Civicorps is proud to have staff who are dedicated to providing the highest quality education and job training for our youth.

Read more about our operating principles here.


Adam Cope

Job Training Manager

Adam has been with Civicorps since 2006, when he was hired as a Job Training Supervisor. Prior to Civicorps, Adam worked for Sunny Hills Children’s Services, a youth development program in Marin county. Adam attended college at UC Berkeley. Outside of work, Adam enjoys mountain biking and other outdoor activities.

"Something I’ve learned in my time at Civicorps is that it’s better to approach the day expecting the unexpected than to have a set plan for how you want things to go."

Audrey Blanson

Human Resource Manager

Audrey serves as the Human Resource Manager at Civicorps. She comes to Civicorps with a Masters in Accountancy, former experience as the Director of Operations & Finance and HR Manager at ARISE High School, and Senior Accountant at Youth Uprising. Her heartbeat has always been to work with youth and be instrumental in their success, aligning with Civicorps' mission. Some of her hobbies include sewing, bowling, and hanging out with her family. She enjoys long drives with no particular destination or time of arrival, as it’s one of the best ways to get someplace you’ve never been, an adventure so-to-speak. While at Civicorps, she hopes to bring more happiness into her life and the people around her.

Brian Hickey

Chief Financial Officer/Chief Operating Officer

Brian has been with Civicorps since 2008 as the Chief Financial Officer, and in July 2016, he also became the Chief Operating Officer, which oversees Civicorps Recycling. He currently serves as Treasurer on the Board of Directors at Horizon Services, Inc. and is a Finance Committee member at Vincent Academy. He holds a Bachelor’s of Arts degree in Finance from University of California, Santa Barbara and is a Certified Public Accountant with over 20 years of experience in auditing and accounting.

"Something I've learned at Civicorps is that I often don't know as much as I think I do."

Joseph "JAB" Billingsley

Senior Support Services Manager

JAB first joined Civicorps in 1996 and currently serves as the Support Services Manager responsible for program operations and supervision of staff on the Support Services Team at Civicorps involving outreach, recruitment, encouraging personal development, coordinating community resources, career development, counseling, support services, employer engagement and workforce development. JAB's experience ranges from education, service, advising, supporting and advocacy among urban communities in Washington, D.C. and the San Francisco Bay Area. He earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in Afro American Studies at Howard University in Washington, D.C. Afterwards, he earned his Juris Doctor degree from the University of San Francisco. After practicing law for over 16 years, he transitioned to serving juveniles and adults in another arena, providing direct service to participants in youth development and workforce development programs for over 20 years.

"One thing I've learned at Civicorps is that change is inevitable and necessary for growth. It is best to maintain a healthy perspective that includes the combined elements of: flexibility, patience, compassion, forward-thinking, durability and humor."

Rachel Eisner

Director of Development and Communications

Rachel joined Civicorps in October 2018 with over 20 years of experience in leadership development, fundraising and community outreach in the Bay Area. She has spent significant time working in the Israel/Palestine conflict resolution space, and served for eight years as the Northwest Regional Director for J Street, a political advocacy organization.  Rachel holds a BA in Interdisciplinary Studies from UC Berkeley and is a certified mediator. Her commitment to education and youth leadership stems from her service as a volunteer advocate addressing equity and the opportunity gap in the Berkeley Unified School District.  Rachel lives in Berkeley with her husband and three children, is a NY Mets fan and an aspiring ukulele player.

Tessa Nicholas

Executive Director

With nearly 25 years committed to youth and community development Tessa continues to listen, learn, and seek new ways to best address the inequity of opportunity impacting young adults in under resourced communities.  Having spent her career in alternative education and nonprofit program management; working with organizations such as Student Conservation Association, Girl Guides of Jamaica, oneLondon Ltd; she has witnessed the beauty of young people seizing the chance to engage with their learning and to be inspired to reach for their dreams.  A Coro Youth Development Fellow and a Return Peace Corps Volunteer, Tessa brings an academic understanding and real-world experience of how systemic racism impacts people and their ability to live their best life.  By continuing to create and support relevant education and training programs Tessa believes we can make a difference in the lives of young people and their families while also addressing our biased systems.  With each Civicorps graduation or job placement, Tessa is reminded of activist, Tarana Burke’s quote “Inherently, having privilege isn’t bad, but it’s how you use it, and you have to use it in service of other people.”

