We succeed because of our amazing College Access and Success Advisors

Meet the College Access and Success Advisors who provide the 5 key services to students and their families.

Jared Alamazan

College Access and Success Advisor - cafecollege

Jared joined the cafécollege team as a College Access and Success Advisor in April of 2018. Born and raised in San Antonio, he is a first-generation college graduate from Our Lady of the Lake University, where he obtained a B.S. in Kinesiology and a minor in Biology. He is currently seeking his teaching certification for the Middle School and High School level.

Mayra Barrera

College Access and Success Advisor - cafecollege

Mayra Barrera joined cafécollege in October of 2013, as a College Access and Success Advisor.

Prior to joining the Partnership, she gained experience in college admissions process as well as financial aid during her 5 years experience with the TRIO Program for the University of Texas at San Antonio.

Ms. Barrera is originally from Eagle Pass, Texas, yet made the move to Houston, then San Antonio to pursue her academic career.

Ms. Barrera received her Associate’s of Arts degree from Lone Star College–CyFair then transferred to and graduated from the University of Texas at San Antonio, with a Bachelor’s of Science.

As a first-generation college student, she is familiar with what other first-generation college and transfer students may encounter. This knowledge comes in helpful when she advises students with similar situations. She is also eager to help students and/or parents who would need translation services in Spanish.

Karina Castro

College Access and Success Advisor – Road to Succes

Karina is originally from Sinaloa, Mexico and raised in San Antonio. She earned a Bachelor of Arts in Intercultural Studies and Social Work from Lee University in Tennessee.

During her undergraduate studies, she served students in the Southeast, New York City, and Chicago. After graduating, Karina served as Refugee Advocate Coordinator with RAICES, connecting newly arrived asylum seekers with local resources. She joined SAEP because she is passionate about helping students from diverse backgrounds access higher education. She currently serves as the SAEP liaison for the San Antonio Mexican Consulate and is extremely excited to help families succeed and reach their goals.

In her downtime, she enjoys painting and exploring new cities.

Celina Castaneda

College Access and Success Advisor - Road to Sucess

Celina Castaneda is a College Access and Success Advisor with the Road 2 Success Program. Celina is a proud graduate of Our Lady of the Lake University, where she earned her bachelor’s degree in May 2016. Celina has worked with AmeriCorps, Good Samaritan Community Services, and Our Lady of the Lake University.  Celina is originally from El Paso, Texas but has resided in San Antonio for the past 6 years. Celina loves to travel and has visited 15 countries.

Jennifer Cervantes

College Access and Success Advisor - cafecollege

Jennifer Cervantes is a proud alum of both UIW and UTSA. She obtained a degree from the University of the Incarnate Word with a Bachelor’s of Fine Arts in Interior Design. She obtained a Master’s of Education in Curriculum & Instruction from The University of Texas in San Antonio. After graduating, Jennifer worked various aspects of interior Design. Jennifer is utilizing her Education Degree at cafécollege as a College Access and Success Advisor. In her spare time, she and her husband love spending time with their son Xander and their dog Boston.  

Eric Estrada

College Access and Success Advisor – Road to Success

Eric Estrada joined the San Antonio Education Partnership in August 2015 as the Intake Specialist for cafécollege. He is now a College Access and Success Advisor with the Road To Success team serving 4 local high schools.
He has a passion for working with the city’s youth and helping them to see that college is attainable for them. As he is a first gen college student himself, he uses that to show students that it can be done. Eric is a graduate of Texas A&M University-San Antonio, where he graduated with his Bachelors in Criminology. Eric plans to get his teaching certificate from TAMUSA as well.
Eric is an avid sports fan and even has season tickets to San Antonio’s pro soccer team, SAFC.

Angelica Flores

College Access and Success Advisor - cafecollege

Angelica Flores joined cafécollege in October of 2018 as a College Access and Success Advisor. Prior to joining the Partnership, she gained experience in college admissions, financial aid and student support services during her three years with the GEAR Up program at the University of Texas at San Antonio, where she also attended for her undergraduate degree. Born and raised in San Antonio, she loves and embraces the Texan culture.

