Who We Are

LA Promise Fund Mission Statement
OUR MISSION STATEMENT

To improve academic achievement as well as college and career access and success for students in the Russell Westbrook Why Not? Academy, SLATE-Z, and beyond

Vision
Statement

Students are successful in college, career and life by reducing education inequities and opportunity gaps.

Our Values

Integrity

We are honest and guided by strong moral principles

Accountability

We are responsible to all stakeholders for all we do

Collaboration

We actively work together to reach our goals and outcomes

Professionalism

We are committed, respectful, responsive, and reliable with each other in all we do

Excellence

We have high expectations and are outstanding in all we do

Diversity

We celebrate the uniqueness and differences of all with whom we work and serve

Equity

We are just, unbiased, and inclusive of all with whom we work and serve

Our Commitment to Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

At the LA Promise Fund, we believe that education remains one of the most powerful tools to break century-old cycles of oppression, violence and poverty for students, their families, and communities. We believe education can chisel away at racism by teaching diverse histories and perspectives and by disrupting a predominately white male perspective that has excluded and actively erased the voices and contributions of people of color. Institutionalized racism and systemic injustice pervade many aspects of society today, especially for our African American students and families. We are committed to eradicating racism within our organization, raising our voice against racism, and uplifting our South LA community and beyond.

Click Here to Learn How We Have Put This Into Action

Meet the LA Promise Fund

Megan Chernin
LAPF Board Member

Stephen Prough
Salem Partners

Cathy Bender
Amazon Web Services

Paul de Bernier
Mayer Brown LLP

Donnell Beverly, Jr.
Russell Westbrook Enterprises

Tanesha Duncan
Amgen Inc.

Ivelisse Estrada
Univision, Retired

Fernando Fernandez
The Jaime Escalante Program

Dean Hallett
Hallett Leadership

Peter Jarowey
Vertical Entertainment

Elizabeth Mann
Mann Legal Team

Frank Marshall
The Kennedy/Marshall Company

Brian McNamee
Amgen, Retired

Simon Osborn
Goldman Sachs

Ali Powell
Microsoft

Melissa Stephens
Ares Management

Alison Temple
Wild Card Creative Group

Jaime Ernesto Uzeta
Strategy and Innovation Consultant

Danielle Vick
Citi Private Bank, Retired

Russell Westbrook
Russell Westbrook Enterprises

LEADERSHIP

Veronica Melvin
CEO/President

Leslie Aaronson
Chief Program Officer

Liliana Vasquez
Chief Operations Officer

TEAM

Patricia Agalzoff
School Business Operations Manager,
Westbrook Middle School

Wendy Ayuso
Family & Community Outreach Manager

Shahira Badran
Site Director
Amgen Biotech Experience

Kristen Balagtas
Sr. Office Manager / Executive Assistant

Raymundo Baltazar
Director of Arts Programs

Lawrence Berment
Sr. Director of Information Technology

Roc’kale Bowman
STEAM Manager
Black College Success

Monica Cardona
Sr. Director of Family & Community Outreach

Camira Carter
Sr. Director of People & Operations

Charles Daroy
Technology Manager
Westbrook Middle School

Sarah Escajeda
Director of Community Schools

Jasmine Evans
Lead College Access Manager
Black College Success

Leah Goldman
College Success Manager
Black College Success

Derrick Griffith
College Success Manager
Black College Success

Lori Hashimoto
Director of School Operations

Luz Hernandez
Sr. ABE Lab Technician & Site Coordinator,
CSU, Channel Island Distribution Center

Kisaye Jallah
College Access Manager
Black College Success

Jhonathan Jimenes
Technology Manager
Westbrook High School

Christina Korn
Senior Director of Arts Programs

Samantha “Sam” Leano
ABE Lab Technician & Site Coordinator
Pasadena Bio Collaborative Incubator