"While at Civicorps I have learned that we all deserve a safe space to learn, grow, and connect with others who believe in the power of our dreams."

Wendy Wang


Wendy has been with Civicorps since 2008 as the Controller. She obtained her Bachelor's in Business Administration and Major in Accounting from the Southern Alberta Institute of Technology in Canada. She is a Certified Public Accountant as well as Certified General Accountant in Canada. Prior to her move to the Bay Area in 2001, she has worked in Canada and in Hong Kong with over 20 years of experience in Finance and Accounting.

"Something I learned at Civicorps is how to respect differences between people and work as a team"

Yvette Arroyo-Agredano

Interim Head of School

Yvette has been at Civicorps since 2004, when she started out as a Job Training Supervisor. Since coming to Civicorps, she has been been a Field Coordinator, Field Manager, Career Counselor and Career Pathways Manager. She now serves as Interim Head of School. Prior to Civicorps, she was an AmeriCorps school aide and pre-school teacher. She started her education at Laney, CCSF, and transferred to SF State where she received her Bachelor's degree in Child and Adolescent Development. In the rare moments of spare time Yvette can find, she enjoys Banda dances during the weekend.

"One thing I've learned at Civicorps is that people should do what they love."

Hector Abarca

Recycling Operations Manager

Hector has been with Civicorps since August 1993. Starting out as a Corpsmember, he received his high school diploma from the Academy and currently serves as the Recycling Operations Manager. In Hector's spare time, he coaches baseball and DJs.

"Civicorps taught me how to be a leader."


Annette PonTell

English Language Learner Teacher

Annette started her role as an English Language Learning Teacher at Civicorps in April 2019. Before Civicorps, Annette worked in other organizations for over twenty years as an ESL Teacher and Curriculum Developer. She also put her entrepreneurial skills into action by starting her own online teaching and copy-editing business. She holds a B.A. in French Literature from UC Santa Barbara and certificates in TESOL and copy-editing. Annette is passionate about language development and helping students boost their confidence and achieve their goals. In her spare time, you can find Annette spending time with her family and friends, entertaining at home, or visiting new places. She lived in France for a year, in Brazil for a couple years and grew up in a small town in the mountains where there was not much to do but ski, hike or read!

Avery Moore

Lead Teacher & Social Studies Teacher

Avery grew up in Berkeley in the 80’s and he already knows what you’re thinking—that he's probably a bike-riding vegetarian revolutionary who was born at home. Wrong—he doesn't ride a bike! Avery graduated from Berkeley High, went to Macalester College in Minnesota, then earned his teaching credential at Cal State East Bay. He spent five years teaching in Georgia and Florida before returning to the East Bay. Avery taught at Castlemont in 2009-2010 and has been teaching English at Civicorps for five years.

"As a teacher, I first try to build students’ confidence in themselves so that they are able to learn at a high level. I then support students with challenging material and a demanding workload so they have the skills and self-discipline to succeed in achieving their future goals."

Joseph Bradshaw

English Teacher

Joseph Bradshaw received a BA from Portland State University, and an MFA from the Iowa Writer’s Workshop. Since 2008 he has taught English and creative writing at the School of Visual Arts, Portland State University, North Central College, Tulane University, and, most recently, Bard Early College in New Orleans. He is the author of two books of poetry. He loves astrology and weird old books, and he often obsesses about the weather.

Lauren Hoernig

Resource Specialist

Lauren is a poet, singer, backpacker, star-gazer, swimmer, mother, and Resource Specialist at Civicorps. When she's not advocating for corpsmembers or providing academic and behavioral interventions, she's out seeking beauty in the world. After receiving her M.A. in English from DePaul University in 2005, she moved from Indiana to California, where she became an Oakland Teaching Fellow and earned her Education Specialist Teaching Credential from San Francisco State University. Lauren has been working in alternative and outdoor education in Oakland and San Francisco since 2006. Lauren loves adventure travel and has brought that to corpsmembers through backpacking, white water rafting, kayaking, and camping trips.

