MEET OUR TEAM

Board volunteers Educating Empowered Voices For CHANGE 

Neyda Yaneth

Founder 

Chief Executive Officer

Neyda Yaneth  was born in Guatemala and immigrated to the United States at seven years young. Her background is from very humble beginnings and lived in a poverty stricken community as a child.  Hard work and values were instill in her by watching her grandpa get up every day at 4 in the morning to work and feed his family, and being the sole provider for six of his own children and her.

 

Her grandfather was her only positive role model as a child. In the United States, her elementary years came with challenges as she was bullied for not knowing English and her accent. She was raised in South Central Los Angeles from the age of twelve until High School. Neyda lived in the toughest neighborhoods of the Florence-Graham community, and during this phase of her life, she was not raised in an environment that valued nor supported her education.

 

She finished sixth grade at Loren Miller Elementary school, graduated Bethune Junior High School and John C. Fremont High School. Neyda received a Business Administration Degree with an Option in Human Resources and Organizational Systems Management from Cal State University Northridge. Recently, she obtained her Masters Degree from her Alma Mater in Public Administration and Leadership and graduated Summa Cum Laude. During college she served as a peer mentor and helped recruit students of color into the Minority Business Program. Her career experience is in the private sector working for a top five engineering firm as a recruiter and project manager. She has in debt-experience and knowledge in the field of entreprenuership.

 

Neyda after receiving dire reports of the plight of the students, school, and community founded the Fremont High School Alumni Foundation. Neyda is the Founder and Chief Executive Officer. She oversees, manages and implements program development such as the Pathfinder Educational Dream Fund Scholarship, The Pathfinder Alumni Youth Council Volunteer Program and Pathfinder Legends History Project.  

 

Neyda also has authored two books the first book is focused on journeys of eleven youth from John C. Fremont High School, “Voices of our Youth”. All sales for the book help fund the Pathfinder Educational Dream Fund Scholarship. She also self-publish a poetry book where she shares her journey through poetry to help empower others in their path. Now, she is also serving as the main host of her podcast “Voces of Hope”. The mission of the podcast is to inspire and activate the Latinx and BIPOC community through stories of perseverance, resilience, empowerment, and hope.

Neyda’s  Christian background  is the drive to her work in her community and hopes to inspire others on the importance of mental health, financial literacy, and higher education to break the cycles of trauma and barriers from our past.

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Maria Mendoza-Bautista

Co-Founder

I am honored to serve as a board member  for the Fremont High School Alumni Foundation. I get to work with talented and passionate individuals who walked the same streets as I did and overcame barriers to succeed in life—we are an awesome team and we strive to give back every year to the Pathfinder community through our  programs.

As a mentor and college advisor I support the student leadership and development of underrepresented students of color. I believe that college should be accessible to any student who wants to acquire an education despite race, socio-economic status, disability or lack of academic preparation that can prevent one’s confidence in achieving excellence. Growing up in South Central Los Angeles and later in Southeast L.A. (Huntington Park and Bell) taught me that despite the limits in my community, I should always strive for a better future. The key ingredients are hard work, ethical behavior “do the right thing”, finding mentors, asking a lot of questions, and recognizing that success comes off the heels of adversity.

 

As the daughter of Salvadoran immigrants, and wife to a Mexican national (and educator in the community), my passion lies in supporting first generation and undocumented students. I am the first in my family to complete college and I know every day that the degrees also belong to my family and my community.

 

In San Diego, I am the founder of the Las Comadritas Project, a program in the Sherman Heights and Barrio Logan downtown area that aims to prepare young Latina girls pursue higher education through the development of leadership skills, volunteering, and academic success.

 

I am a graduate of:

 

  • Huntington Park High School (Class of 1991)

  • San Jose State University (Bachelors in Art ‘00)

  • New College of California San Francisco (Masters in Humanities and Leadership ‘06)

  • Antioch University (Ph.D. in Leadership and Change ‘23)

Proud moments:

  • The day my parents saw me graduate from the University for the first time.

  • Graduating with a 4.0 from my Master’s program and speaking at commencement.

  • Meeting some Latino/a heroes and learning their stories of struggle: Dolores Huerta, Jose Hernandez, Sandra Cisneros, Junot Diaz, Supreme Court,Justice Sonia Sotomayor, Jorge Ramos, and Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Rigoberta Menchu of Guatemala.

  • Giving back to my community in any way I can.

  • Spending one week at Harvard University with six of my students for the Latino Leadership Institute.

 

Hobbies: Art, world music, social justice advocacy, travel, food, and being a beach bum!

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Luz Tapia

Finance Director

Luz Tapia was born in South Central Los Angeles. She is the daughter of immigrant parents and is proud of her multi-cultural heritage. Luz graduated from John C. Fremont High School in 2015. She began serving on the Board in 2017 and is currently the Treasurer and Finance Director of the foundation. Luz is an active member in her church and community.

 

Family, and Christian values are her strength to persevere and wants to help her alma mater by inspiring other youth from Fremont to keep working towards their dreams. Luz graduated from University of California Riverside with a degree in Business in the field of Finance. Her career is currently at Wells Fargo Bank

Hobbies: Playing guitar, singing, volunteering at church, and helping host her church’s service.

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Jaime Lopez

Board of Directors

Jaime Lopez Alvarez was born in Veracruz Mexico and came to the United States in 1996. He graduated from John C Fremont High school in 2008 and from Cal State Los Angeles with a bachelor's degree in communication disorders in 2014. He currently works at a Speech therapy agency as a speech therapist assistant, early intervention coordinator, and infant development specialist.

 

He hopes to continue helping families of children with special needs to find the resources that they need so that they can improve their quality of life. He also leads a middle and high school board game group at the enrichment center called Strive in South Los Angeles. The board game group helps students improve their social skills and critical thinking through playing immersive and engaging board games. Jaime enjoys reading fantasy and science fiction books, hiking the mountains around LA, and playing board games.

Jaime joined the Board in 2019 and has been an asset in developing and leading the Pathfinder Programs.

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   JOIN OUR TEAM
HELPS US PAVE THE WAY  FOR A NEW GENERATION OF EMPOWERED  LEADERS

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" Our Scholars are the voices of our community. They will break the barriers and cycles that exist of poverty, trauma, crime, and violence. They are Resilient , strong, and symbolize Hope.'"

Founder, Neya Yaneth