Our Staff

PAUL CUMMINS

President

In 1995, Dr. Cummins founded New Visions Foundation with the mission of bringing quality education to more diverse students. New Visions birthed New Roads School to offer Engaged Education in a private-school setting to a socio-economically diverse student body. He then started three charter schools in low-income communities, as well as programs for foster youth and incarcerated youth.

Our program with incarcerated youth has formally been acknowledged by a Rand study as having the lowest recidivism rate of any program in Los Angeles County. Our foster care program boasts of having 91% of our students graduating from college. He piloted  a program in the community of Lennox, CA, addressing trauma and drop out that has transformed the lives of 100% of our students in the program.
 

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President

Paul Cummins

In 1995, Dr. Cummins founded New Visions Foundation with the mission of bringing quality education to more diverse students. New Visions birthed New Roads School to offer Engaged Education in a private-school setting to a socio-economically diverse student body. He then started three charter schools in low-income communities, as well as programs for foster youth and incarcerated youth.

Our program with incarcerated youth has formally been acknowledged by a Rand study as having the lowest recidivism rate of any program in Los Angeles County. Our foster care program boasts of having 91% of our students graduating from college. He piloted  a program in the community of Lennox, CA, addressing trauma and drop out that has transformed the lives of 100% of our students in the program.

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Executive Director

Roberta Shinitani

Roberta has held C-Suite positions in various industries. Today, while seeking her desire to give back and give thanks, she is able to apply her cultivated skill set as Executive Director. 

She is a former film industry executive with over 25 years of operational and financial expertise where she managed multi-million dollar budgets.

Roberta produced the History Channel documentary, Free a Man to Fight: Women Soldiers of WWII. The film  garnered 5 first place awards, including the prestigious Cine Golden Eagle Award from Washington, DC as a film notable and representative of America.

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Director of Programs

Raymundo Zacarias, LCSW

Raymundo Zacarias received his Masters in Social Work from the University of Southern California and has worked with both high-risk youth and reentry adults for the past 17 years. He’s worked with individuals from San Bernardino to Los Angeles, supporting them through parole, probation, and gang involvement.

 

Mr. Zacarias has worked overseeing programming in the San Fernando Valley while working with GRYD contracts at communities and schools. He was in charge of supervising case management and providing service to the largest Gang Reduction & Youth Development contract for the city of Los Angeles. 

 

At present, he is the adjunct Lecturer at the University of Southern California teaching about adolescent gang intervention work. Lastly, he is a member of the formerly incarnated population, having served 5 years in prison.

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Program Administrator 

Ja'murl Scott

Ja'Murl started as a C/Forward student within the program and now works to help other students just like himself. As a Program Administrator, he enjoys working with social media, the company website, office admin related things and assisting in overseeing our Youth Navigators.


He graduated from at Los Angeles Trade Technical College where he majored in heating, ventilation, air-conditioning, and refrigeration (HVAC&R). He loves doing small air-conditioning jobs and playing 5-on-5 basketball.

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Counselor

Bryan Arredondo, B.S.W.

 Bryan’s interest in the Criminal Justice field began after his final release from probation camp at the age of 15, when he had the opportunity to receive a full scholarship to attend a UCLA mock trial summer institute program. There he developed his interest in law. Bryan received his Bachelor's Degree from Cal State LA, majoring in Social Work with a minor in Criminal Justice. Later, Bryan plans to attend Law School. Bryan continues to dedicate time for the youth in the Barry J Nidorf compound and continues to advocate for juvenile justice rights at the local and state level. As a counselor his goal is to continue developing relationships with our youth who are system impacted and guide them in the right path with proper resources and support.

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Counselor & Outreach Coordinator

Justan Torres, M.S.W.

Justan has been involved in community activism all throughout Los Angeles County for more than a decade. Growing up taking the bus all over to attend workshops, protests, and backyard Punk Rock shows, he began to build relationships with likeminded individuals and groups that believed under represented communities were entitled to a higher quality of life. Attending undergraduate school and then graduate school at Cal State LA and majoring in the field of social work, he developed a love for the field of restorative justice, seeing it as a tool for healing and empowering communities.  Whether it be in one on one counseling sessions or teaching screen printing to a group, he does his best to incorporate these restorative principles and practices.

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Counselor

Bertha Cordova

Bertha was born and raised in the city of Los Angeles and has been working with foster and justice system impacted youth for 16 years. Having personal lived experience with the foster and justice system, she is driven by making a difference in the lives of youth that have experienced challenges similar to her own. Bertha is dedicated to building strong relationships with youth and advocate for them. In her free time, Bertha enjoys spending time with her six children and grandson and going to car shows and concerts.

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Counselor

Ana Parra

Ana comes with over a decade of experience working with formerly incarcerated and gang-involved youth. She was born in Mexico and raised in South Central Los Angeles where she experienced challenges similar those of our young people first-hand. Ana’s love for working with system-impacted youth comes from her aspiration to be the help she needed when she was their age. Her vibrant energy and story of strength reaches our youth on a personal level, inspiring them to move forward in their life despite seemingly insurmountable challenges.

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Executive Assistant

Christine Goddard

Before joining the Coalition, Christine, a mother of two daughters, worked as a Court Appointment Special Advocate (CASA) for seven years on vital tasks like appropriate placements, health care and educational rights. While advocating on behalf of foster youth in court, along with her bachelor’s degree in Child Development and Juvenile Delinquency, she developed hope and understanding of pathways to positively impact underserved youth. As Executive Assistant, and her previous 20 years in the production industry, Christine brings countless skills and a great passion for supporting systems-impacted youth essential to fulfilling our organizational mission.

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Accounting Assistant/Office Administrator

Michelle Abid

Michelle Abid, the Coalition’s new Accounting Assistant/Office Administrator, is no stranger to nonprofits. After years of unfulfilling work as a production manager in the film industry, she became interested in doing work that would do some good for those who were overlooked in society.  She has been a full charge bookkeeper and administration assistant for 2 nonprofits that provided counseling to underprivileged youth, as well as a nonprofit dance institute, and Santa Monica College. Michelle grew up in Chicago but currently lives in Santa Monica and has two teenagers who attend Santa Monica High School. She is a black belt in TaeKwonDo, a cancer survivor, and is also a photographer and clothing designer in her (very limited) spare time. 

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Youth Navigator

Jonathan Arciniegas

Jonathan decided to join the Coalition because he is very passionate about helping young adults who have been affected by system. He enjoys advocating for youth and helping them find their way to being successful. In his own words, Jonathan says, “It’s hard to navigate through life if you don’t have a support system.” 

Family is what keeps Mr. Arciniegas going, especially since they are far away. Family motivates him to be successful in every aspect of my life.

In Jonathan’s free time, he likes to play tennis, go skiing, and bowling. One of his major goals it to become a commercial pilot. He is currently in the Aviation program at Cypress College.

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Youth Navigator

Jacqueline Guzman

Jackie joined the Coalition because of her strong desire to help other youth like herself, to visualize that success is an option.

She wants to continue to learn how she can help others. In Jackies' free time, shes loves to play basketball and entertain her small cousins.

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Youth Navigator

Christian Gudiel

Christian has been with the C/HOPE program since 2011. He joined the Coalition because he wanted to get involved in assisting youth who have been impacted by the justice system. Working with youth and counselors and making a difference in others' lives is what motivated Chris to become a youth navigator.

Christian has a strong desire to learn how to complete case management and gain experience as a counselor and mentor.

In his free time Mr. Gudiel loves to go cycling, cooking and dancing, and staying active.