Sharonne Navas is the Co-Founder and Executive Director of the Equity in Education Coalition.
The first American-born child of immigrant parents from Guatemala and El Salvador, Sharonne understands, and values, the complexity of being multi-lingual and multi-cultural in America. A native of New York City, Sharonne moved to the Seattle area in 2009.
Past professions include being a community organizer with Stand for Children, Executive Director of Para Los Niños, Assistant Director of Development for NARAL Pro-Choice America, Deputy Executive Director for Ayuda, Inc., and Development Coordinator for the National Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty.
In 2010, she was appointed as Commissioner for the Washington State Commission on Hispanic Affairs.
In 2016, she was appointed to the Board of Trustees of Green River Community College.
Sharonne was an advisory member for the Thrive By Five‘s “Talk, Love, Play” initiative, a cohort member of Thrive by Five’s “Advancing Racial Equity Theory of Change in Early Learning,” a committee member of the WA State Education Opportunity Gap Oversight and Accountability Committee. Sharonne is currently a member of the advocacy caucus, community network steering committee, and sponsors group of the Road Map Project of CCER.
She also volunteers for the South King Council on Human Services and was a Board member of the League of Education Voters and is on the Steering Committee of the Southeast Seattle Education Coalition. Sharonne holds a BA in Psychology and Sociology from St. John’s University.
She spends her off-time exploring the various foods and wines of WA State with her husband Steve and their tweenie dachshunds, Manny, and Porter.
Talofa and Mabuhay! Theresa Enguerra is from the Pasefika Islands of Samoa, born and raised in Tutuila, Samoa. Now she currently resides on Duwamish Lands since 2009. She is of Samoan and Filipina descent. Theresa is our Office and Human Resource (HR) Manager at the EEC. She has previously worked for a Fast Food and Staffing Agency as a recruiter, training manager, and HR Generalist for the last 7 years. In her free time, Theresa loves to spend time with family, listening to music, and traveling to new places.
For any office inquiries please email Theresa.
Kristopher is an adoptee from Saigon, Vietnam who was raised in Alaska. While attending the University of Alaska Anchorage he was recruited as a Systems Engineer and aided in designing a local bank’s fiber infrastructure. Kristopher has worked as a Database Engineer, Senior Technology Analyst, Global Software Distribution Project Manager, and Director of Information Technology.
Kristopher has been a subject matter expert for the “School to Prison to Deportation Pipeline” and has spoken in front of the US Congress where he was invited to speak at the White House during the Obama administration. Kristopher has testified to the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Immigration and Citizenship on the effects of Covid-19 and Intercountry Adoptees without citizenship. He is also an advocate for Representative Adam Smith’s Adoptee Citizenship Bill and has spoken at a congressional briefing on the subject.
Kristopher spends his free time teaching kids in underserved communities robotics, block-coding, and drone technology. When time permits, he is contracted by major cellular carriers and construction companies to perform site surveys on construction sites, cell towers, and solar/wind farms utilizing drones. You can also see Kristopher on his YouTube channel “RKtheAdventure”.
Melissa Bowen (she/her) is a policy manager with the Equity in Education Coalition, working to implement EEC’s education policy initiatives, including equitable school finance reform, anti-racist teacher professional development, and ending the school-to-prison pipeline.
Melissa has an undergraduate degree in social psychology with an emphasis on criminal justice reform from the University of California, Santa Cruz, and a Master’s in sociology from the University of Washington.
She previously worked at the Center on Reinventing Public Education at the UW and, prior to that, as an independent researcher, legal case manager, and private
investigator. Melissa’s work on both education and criminal justice reform is driven by a deep belief in both
anti-racism and the power of education to end cycles of poverty.
In her free time, Melissa enjoys exploring the Pacific Northwest with her partner and two
Sameth Mell identifies as a 1.5 generation Khmer American who was born in the Kao I Dang refugee camp in Thailand a few years after the genocide ended in Cambodia. He is currently involved in a few grassroots organizations working towards social and economic justice. Sameth, is the Project Director for Partners in Change, a program of the EEC. Sameth has worked with youth, seniors, housing, and advocacy for policy changes. He enjoys leading team trips to Southeast Asia to bridge the diaspora to the rich cultural heritage of Cambodia.
