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Grants and Special Programs

METS Staff
Mayra Guevara Mayra Guevara
METS Director
510.430.3126, mguevara@mills.edu
Education: San Jose State University, BA Social Work

Favorite College Experience: Making meaningful friendships with people from places I had never heard of.

Patrice Moland Patrice Moland
METS Program Coordinator
510.430.3267, pmoland@mills.edu
Education: UC Davis, BA International Relations and Spanish

Favorite College Experience: Living with a host family in Madrid, Spain, while studying Spanish for three months.

Shard'e H'oard Shard'e H'oard
METS Academic Advisor
510.430.3320, shoard@mills.edu
Education: UC Davis, BA African American & African Studies, minor in Human Development

Favorite College Experience: Attending all campus events such as The Buzz and Picnic Day.

Upward Bound Staff

Nolan Jones
Nolan JonesDirector, Upward Bound
510.430.3337, nojones@mills.edu
Nolan Jones has worked with TRIO Upward Bound programs since 1994. He has a bachelor’s degree from UC Berkeley, a masters degree from Holy Names University, and a Doctorate Degree in Educational Leadership from Mills College. His academic interests include youth development, transformative education and hip hop pedagogy. He has presented his research on hip hop pedagogy at the National Conference on Race and Ethnicity, the American Anthropological Association, the National Association for Ethnic Studies, and the National Association for Multicultural Education.  He describes himself as a hip hop constructivist. Originally from New Orleans, Nolan enjoys traveling, songwriting, and playing the piano in his spare time.

Munyiga Lumumba
Munyiga LumumbaUpward Bound Special Assistant
510.430.3346, mlumumba@mills.edu
Education: Graduate of McClymonds High School, UC Berkeley BA in Dramatic Arts
I have served low income, first generation college going students for over 30 years. In 2012, I left the University of California at Berkeley after serving as the Associate Director of the Upward Bound Math-Science Program.

I have travelled to a number of countries throughout the world including Africa, Europe, Mexico, Costa Rica and Puerto Rico. I have lectured and presented in many universities, high schools and community centers throughout North America. My main interest is the organization of the poor.

Joe Omega
Joe OmegaUpward Bound Associate Director
510.430.3128, jomega@mills.edu
Education: UC Berkeley, BA Social Welfare
Favorite UB Experience: This is tough—so many to pick from—I’d have to say my top two are, (1) being with students when they get to do things for the first time like “skydiving” at iFly or going to a professional sporting event, going to Florida or Washington, DC and (2) seeing the excitement on a senior’s face when they have received their admissions letters from college!

I have worked in Upward Bound for over 30 years.  Before joining the Mills UB family, I previously worked for the Upward Bound and Upward Bound Math/Science Programs at UC Berkeley.  All that I’ve learned about the program has come as a result of the various capacities that I have worked including: activities coordinator, residential advisor, field counselor, associate director, and acting director.  I am a graduate of UC Berkeley, earning my Bachelor’s Degree in Social Welfare in 1981.

Gabriela Powell Cervantes
Upward Bound Office Manager
510.430.2177, gpowellcervantes@mills.edu
Education: Sonoma State, BA Sociology

Thelma Woods
Thelma WoodsUpward Bound Academic Tutor/Coordinator
510.430.3346, twoods@mills.edu
Education: UC Berkeley, BS Chemistry
Favorite Upward Bound Experience: My first summer living in the dorms. I was able to interact with other students, take classes on campus. I felt like I was really in college.

I was born and raised in Oakland, California. I attended Castlemont High School.  I joined the Upward Bound Program because I wanted to prepare myself for a post secondary education and I felt that my school didn't have the proper resources to accomplish this task. After graduation and completion of Upward Bound, I attended UC Berkeley. I worked and volunteered with the UC Berkeley's program throughout my entire college career. In 2008, I graduated with a bachelor's of science degree in chemistry. Since then, I have worked with the UC Berkeley Upward Bound Program as a  math and science tutor, tutor coordinator, and chemistry instructor. In 2012, I joined the Mills' Upward Bound family as the academic coordinator. I have also helped out as an occasional math and science tutor and chemistry instructor when necessary. 

My willingness to help low income students comes from my own experience as a student and a staff member of the Upward Bound Program. I am firm believer in the statement that, "The one thing no one can take away from you is your education." Therefore, I feel that it is my duty to encourage students to take their education seriously.

Pamela Stafford
Pamela StaffordUpward Bound Writing Specialist
510.430.3346, pstafford@mills.edu
Education: UC Berkeley, BA English; UC Berkeley, MA English Literature
I was born in St. Louis, Missouri and grew up in East St. Louis, Missouri. I was 11th in my high school graduating class of 425. I attended University of Missouri, Columbia for three semesters and left in 1975 be a housewife. After I moved to California in 1980, I was a secretary for the Department of the Navy on Treasure Island, an admin assistant for Military Sealift Command at Oakland Army Base, and finally, an admin in the Office of the President for the UC System and Office of the Chancellor at University of California, Berkeley where my boss recommended that I return to college.

