ minister, he maintains dual standing with The Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA) and has served congregations in Tulsa Oklahoma, San Diego, and Los Angeles, California as an Interim Minister. Rev. McCall founded a Unitarian Universalist All Souls congregation in Durham, North Carolina and served as pastor at the Unitarian Universalist Church of the Restoration in Philadelphia
Rev. McCall earned his Bachelor of Arts in Sociology with a Minor in Black Studies, from California State University of San Jose and his Masters of Divinity with emphasis in pastoral counseling and theology from Pacific School of Religion of the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley, California. A consumer of mental health services, he is a certified Wellness Recovery Action Plan (WRAP) facilitator and a Mental Health First Aid instructor. He 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 an anti-racist-anti-oppressive multicultural and diverse institution.
Carlos Jalpa, Community Ambassador Liaison, BHAGAT,
Carlos is 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.
Tinei Lelei, Program Assistant, The Mouton Center,
a Samoan woman, came to One East Palo Alto (OEPA) in 2009 as a volunteer at The Barbara A. Mouton Multicultural Wellness Center (The Mouton Center). She currently serves as Program Facilitator Assistant and is responsible for supervising the Home Energy Assistance Program (HEAP), which provides financial assistance to those needing help with utility bills. A twenty-five (25) year resident of East Palo Alto (EPA), Ms. Lelei devotes substantial volunteer time to several local organizations, She is known as an activist and dedicated servant within the Pacific Islander community of San Mateo County. She has worked for the Salvation Army (SA) of East Palo Alto as the Social Service Assistant Manager, and as a member of the SAlvation Extension Services Committee. Ms. Lelei secures donations from various community organizations such as clothes, back-packs for children and adults, Christmas clothing and toys, holiday food baskets, and more, distributing these donations to children and families in need throughout the year. On behalf of One East Palo Alto for The Mouton Center’s pantry, which serves East Palo Alto and East Menlo Park, she secures food from the local food bank and distributes the donated food to families within the community. She is the Secretary/Treasurer for the Alleluiah Samoan Assembly of God Church in East Palo Alto, is a graduate of OICW and received her certificate of completion in the office skill training program. Having completed the Mental Health First Aid training, Ms. Lelei is a certified Mental Health First Aider. She is bilingual in English and Samoan. Ms. Lelei feels that God put something in her hearts to help those in the community who are in need.
Kala Lacey, Program Assistant, YouthEPA,
Kala is a native of 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. Prior to One East Palo Alto, Kala worked at Ravenswood City School District as an afterschool program assistant. Kala is a third 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.
Rev. Teirrah McNair, Sponsored Employment Program Coordinator,
Rev. Teirrah 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.
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