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.
Click to view personal biographies.

Keren Jimenez, MA Lead College Access and Success Advisor – Road to Success

College Access and Success Advisor – Road to Success

Keren Jimenez is originally from the Houston/Galveston area. She moved to San Marcos, TX in 2006 to attend Texas State University and graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in international studies. Ms. Jimenez will be graduating in December with her Masters in Educational Leadership and Policy Studies Higher Education Administration from the University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA).

Most of Ms. Jimenez’s experience in college access comes from recently working and interning with Alamo Colleges in the department of International Programs. She is excited to begin advising and helping students achieve their goals and discover new paths they may not have considered in the past.

Ms. Jimenez is a firm believer in the power of education and hopes to instill that same passion into the students she comes across.

Rachel Maldonado, BA College Access and Success Advisor – Road to Success

College Access and Success Advisor – Road to Success

Rachel Maldonado joined the San Antonio Education Partnership with 15 years of experience in college access and success.

Assisting students with the college admission process, college testing, career counseling, and financial aid in their quest to achieve their college dreams has been rewarding and fulfilling for her. Prior to joining the Partnership, she was a College Placement Specialist for a private non-profit organization and a college admissions counselor at Trinity University.

Ms. Maldonado received her Bachelors of Arts from Trinity University in 1993 and an Associates of Arts from San Antonio College in 1977. She obtained her elementary teacher certification in 2005 from Texas A&M University – Kingsville. She is a native of San Antonio and a graduate of
Sidney Lanier High School.

Eric Apaez, BA College Access and Success Advisor – Road to Success

College Access and Success Advisor – Road to Success

Eric Apaez joined the San Antonio Education Partnership in October 2012 as a College Access and Success Advisor.

He graduated from Luther Burbank High School and received a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from the University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA).

Mr. Apaez is also a veteran of the U.S. Army and Texas National Guard. He is passionate about the mission of SAEP and thoroughly enjoys working with his students at MacArthur and Southside High schools.

Roxana Miranda College Access and Success Advisor – Road to Success

College Access and Success Advisor – Road to Success

Roxana Miranda 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!

Jennifer Martinez College Access and Success Advisor – Road to Success

College Access and Success Advisor – Road to Success

Jennifer Martinez is a recent graduate of Trinity University where she majored in Urban Studies. As a native San Antonian and first generation college graduate, urban studies offered a way to further study what truly leads to gap of educational attainment felt strongly by the inner city and methods towards fixing this divided system. Working with SAEP will continue to facilitate opportunities to help students who too often fall through the cracks. Each student deserves their best chance no matter what that looks like. She hasn’t ruled out being a teacher so she looks to further her education by getting a Masters in Teaching from Trinity or pursue a Masters in Urban Education or Higher Ed.  On a personal note, Jennifer is a huge nerd who adores cats and anime. Sailor Moon and Spirited Away both sparked her love of anime in her childhood.

Juan Venegas College Access and Success Advisor – Road to Success

College Access and Success Advisor – Road to Success

Juan Venegas, is one of our new College Access & Success Advisors with the Road to Success program!

Juan 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. His experience while working at high schools has motivated him to continue his education and pursue a Masters in Educational Leadership & Policy Studies. In his free time Juan likes to go to the movies, watch Netflix, and explore San Antonio. He loves dogs and has a 1 yr old lab named Thor!

Kimberly Taylor College Access and Success Advisor – Road to Success

College Access and Success Advisor – Road to Success

Kimberly Taylor joined the San Antonio Education Partnership in July of 2017, as part of the Road to Success Program.

Born and raised in Dallas, TX, Ms. Taylor moved to San Antonio in 2011 to attend Trinity University. She graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology in 2015. After graduating, Ms. Taylor worked with the College Advising Corps for two years where she served as the college advisor for McCollum High School in San Antonio.

Ms. Taylor has developed a passion for helping students take steps towards higher education and looks forward to continuing to serve the San Antonio community through the San Antonio Education Partnership.

Abraham Trevino College Access and Success Advisor – Gear Up

College Access and Success Advisor – Road to Success

Abraham Trevino was born and raised in San Antonio, Texas. He is a proud graduate of Harlandale High School and recent graduate from Texas State University. He graduated from Texas State University with a B. S. in Exercise and Sports Science with an All-Level Teaching Cert in P. E. and a minor in Mass Communications and Criminal Justice. He has student teaching experience at Harlandale ISD. He was a College Advisor at Lockhart High School while working with TX State’s Center for P16 Initiatives. He joined the R2S team because he wanted to give back to the community he grew up in and help bridge the gap for first generation college students such as himself. His hope is to become a mentor for these students and inspire them to pursue their dreams! In his free time he loves watching the Spurs and Cowboys, staying active, and playing sports.