I applied to the University of California, Berkeley without realizing how difficult it was to get in. I was accepted at UC Berkeley and majored in English. I received my BA with Highest Honors and was valedictorian of the English department in 1991. I went on to receive my Masters degree in English Literature at UC Berkeley in 1994. I began my PhD program and was nearly finished in 2000 when I was hired as an Assistant Professor of English at Wheaton College in Norton, Massachusetts. In 2005, I decided to return home, return to Upward Bound and finish my degree, but my degree plan was derailed by illness. However, helping my Upward Bound students get into the best colleges and universities in the nation has given me a very active and rewarding life.

Mauricio Guevara
Mauricio GuevaraUpward Bound Technology Specialist
510.430.3211, mauguevara@mills.edu
Education: Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo, BS Mechanical Engineering
Favorite Upward Bound Experience: The summer program as a whole. I really enjoyed being around a group of students that were all working towards going to college. I also was challenged and pushed in a way that I was not in High School.

I was born in El Salvador and my family and I came to the Bay Area when I was two years old. I grew up in East Oakland and went to school at Oakland Technical High. I joined Upward Bound during a very critical time when I could have easily ended up going down the wrong path. I am very grateful for the help and guidance I received. I feel strongly that without the program I would not have gone to the university that I attended and may have not received a degree at all.

Being able to come back and work for the program has been something that has been very fulfilling for me. It has allowed me to serve my community and attempt to repay part of the debt that I have. I also have some of the best experiences of my life working with the students in the program.

Jennifer Guevara
Jennifer GuevaraStudent Services Coordinator
510.430.3211, jguevara@mills.edu
Favorite Upward Bound Experience: The Upward Bound Games

When I was an Upward Bound student, we would spend a weekend at UC Davis engaging in several “friendly” competitions between Northern California Upward Bound programs that included an academic decathlon, various sports, table games, and a dance. This event provided a unique opportunity to meet and socialize with Upward Bound students from our region. Unfortunately, the Upward Bound Games were eliminated in 1994.

I was born in El Salvador, we moved to the bay area when I was five years old. I have lived in east Oakland for over 30 years. I love calling Oakland my home because of the diversity in this city. I love supporting my bay area teams, traveling, and most of all spending time with my niece and nephews. I was introduced to Upward Bound my freshman year at Oakland Tech. UB made a huge difference in my life and my family’s. All my siblings followed in my footsteps and also participated in UB.

Maricela Juarez
Marciela JuarezUpward Bound Academic Advisor
School sites: Richmond High School, DeAnza High School, and John F. Kennedy High School
510.430.3397, mjuarez@mills.edu
Education: Currently working on Master of Science, Counseling at California State University, Sacramento; California State University, Sacramento: Master of Arts, Education with a concentration in Higher Education; California State University, Chico: Bachelor of Arts, Psychology.
Favorite Upward Bound Experience: Camping was my favorite Upward Bound experience because I got the opportunity to challenge myself, bond with many students from different cultures, learned about science and math outside the classroom, and understand that I am capable of becoming anyone in life as long as I put work and stop being afraid of the unknown.

I was born in Irapuato, Guanajuato, Mexico and moved to California at the age of nine years old. I attended Lindhurst High School. Throughout high school, I did not have many individuals who motivated me to thrive in school, except for my parents. My father has always told me that the only thing he can leave me of value would be an education; this constant reminder has helped me to never give up and always prove others wrong. I have faced many challenges, but the education I have obtained thus far has helped me to reach my goals and overcome any obstacles. Since graduation, I have attended Yuba Community College, CSU, Monterey Bay, CSU, Chico, North Carolina State University, and CSU, Sacramento.

Throughout all of my education thus far, I have obtained a bachelor of arts in psychology, master of arts in dducation with a concentration in higher education, and currently, I am working on a master of science in counseling. My path in education, has taught me that many times, I will face obstacles and want to give up. Other times, I will be the only person in the program who looks like me, but it’s up to me to change the statistics to motivate others. Now and then, I will want to quit, but I have many support systems that will pick me up and motivate me. Life is what you make of it, so remember to smile because it’s good for the soul.

Jerome Narvaez
Upward Bound Academic Advisor
School sites: Castlemont, Fremont, Skyline
510.430.3208, jnarvaez@mills.edu

Reatha Conn
Upward Bound Academic Advisor
School sites: Coliseum College Prep, LPS Oakland, Life Academy, McClymonds
510.430.2055, rconn@mills.edu

Sparkle Allen
Upward Bound Academic Advisor
School sites: Oakland Tech, Oakland High
510.430.2241, sallen@mills.edu


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Last Updated: 10/27/15