Martin Martinez-Negrete is a DACA recipient that has been involved in the fight for justice, dignity, and respect for BIPOC Communities since 2011. Growing up undocumented, in poverty, and living in the shadows gave him the strength to find community and fight back. Most of Martin’s work has been centralized around immigrant rights but has also been involved in economic justice, education equity, and youth development for higher education. He’s had the opportunity to work both at a local and national level and has been involved with organizations like Movimiento Estudiantil Chicanx de Aztlan, Washington Immigrant Solidarity Network, United We Dream, Equity in Education Coalition, and many others.
Reneeka Massey-Jones is a 2018 graduate from Central Washington University with a bachelor of arts degree in English – Professional and Creative Writing. Since 2013, Reneeka has worked in customer service roles while making her way through college. She got her first experience in state work as a Student Co-op in the Migrant and Bilingual Education office at the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction as a senior in high school.
Having gone to many schools and been the only or one of the few black students in her class or school as a whole, Reneeka is eager to play a role in closing the opportunity gap and working to achieve equity in all tiers of education.
For all media inquiries please email Reneeka.
For 7 years, Menzeba has lived in West Africa studying as a journalist, healer, and prenatal/postpartum traditionalist. She is a postpartum doula, blogger, and entrepreneur. Her techniques and philosophy surrounding motherhood are rooted in her exposure to traditional, naturopathic practices and values.
In 2015, she gave birth to her first son in Burkina Faso, West Africa among a traditional family who ushered her into motherhood with pride, support, and integrity. Her experience was filled with immeasurable guidance from women of all generations. She became fully immersed in the knowledge of diet, prenatal care, and postpartum recovery. The community provided her with an abundance of physical and emotional support that inspired her to deliver this knowledge to women in need of assistance surrounding motherhood, natural remedies, and overall wellness.
The resonance of such useful and practical advice on her journey led her to create a platform showcasing the journals of her first-hand experiences. Shortly after returning to the states, she launched her blog (www.mamazeba.com) honoring her newfound perspective on life as a communal mother. The resonance of such useful and practical advice on her journey led her to create a platform showcasing the journals of her first-hand experiences. Shortly after returning to the states, she launched her blog (www.mamazeba.com) honoring her newfound perspective on life as a communal mother.
Menzeba’s passion lies in understanding women’s issues as they evolve and reshape the individual, the community, and global civilizations. She has organized, led, and participated in dozens of workshops, and public speaking events surrounding traditional healing and the journey of womanhood as a leader in the non-profit organization, The Earth Center of Maanu, Inc. She is a published editor and an advocate for cultural preservation. She has assisted dozens of women and children throughout all stages of their growth and development. Menzeba is a proud mother of two and an entrepreneur. After participating in one of FOCS’s 8-week sessions, she knew that the organization aligned with her values and personal vision. FOCS has offered tremendous support and introduced her to sisterhood during a time she needed it most. When she is not busy homeschooling her children, she is working on her natural body care line or working on her blog. She currently lives in Renton, WA.
Andrea Carrillo is the Projects Manager of Equity in Education Coalition.
She is the daughter of immigrants and understands the many barriers in place to obtaining the “American Dream”. She was born and raised in Moses Lake, WA. She is currently obtaining an associate’s degree in Early Childhood Education.
She served in the Army National Guard from 2007 to 2009. Andrea comes to us after working at a non-profit for the last ten years servicing clients in her county and trying to aid in ending generational poverty. Currently, she volunteers with the Kiwanis Club of Moses Lake and Comunidades Sin Fronteras Washington.
In her free time, she enjoys spending time with her extended family and taking weekend trips with her daughter.
