Nancy George, Executive Director
Nancy George has an MS in educational leadership, and 30+ years of experience working with at-risk families and youth. She served as Director of Adult Education and Intervention Services in New Haven Unified School District, located in Union City's Decoto Neighborhood, for 8 years prior to being appointed Executive Director for Union City Kids’ Zone.
During her tenure in New Haven Unified School District, Ms. George successfully led efforts to secure supplemental funding to provide an award winning family literacy program, much needed education and support for citizens seeking naturalization, and support services for students of migrant families, to name a few. She was also instrumental in the design and implementation of a career and technical education program for adults and a district wide academic intervention program for students in kindergarten through twelfth grade.
In addition to her knowledge of serving at-risk and immigrant populations, Nancy has extensive expertise in program development, grant writing, and community and staff relations. She was one of the founding Co-chairs of the NHUSD Equity Task Force, serving in that capacity for over three years. Nancy was also one of the original members of the Union City Kids’ Zone collaborative group and has always been passionate and committed to community empowerment and to the families in this community.
Jennifer Hawkins, Manager
Before joining Union City Kids' Zone in February of 2014 as Manager, Jennifer's passion for youth development, higher education, and youth/family/community empowerment stemmed from her experiences in nonprofit program management, school administration, education, and expanded learning. Jennifer found her niche in educational administration stemming from her previous role as the Dean of Students with a public charter school - this is where she realized that additional supports are essential for students and families’ academic and future successes, which led her to the mission and vision of Union City Kids' Zone.
Jennifer holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Child Development from San Jose State University and a Masters of Arts in Education (School Administration concentration) from Stanislaus State University. With over 18 years of experience in the educational field coupled with her education, Jennifer, will continue to deepen her work in youth, family and community development through her role as the Union City Kids' Zone Manager.
Although, Jennifer was born in Southern California, she calls the Bay Area her home; her extended family, Union City Kids' Zone and New Haven Unified School District's students and community, reside in Union City, California. In her downtime, Jennifer enjoys spending time with her three kiddos and husband! She hopes to return to her longtime love of swimming as this is when she is freest spiritually. Her most favorite spot in the whole entire world is the Imperial Beach Pier located in Imperial Beach, California (the most southern beach in California)!
Brissa Ibarra, Secretary
Brissa started with New Haven Unified School District (NHUSD) in November 2012 working at the district office. In June 2013, Union City Kids’ Zone (UCKZ) hired her as their Office Staff Secretary, being the 2nd office staff for the UCKZ program. Brissa has over 15 years of corporate office experience, working in different industries and cities, and comes with a great deal of administrative assistant knowledge. Her problem solving skills and out of the box approach gives her an advantage for taking care of business in the UCKZ office and its family resource center.
Brissa grew up in a family that was very involved in their community, and her mother is a community liaison that taught her the importance of social service. Being personable and creating relationships with the families and partners of UCKZ is her favorite part of the job and she enjoys bonding with the community of Union City. Her outgoing personality, positive outlook and spunky energy help balance the various projects within UCKZ, which she is extremely passionate about. During her spare time, Brissa loves being a part of and/or watching Musical Theatre shows, and enjoys being in support of the arts of all kinds.
Lourdes “ Luly” Villegas, Community Specialist
Lourdes has been a part of Union City Kids’ Zone since October of 2013; and a part of the New Haven Unified School District since 2008. She is a proud Union City resident who spreads hope to many in the community and is extremely passionate about supporting families and community members with access to resources.
Lourdes’ dedication and love for her community can be seen in her work with the Union City Kids’ Zone. She serves as an important link between home and school by solving problems affecting students, parents, and community members; and breaking down barriers families may be facing. Building trust and relationships with families and the community has been a meaningful journey for Lourdes. She gives families, students, staff, and community hope despite how large the need may be. Lourdes was the recipient of NHUSD’s Classified Employee of the Year 2014-2015 for her dedication to families district wide.
She is a proud mother to two children who attend NHUSD schools and is actively involved with school wide activities and events. On her downtime, Lourdes enjoys spending quality time with her family. She loves baking with her daughter, watching her husband Eddie and son play congas at family events, and most of all she likes getting together with her extended family to root for the San Francisco Giants!
Abigail Andrade, Family Service Assistant
Abby has worked with Union City's Kids' Zone since 2013 and has a passion for working with the youth in the community. Abby is a James Logan Alumni C/O 2006 and Graduated from California State University East Bay with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Ethnic Studies. She thanks Nancy George for allowing her to live out her dream of working with students and families in her community. She is most excited about working with young adults and youth in the community and assists them in mapping out college and career goals and helping students see their own potential and strengths.
