Ellen Concepcion – Executive Director and Community Science Workshops Program manager
Ellen is the co-founder and President of New Leaf Collaborative and oversees the Community Science Workshop Program, she also teaches 7th & 8th grade science at Mare Island Technology Academy. Through New Leaf Collaborative’s programs, Ellen hopes to inspire youth to learn, act and think creatively, confidently and responsibly and to introduce them to career options that lead to sustainable prosperity. She also strives to eradicate single-use plastic.
Rona Zollinger -Empowering Educators
Rona Zollinger, NLC’s co-founding board member and Empowering Educators Program Manager/Facilitator finds inspiration in the process of imagining educational environments that nurture connections between teachers, students, communities and the earth. In addition to her after-hours workshop facilitation, she works as the College and Career Pathways Coordinator for Martinez Unified School District. For the last decade, she facilitated a transdisciplinary curriculum for at-risk youth where students and community leaders worked in concert for learning and change called the New Leaf Leadership Academy. She was recently the Contra Costa County Teacher of the Year and a National Geographic Grosvenor Teacher Fellow.
Lorena Castillo – Career Pathways and Civic Engagement
A professional photographer, journalist and activist. Through her extensive connections in the community she arranges internships for students who are interested in or considering that career.
Corinne Christiansen – Empowering Educators
Corinne has been teaching for 21 years in Japan and California. She believes that every student wants to succeed but may not know how. She sees her job as helping her students gain the strategies and skills that will help them become successful in class, in the community and in their future. Corinne co-founded the New Leaf Leadership Academy and Empowering Educators.