Our esteemed board members provide valuable direction and insight for all of ASF’s activities and organizational goals. We are grateful for their years of dedication.
Monica Santos is a native of California. She received her BA in Liberal Studies and Bilingual Teaching Credential from Loyola Marymount University and has a Masters from the University of San Diego in Nonprofit Leadership and Management. Monica worked as a Dual Immersion teacher in the public schools in Los Angeles and Chula Vista, California for more than 20 years. She is the Founder and Director of Advancing Students Forward-A Su Futuro, an educational nonprofit that has served students in Tijuana, Mexico since 1984.
Earl Jordan Yaokasin, CFA
Mr. Yaokasin is the Founder and CEO of Wealtharch Investment Services, LLC. Mr. Yaokasin started his independent investment advisory firm in 2014. From 2005 to 2014, he worked for the Capital Group as a Portfolio Control Analyst. Prior to his tenure with the Capital Group, Mr. Yaokasin worked for the Bank of America Investments, American Express Financial Advisors, PCV Murcor and Purefoods-Hormel in various capacities. Mr. Yaokasin has earned the Chartered Financial Analysts designation and brings financial, operational and governance expertise to the Board.
Melanie is a founding member for Advancing Students Forward. She is passionate about education – raising the professional level of the border region will help lower the violence gripping much of Mexico and help the poor communities we serve to be more self-sufficient. Melanie is the Executive Director of Jericho Road Pasadena, and has 20 years of nonprofit experience. She has dedicated her career to helping the needy, leading her to diverse experiences such as working at an orphanage in Tijuana, and community organizing in a poor immigrant neighborhood in San Diego. She has managed volunteers within public libraries and has consulted extensively with nonprofits, helping to build each organization’s capacity. Melanie holds a Bachelor’s degree from Wellesley College, a Master’s degree from Claremont School of Theology and is a Certified Volunteer Administrator.
As a board member since 2005, Jennifer has become increasingly more excited about the growth, good work and development of Advancing Students Forward. Her passion for volunteering began early in life with service projects in Belize, the Dominican Republic, Boston and South Africa. Since her move to the west coast, Jenn has been active in various humanitarian organizations in and around Tijuana. As a Registered Nurse for women and newborns in San Diego, she gets many opportunities to practice her improving espanol. Jennifer received a Bachelor’s degree in Health Science from Merrimack College and a BSN from Villanova University.
Being born in and raised in Mexico, Gabriel has a strong passion for fighting the blatant inequality that exists there, and believes that education is the key in bridging that gap.
Originally from Trinidad and Tobago, Odesma is a proponent of education equity as a key mechanism for ensuring just social growth and development. As a trained engineering education scholar, Odesma’s professional and service work is focused on transforming engineering education and its public image; making it more inclusive, and socially connected. Odesma is an assistant professor in the Industrial and Systems Engineering program at University of San Diego. She has co-developed and maintained three successful science, technology, engineering, arts and math (STEAM) education outreach programs: STEAM Labs, STEAM TEAM Academy and the STEAM Youth and Community Conference. Starting in 2015, Odesma has worked closely with ASF students during monthly meetings. Odesma holds a PhD in Engineering Education from Purdue University and a MEng. in Industrial Engineering and a BS in Electrical Engineering, both from Morgan State University.