Matt Walker

Instructional Aide

Matt graduated from Civicorps in 2014 and has worked in the academy for a year and a half, starting as an intern and now a full-time staff member. During his time at the corps, Matt earned various academy awards like “Hardest Hitter” and honor roll society recognition. While working on the Job Training side of the program, Matt attained Crew Member of the Month on 3 separate occasions. He currently serves as the IT Associate & Instructional Aide.

"One of the main things I have learned at Civicorps is that it’s okay to make mistakes, as long as you learn from them and adjust yourself accordingly, so you won’t make the same mistakes in the future."

Michelle Cascio

Math Teacher

Michelle began her career in education tutoring first graders in Oakland with the national volunteer program, Americorps.  Nearly twenty years later, she continues to provide service for our city’s youth with the sister program, Civicorps. A lifelong learner, Michelle earned a BS in Anthropology from Florida State University (where she took Calculus for fun) and a MA in Anthropology from California State University, Hayward.  After devoting several years to KQED’s Education Network and Sylvan Learning Center, she returned to school again, this time for a teaching credential. Her Bilingual (Spanish) Multiple Subject teaching credential comes from California State University, East Bay.   She also holds a Single Subject credential in Mathematics (which she obtained on her own accord).
A part of the Oakland City Teacher Corps, Michelle taught 4th and 5th grades at Korematsu Discovery Academy in East Oakland for 7 years and 6th grade math at Edna Brewer Middle School in Central Oakland for 2 years.

When not busy working with Oakland’s kids, she’s wrangling her own preteen. You'll also catch her at Yoga to the People and at one of the many Bay Area thrift stores.  

Rachel Milner

Intervention Specialist

Rachel is the Intervention Specialist here at Civicorps. She hails from Maryland and studied in Biology at the University of Rochester in New York. Prior to working at Civicorps she taught high school math in New Orleans for 3 years, then began teaching circus arts in schools. She moved to the Bay Area to attend the Clown Conservatory in San Francisco and teach with Prescott Circus Theater in Oakland.

Rachel believes in the power, creativity, and uniqueness of every student. She believes every student is capable of taking ownership of their own success. Rachel loves combining her interests in academics and STEM with her passion for movement and circus while teaching and coaching. When not working, you can find Rachel playing capoeira, clowning around, juggling in the sunshine, and exploring nature.

Support Services

Aaron Smith

Case Counselor

Aaron joined Civicorps as Case Counselor in February of 2017. He obtained his Bachelor's degree in Sociology from SF State, and his Master's in Social Work from Cal State East Bay. Prior to working at Civicorps, Aaron was Wellness Manager at Youth UpRising in Oakland. In addition to counseling at Civicorps, Aaron also has a private practice in Oakland, facilitates amazing workshops nationwide for service providers, and is a  life-long learner.  In his spare time, he likes to write rhymes, cook gourmet meals, and spend time with family and friends.

"One thing I’ve learned at Civicorps is to never count someone out, even if they repeat the steps multiple times!"

Bethany Rivard

Outreach and Retention Specialist

Bethany started out as a Corpsmember in 2012 and graduated in June of 2013. She returned as an intern in early 2016, and she is now on staff as the Outreach and Retention Specialist. Before she returned as an intern, she worked in the food service industry as a bartender and server, and a full-time mom to two beautiful babies. In her spare time, she enjoys spending time with her family and she is also attending classes online through the Peralta Colleges.

"Civicorps has taught me to have faith in myself, and push through when things seem impossible. To stay consistent, dedicated, and hard working. They also taught me that family has very little to do with blood, and a lot to do with what you make out of the people in your life who believe in your abilities and support your dreams."

