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staff

 

katie rispoli keaotamai
executive director

Since founding We Are the Next, Katie has led the organization to work with local, national, and global agencies to renovate and program meaningful places. She began working in construction in 2012 where she coordinated renovations in historic buildings and in 2015 graduated from USC with a Master of Heritage Conservation degree and a certificate in Nonprofit Management and Public Policy. Katie oversees all operations, facilitates youth and civic programming, and manages our construction-related work.

la dawna minnis
director of education programs

La Dawna is passionate about art education and new technologies, and pursues opportunities for students of all ages to engage in transformative, creative experiences. In 2015, she completed her Master of Arts in Information and Learning Technologies with an emphasis on eLearning and Design Implementation. With We Are the Next La Dawna designs community programs and facilitates captivating experiences for our youth participants.

 
 

Youth Advisory Council

We Are the Next's Youth Advisory Council is comprised of current students who reside in our service area. The council meets every other month to provide guidance to the organization's staff and help design curriculum for upcoming programs. Current members of the council include:

  • Astrid Quirarte
  • Jacqueline Tapia
  • Marcos Lopez
  • Nick Menendez

Student Interns

Interns with We Are the Next work on a variety of projects, including community outreach, marketing, curriculum development, and research. 

  • Colleen Lilley
  • Kim Bernal, CSU Long Beach
 
 

board of directors

 
Jannet Matthew, President Jannet Matthew is a Long Beach resident with a passion for human rights and cultural heritage. Jannet is a native Spanish speaker and First-Generation American. Jannet is graduating from Southwestern Law School with her Juris Doctorate in Spring of 2017. She currently serves as an immigration law clerk, and intends on pursuing a career in immigration law. Jannet started her journey with We Are the Next in 2014 as a student intern, worked as part-time staff, and then became President of the Board. She is well-versed in our operations and programs, and works with our Youth Advisory Council. Her leadership on our board has been critical in shaping our programs for first-generation youth in the Long Beach region.

Jannet Matthew, President

Jannet Matthew is a Long Beach resident with a passion for human rights and cultural heritage. Jannet is a native Spanish speaker and First-Generation American. Jannet is graduating from Southwestern Law School with her Juris Doctorate in Spring of 2017. She currently serves as an immigration law clerk, and intends on pursuing a career in immigration law.

Jannet started her journey with We Are the Next in 2014 as a student intern, worked as part-time staff, and then became President of the Board. She is well-versed in our operations and programs, and works with our Youth Advisory Council. Her leadership on our board has been critical in shaping our programs for first-generation youth in the Long Beach region.

Lindsey Ingram, Secretary

Lindsey Ingram, Secretary

 
Rita Cofield, Board Member

Rita Cofield, Board Member

Jennifer Beaver, Board Member

Jennifer Beaver, Board Member