Near-Peer Ambassadors

The Richmond Promise is excited to announce that we are hiring 10-12 current college Scholars to
support a college going and graduating culture throughout the city of Richmond this Spring! Richmond Promise Near-Peer Ambassadors will advance the mission of the Richmond Promise and offer critical support to younger students by a) building college awareness among middle school students at Lavonya DeJean through classroom-based college and career conversations; b) supporting financial aid access for rising Richmond Promise Scholars through our comprehensive school-based campaign at Kennedy High School and DeAnza High School.

This is a semester-long paid opportunity for college students to give back to their community.

Please find the job description and application instructions here.

Mark Bordas

California State University, Sacramento

Mark Bordas is a 2017 graduate of De Anza High School. Before graduating from De Anza High, Mark attended Olinda Elementary School and Juan Crespi Middle School, both in Richmond, CA. While in high school, Mark served in multiple positions within the West Contra Costa School District including the Citizen’s Bond Oversight Committee and the WCCUSD Youth Commission. Mark has a deep passion to serving the members of his community as well as helping to support the youth for the city of Richmond. Mark is currently a Political Science (International Relations) Major at Sacramento State University and is a cadet within the Army ROTC program. Upon graduation, Mark plans to commission as a U.S. Army officer and branch field artillery within the U.S. Army.

Melanie Carlstad

Pratt Institute

Melanie Carlstad is a Writing major at Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, New York, and is originally from Richmond. As a Summer Associate with Richmond Promise, Melanie is looking forward to engaging with the community in her home city and learning more about how to make education functional, accessible, and fun. Melanie enjoys gardening, photography, and creative writing, and feels that her creativity is fueled by living and working in a vibrant Bay Area city. Melanie is a Richmond Promise Scholar as she is a recipient of the inaugural class of 2016!

Arturo Castañeda

University of California, Davis

My name is Arturo Castaneda Barrios. I was raised in Richmond, California my whole life and I graduated from Making Waves Academy Upper School. I am now currently attending UC Davis pursuing my bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering. I am heavily involved on campus as well as in my community. On campus, I am involved in three clubs: Formula SAE, Club Soccer and CALESS. As for my community, I am a tutor at a local elementary school, a Richmond College Leader, and an Outreach Coordinator for FC Davis. My favorite hobbies are playing sports especially soccer, traveling and making new experiences. My family means the world to me and they are my biggest motivation to keep striving to be the very best I can be. My goal is to one day work for Tesla or another elite automobile company. Additionally, I want to be able to give back to the communities that I have grown up in. I want to support the future generations and assist them in finding their potential and pursuing what they love.

Merari Castillo

California State University, East Bay

Hi, my name is Merari Castillo. I am a former student-athlete from Richmond High, Go Oilers! As a first-generation college student coming from immigrant parents, it was very difficult growing up as an only child. However, that did not stop me from taking the initiative to seek help and go to college. I am currently attending Cal State East Bay and majoring in Kinesiology. I will never forget my mentors who have guided and supported my goals. Now it’s my turn to help young students create and accomplish dreams of their own and encourage them to attend college. I have had the honor to be part of Y-scholars, Link Crew, EOP and now, The Richmond Promise. I am very eager to apply my life experience and skills in order create a greater impact on youth’s lives. Ultimately, I want to be part of the change in my community and give back by promoting education and supporting Richmond’s rising future generations.

Kimberly Garcia

San Jose State University

Hi, my name is Kimberly Garcia, I was born and raised in Richmond, California. I graduated from Leadership Public school and now I attend San Jose State University. I am working towards getting my degree and becoming a teacher. I would like to be able to give back to my community by using my personal and educational experiences in order to help out and inform young children that anything is possible in life if you are willing to put your mind and effort!

Andrea Hernandez

University of California, Davis

My name is Andrea Hernandez, I will be a 4th year at UC Davis this fall. I currently run a program called Richmond Scholars Network at UC Davis where we plan events to help students from Richmond transition into college. My major is Human Development and I have recently decided to add a minor in education. My ultimate goal after graduating is to become a teacher in my community or become a social worker. As a Richmond Promise Summer Associate, I hope to empower the youth of Richmond to go to college and give them the tools they need to do so. The youth in Richmond are intelligent and extremely perseverant with no doubt, they simply need support and guidance to accomplish their goals.

Kachi Onyeador

University of California, Berkeley

Kachi Onyeador is currently a student at UC Berkeley pursuing her interests in Cognitive Science and Computer Science. She is a Richmond native and attended Middle College High School. Kachi understands what it means to start early with college readiness, support and development. In fact, she believes it’s one of the most important things that one can have access to. Kachi lives by the motto: “one’s environment should not hinder their potential for success.” Because of this, Kachi is fully dedicated to her mission of achieving college readiness for as many young people as she reaches out to — so don’t be afraid to reach out to her!

Demetrio Rodriguez

University of California, Santa Cruz

Hello, I am Demetrio Rodriguez. I am a first-generation, Chicano Latino, college student from Richmond California. I like to sing, but more importantly, I’m about making great change! I want to help everyone get to where they want to be and making sure they get the opportunities. I believe that everyone is capable and I want to show that. Right now, I am a current student at the University of California Santa Cruz getting B.A in Economics. My dream is to work in public policy or anything in local government, and my goal is to wipe poverty of its existence! I’m going to end with a quote from a Bangladeshi Economist, “Things are never as complicated as they seem. It is only our arrogance that prompts us to find unnecessarily complicated answers to simple problems.”

Tamajiea Videau

Southern University and A&M College

My name is Tamajiea Videau.  I’m a social work major at Southern A&M College in Baton Rouge, LA.  I value human equality because I believe in every individual having access to the same opportunities to succeed.
“Nothing will work unless you do”

Elexis Webster

University of California, San Diego

I’m a graduate of Kennedy High School class of 2017. Currently, a rising second year at University of California San Diego, Political Science-Public Law Major. I wanted to be a Summer Associate because I love being a part of positive change, which is just what our community needs!”

Jennifer Jimenez

San Francisco State University

Hi, my name is Jennifer Jimenez. I was raised in Richmond, California. I graduated from Middle College High School and now attend San Francisco State University. I am a kinesiology major looking to change to social work or child development. Richmond Promise helped spark that decision through the near peer ambassador program. I enjoy working with my community and with the youth in it. I hope to help and leave an impact on these students with my education/personal experiences. I also hope to pave a path for these students to start thinking about their future, career, and life goals.