Our Team

jessie stewart richmond promise

Jessie Stewart, MCRP

Executive Director

Jessie brings over a decade of experience at the intersection of education and community development to the Richmond Promise. Prior to joining the Promise, Jessie served as National Director of UC Berkeley’s Center for Cities + Schools Y-PLAN (Youth-Plan, Learn, Act Now) Educational Initiative. As Y-PLAN National Director, Jessie built cross-sector partnerships 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.

As founding Executive Director, Jessie provides leadership, fundraising, program coordination, and budget administration for the organization.

“Born and raised in Kalamazoo, Michigan, home of the groundbreaking Kalamazoo Promise, and a proud graduate of Kalamazoo Public Schools, I know great things can happen when a college-going culture becomes an ethos of a city and higher education is a right for all, rather than a privilege for a few.”

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 opportunities in her life were not a coincidence but the cumulative work of her mother and community. With this love and support, Jessica attended UC Berkeley and previously served as a New Sector RISE Fellow at First Place for Youth focusing her work on child welfare public policy and advocacy.

As the Associate Director of Scholarships & Data, Jessica ensures that the organization is using data and building its scholarship operations centered on the student. When this is done effectively, targeted and necessary interventions can be provided to support students to and through college.
“I think when a community unites around a common cause, they are unstoppable. I see that coming to life in Richmond around education, and it’s a privilege to be a part of it.”

Grace Peter

Development Manager

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.

“I am motivated by the idea that all people deserve equal opportunity and access to reach their potentials. I’m excited to build a coalition of supporters who believe in the Promise and its ability to catalyze change in Richmond.”

Miguel Molina

College Access 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. Miguel’s past work experience includes working as a mentor and instructional aide at Davis Senior High with ESL Students, and most recently as an AmeriCorps VISTA member with Richmond Promise as Communications and Outreach coordinator. He currently serves as our College Access Coordinator, outreaching to the community & school sites, as well as coordinating our access and awareness programs.

“I am motivated to work at Richmond Promise because I am able to provide support services to my community. As a first gen student I understand how difficult it is to gain access to and success in college. I am eager to provide our youth with the power and knowledge to thrive in higher education!”

Sarah Hehrer

Americorps VISTA, Scholarship & Data Coordinator

Sarah graduated in 2017 with a degree in Social Relations and Policy from Michigan State University. She has experience working in a variety of nonprofits focused on community development, social justice, and equity in education, as well as a thorough understanding of the higher education system through her work at the President & Board of Trustee’s Office at MSU.

At the Richmond Promise, she supports the Associate Director of Scholarships & Data to build systems that best serve our students and empower them to post-secondary success, as well as working directly with our College Leaders as part of the College Scholars Network.

“Promise programs like the Richmond Promise can have an enormous impact on the students they are serving. I love working with the Richmond Promise because I get to be part of a robust support system that is with our students every step of the way, rooting for their success and investing in their futures.”

nancy deville

Nancy DeVille

Mentor 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.

As the College Success Coordinator at Richmond Promise, Nancy supports our out of state scholars and coordinates our mentoring program.

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. She studied history at Nashville’s Fisk University and received her Master of Journalism degree from the University of California, Berkeley.

“As a Richmond native, I can’t think of better way to give back to my community than working with Richmond Promise Scholars to make their dreams of attending college a reality. My goal is to ensure our students not only enroll in college but are given the resources to become successful college graduates.”