Fun Fact: He once met Kawhi Leonard!

Naiha Campos College Access and Success Advisor – Road to Success

College Access and Success Advisor – Road to Success

My name is Naiha Campos and I am from everywhere the Army brat life took me. I graduated with a BS in Psychology from Angelo State University, GO RAMS, and a Master of Education in Student Affairs and Higher Education from Texas State University, GO BOBCATS. I love the San Antonio Education Partnership because of the care, compassion, and drive we have to help all students succeed, no matter their circumstances. In my free time, I love to cook, watch Netflix’s with my fiancé, and cuddle with my fur baby.

 

Mozelle Moreno College Access and Success Advisor – Road to Success

College Access and Success Advisor – Road to Success

My name is Mozelle Moreno. I attended The University of New Mexico where I received my Bachelor of Arts, English Pre-Professional writing degree in 2013. I plan to pursue my law degree to later become involved in Education Policy.

 I previously worked for the UTSA TRiO-Upward Bound program, which motivated me to continue working with youth to help them to follow their own academic and career paths. As a San Antonio native, I want to give back to my community as much as I can.

Karina Castro College Access and Success Advisor – Road to Success

College Access and Success Advisor – Road to Success

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 Cleveland, TN.

During her undergraduate studies, she served students in the Southeast, New York City, and the west side of Chicago. After graduating, Karina served as Refugee Advocate Coordinator with RAICES, connecting newly arrived asylum seekers with local resources. She joined the SAEP R2S team because she is passionate about helping students from diverse backgrounds access higher education. She is extremely excited to help students at San Antonio College succeed and reach their goals.

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

Melissa Garcia College Access and Success Advisor – Road to Success

College Access and Success Advisor – Road to Success

My name is Melissa Garcia Alderete. I am a proud Bobcat, having graduated from Texas State University with a Mass Communications degree. You can even call me a fish, I love being in the water and swimming, tubing anything that involves the  water! (Yes, that also means drinking it.) I love playing basketball and just going to hang out with friends. If you need a recommendation of a crime/cult documentary, let me know, I got you! I joined SAEP because the organization helped me and I wanted to give back by encouraging others to get an education and succeed!

Emerald Crayton College Access and Success Advisor – Road to Success

College Access and Success Advisor – Road to Success

Emerald Crayton is joining the San Antonio Education Partnership team after completing her Master of Education in Student Affairs in Higher Education from Texas State University. Emerald also holds a Bachelor of Science in Kinesiology: Exercise Science from Texas Lutheran University. Emerald is very passionate about working first generation college students because she is a first generation college graduate herself. She loves FOOD and currently her new hobby is researching all things about curly hair!

Mayra Barrera, BS College Access and Success Advisor – cafécollege

College Access and Success Advisor – cafécollege

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 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.

She received her Associate’s of Arts degree from Lone Star College–CyFair then transferred to and graduated from 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.

Tony Cerda, BA College Access and Success Advisor – cafécollege

College Access and Success Advisor – cafécollege

Antonio Cerda joined the San Antonio Education Partnership in spring of 2016 as a College Access and Success Advisor.

He’s a graduate from Highlands High School and received a Bachelor’s from the University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA). Mr. Cerda plans on pursuing his Master’s in Business Administration or Master’s in Education.

Mr. Cerda, had opportunities in the past to advise individuals, and work with students through UTSA’s office of P-20 GForce Program! By providing these resources, students will be more informed about their options after high school and their future.

Fatima Montez, BA College Access and Success Advisor – cafécollege

College Access and Success Advisor – cafécollege

Fatima Montez joined the San Antonio Education Partnership in June 2016 as a College Access and Success Advisor at cafécollege.

Born and raised in San Antonio, she received assistance from cafécollege and the San Antonio Education Partnership during her time as a student at Burbank High School and is extremely grateful to work with the organization that helped her get to where she is today.

Fatima graduated from the University of Notre Dame with A Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology and will be pursuing a Master’s of Social Work at Our Lady of the Lake University beginning Fall, 2016.

Michael Triulzi College Access and Success Advisor – cafécollege

College Access and Success Advisor – cafécollege

Michael Triulzi joined the San Antonio Education Partnership in August 2016 as a College Access and Success Advisor.

He holds a Bachelor of Arts in History from Trinity University. After graduating from Trinity, he joined the College Advising Corps where he served for two years as the advisor to Fox Tech High School in San Antonio. While working at Fox Tech, Michael discovered cafécollege and gained an appreciation for the valuable services it provides to San Antonio students.

