Education Partnership Director: David Franz, PhD  David Franz is a graduate of Shafter High School and Fresno Pacific University. He attended graduate school at the University of Virginia, where he earned a doctoral degree in Sociology. He was a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Institute for Advanced Studies in Culture. His scholarship has been featured in several national media outlets including NPR's  Backstory, The Atlantic ,  First Things, and The New Republic . In 2010, he returned to Shafter to serve as Director of the Shafter Education Partnership. This work has been recognized with awards from the Shafter Chamber of Commerce, the Richland School District, the Kiwanis Club of Shafter, and the Kern County Council of Governments. He is passionate about learning and the community of Shafter.

Education Partnership Director: David Franz, PhD

David Franz is a graduate of Shafter High School and Fresno Pacific University. He attended graduate school at the University of Virginia, where he earned a doctoral degree in Sociology. He was a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Institute for Advanced Studies in Culture. His scholarship has been featured in several national media outlets including NPR's Backstory, The Atlantic, First Things, and The New Republic. In 2010, he returned to Shafter to serve as Director of the Shafter Education Partnership. This work has been recognized with awards from the Shafter Chamber of Commerce, the Richland School District, the Kiwanis Club of Shafter, and the Kern County Council of Governments. He is passionate about learning and the community of Shafter.

 Program Coordinator: Amerika Niño-Rodriguez  Amerika Janay Nino-Rodriguez was born and raised in Kern County. She grew up and has lived most of her life in Lamont, California. Her parents immigrated to the United States from Durango, Mexico to give Amerika and her three siblings the best future they could provide. With her family’s support, Amerika graduated high school and enrolled at the University of California, San Diego where she earned a Bachelor of Arts in Ethnic Studies and a Minor in International Migration. While an undergraduate student she lived in Siena, Italy through a study abroad program. She also lived in Washington D.C. where she interned at the Smithsonian National Museum of American History. Ms. Niño-Rodriguez obtained her master’s degree from New York University in Educational Leadership, Politics and Advocacy. Her professional career has included Youth Leadership Development, Academic Support, Community Organizing, and Program Development.

Program Coordinator: Amerika Niño-Rodriguez

Amerika Janay Nino-Rodriguez was born and raised in Kern County. She grew up and has lived most of her life in Lamont, California. Her parents immigrated to the United States from Durango, Mexico to give Amerika and her three siblings the best future they could provide. With her family’s support, Amerika graduated high school and enrolled at the University of California, San Diego where she earned a Bachelor of Arts in Ethnic Studies and a Minor in International Migration. While an undergraduate student she lived in Siena, Italy through a study abroad program. She also lived in Washington D.C. where she interned at the Smithsonian National Museum of American History. Ms. Niño-Rodriguez obtained her master’s degree from New York University in Educational Leadership, Politics and Advocacy. Her professional career has included Youth Leadership Development, Academic Support, Community Organizing, and Program Development.

 Shafter Learning Center Team Member: Karlene Hernandez  Karlene Hernandez is a Shafter native. She graduated Shafter High School in 2010 and continued to Taft college graduating in 2013 getting her associate's degree in Liberal Arts and Social Science. Karlene received her bachelor's degree in Psychology with a minor in Sociology at California State University of Bakersfield, in 2016. She is currently attending Grad School at Brandman University where she is pursuing her Masters in Social Work. Karlene has also worked with the City of Shafter for the past six years, the first three years as an afterschool Tutor and then continued on to the new Shafter Learning Center where she continues to help her community. Karlene is a dedicated young lady that strives no matter what obstacle comes her way!

Shafter Learning Center Team Member: Karlene Hernandez

Karlene Hernandez is a Shafter native. She graduated Shafter High School in 2010 and continued to Taft college graduating in 2013 getting her associate's degree in Liberal Arts and Social Science. Karlene received her bachelor's degree in Psychology with a minor in Sociology at California State University of Bakersfield, in 2016. She is currently attending Grad School at Brandman University where she is pursuing her Masters in Social Work. Karlene has also worked with the City of Shafter for the past six years, the first three years as an afterschool Tutor and then continued on to the new Shafter Learning Center where she continues to help her community. Karlene is a dedicated young lady that strives no matter what obstacle comes her way!

 Shafter Learning Center Team Member: Aubrey Ayon  Aubrey Ayon graduated from Shafter High School and is currently attending California State University of Bakersfield. She plans on becoming a kindergarten or first grade teacher as she enjoys working with children and helping them grow. She knew she wanted to become a teacher in junior high when she became a teaching assistant. Aubrey also plans on joining the study abroad program at CSUB. When she graduates from college she plans to visit different areas of the world such as Europe and South America. Aubrey hopes to help the students in her community strive to be the best they can be.

Shafter Learning Center Team Member: Aubrey Ayon

Aubrey Ayon graduated from Shafter High School and is currently attending California State University of Bakersfield. She plans on becoming a kindergarten or first grade teacher as she enjoys working with children and helping them grow. She knew she wanted to become a teacher in junior high when she became a teaching assistant. Aubrey also plans on joining the study abroad program at CSUB. When she graduates from college she plans to visit different areas of the world such as Europe and South America. Aubrey hopes to help the students in her community strive to be the best they can be.