Beranger LeFlanc
Artsmatter Teaching Artist

Ajay Mani
Director of Partnerships & Community Engagement
Black College Sucess

Tonysha Miles
College Access Manager
Black College Sucess

Emely Moreno
Sr. Career Pathways Manager

Jamia Morton
Director
Black College Success

Camly Nguyen
Director of Data & Analytics

Robert Nguyen
Lab Technician & Site Coordinator
LA Trade Technical College

Hector Pimentel
College Access Manager
Black College Success

Melanie Ramirez
Associate Director of Youth Development

Zeidy Revolorio
Principal,
Westbrook High School

Matt Reynolds
Sr. Artsmatter Teaching Artist

Alex Rincon
Sr. Associate Director of Advancement

Daisy Rodriguez
Lead College Success Manager
Black College Success

Gino Rodriguez
Career Pathways Manager

Flor Romero
Senior Associate Director,
Career Pathway Connections

Yanelly Rubio
School Business Operations Manager
Westbrook High School

Hugo Sanchez
Director of Finance

Raven Sanchez
Artsmatter Teaching Artist

Stefanie Sanchez
Communications Manager

Gerrel Sayles
College Access Manager
Black College Success

Ibert Schultz
Executive Director
Black College Success

Emerald Smith
Sr. Manager of Family & Community Outreach
Community Schools

Karin Steinhauer
Sr. ABE Site Coordinator & Lead Lab Technician,
Pierce College Distribution Center

Jade Stevens
Sr. Director of Communications

Riordan Tenney
People & Operations Manager

Leslie Tresun Ed.D
Sr. Director of Advancement, Strategy & Analytics

Chris Valenzuela
Data & Analytics Manager

Darla Vance
Principal,
Westbrook Middle School

Kojuan Williams
Career Pathways Manager

Young Professionals Council

The Young Professionals Council (YPC) is a group of dedicated allies who are committed to supporting the mission and programs of the LA Promise Fund.

SPONSORS

The LA Promise Fund would like to thank all of its donors for their generous support and give special recognition to our partners that contributed over $10,000 in the last year. We are especially grateful to Amgen, a longtime sponsor that has made considerable contributions to the organization’s fiscal and organizational health.

$250,000 & Above
Amgen Foundation
Ballmer Group
Broad Foundation
California Community Foundation
California Department of Education
Eli & Edythe Broad Foundation
LA County CFCI Amity
Russell Westbrook Why Not? Foundation
Service Station Foundation
U.S. Department of Education
$100,000 & Above
California Community Foundation LASIF
Council District 9 
Joseph Drown Foundation
Kissick Foundation 
Ralph M. Parsons Foundation
Snap Foundation


$50,000 & Above
Amazon Web Services
Berti & Prough Trust
Berti Prough Foundation 
Berti & Prough Family Foundation
Board of Supervisors Holly Mitchell
California Arts Council Artists in Schools


CDE Career Technical Education Incentive grant (CTEIG) Round 7a
Getty Contribution (Megan Chernin)
Intuit 
Joseph Drown Foundation
LA Rams
LA84
PwC
$25,000 & Above
Ares Management
Berti Foundation
California Arts Council JUMPStArts
Carol and James Collins Foundation
Dwight Stuart Youth Fund
Green Foundation
Hewlett Foundation
just keep livin’ (JKL)
McGrath Abrams Family Foundation (Bad Robot)
No Kid Hungry
NoVo SEL In Action (Rockefeller)
Panasonic Foundation
Paul Hastings Equitable Education Fund
Verizon
$10,000 & Above
Alison & Nick Temple
Chick-Fil-A
CityNational Bank
Facebook/Meta
Goldman Sachs
Kelli & Dean Hallett
Kroger/Ralphs/Food4Less
LA County Community Impact Arts Grant
Microsoft
Paramount
Peter Jarowey 
Simon Osborn
Snap Inc.
Wild Card Media 
Vertical Entertainment


$5,000 & Above
Content Partners LLC / Steven Kram
David and Gina Burcham
Disney Worldwide Services Inc (ESPN)
EFSP (United Way)
Frank Marshall
Kathleen & Frank Marshall
MUFG Union Bank Foundation
Nickelodeon
OpenGate Capital
Sony Pictures Entertainment
Space X
Steven Kram
$1,000 & Above
Abramson Architects
Adam Tepper
Andrea DeRosa
Biondi Family
BuroHappold
Bryant Lee
California Emerging Technology Fund 
Desiree Flores
Grandson LA
Jody Guber Brufsky
Kennedy/Marshall Company
Kevin Gold
Matt Cwiertnia
Mattel
Pacific Charter School Development
Primestor Development
Seth & Jodi Brufsky 
TechStyle Fashion Group
United Talent Agency
Young Storytellers


Our History