He was born and raised in Louisiana.

Jason Trevino College Access and Success Advisor – cafécollege

College Access and Success Advisor – cafécollege

Jason Trevino joined San Antonio Education Partnership April 2017 as a College Access & Success Advisor at Cafecollege.

Originally from Floresville, Texas, Jason holds a Masters in Educational Leadership & Policy Studies with a focus on Higher Education Administration. Before joining SAEP/Cafecollege, Jason worked as a Writing Tutor at Palo Alto College and then transferred to Alamo Colleges District to work as an Administrative Assistant within the Human Resources and Professional Development Department. Additionally, he has served as a Mentor/Administrative Assistant with the League of United Latin American Citizens National Educational Service Center (LULAC/LNESC) here in San Antonio.

Jason is currently a member of both American Educational Research Association (AERA) and Phi Kappa Phi National Honor Society.

 

Diego Mancha, BA College Access and Success Advisor – cafécollege

College Access and Success Advisor – cafécollege

Originally from Mexico City, Diego R. Mancha has lived in San Antonio for 15 years. He  graduated from Earl Warren High School in 2012. 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 has aspirations to attend law school in the near future and be an immigration attorney. He is passionate in 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, and most recently working as a Public Education Coordinator at the Rape Crisis Center in helping students. Diego has also served as the Director of Public Relations for the San Antonio Immigrant Youth Movement (SAIYM) for the past five years. Additionally, he has worked with unaccompanied youth and mothers fleeing violence from Central America at different capacities since 2014. He looks forward to the opportunities to help students begin or continue their educational journeys.

Nayeli Gomez Intake Specialist – cafécollege

Intake Specialist – cafécollege

Nayeli Gomez joined SAEP at cafecollege as our new Intake Specialist. Nayeli is a recent graduate of Texas A&M San Antonio, where she earned a BA in Mathematics with a minor in Communication. She has extensive data experience; she was the Data Director for the Texas Democratic Party during the last federal election cycle. She  is very organized and proactive, and she is bilingual!

 

Naomi Garcia, Ph.D. College Access and Success Advisor – Upgrade

College Access and Success Advisor – Upgrade

Dr. Garcia received her Bachelor of Arts degree in English and her Master of Arts in Applied Administration from The University of the Incarnate Word (UIW), where she was awarded the distinguished Sister Alcoque Power Award for Academic Excellence.

Dr. Garcia received her doctoral degree in education from Texas State University.  The concentration of her degree focused on adult, professional, and community education. While at Texas State University, Dr. Garcia conducted research regarding educators who lived and worked abroad. The focus of her study centered on the educators’ motivation to live and work abroad and how they were able to negotiate the challenges of working in a culture different from their own.

Dr. Garcia has worked in various realms of higher education serving as a research assistant, an academic advisor, an educational skills specialist, a student development specialist and an admissions counselor. Most recently, Dr. Garcia has been serving as a faculty member with Palo Alto College in the Community Programs department. Before this, Dr. Garcia served as a teacher of English as a foreign language in Rome, Italy and Istanbul, Turkey.

Dr. Garcia is a member of NAFSA-Association of International Educators, the National Society of Leadership and Success, and has been newly elected to the Board of Directors for the University of the Incarnate Word’s Alumni program. She looks forward to serving the City of San Antonio and its employees as an advisor for the new Upgrade program.

Lowell Butler College Access and Success Advisor – Upgrade

College Access and Success Advisor – Upgrade

Although born in Louisiana Lowell has spent a lot time in Biloxi, Mississippi where he held a variety of jobs within in the unique hospitality and gaming industry. Through his sustained involvement in national service programs he has had the opportunity to work in a number of areas that impacted the lives of everyday families. As a TeauchUP! Intern he helped Mississippi educators integrate technology into their schools and surrounding areas. After relocating to San Antonio Lowell went on to serve as an AmeriCorps VISTA with Texas Impact as part of the Community Partner Program, which helped connect low income families to state benefits. He has also had the privilege of serving as VISTA Leader with the City of San Antonio’s Eastside Promise Zone which focused on reducing poverty by achieving goals such as increasing access to education and creating employment opportunities for historically disadvantaged residents on the eastside .

Most recently Lowell comes to Upgrade! San Antonio from Goodwill Industries as a result of a partnership where he previously held the role of volunteer program coordinator. Lowell earned his Bachelor of Science in Business Administration in 2013 and Master of Public Administration in 2017. He is currently pursuing his Ph.D. in Public Policy and Administration with a concentration in Policy Analysis .

In his free time Lowell is an avid couch potato and loves to eat cheeseburgers .