 Shafter Learning Center Team Member: Manuela Guerra-Estrada  Manuela Guerra-Estrada was raised in the agricultural town of Shafter. She graduated from Shafter High School in 2010 and thanks to the encouragement and support from her teachers and mentors she continued with her education. She enrolled at the University of California, Santa Barbara where she received her bachelor’s degree in Sociology along with a minor in Education and Applied Psychology, making her the first in her family to graduate from a university. Her work at the Learning Center and at the Richland School District has enabled her to work alongside the Shafter community where she grew up in. She plans on pursuing her master's degree in Social Work, where she can continue helping students and members of the community strive to be the best that they can be even when encountering barriers.

Shafter Learning Center Team Member: Manuela Guerra-Estrada

Manuela Guerra-Estrada was raised in the agricultural town of Shafter. She graduated from Shafter High School in 2010 and thanks to the encouragement and support from her teachers and mentors she continued with her education. She enrolled at the University of California, Santa Barbara where she received her bachelor’s degree in Sociology along with a minor in Education and Applied Psychology, making her the first in her family to graduate from a university. Her work at the Learning Center and at the Richland School District has enabled her to work alongside the Shafter community where she grew up in. She plans on pursuing her master's degree in Social Work, where she can continue helping students and members of the community strive to be the best that they can be even when encountering barriers.

 Shafter Learning Center Team Member: Alondra Hinojosa  Alondra Hinojosa was raised in Shafter and is a graduate of Shafter High (class of 2015). She is pursuing her education at Bakersfield College to earn an associate's degree in Science. Alondra plans to transfer to California State University of Bakersfield to earn a bachelor's degree in Science. Her ultimate goal is to become a neonatal nurse. Before she begins her career in a North American hospital, she would like to travel the world and help those in need in other countries.

Shafter Learning Center Team Member: Alondra Hinojosa

Alondra Hinojosa was raised in Shafter and is a graduate of Shafter High (class of 2015). She is pursuing her education at Bakersfield College to earn an associate's degree in Science. Alondra plans to transfer to California State University of Bakersfield to earn a bachelor's degree in Science. Her ultimate goal is to become a neonatal nurse. Before she begins her career in a North American hospital, she would like to travel the world and help those in need in other countries.

 Shafter Learning Center Team Member: Lizeth Carrillo  Lizeth Carrillo was born and raised in Kern County. In 2013, she graduated from Shafter High School. In 2018, she graduated from California State University, Bakersfield with a bachelor's degree in Physical Education and Kinesiology with an Exercise Science concentration and Psychology minor. Through her studies, she knows the importance of health and wellness and spreads that message throughout the community. As a first-generation graduate, Lizeth knows the values of education and is here to encourage and help others to continue to learn.

Shafter Learning Center Team Member: Lizeth Carrillo

Lizeth Carrillo was born and raised in Kern County. In 2013, she graduated from Shafter High School. In 2018, she graduated from California State University, Bakersfield with a bachelor's degree in Physical Education and Kinesiology with an Exercise Science concentration and Psychology minor. Through her studies, she knows the importance of health and wellness and spreads that message throughout the community. As a first-generation graduate, Lizeth knows the values of education and is here to encourage and help others to continue to learn.

 Shafter Learning Center Team Member: Maria Santana  Maria Santana was born in Mexico, and raised in Shafter, California. Maria graduated from Shafter High School with the class of 2016. She is enrolled at California State University of Bakersfield and is pursuing a bachelor's degree in Kinesiology with a concentration in Allied Health. Maria plans to graduate from CSUB, then continue her studies at Fresno State University to obtain her doctorate in Physical Therapy. She likes to encourage others to live a healthy lifestyle to live not only a longer life, but a happier life as well. In her future career, she plans to return to Shafter where she will offer her services to the community.

Shafter Learning Center Team Member: Maria Santana

Maria Santana was born in Mexico, and raised in Shafter, California. Maria graduated from Shafter High School with the class of 2016. She is enrolled at California State University of Bakersfield and is pursuing a bachelor's degree in Kinesiology with a concentration in Allied Health. Maria plans to graduate from CSUB, then continue her studies at Fresno State University to obtain her doctorate in Physical Therapy. She likes to encourage others to live a healthy lifestyle to live not only a longer life, but a happier life as well. In her future career, she plans to return to Shafter where she will offer her services to the community.

 Shafter Learning Center Team Member: Cecilia De Anda  Cecilia De Anda graduated from Shafter High School in 2013. She is currently attending California State University, Bakersfield. Cecilia is pursuing her bachelor's degree in Spanish with a minor in Chicano Studies. Her career goal is to become a university or college professor.

Shafter Learning Center Team Member: Cecilia De Anda

Cecilia De Anda graduated from Shafter High School in 2013. She is currently attending California State University, Bakersfield. Cecilia is pursuing her bachelor's degree in Spanish with a minor in Chicano Studies. Her career goal is to become a university or college professor.

