Young Professionals Council

Young Professionals Council

Want to support students in underserved communities achieve success in college, career, and life?

Join the LA Promise Fund Young Professionals Council. Together, we’ll generate resources and opportunities to support the LA Promise Fund’s work.

Member Expectations

  • Leverage your network to help us better execute programming and fundraising efforts.
  • Provide feedback on strategies that can enhance our programming.
  • Attend meetings every other month.
  • Work to “give or get” a minimum of $1,500 annually.

Member Benefits

  • Networking opportunities across diverse industries
  • Discounted tickets to large-scale LA Promise Fund events
  • Access to LA Promise Fund leadership and education experts
  • Opportunity to align your philanthropic work with your career and professional skills

Member Benefits

To apply, complete the Young Professionals Council application for review.

  • Length of term is two years, which may be renewed up to two terms.
  • Council membership may be subject to termination if any actions of a committee member while serving are deemed to be detrimental to the mission of the LA Promise Fund and as voted upon by the Young Professionals Council.

Young Professionals Council Members

Diana Becnel

Diana Becnel is a Global Business Manager for Microsoft focusing on empowering teams to deliver high-quality innovative technical solutions to customers. Diana was born and raised in Los Angeles and was brought up through the LAUSD school district. She attended Boston University where she received her Bachelors of Science in Business with a concentration in Management Information Systems. Joining Microsoft right out of college, over the last seven years Diana has been a transformative and passionate technology professional.

She has experience in consulting, project management, and business strategy planning. She is passionate about diversity in tech and currently leads the Microsoft Services Business Applications Women’s Community and serves on the SoCal Blacks at Microsoft board.

She is involved with DigiGirlz, Black Girls Code, and the American Cancer Society to help give back to her community. In her free time, Diana enjoys a good book, dancing on a bike in spin class, traveling, and cooking new recipes.

Mike Butler

Mike Butler is a native of Brooklyn, New York. It’s there he discovered his passion for the arts, in particular, dance. Mike continued his love for the Arts while pursuing an education in Psychology and Business.
Mike’s entrepreneurial mindset led him to start his own non-profit called DOIT JAX, Inc. in Jacksonville, Florida; a marketing consultancy called IMAGEacg here in LA; and currently, he serves as Chief of Staff at Jogg where he gets to coalesce his passion for art, media, and business in one.

Desiree Flores

Desiree Flores is the Director of Social Impact of the UTA Foundation, UTA’s philanthropic arm. UTA is a global entertainment and media company representing some of the most acclaimed figures in film, television, news, music, sports, theater, fine art, and more. Desiree oversees employee volunteerism initiatives and community partnerships for the agency globally. She leads the UTA Foundation’s Employee Social Impact team, with a focus on year-round volunteerism, youth mentorship, climate focused initiatives, and civic engagement. Desiree joined UTA as an intern in the summer of 2012, and directly after graduating from the University of California, Santa Barbara in 2013, joined the entertainment company as a full-time employee in the UTA Mailroom and worked her way up the ranks to her current position. Desiree currently serves on the UC Santa Barbara Department of Communication Alumni Council as well the Creative Workforce Equity Advisory Board for Venice Arts. She also serves on the Young Professional Council for LA Promise Fund. Desiree lives in Los Angeles with her husband.

Courtney Laster

Court Laster is an Employee and Labor Relations professional with a focus on Alternative Dispute Resolution currently working at Google. Court’s father was an active duty Air Force service member so she had the privilege of growing up in Ohio, California, Texas, Virginia and Florida. She earned a BS in Finance from Florida State University in Tallahassee, FL and her Juris Doctor from Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law in New York, NY. Prior to Google, Court has worked for Exxon Mobil, Coca-Cola and Disney managing operations and as a Labor and Employee Relations partner.

She has a strong passion for supporting first generation college and law school students through mentorship, career development, and internships. She has supported these efforts for several years in New York and California through America Needs You. In her free time, Court enjoys spending time with her puppy, photography, running, book clubs and planning trips and social events for her family and friends.

Bryant Lee

Bryant Lee is a Real Estate Associate at Greenberg Traurig, LLP. Bryant was born in New York City and raised in the Los Angeles area, where he attended the University of Southern California and received his Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting. After graduating, Bryant worked in a variety of different roles—including as an intern at a local non-profit organization, seasonal tax associate at PricewaterhouseCoopers, manager at a local small business and Lyft driver—after which he eventually found his way to The George Washington University Law School. During law school, Bryant was an honors intern with the U.S.

Securities and Exchange Commission, judicial extern to the Honorable Thomas F. Hogan of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia and judicial extern to the Honorable Martin Glenn of the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York. These experiences have given Bryant an insight into the legal and financial services industries, as well as a passion to help bridge gaps towards broader equity. In his free time, Bryant also enjoys his work as a self-professed renown pizza critic and connoisseur.

Courtney Paul

Courtney A. Paul is an Employee Communications Manager at LinkedIn, where she focuses on coaching leaders and engaging employees through storytelling and consistent messaging. Courtney was born and raised in the Los Angeles area and holds a bachelor’s degree in Journalism and Media Studies from San Diego State University, and a master’s degree in Digital Journalism from National University. She’s also a graduate of the UCLA Anderson Women’s Leadership Institute.

Courtney has over 10 years of professional experience, with strong executive, change management, and culture communications expertise. She has successfully led, advised, and executed external and internal communications campaigns, helping drive organizational initiatives and priorities.

Courtney strongly believes that fostering mentor and mentee relationships early is a key to success in career and professional development, and supports these efforts by working with YearUp and the Global Mentorship Initiative programs.

She is passionate about diversity and inclusion, and is a member of LinkedIn’s Black Inclusion Group and Women@LinkedIn. She is also part of ColorComm, a national professional women’s membership organization addressing diversity, inclusion, and equity across the communications and marketing industries. In her free time, she enjoys traveling to new places with friends and family, experimenting in the kitchen, spending time outdoors, and being active.

Samantha Scott

An East Coast native, Samantha Scott relocated to Southern California almost four years ago – moving quickly into the world of Hollywood and entertainment. Looking for a way to integrate her social impact interest and blend her media and non-profit background, landing at Participant Media allowed for an ideal mix.

As Human Resources Manager, Samantha was able to lead recruitment efforts, corporate volunteerism, internship programs, and a number of other elements for Participant Media and SoulPancake. Samantha has most recently joined the HR team for NBCUniversal’s Operations & Technology division where she will focus on labor and employee relations, compensation, performance management, and reporting/analytics.


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Special thanks to those who help make the LA Promise Fund possible.

Visual Portfolio, Posts & Image Gallery for WordPress
Russell Westbrook Why Not? Foundation
City National Bank
Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
California Emerging Technology Fund
Eli & Edythe Broad Foundation
Just Keep Livin Foundation
California Department of Education
Evil Geniuses
LA Rams
LA84 Foundation
Pacific Western Bank
Play Equity Fund
Verizon Foundation
Annenberg Foundation
Dwight Stuart Youth Fund
California Community Foundation
Walt Disney Company
United Way of Greater Los Angeles
California Arts Council
J. Paul Getty Trust
Weingart Foundation
Share Our Strength/No Kid Hungry
U.S. Department of Education
Ballmer Group
Amgen Foundation

Get Involved

For questions or comments, contact Alex Rincon at