We’re thrilled to announce our 7th WIL cohort!
Senior Finance Manager, Community Partners
Sapna is the Senior Finance Manager for Community Partners, an $80MM nonprofit organization in Los Angeles. She manages a portfolio of the organization’s intermediary projects working directly with various public entities including the County of Los Angeles, State of California. An avid reader, Sapna earned her B.A. in Computer Applications and a Masters in Journalism and Mass Communication in India. Sapna moved to the United States in 2007 and earned her Master’s in Public Administration. Sapna volunteered with multiple nonprofits in her hometown in India and a Master’s at Cal Poly Pomona led her to the nonprofit sector. As a Women in Leadership program participant, Sapna looks forward to enhancing her leadership skills and connecting with fellow program participants.
Senior Math Coach for School Transformation, Partnership for Los Angeles Schools
Nahrin Chowdhury is currently serving as a Senior Math Coach for School Transformation as part of the Partnership for Los Angeles Schools. Currently, they are working with 19 of LAUSD’s highest-needs schools to transform and revolutionize systems to ensure all students receive the highest quality education. As a young college student, who attended pharmacy school in Queens, New York, Nahrin tutored kids in the community where she learned about the many academic and social-emotional needs of minority students. This prompted her decision to change career paths and teach underprivileged, minority students in urban settings and ensure that all students have access to the same education regardless of their zip code and background. She received her master’s degree in School Building and District Leadership and moved to California to join the Partnership and continue the work inequity in education. Nahrin’s long-term goals are in advancing the rights and empowerment of women. Through her participation in CORO’s WIL program, she hopes to gain leadership skills to work towards her goals.
Director of Special Education, Para Los Ninos
Isabel is the Director of Special Education for Para Los Niños. She is responsible for the overall compliance and management of all special education programs and services at the three charter schools that Para Los Niños operates. Isabel joined Para Los Niños in 2009 and through the years, her leadership and expertise further developed and led to several roles at the organization, including Resource Specialist Teacher, and Special Education Manager. She holds a BA in Anthropology with a minor in Education and Chicano/a Studies from UCLA, an Education Specialist Credential in Mild/Moderate disabilities, and a master’s degree in Special Education from CalState LA. Isabel is looking forward to further developing her leadership skills. She enjoys running and loves traveling to different cities to run half-marathons.
Tara (she/her) Farajian
Licensed Clinical Social Worker, Private Practice and Executive Director of Transitions in Motherhood
Tara Farajian is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker with a Perinatal Specialty in Long Beach, California. She is co-founder, Executive Director, and CEO of Transitions in Motherhood, which is a 501c3 focused on serving the basic needs of mothers and their families. Transitions in Motherhood hosts a free drive-through event every third Saturday of the month where diapers, food, and clothing are distributed to the community. She also has her own private practice where she offers individual therapy to women navigating perinatal mental health and beyond. Once a week Tara facilitates the postpartum support group, Nurturing the New You, through Long Beach Memorial. Nurturing the New you is a free resource to postpartum families that is offered through zoom every Tuesday from 10-noon.
Executive Director, Safe Parking LA
Silvia, as executive director of Safe Parking LA has transitioned SPLA from a volunteer-led project to a professional organization with 20 employees helping over 400 people living in their vehicles. Safe Parking LA is a non-profit whose mission is to provide safe overnight parking to facilitate stability and housing in Los Angeles County for people living in their vehicles. Silvia is a proven leader with over 20 years of social service experience leading organizations strategically towards sustainability and growth. She has experience working with local, state and federal government, public officials, nonprofit organizations, philanthropic institutions, community advocates and policymakers. Silvia has a bachelor’s in social work and a master’s in executive leadership from the University of Southern California. Her passion lies in developing and inspiring leaders through coaching, teaching, and mentoring. She looks forward to learning and growing with her cohort in the CORO Women in Leadership program.
Principal Administrative Officer City of Glendale
Armineh Hoonanian is currently serving the City of Glendale as Principal Administrative Officer overseeing the Neighborhood Services Code Compliance and Licensing Section for Community Development Department. Armineh works to promote and educate residents in Code Enforcement and Compliance as well as fosters an environment of inclusion for women of all abilities. Armineh recently completed her certificates for Housing Quality Standards and Bloomberg Philanthropy. Armineh has a JD from the University of West Los Angeles and a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science. Armineh leverages her numerous roles and educational experience to help employees feel confident, empowered, and motivated to serve their City. Armineh looks forward to exploring new ideas and perspectives with the women in Coro’s leadership program which come from a wide variety of backgrounds and industries.
Chief Strategy and Impact Officer, UpStart
Rebecca currently serves as the Chief Strategy and Impact Officer at UpStart after more than a decade of working in international development. As an entrepreneur and development professional, she has spent her career scaling social impact programming globally, and now focuses on building social enterprises in the US. Previously, Rebecca was the Managing Director, North America for Solidaridad—a global nonprofit organization building more equitable global supply chains. She also co-founded KadAfrica, a social enterprise in East Africa that supports out of school girls to launch agribusinesses. Rebecca is a graduate of the 2017 Miller Center Global Social Benefit Incubator, 2015 SPRING Accelerator, and is a 2014 Unreasonable Fellow; she was awarded the 2018 Gene Roddenberry Prize, and as a finalist for Nestle’s Creating Shared Value prize in 2017. She has a B.S. in Political Science from Santa Clara University and an M.A. in Political Science from The American University in Cairo.
