Editor’s note: We’re delighted to introduce you to our newest team members. Each one looks forward to meeting our wonderful partners and supporters.
Lorena Alvarez, Receptionist/Administrative Assistant:
“I am excited to work for a non-profit that is committed to supporting the underserved communities of Santa Ana. In my new role at KidWorks, I’ll be supporting front desk procedures, plus greeting all arriving students, family members and guests.
I’m also looking forward to assisting with projects and helping team members whenever needed. My last job was at the non-profit the Labor Council for Latin American Advancement in Washington, D.C., and prior to that I was a full-time student at the University of California, Santa Barbara where I majored in English and minored in Black Studies.
As an undergrad, I was also working for Pacific Pride Foundation, an LGBTQ+ non-profit based out of Santa Barbara where I supported their youth and community outreach programs. I am passionate about education and equity as a means of uplifting working-class students and communities of color. When I am not in an office setting, you can probably find me at a concert taking photos or catching an Angels baseball game.”
Cynthia Gomez, Program Leader/Townsend Center:
“Now that I’ve been appointed program leader for the KidWorks Center on Townsend, I’ll be focusing on helping students grow in their academics, maturity, and personal talents as well as discovering a sense of who they are in the community. I’m excited to take on new responsibilities and getting to know the families I serve even better. I look forward to meeting new students and strengthening the bonds I have formed so far in my earlier KidWorks role as a substitute teacher. What I’m most excited about is putting into action the many, many lessons I have learned in my time here.
Prior to accepting my position in Townsend, I was the site’s long-term substitute teacher and occasionally worked as an on-call nanny. Something people might not know about me is I seek adventurous experiences—like studying abroad, traveling, skydiving and roller coasters. I love learning new things as well, and so I’ve dabbled in languages, instruments, and graphic design. But more likely, I can be found doting on my two dogs, a Chihuahua and mixed terrier. It’s the kind of curiosity and sense of care I would like to instill in the students.”
Gerardo Magaña, Director of Volunteer and Leadership Resources:
“I’m so impressed with the warm and welcoming environment I experience at KidWorks each time I step through the doors. It’s clear that the staff is not only incredibly gifted but equally passionate about the work we to do.
In my new role, I’m applying my years of experience building and developing teams, both volunteer and staff. Before joining KidWorks, I was a pastor at Mariners Church and Emmaus Church, located in Santa Ana. When not working, I enjoy playing the guitar. You can usually find me singing a song that’s stuck in my head. I’m a huge Los Angeles Rams fan; I love everything ‘football.’ I’ve been married to my wife, Tracey, for 18 years. I have two daughters, Jasmine and Isabella. Both are avid softball players.”
Vanessa Sedano, Volunteer Coordinator:
“I really love seeing those volunteers who come in with the mindset that they are solely here to complete their service hours but have a completely different experience and end up falling in love with KidWorks and our students. I’m so excited to continue to see that happen! I also enjoy working with Gerardo, my supervisor.
I’m in love with my creator, Jesus Christ, and it means a lot to me that KidWorks is a faith-based organization. Before beginning my new role, I worked at KidWorks as a Substitute Program Leader. Prior to that, I was an administrative and personal assistant at a leadership consulting firm. When not at KidWorks, I pursue my love of coffee and am always seeking out new coffee spots. You could also say that I’m adventurous; I love to travel.”