Nayeli Gomez

College Access and Success Advisor - cafecollege

Nayeli Gomez joined the San Antonio Education Partnership in August 2017 as the Intake Specialist and is now a College Access and Success Advisor. She is the daughter of Mexican immigrants and loves that she can give back and serve immigrant and first-generation students through her position at cafecollege.

She is originally from El Monte, California and made the move to San Antonio in 2006 where she completed her high school and college education. Nayeli graduated from Wagner High School and received her Bachelor’s of Art in Mathematics from Texas A&M University-San Antonio in 2016 and is working on her Master’s in Applied Statistics at UTSA.

She has extensive data experience; she was District 23’s Data Director for the Texas Democratic Party during the 2016 federal election cycle. Nayeli also served as the Director of Operations for the San Antonio Immigrant Youth Movement (SAIYM) for four years.

Sarah Gonyea

College Access and Success Advisor - Road to Success

Sarah Gonyea is a recent addition to the College Access and Success Adviser team with the SAEP. She is originally from Michigan and received her Bachelor of Arts Degree in Sociology from Michigan State University in 2017.
Upon graduation, she served with the Michigan State University College Advising Corps (MSUCAC) as a College Adviser.
Ms. Gonyea is excited to continue her work in the college access movement. Being a first-generation college student herself, she feels fortunate to be able to guide similar students through the college-going process. Ms. Gonyea has four cats.

Keren Jimenez

College Access and Success Advisor – Road to Success

Keren Jimenez has been a part of the San Antonio Education Partnership since December 2014. She is currently serving as the Lead Advisor for the Road 2 Success Program.

Keren is an alum of Texas State University-San Marcos, where she earned her bachelor’s degree in December 2010. She then went on to pursue her Master’s in Education in December 2014 from the University of Texas-San Antonio.

Keren is originally from the Houston/Galveston area, but has made a home here in San Antonio where she has become a Spurs fan! Keren loves to play racquetball and has entered into tournaments in San Antonio and surrounding areas.

Rachel Maldonado

College Access and Success Advisor – Road to Success

Rachel E Maldonado has her Associates Degree from San Antonio College and her Bachelor’s Degree from Trinity University. She also completed 9 hours at Texas A&M University-Kingsville for her Teacher’s Certification.  Ms. Maldonado has been the in the field of college admissions, recruiting and financial aid for 29 years.  She currently is College Access and Success Advisor for the San Antonio Education Partnership since 2009.  She enjoys working with students and parents in opening the doors to higher education.  A fun fact she climbed Mt Sinai and rode a camel.

Diego Mancha

College Access and Success Advisor - cafecollege

Diego Mancha joined the San Antonio Education Partnership in January 2017.  Originally from Mexico City, Diego has lived in San Antonio since 2002. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Mexican-American Studies with a Concentration in Sociology and a Minor in Spanish from the University of Texas at San Antonio. Diego is passionate about helping undocumented/documented students reach their educational goals. Currently working at cafécollege as a College Access and Success Advisor, Diego brings his experiences as an undocumented student navigating higher education. He enjoys being able to help students begin or continue their educational journeys.

Roxana Miranda

College Access and Success Advisor – Road to Success

Roxana Miranda joined San Antonio Education Partnership in January 2017. 

Roxana is a native of San Antonio and graduated from St. Mary’s University. She has supported multiple student-based programs, including TRiO Upward Bound and GearUP. She truly enjoys serving students in her community and helping them make informed decisions when it comes to their personal and educational goals.  In her free time, Roxana likes to try new restaurants, attend local art/music shows, and visit state parks. Her true love is mint chocolate chip—anything J, and once while travelling, she was brave enough to try Llama meat!

 

Mozelle Moreno

College Access and Success Advisor – Road to Success​

Mozelle Moreno joined San Antonio Education Partnership in August 2017. 

