Our Team

jessie stewart richmond promise

Jessie Stewart, MCRP

Executive Director

Jessie Stewart believes high quality education is critical to community health and transformation, and brings over a decade of experience at the intersection of education and community development to the Richmond Promise.  As Executive Director, Jessie provides leadership, fundraising, program coordination, and budget administration for the Richmond Promise Program. This includes building effective partnerships with community stakeholders and promoting a culture of collaboration and communication around a common vision for becoming a community where all Richmond young people experience a high quality education and graduate with the skills, resources and efficacy for college success.

Born and raised in Kalamazoo, Michigan, home of the groundbreaking Kalamazoo Promise, and educated in Kalamazoo Public Schools, Jessie knows great things can happen when a college-going culture becomes an ethos of a city. Prior to joining The Promise, Jessie served as National Director of UC Berkeley’s Center for Cities + Schools award-winning Y-PLAN (Youth-Plan, Learn, Act Now) Educational Initiative. As Y-PLAN National Director, Jessie built cross-sector partnerships and systems to engage schools and young people in a range of city and education policy issues across the nation. In this role, Jessie worked here in Richmond and the WCCUSD with city, school, district, community and business partners to plan and implement various projects with students and teachers at Kennedy, De Anza, and Richmond High.  Jessie began her career in education as a founding high school history teacher at Golder College Prep in Chicago, IL where she had the privilege of handing out diplomas to the school’s first graduating class.

jessica rodriguez richmond promise

Jessica Rodriguez

Associate Director of Scholarships & Data

Being the daughter of an immigrant mother, it has been evident to Jessica that the many opportunities in her life were not a coincidence but the cumulative work of her mother and the community that stood behind her mother and her. Because of the support and love of her community, Jessica was able to attend UC Berkeley and most recently served as a New Sector RISE Fellow at First Place for Youth in Oakland doing child welfare public policy research and advocacy. Fitting with her experiences, Jessica believes that when a community unites for a common cause they are unstoppable, and she sees this opportunity coming to life in Richmond.

Jessica is humbled to be working in collaboration with students, parents, teachers, and other community members and organizations as a community to create systems that effectively uplift and empower Richmond youth to reach their educational goals.

Gabriela Urías

College Access Coordinator

Educated through the West Contra Costa Unified School District, and a proud graduate of Richmond High, Gaby knows that students are wishful for opportunities and strives to advocate for students in helping them achieve their educational and career goals. As a Contra Costa College student who transferred to UC Berkeley, Gaby acknowledges that the path towards higher education is not always straightforward, but hopes to demystify the process to ensure students can make informed decisions about their education. A lifelong resident of Richmond, Gaby hopes to extend her personal and professional experience to remind the students of Richmond that anything is possible.

nancy deville

Nancy DeVille

Americorps VISTA, College Success Coordinator

A Richmond, CA native, Nancy is an award-winning journalist and educator who is committed to improving higher education opportunities for all students in her community. Whether it’s working with students individually on college admission essays or speaking to a high school class, Nancy’s passion for student success shines through. Fueled by a love for her hometown, in 2016 Nancy partnered with her college roommate to launch the African American College Preparedness Workshop for middle and high school students in Richmond.

Nancy comes to Richmond Promise with an eagerness to work with high school students and to ensure they not only enroll in college but are given the resources to become successful college graduates.

With over a decade of journalism experience, Nancy has done work for several media outlets including NPR, USA Today, The Tennessean and Pacific Standard Magazine. As a journalism educator, she’s taught workshop and university courses. She studied history at Fisk University, a historically black college in Nashville and received her Master of Journalism degree from the University of California, Berkeley.

Sarah Hehrer

Americorps VISTA, Scholarship & Data Coordinator

As the graduate of a small public high school in a rural area and a first generation college student, Sarah understands many of the obstacles that can hinder college success; she is also aware of the breadth of opportunities available to those who attend with a full support system. As a result of the hard work of her family, Sarah attended Michigan State University and graduated with a degree in Social Relations and Policy. She believes in students’ ability to create positive change in their own lives and in the communities where they live and work. Sarah hopes to utilize her personal and professional experience to fully support Richmond students succeed in higher education.

Miguel Molina

Americorps VISTA, Outreach & Communications Coordinator

Born and raised in the streets of Richmond, California, Miguel Molina is a graduate from Richmond High and most recently UC Davis. As a young adolescent growing up through a turbulent time period of gang violence, economic recession and infrastructural decay, Miguel understands the harsh conditions many communities like our own have suffered through. He is passionate and ready to work ardently to keep the college spark growing in Richmond for our youth. Miguel Hopes to use his personal, educational and professional experience to spread knowledge and hope to our children so that they may succeed in college. You will find Miguel actively engaging with our community through our social media accounts, as well as at school sites and events helping our students and community on their path towards college-readiness.

Grace Peter

Development Manager

Grace approaches this work with the motivation that all people deserve equal opportunity and access to reach their potentials. She is excited to build a coalition of supporters who believe in the Promise and its ability to catalyze change in Richmond. Before joining the Promise, Grace worked at GreenLight Fund Bay Area, a venture philanthropy firm, where she worked on both the grant-making and fundraising sides of the organization. Her work centered on investing in evidenced-based nonprofit models whose services fit urgent needs of the Bay Area community. Prior, Grace worked as a program and data assistant at the University of North Carolina Office of Student Wellness, where she focused on interpersonal violence prevention. She conducted research for the UNC Women’s Center concerning state-based Child Sexual Assault prevention policies. Grace has also worked as a research assistant at the UNC Cancer Center and the UNC Center for Maternal Infant Health. She received her undergraduate degree in Biology from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.