Eli Fujita

Career Counselor | They, Them, Their

Eli received their Bachelor's degree in Psychology from Pitzer College. They have experience mentoring peers on job search and applications, resume building and writing cover letters through their school's Career Services Center. They worked as a counselor at many different summer camps, including nature-based programs geared towards people on the autism spectrum.  They also have outdoor leadership and mentoring experience that helps them connect with people one-on-one.  Eli is inspired by the flexibility, creativity, and care that Civicorps staff puts into meeting Corpsmembers' needs.

When they're not at Civicorps, you can find Eli learning how to sing harmonies and playing guitar.

Natasha Vinakor

Lead Counselor

Natasha has been working at Civicorps since 2006. She started out as a Job Training Supervisor and now serves as Lead Counselor. Prior to Civicorps, she was a "Jack of All Trades," a Corpsmember with Montana Conservation Corps and a potter. She received her BA in Russian at the University of Vermont and her Masters in Social Work at San Francisco State University. She holds a Clinical Social Work License. In her spare time she enjoys dancing, hiking, and swimming.

"One thing I've learned while I've been at Civicorps is that learning is a shared, interactive, and experiential process within a group of people. None of us ever stop learning."

Rodney Dunn

Dean of Students

Mr. Rodney Dunn started as a Corpsmember at Civicorps in the 80's and has been working at Civicorps since 2000. Starting out as a Job Training Supervisor, Mr. Dunn now serves as the Dean of Students and helps new and returning students become acclimated to corps life. Through his enthusiasm and encouragement, Mr. Dunn is often mentioned in student portfolio presentations as having been a positive influence in their success. Mr. Dunn is a die-hard Raiders fan and in his spare time he raises snakes - big ones.

"Civicorps has taught me how to be patient, supportive, and understanding of our students' needs. I’ve learned how to provide support to encourage ALL students to do their best and apply themselves."

Job Training

David Murphy

Job Training Supervisor

David has worked as a Job training Supervisor for the past seven and a half years. Prior to Civicorps, he worked in software design, as a restaurant chef, an actor, and teacher. In his spare time, he enjoys reading and motorcycling.

"The most important thing I have learned while at Civicorps is the remarkable strength of character and resiliency so many of our crew members possess. It gives me hope for this crazy mixed up world."

Felicia Biffle

Job Training Supervisor

Bio coming soon!

Jeff Chilcott

Job Training Supervisor

Jeff is one of the veteran job training supervisors at Civicorps, having started in March of 2013. Before Civicorps, Jeff worked mainly in construction and agriculture, and then worked for a re-entry program at Allen Temple Church, where he learned about Civicorps. His current passion is dragon boat racing and he hopes to travel to Hungary to compete in a world championship event. Jeff attended Berkeley High School in the 60s and graduated from UC Davis in 2000.

"While working at Civicorps, I’ve learned to be young again."

Marisela Saeturn

Job Training Supervisor

Marisela started out as a Corpsmember in 2001 and has since worked in different departments such as recruitment, recycling and now job training as a Supervisor. Prior to Civicorps, Marisela was a full-time mother looking for an opportunity to continue her education but found it difficult to have a job and go to school at the same time. When she heard about Civicorps, she decided that she wanted to give it a try. Marisela graduated from Civicorps (then "East Bay Conservation Corps") in 2005. Since then, she has obtained her my CNA Home Care and Medical Assistant certifications. In her spare time, Marisela listens to music and enjoys the outdoors.

"At Civicorps I have learned how to give back to my community and appreciate the opportunity of being part of young adult's life who will one day be grateful, like I am."

Michelle Prosser

Job Training Supervisor

Bio coming soon

Monique "Mo" Williams

Job Training Coordinator

Mo started out at Civicorps as a Corpsmember in March 1998. According to her, she has "pretty much always been at Civicorps," and she currently serves as the Job Training Supervisorr, ensuring that everything goes smoothly with the crews in the Job Training portion of Civicorps. Outside of work, she enjoys spending time with her family and attending sporting events.

"At Civicorps I’ve learned what an extended family is like."