 Shafter Learning Center Team Member: Carlos Santana  Carlos Santana was born in Bakersfield, California and raised in Shafter, California. Carlos graduated from Shafter High in 2015. He is currently pursuing a bachelors degree in Mechanical Engineering at CSU Fresno. Once he graduates, Carlos plans to go into a masters program to receive his masters in Mechanical Engineering. Carlos enjoys helping others and in his future, he plans to return to Shafter and give back to his community by teaching others what he has learned.

Shafter Learning Center Team Member: Carlos Santana

Carlos Santana was born in Bakersfield, California and raised in Shafter, California. Carlos graduated from Shafter High in 2015. He is currently pursuing a bachelors degree in Mechanical Engineering at CSU Fresno. Once he graduates, Carlos plans to go into a masters program to receive his masters in Mechanical Engineering. Carlos enjoys helping others and in his future, he plans to return to Shafter and give back to his community by teaching others what he has learned.

 
 Shafter Learning Center Team Member: Kenya Felix  Kenya Felix graduated from Shafter High School in 2017 and is currently attending Bakersfield College pursuing a degree in Anthropology. She plans on transferring within the next two years to the University of California, Davis and obtaining a bachelor’s degree in Cultural Anthropology with a minor in Business. With those degrees she hopes to enter the world of Community Development as she is most passionate about giving back and helping those in need. She plans to work in different communities but would ultimately like to come back to Shafter. Kenya was raised in Shafter and would love to give back to this community. She has hopes of traveling the world and is excited about helping others.

Shafter Learning Center Team Member: Kenya Felix

Kenya Felix graduated from Shafter High School in 2017 and is currently attending Bakersfield College pursuing a degree in Anthropology. She plans on transferring within the next two years to the University of California, Davis and obtaining a bachelor’s degree in Cultural Anthropology with a minor in Business. With those degrees she hopes to enter the world of Community Development as she is most passionate about giving back and helping those in need. She plans to work in different communities but would ultimately like to come back to Shafter. Kenya was raised in Shafter and would love to give back to this community. She has hopes of traveling the world and is excited about helping others.

Shafter Learning Center Team Member: Diana Diaz

Diana Diaz is a Shafter native and graduate of Shafter High School (Class of 2011). She attended the University of California, Santa Barbara, where she double majored in Political Science and Italian, going on to graduate in 2015 (Go Gauchos!). During her undergraduate career, she lived in Bologna, Italy. She enriched her education by taking courses for her majors at the Università di Bologna, the first university in the Western world (established in 1088). Diana is currently applying to graduate school and hopes to obtain her master’s degree in Political Science. 

 

Shafter Learning Center Team Member: Evelyn Belmontes

Evelyn Belmontes graduated from Shafter High School in 2015. She is currently pursuing a degree in Economics at California State University of Bakersfield. Evelyn plans on staying at California State University of  Bakersfield and obtaining a master's degree in Business Administration. She believes that education is a very important key in life and wants to influence others to keep striving for more knowledge. Evelyn enjoys helping others achieve their goals and hopes to one day have a great impact on her community.

 

Shafter Learning Center Team Member: Joel Perez Govea

Joel Perez Govea is a Shafter High School graduate (Class 2011) who also graduated from the University of California Berkeley (Class 2017) with a double major in Marine Science and Environmental Science while minoring in Spanish Literature and Composition, Integrative Biology, and the Cal Teach Credential Program. He was the first in his family to graduate from both a high school and a university. Joel will be working on applying to graduate school to pursue a master’s degree in teaching/counseling, or a Ph.D. program to do research on the MegaFloods that occur in California every 150-200 years. He plans to teach elementary school or high school students in the near future. Joel has lived in Shafter for most of his life and is looking forward to serving as a resource and giving back to this community.

 

Shafter Learning Center Team Member: Edith Lopez

Edith Lopez was raised in and currently lives in Shafter. Edith graduated from Shafter High in 2011 and then attended the University of California, Davis. Edith plans to attend veterinary school and become a large and small animal veterinarian. Meanwhile, Edith moved back to Shafter after graduating from UC Davis to be closer to family and to help give back to her community. She hopes to motivate and inspire students to continue their education after Shafter High. Edith is excited to be at the Learning Center and hopes to help students set and achieve their goals. 

 

Shafter Learning Center Team Member: Gabriela Perez

Gabriela Perez was born and raised in Kern County and is a Shafter High graduate (Class of 2016).  She is currently attending California State University of  Bakersfield and pursuing a Bachelors degree in Biology.  After graduating from CSUB, she plans to further her education by attending PA school and specializing in pediatrics.  Gabriela enjoys working with children and ultimately plans to come back to Shafter to help families in the community.

Shafter Learning Center Team Member: Valente Trujillo Padilla

Valente Trujillo Padilla was born in the state of Guanajuato in Mexico. He was raised in Shafter and is a Shafter High School graduate (Class of 2018). He is currently attending Bakersfield College to obtain his associates degree in Business Administration and Welding. He plans to transfer to the California State University of Bakersfield to receive a bachelors degree in Business Administration. Valente's ultimate goal is to help the community.