Program Officer, Internews Network
Menghun Kaing is a program officer at Internews, a US-based international non-profit that promotes independent media in over 100 countries. At Internews, Menghun focuses on developing programs with US partners, and she oversees operations in India and Cambodia. She also serves as a consultant at the World Bank, where she focuses on education and public finance. Menghun previously worked at the Asia Foundation, a California-based international development organization that operates in 18 countries, where she focused on economic development programs for Cambodia’s women and youth. She began her career as a journalist. Menghun holds a master’s degree from the University of Chicago Harris School of Public Policy and a bachelor’s degree in computer science from the Royal University of Phnom Penh. Through Coro’s WIL program, she looks forward to connecting with leaders from diverse backgrounds and industries.
Associate Attorney, Sheppard Mullin Richter & Hampton
Alison Martinez is an Associate Attorney at Sheppard Mullin Richter & Hampton LLP, in the Real Estate, Land Use, and Environmental Practice Group. She advises clients on land use planning, entitlement approvals, and the California Environmental Quality Act. Alison also serves as co-chair of the Sheppard Mullin Los Angeles office Women Lawyers Group. She received a Bachelor’s degree from Wesleyan University, a Master’s degree in planning and J.D. from the University of Southern California. Alison is excited to grow as a leader as well as connect and collaborate with her fellow cohort members in Coro’s Women in Leadership Program.
Chief Executive Officer, PUC Schools
Concepción Rivas is currently the Chief Executive Officer at Partnership to Uplift Communities (PUC Schools) which is a charter management organization serving K-12 students at schools located in northeast Los Angeles and northeast San Fernando Valley. The mission of PUC Schools is to ensure that every student graduates from high school prepared for college success. Concepción brings over 25 years of service in public education with a passion for education that is deeply rooted in both her personal narrative as a first-generation college student and an unwavering commitment to social justice for a more just, inclusive, and equitable tomorrow for all. She received a Bachelor of Arts degree in history from California State University, Northridge and later received a Master of Science in Special Education from National University. She is especially excited to join the CORO Women In Leadership community to continue to learn from others and continue to further the conversation related to women in leadership for a more just, inclusive, and equitable tomorrow for all.
Senior Program Officer, First 5 LA, Communities
Debbie is passionate about catalyzing small scale shifts for systemic change. As a leader, she strives to embody Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in both practice and outcome. Currently, she is a Senior Program Officer at First 5 LA where she leads her team to cultivate multi-stakeholder, countywide partnerships that shift the paradigm of how public systems can support healthy communities for children and families. These partnerships honor community-led and data-driven approaches so that a meaningful commitment to equity can be sustained. She is a skilled facilitator, strategist, and advocate who supports her teams to align vision with collective action. Debbie received her J.D. from the University of San Francisco School of Law and her B.A. from UCLA. She hails from the beautiful community of Koreatown and serves on the board for the Koreatown Immigrant Workers Alliance, a multiethnic worker’s rights center. Through the Coro WIL program, Debbie looks forward to building a network of women leaders who support one another and nurture the next generation of women leaders to come.
Deputy Executive Director, Safe Place for Youth
Rachel joins Safe Place for Youth with over 15 years of non-profit experience. Prior to her role as Deputy Director at SPY, she spent three years at Los Angeles Waterkeeper and worked at United Way of Greater Los Angeles before that. Born and raised in Los Angeles, and a resident of Venice for ten years, Rachel feels passionate about addressing the systemic root causes of youth homelessness and working together with the community to create solutions. Rachel holds a BA in Communications, with an emphasis in Public Relations, and a minor in Sociology from San Diego State University. She is a Board Member of the Westside Coalition, a Steering Committee Member of Our Future Los Angeles, and also a member of the Venice Chamber of Commerce.
Director of Policy & Strategic Initiatives, Future Now
Juontel White is Director of Policy at Future Now. She leads Future Now’s policy research, evaluation and strategic initiatives to advance equitable policies in U.S. states. Dr. White has deep experience as a social impact strategist who supports nonprofit, corporate and philanthropic organizations to design and implement initiatives that fuel racial equity. She is a seasoned leader, advocate and facilitator who has previously worked with The National Urban League, The United Nations, and Mayor’s offices for several top U.S. cities. Dr. White received her Ph.D. from Columbia University and master’s degree in public policy from Harvard University. Through the Coro Women in Leadership Program, she looks forward to building community with a cohort of civically engaged women leaders.
Land Use Consultant
Holly is a Land Use Consultant with Montgomery Clark Advisors. Holly specializes in advising clients navigating the maze of local, state, and federal land use and environmental approvals required to move forward when developing property in California. Prior to becoming a consultant full-time, Holly worked for two federal judges and as an Assistant City Attorney at a municipal law firm where she gained valuable experience on the other side of the dais. She also spent a number of years as an attorney at Latham & Watkins representing land use clients in high-profile, high-risk projects. She currently serves on the Board of Trustees for her local church and chairs a number of committees related to her local school board and PTA. Holly is thrilled to join WIL and the CORO family and looks forward to expanding her leadership skills with a group of like-minded women.