Priscilla Tuazon - Civicorps

Priscilla "Cil" Tuazon

Job Training Supervisor

I've always had a passion for helping people. I dedicated myself to public service for almost 20 years with the Oakland Police Department. After retiring from O.P.D., I read an article, "Traffic Accidents are the #1 Cause of Death for Teenagers and Young Adults."  I immediately became a professional licensed driving instructor because I wanted to make a difference and save lives. As an instructor for 10 years, I had many opportunities to teach and mentor Civicorps Corpsmembers. We found a comfort level where we could easily communicate and understand each other. A lot of the members were nervous and oblivious to all the technical driving rules. But after working together and building their trust, they developed defensive and safe driving skills, which resulted in passing the DMV behind-the-wheel test. They also gained confidence that they could use throughout their life.

I feel all of my past experiences have pointed me to Civicorps. I'm thrilled to be a family member within this organization that shares a vision of the potential for each Corpsmember. I love how the staff and everyone involved with Civicorps tirelessly commit themselves to making a difference. I am committed to do the same as Job Training Supervisor!!

Ryan Waters

Job Training Supervisor

Bio Coming Soon!

Sergio Brambila

Operations Coordinator

Sergio first came to Civicorps as a Corpsmember in 1993 and then returned to Civicorps as staff in 2000 to work as a Job Training Supervisor. Currently, he serves the organization as Operations Coordinator for the Job Training Center. Prior to Civicorps, Sergio was an arborist, horticulturalist, raft guide, back country crew leader for the SCA, and a DJ; to name a few. Sergio graduated from Civicorps and is still pursuing higher education. When he is not at Civicorps, Sergio is also an instructor for The American Red Cross and in his spare time, he enjoys camping, cycling, running, hiking, backpacking, sea-kayaking, skiing, cooking, djing, gardening, traveling, music history, attending live musical performances, and tree climbing.

"Something I learned while at Civicorps is: patience."

Steven Addison

Job Training Coordinator

Steven joined the California Conservation Corps (CCC) in 1994 and had the privileged to serve on the first Americorps crew at the Del Norte Center.  During that season he gained his love for working and living out doors.  In 1998 he was selected for the Backcountry Trails Programs and served on the Yosemite II crew.  He would continue working trails in Yosemite and Big Bend National Parks.  After working on trail crews for a few season Steven was hired by the East Bay Conservation Corps as a Field Supervisor.  Working with corpmembers in the East Bay was a way to give back to the community that raised him.  Steven was able to bring many of the lessons he had learned in the CCC and the Backcountry to the East Bay.

Most recently, Steven had been working as a project manager with the Northern California Resource Center (NCRC).  NCRC contracts with the US Forest Service to conduct riparian and fisheries studies throughout the Klamath National Forest.  Now, Steven has decided to come full circle and join the Civicorps team as our Job Training Coordinator.  His knowledge of conservation projects and experience working with youth will serve to promote our mission well.


Antoine Penn

Recycling Coordinator

Bio coming soon!

Tiffany Dinkins

Oil and Recycling Supervisor

Bio Coming Soon

Trintonial "Toni" Morgan

Recycling Operations Supervisor

Toni has been a part of the Civicorps organization for more than 16 years. She oversees the Civicorps Recycling drivers, making sure your recycling is picked up in a timely fashion so our small business customers can keep things running as usual.

Tarkan Guldur

E-waste Coordinator

Tarkan has been with Civicorps since August of 2017 and serves as the E-waste Coordinator. Prior to Civicorps, Tarkan worked as a Meat Manager for Lucky Supermarkets and a Sales Manager for Lexus. In his spare time, Tarkan enjoys managing his son's baseball team, working on home improvement projects and is an avid disc golf player.

"Since I’ve been with Civicorps I’ve learned the importance of recycling e-waste and the environmental impacts of e-waste that end up in landfills."

