Christopher Whitmore, Executive Director
Born in Alameda County and raised in Richmond, Christopher is proud to be a homegrown community leader. His aspirations to serve Richmond and the Bay Area through public service and his developing interest in a career in government began when he was in elementary school. With guidance and support from his community, Christopher went to Webster University in St. Louis where he earned a degree in political science. After graduating from Webster, Christopher moved to Washington, D.C., where he was accepted into a congressional fellowship and gained early work experience in the United States Senate. After an impactful experience in Washington, Christopher returned to Richmond in 2015 to start the public service career that he had spent years pursuing. Since returning home, Christopher has worked in the Office of Congressman Mark DeSaulnier, the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission, and in the Mayor’s Office of the City of Richmond where he ultimately served as chief of staff. Though no longer in government, Christopher’s commitment to the Richmond community is stronger than ever. As Richmond Promise’s second executive director, Christopher is focused on growing and sustaining the organization’s impact, and ensuring that thousands more Richmond youth are supported on their educational and career journeys just as he was in his upbringing.
Anjanine Bonet, Chief Operating Officer
Born in Oakland and raised in San Pablo and Berkeley, Anjanine dedicated her youth to the pursuit of classical music, theater, and academic success (nerd alert!). After completing her undergraduate degree, Anjanine worked as, among other things, a violin teacher, gigging/recording instrumentalist and vocalist, and academic tutor in New Haven, CT before returning to California – this time, to Richmond, which she is happy to call home. Anjanine is now the Chief Operating Officer, a role she is honored to occupy. She is also thrilled to work alongside such an incredible team serving the Richmond community with great pride!
Ben Enos, Director of Communications
Ben Enos is a Richmond native who served most recently as Director of Media Relations at Saint Mary’s College of California in Moraga, Calif. Before joining the staff at Saint Mary’s, Ben served as Press Secretary for U.S. Congressman Mark DeSaulnier at a time when DeSaulnier’s district included Richmond. He also has an extensive background in college athletic communications and is a longtime Bay Area sports writer, serving as a contributor to SportStars Magazine after writing for the Bay Area News Group for nearly a decade. Ben is a graduate of UC Berkeley, where he earned a B.A. in political science.
Ben comes from a family of West Contra Costa educators. His father, Randy, was a longtime high school teacher and administrator in the West Contra Costa Unified School District (WCCUSD) who was elected to the district’s school board. His mother, Tamea, served as an instructional aide at multiple district schools and his sister, Courtney, also taught at multiple district high schools.
Celina Espinoza, Scholar Success Coordinator
Born and raised in Berkeley, Calif., Celina is a proud daughter of two Mexican immigrants from Michoacan. She is a first generation and transfer alumna from UC Davis with a major in sociology and a minor in education. Celina transferred from Contra Costa College, where she received her associate’s degree in arts in sociology and social and behavioral sciences. Throughout her undergraduate career, she had the amazing opportunity to be a part of a few organizations including The Puente Program, Hermanas Unidas inc., and she also interned at the Yolo County District Attorney’s office.
Prior to her time with Richmond Promise, Celina had the gratifying opportunity to work in education, focusing on student mental health. There she discovered her passion for helping students, however something was missing. She cherished taking on the mentor role, being there for the small and big milestones, and pushing students to succeed in their individual goals. Celina valued and appreciated those moments so much that she decided to take a leap of faith and pursue her passion for guiding scholars at the higher education level and give back to the community that shaped her passion.
Minhal Hanif, College Access Manager
Born in Karachi, Pakistan, Minhal Hanif moved to the Bay Area in 2011. She is a graduate of El Cerrito High School (Class of 2017) and was a Richmond Promise Scholar throughout her postsecondary education at Berkeley City College and U.C. Davis. Minhal graduated from U.C. Davis in June 2022 with a degree in Cognitive Science and Education and began working at Richmond Promise upon graduation. Currently she serves as College Access Manager for RP, working at local high schools with partners and students at the K-12 level focusing on financial aid completion and scholarship application assistance. Minhal has a passion for educational equity and believes postsecondary education should be easily accessible to everyone. She’s an avid supporter of the community college education system and hopes to dedicate her career advocating for and working towards creating educational equity.
Maya Kamath, Director of Development
Maya Kamath brings nearly 20 years of communications and development experience to her role as director of development at Richmond Promise. Most recently, she served as the director of development and communications at Children Now, an Oakland-based research, policy development, and advocacy organization dedicated to promoting children’s well-being in California. Prior to joining Children Now, Maya worked as the communications and fund development coordinator at San Francisco Village, a community-based organization that serves older adults.
Before transitioning to the nonprofit sector, Maya spent more than a decade working in corporate communications – on the agency side and in-house – where her areas of expertise included public relations, content development, and event management.
She graduated from the University of California at Los Angeles, where she received a B.A. in mass communications, with a minor in political science.
Miguel Molina, Director of Programs & Partnerships
Born and raised in Richmond, California, Miguel Molina is a graduate of Richmond High and UC Davis. As a first generation college student of color, Miguel understands the harsh conditions many communities like our own have suffered through. Miguel has worked at Richmond Promise for 5 years, serving as a College Access staff member in various capacities. He currently serves as our Director of Programs and Partnerships, steering our student facing work with K-12 youth and our college scholarship recipients.
Dariana Zermeño, Scholar Success Manager
Raised in Richmond, Dariana’s passion lies in empowering and advocating for educational accessibility and equity for those who come from marginalized communities. She is passionate about providing support, tools, and resources to the youth in her own neighborhood. As a first-generation college student, she attended UC Merced, where she obtained a BA in Psychology and had the amazing opportunity to study abroad in both Italy and Spain. Since graduating, Dariana served and taught newly immigrated students as an English Language Development Graduate Tutor with WCCUSD’s Hercules High School. She’s worked as an EdTech Advising Fellow, and then a College and Career Advisor at Students Rising Above, where she served a caseload of over 1,000+ scholars with anything college-related and hosted informational webinars and workshops. Dariana brings a plethora of experience and excitement to serve and work with the youth of her beloved community of Richmond.
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