Nestor Tupufia Enguerra Jr. is our Development Manager, who ensures that EEC’s mission and staff are working towards project milestones and within budget. He is EEC’s main grant writer and is responsible for securing funding that will help sustain the EEC. Prior to working with EEC, Nestor served as an Advisor, Cultural Specialist, and Interim Director for the Asian American and Native American Pacific Islander Serving Institution (AANAPISI) at Highline College for four years. He has brought his experience in managing a $1.5 million federal grant and his experience working with marginalized and low-income students in education. Nestor graduated with a BA in American Ethnic Studies at the University of Washington and has experience in teaching Ethnic Studies classes and workshops at the University of Washington and at Highline college.
Nestor was born and raised in American Samoa. He identifies as 100% Samoan and 100% Filipino. He has a strong passion for Pacific Islander Studies and Indigenous Studies and is heavily involved with his Pacific Islander Community in Washington State. Nestor is excited to be working with EEC and is looking forward to being part of an organization that is committed to making systemic and institutional changes that address racial inequity in education.
Tuan Quach works as the Broadband Supervisor for the Connect WA Broadband Technician Program at EEC. Tuan was born in Saigon, Vietnam, and escaped his homeland along with his family via a fishing boat. After their escape, his family was picked up by a cargo ship and taken to a Malaysian refugee camp. He later immigrated to the United States and was raised in the Seattle area.
Tuan served four years in the US Navy, as an Aviation Structural Mechanic and later attended Bellevue College and the University of Washington before working as a Human Resource Consultant for the State of Washington. His work with broadband access is driven by the belief that internet access is a fundamental human right and a pathway toward ending generational poverty.
In his free time, he loves being with family and the outdoors.
Nigel is a Policy and Research Associate specializing in education equity and improving access to education for marginalized communities. His broader research interests are in analyzing the effects of social pressures on higher education choices of students. He has a Bachelor’s degree in Economics and Management from the University of London and a Master’s degree in Education Policy and Analysis from the Harvard Graduate School of Education.
He has extensive experience in economics and education research and has worked for non-profits in the U.S. and Sri Lanka. His work has spanned several sectors including analyzing the impacts of personalized interventions to promote student learning, public finance, gender inequality, and youth unemployment. He has led research assignments, published and presented findings of research reports, and produced countless data visualizations.
Nigel also counts over two years of experience in academia having recently served as a Teaching Fellow at Harvard as well as lectured students registered under the University of London’s International Program. He spends most of his free time either traveling or volunteering to assist and advise students with their college applications.
Jocelyn Granados Mejia
Jocelyn Granados Mejia (she/Ella) was born in Ixmiquilpan, Hidalgo, Mexico, and migrated to the United States at the age of six. She currently resides in a very small town named Vista Hermosa on the outskirts of Walla Walla.
She has first-hand experienced the many injustices that occur when navigating spaces not built for low-income, undocumented and BIPOC folks. Thus, she found not only an interest but a necessity to advocate for immigrant rights. With this passion for advocacy and the empowerment of her intersectionality of identities, she wants to ensure everyone is treated with dignity and has equitable access to all opportunities.
She recently graduated with three degrees in Pre-Law Political Science, Psychology, and Spanish from Washington State University and was named one of the top Ten Seniors in her Class of 2022. This award was given due to her efforts to bridge the gap between underrepresented communities and higher education and creating programming to ensure students stay and graduate from their institutions.
In her leisure time, she enjoys reading, crafting, eating anything with 3+ spices (and spice), and spending time with her family.
Amy Robertson is the Volunteer Data and GIS mapping coordinator for the Digital Equity Program. She spends her daytime as a Research Professor in the Physics Department at Seattle Pacific University, working to reconceive physics as a more equitable and just space. Amy’s orientation toward justice work is deeply shaped by her experiences as a chronically ill person. She believes that rest and care are a birthright, and she is excited to collaborate with EEC to dismantle systems of oppression that normalize harm and center single ways of being.
In her free time, Amy enjoys connecting with her chosen family, crafting, and going for outdoor walks with her partner. She is currently trying to convince said partner that they really need a dog.