Mozelle graduated from The University of New Mexico with her B.A. in English. She was born and raised in San Antonio, Texas and is passionate about giving back to her community. As a former TRiO student, her passion for helping first generation students stemmed from her high school experiences. Before working for the partnership, she worked for TRiO- Upward Bound through UTSA for three years. In 2016, Mozelle had the opportunity to serve as a legislative intern during the legislative session which sparked her interest in public policy, specifically within education. She plans to attend law school in the near future. 

Catherine Rizo

Intake Specialist - cafecollege

Catherine Rizo joined the San Antonio Education Partnership as the cafécollege Intake Specialist in September of 2018.  She is an alum of the University of Texas at San Antonio, where she earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Criminal Justice.

Rosemary Rodriguez

College Access and Success Advisor - Road to Sucess

Rosemary Rodriguez is born and raised in San Antonio, Texas. She is a graduate of Southside High School and earned a Bachelor’s of Arts in Communications from Texas A&M University-San Antonio. While pursuing her undergraduate degree, she balanced working two jobs; one at Palo Alto College in different departments such as Admissions & Records, the Welcome Center and the HSI SEEDS STEM Grant and the other working at Cox Media Group for four years.

Rosemary is a first generation student and believes “You can do anything you set your mind to.” She is dedicated to helping students achieve their goals while making their dreams a reality. She joined the San Antonio Education Partnership because she believes there is no such thing as a road block to a student’s success.

A fun fact about Rosemary to know is her dance moves. She likes to dance like no one is watching. She was on the Red Jackets Dance team at her high school for three years. She was the Captain her junior year and made Colonel her senior year.

Michael Steen

College Access and Success Advisor – Road to Success

Michael Steen grew​ up in Arizona and went to college at Arizona State University. It was there that he gained a passion for working with youth. Following college, he served the program, City Year, for a year.
At which time Mr.Steen became enthralled with the San Antonio culture while helping the students. After his year of service, he wanted to continue helping students.
This desire lead him to teach for the summer but wanted to make a bigger impact in forwarding students education leading him to the San Antonio Education Partnership. Mr. Steen hopes to help students along their educational path.

Juan Venegas

College Access and Success Advisor – Road to Success

Juan Venegas joined the San Antonio Education Partnership in December 2016. He is originally from Mission, TX. but relocated to San Marcos, TX. to attend Texas State University. He attained a Bachelor’s degree in Public Relations with a minor in Business. While at Texas State he was part of the Center for P-16 Initiatives team serving high schools in Austin and Lockhart. Through this program he was able to see the importance of a college education while helping others pursue a college degree as well. In his free time Juan likes to go to the movies, watch Netflix, and explore San Antonio. He loves dogs and has a 2 yr old lab dog named Thor!

Elizabeth Velarde

College Access and Success Advisor – Upgrade

Elizabeth Velarde​ is originally from Dallas, TX and moved to San Antonio in September. She received a Bachelor’s of Science in Health Studies in 2012 from Texas Woman’s University in Denton, TX. Ms. Velarde also received a Master’s in Public Health in 2018 from the UNT Health Science Center in Fort Worth, TX.
Between earning two degrees, she served as the community educator for a non-profit in Dallas focused on preventing child abuse in Dallas County.
The majority of her experience comes from working in various non-profit organizations.
Outside of work, she enjoys watching movies, reading, and spending time with her daughter exploring San Antonio.

Arlin Yazzie

College Access and Success Advisor – Road to Success

Arlin Yazzie joined the San Antonio Education Partnership in October of 2018 as a College Access and Success Advisor with the Road to Success team.  She is currently serving 3 local high schools.
Arlin was born on the Navajo Reservation and was raised in New Mexico and Colorado.  She earned her Bachelor’s degree from Fort Lewis College.  
She has a passion for educating students with the knowledge on how to navigate their high school academic career in the hopes of obtaining a Bachelor’s degree with as little cost as possible.  
In her downtime, she enjoys photography, specialty coffee tasting, hiking, and venturing out with her two dogs.