Skip to content

Who we are

Board of Directors

Eric Ortiz, Chair – A resident of the Lowry Hill East Neighborhood in Minneapolis, Eric has extensive experience in journalism and community organization. He is Director of Media for Granite Media, formerly founder of Evrybit citizen journalism app startup.

Jennifer Rousey – A middle school teacher for 12 years, of her career teaching in urban schools, Ms. Rousey says, “Teaching in high-need schools was my Plan A. I always wanted to teach and I wanted to teach in these schools, which is why I deliberately chose the USC program that gave me an opportunity to student teach in Los Angeles.”

Travis Kuualiialoha Browne – co-founder of Browsey Acres, an agricultural business focused on sustainable and ethical farming. Travis divides his time between farms in California, Oregon and his homeland of Hawaii.

Executive Director

Dr. AnnMaria De Mars is a serial entrepreneur and technology executive, founding The Julia Group and co-founding 7 Generation Games and Spirit Lake Consulting. Her forty-year career has been focused on expanding educational opportunities for youth and educators in under-served communities. Contact her at

Project Manager

Diana Sanchez lives in south Los Angeles where her public school experiences, both good and bad, motivated her to pursue her credential in elementary education. After student teaching and working as an interpreter for parent-teacher meetings and other school communication, she moved into the private section as a project manager for an educational technology company, leading their efforts in developing bilingual software. Contact her at