Our Staff

Charlene Simonian Vaca is the CEO with and has been part of the team since November 2012. Her professional background is in operations, office administration, accounting, customer service, and sales. Charlene is responsible for the general operations of the organization including domestic and international programming, marketing, financials, and human resources.

Originally from Sonora, CA, she came to the Bay Area to attend California State University East Bay. In September 2012, she graduated with a B.S. in Business Administration, with concentrations in Accounting and Marketing. Her hobbies include floral design, crafting, and scuba diving whenever she gets the chance. She loves animals, traveling, and spending time with her family and friends.

Amparo Leyman Pino, M. Ed., is an education professional based in San Francisco, CA. She holds a BS in Psychology and a Master in Education. She is alum of the Noyce Leadership Institute.

Since 1994, she has been dedicated to work closely with children, teenagers and adults, in both formal and informal environments in Mexico, the United States, Europe and the Middle East. Throughout her life she has been moved by her passion for education, by a quest to discover methodologies and theories that can help others learn and acquire knowledge, for their own benefit and for the good of society.  Amparo’s focus has been on innovation, cultural relevancy and the development of quality interactive learning experiences and communities.

Her work in the United States has been focused mainly in helping institutions such as the Nise Net, Cornell University, the Lawrence Hall of Science, the Monterey Bay Aquarium, the California Academy of Sciences, and the San Diego Natural History Museum, among others, to engage Spanish-speaking audiences and create a culture of inclusion and diversity among their staff.

She has broad experience and proficiency in the education field: teaching, counseling, training, professional development, curriculum development, assessment, program evaluation, technology integration, content development, after school programs, e-learning and informal education of science, technology, the arts, and interpersonal development through exhibits.

Bizworld-Patricia_Solis.jpgPatricia Solis 
Operations Manager

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Melissa Doppler is the Community Engagement Manager with She has 20 years management and marketing experience in the legal profession in her home country of Australia, and more than 15 years as a development, program and events manager in the non-profit sector in the San Francisco Bay Area.  Her experience includes managing large scale program and fundraising events, recruiting and managing volunteers, and project managing communications and fundraising campaigns. For the past 3 years, Melissa has been overseeing child safety policies, procedures and training for The Salvation Army across Central California.

Her hobbies include music, gardening, hiking, floral design, cooking, and travel. She and her musician husband enjoy living in the beautiful San Francisco East Bay with their two poodles, Vincent Van Dog and Jack Black.

Ronitia Hodges is an education professional with over ten years of experience creating, implementing, and coordinating projects and programs with a proven track for streamlining processes and increasing productivity. Dedicated to strategic and effective solutions for engagement and growth, she focuses on creating unique opportunities to empower learners to think, design, and do!

She received her master's in public administration with a specialization in nonprofit management and a BS in Marketing. She also holds a certification from the Project Management Institute.

Ronitia is a lifelong learner focused on creating equitable opportunities for youth across the globe to reach their fullest potential while being their whole selves. Her motto is "Bring your whole self wherever you go."

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