As the daughter of teen parents, Brianna is no stranger to the adversities that young family's face. During her time pursuing a Fine Arts degree, Brianna pledged herself to the Delta Gamma Sorority and volunteered with diverse adolescent based organizations. She used her passion for the arts and equestrian background to teach children unique ways of channeling emotions. During her time at Pittsburg State University Brianna assisted in the construction of several Artist Exhibitions, one of which was attended and recorded by the Smithsonian. Brianna is humbled by the opportunity to build upon the experience learned during her studies and her direct connection with Generation Hope’s Scholars. During her free time Brianna enjoys horseback riding, painting, and hiking. She shares her life with her former military husband and three dogs.
Hello! My name is Michelle Avelino and I am a new team member at Generation Hope. I am so excited to begin my work as the Volunteer & Outreach Associate and to be able to get to know the AMAZING Generation Hope team, Scholars, volunteers, Sponsors, and board members. I was born and raised in San Francisco, CA and moved to the East Coast in 2014. I graduated from San Francisco State University with a bachelor’s degree in Political Science & History. I am passionate about the mission of Generation Hope because my mom was a teen parent and in fact hid me during her pregnancy. My birth story has become a family legend as my mom was brought to the hospital for appendicitis but instead came out with me. My mom knew she was pregnant but she was scared to let her family know that she had become pregnant in college with a guy she barely knew. She and my grandparents had recently immigrated from the Philippines in hopes of a better life, and it was not how they had pictured how things would turn out. Nonetheless, it was my mom and grandparents that raised me and instilled the value of a college education. I feel so blessed to be able to join the team and help further the mission and values of Generation Hope. In a way, I feel it is an opportunity for me to give back to my mom and grandparents for all that they sacrificed and instilled in me. I look forward to meeting everyone and am grateful to be a new addition to the Generation Hope family.
My name is Yesenia Matias Chavez and I am super excited to be spending my Fall quarter at Generation Hope as a Program Intern!
I am a fourth-year student from the University of California, Santa Cruz majoring in Legal Studies and minoring in Education, and currently a participant in the UCDC program which allowed for me to travel and intern here in Washington D.C. I am originally from Seaside, CA, a small coastal town located in the Monterey Bay and have never been on the East Coast until now!
At UC Santa Cruz, I was an RA for two years, a member of Merrill Student Government, a Mentor/RA for Math Science Upward Bound, and a writing assistant for the Young Writers Program. After I finish my undergraduate degree, I plan on pursuing an MSW/JD and working in organizations that support first-generation, low-income students achieve academic and personal success.
As a first-generation and low-income student, a daughter of teenage immigrant parents, and a product of student support services such as TRiO and EOP, I know first-hand that the work Generation Hope is doing is powerful, empowering, and invaluable. When I first heard of Generation Hope, I was amazed that the organization was solely dedicated to serving young parents. I knew that this was something special I had to be a part of.
I see this role at Generation Hope not only as a way to give back to communities that have given me everything but as a gateway to a career in student support services!
As a 2nd-year Master of Social Work student at Howard University, Tiearra Caldwell understands that drive paired with support can make a world of difference in the lives of young families. After pursuing her Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, Tiearra served a one-year term as an AmeriCorps VISTA working with children and families at a non-profit in Washington, D.C. She has since worked as a live-in residential counselor at a group home for teenage girls, followed by completing a field placement at Anacostia High School as a school social work intern. Tiearra finds great joy in empowering teens and adolescents to live self-determined lives in which they can feel more prepared to positively impact both themselves and their loved ones. She believes that every day is an opportunity for a new beginning and education plays a key role one’s ability to ensure that new beginnings have the best outcomes possible. Tiearra is ecstatic to be a listening ear, a shoulder to lean on, and an overall source of support to the Scholars of Generation Hope. When not working with Scholars, Tiearra can be found out enjoying the weather with her dog, Pork Chop, reading up on social justice issues, and turning group study sessions into opportunities to share amazing food!
Tiearra's favorite quote: "It is our light not our darkness that most frightens us. Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light not our darkness that most frightens us." —Marianne Williamson
This quote resonates because it speaks to how stepping outside of the norm may be uncomfortable, but more rewarding than ever. It gives Tiearra a positive outlook on each and every person’s potential for success and it inspires her to pursue whatever it is that she desires in her soul, as it may bring new light to the world.
Hi everyone! My name is Courtney and I couldn't be more excited to join the Generation Hope family.
I am a true Midwesterner, having grown up just outside of Chicago and attending the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. I majored in Anthropology and Spanish, and spent a lot of time learning about evolution, culture, and the Spanish subjunctive. When I wasn't in class, you could find me in an orchestra rehearsal for the Michigan Pops, cooking a huge meal for my 40 member housing cooperative, or advising incoming freshman at my campus job.
After graduating, I moved around a bit before landing in Washington D.C. In California, I worked with the Jesuit Volunteer Corps to provide legal services to people experiencing homelessness. After JVC, I moved to España in order to work as a high school teacher and improve my Spanish with the Fulbright program. Most recently, I was working to fight rural poverty through federal farm policy.
I see this role at Generation Hope as a beautiful mix of my passions for education, poverty alleviation, and women's empowerment. A few other (less important things) that I love include: new vegetarian recipes, dogs, Spotify dance playlists, super dark chocolate (85%!), and anything by my favorite author, Cheryl Strayed. I truly can't wait to get to know all of our Scholars and Sponsors, and am excited to jump into my new role at Generation Hope!