Finance & Administration

Cornelius Shields

Office Manager

Cornelius has been with Civicorps since 1989, when he first started out as a Secretary. He currently serves as Office Manager and the first smiling face to greet students and visitors at the front desk. Prior to Civicorps, Cornelius worked in middle management at a bank and studied Computer Science at College of Alameda and Culinary Arts at Laney College. In his spare time, he enjoys cooking and baking, watching movies, and healthy living.

"Since I've been at Civicorps, I've learned about computer programs, computer architecture, and appreciation for youth development and cultural differences."


Imie Lam

Payroll & Revenue Specialist

Imie Lam has served as the Payroll Specialist for Civcorps for fifteen years and serves as the honorary Treasurer of Birthday Wishes around the Corps - and is sure to remind everyone when a staff member is celebrating a birthday. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration in Accounting. In her previous work, she served as Equipment Control Specialist where she took inventory of those big shipping containers you see by the Port of Oakland. Her hobbies include shopping and enjoying great dining.

"My biggest enjoyment is being able to work and serve here at the corps, seeing the amazing faces that come through each year and marching down the aisle to graduation is an exciting event."

Joycelyn Bishop

IT Manager

Joycelyn has been with Civicorps since 2008 and currently serves as the IT Manager for the organizations. Prior to Civicorps, Joycelyn worked in the software development and biotech industries. She received her AA at Miami Dade College and her BA at Florida International University. In her spare time, she enjoys learning about Herbology and volunteering with animal rescue organizations in the Bay Area.

"One thing I've learned at Civicorps is that everyone has a story."

Rosario Morales

Accounting and Customer Service Supervisor

Rosario has served as Junior Accountant and Customer Service Representative since July of 2016. Rosario obtained her Bachelor's Degree in Business Administration from CSU East Bay with a focus in Accounting and Human Resources.

"I've learned a lot more about the recycling ordinance at Civicorps."

Vu Dinh Le

Accounting Manager

Bio coming soon!


Brandy Burke

Data & Grants Coordinator

The Data & Grants Coordinator, Brandy has been at Civicorps since September 2016. She works with multiple databases to report and manage data for our various government contracts. Brandy's previous employment included working at CEO Oakland to assist the re-entry population with job placement and retention services. Fun fact: Brandy loves 80’s/90’s movies, rollercoasters, and extreme thrill rides, and most of all: her family!

"There are so many things I've learned at Civicorps, but a big one is how dedicated Civicorps is toward driving social change and how the program addresses issues that impact staff and students alike. In short, I learned that Civicorps is a safe space to work and be yourself!"

Gidalthi Gonzalez

Grants & Compliance Manager

Gidalthi started at Civicorps in February 2017 and serves as the Grants & Compliance Manager. Prior to Civicorps, Gidalthi was completing her Master’s Degree and working in the public service sector. She received her BA International Studies and her Masters in Public Administration from CSU East Bay. In her spare time, she enjoys spending time with her daughter and husband, going to the gym, going on bike rides, and reading books.

"I've learned at Civicorps that the support and services we provide to the East Bay are crucial to our communities. Our team and students are amazing!"

Libbie Hodas

Institutional Giving Manager

Libbie has over a decade of fundraising experience with Bay Area non-profit organizations, most recently with the Food Bank of Contra Costa and Solano. Formative experiences serving in the Wisconsin Conservation Corps, AmeriCorps VISTA (Boston), and the United States Peace Corps (Poland), shaped her worldview and ignited a passion for community development. She believes that education can change the world and that we have a responsibility to improve the lives of others. Libbie holds a BA in English from the University of Wisconsin, Madison, and an MA in Museum Studies Education from John F. Kennedy University. A former East Bay Regional Parks District Ambassador, she enjoys hiking and listening to the sounds of nature.

Civicorps Staff - Miles Abadilla

Miles Abadilla

Development & Communications Specialist

Miles has been in marketing and communications roles in both the Bay Area and Washington, D.C., along with tenures abroad. Miles brings his experience to communicate Civicorps' broader advocacy efforts in his role as Development and Communications Specialist.

Miles graduated with a B.A. in Political Science, and a minor in French, at Middlebury College. In his free time, he enjoys climbing, swimming, and video games.