She spends much of her personal time organizing around social justice issues like: Immigrant rights, access to affordable and quality higher education, and combating the school to prison pipeline. Abby strongly believes in the Kids’ Zone vision of community engagement and empowerment, and knows this is exactly where she is meant to be. She is a product of the New Haven Unified School District and believes that transformative education fosters academic and personal success in students. Abby self-describes as: a mother, organizer, and voracious reader. She is currently working on her Master's Degree at the University of San Francisco to become a school counselor and hopes to continue to work and serve her community that she loves so much.
Charmaine martin, FAMILY SERVICE ASSISTANT
Raised in Los Angeles, CA for most of her life, Charmaine has proudly made Union City, CA her home now for over 10 years with her husband and 3 daughters.
Before taking time to focus on raising her girls, she worked for a merchandising company helping to create promotional products for the entertainment industry.
When her daughters became school-aged, she started volunteering in their classrooms assisting with small group interventions; eventually becoming a paraprofessional in Special Education.
In 2011, she joined NHUSD’s Equity Task Force (aka Equity Council) where she remains an active member, and has also served on subcommittees responsible for the District’s current board policy and administrative regulations.
Excited to join Union City Kids’ Zone in 2016 as a Family Service Assistant, Charmaine will continue to be an advocate for students and families who tend to be under-served in our community.
clarissa dalman, Family Service Assistant
Clarissa (Clare) earned her Bachelor’s of Science in Human Development, with a minor in Asian American Studies, from UC Davis. After working in early childhood education, the biotech industry, social services, and the dental field, Clare took some time to focus on raising her four daughters. Having grown up in Union City, Clare knew that it was where she wanted to raise her family as well. Clare has always been active at her daughters’ NHUSD schools as a volunteer and a member of their PTCs. Once her youngest was in school, she took her school district involvement a step further and began to work as a substitute classroom assistant. Clare first became acquainted with Union City Kids’ Zone as a member of the UCKZ Community Council. Clare so admired the work that was being done in the community by UCKZ that she was inspired to join the team! Clare feels it is an honor and privilege to be a part of the UCKZ family!
When not working, Clare is often found supporting her girls at soccer games, basketball games, cross country and track meets, choir performances, hula performances, and cheer leading competitions. She often feels like her life is lived in her van shuttling the girls to these events or the many practices preceding these events, but she wouldn’t have it any other way. Her family is her life and being able to now help other families in our community through UCKZ is so meaningful.
edgar pacheco, FAMILY SERVICE ASSISTANT
Edgar Pacheco was born in Mexico and moved to the USA at the age of thirteen. He grew up in a very traditional Latino family where he learned the importance of hard work and respect for one another. His three sisters and parents are his biggest motivation and with their support he hopes to be the first member of his family to graduate from college. Edgar is currently a senior at San Francisco State University majoring in Broadcast and Electronic Communications. He is very passionate about mental health and helping people who are facing difficult challenges in their lives. Edgar’s family has been deeply affected by mental illness and that's where his passion for mental health and helping others comes from.
Before becoming part of the Union City Kids’ Zone team, Edgar was a volunteer for the Family Education and Resource Center (FERC); where he utilized his lived experience with mental illness to promote mental health awareness. Since then, he has used everything he has learned to help family members with being more informed and educated around mental health. Edgar believes that education and sharing personal stories is the best way to inform and eliminate the stigma on mental illness. His ultimate goal is to work in the media industry to help eliminate the stigma surrounding mental health.
janice abad, FAMILY SERVICE ASSISTANT
Janice joined Union City Kids’ Zone in February 2016. A proud spouse of a U.S. Air Force veteran, she has served military communities for over 14 years, both in the United States and overseas, as an educator, family and early childhood development advocate, mentor and volunteer.
Growing up in Manila, Philippines, Janice experienced first-hand the challenges of family life with limited resources, destitution and confined access to health care and other services. Breaking out of poverty through a college education, perseverance, and the support of her loved ones paved the way for her to lead a successful management career in advertising before marrying into the military.
Janice believes in fostering domestic resilience and community engagement to help students and family members become successful, empowered individuals. Being a part of Union City Kids’ Zone gives her the opportunity to work towards this endeavor.
In her spare time, Janice loves to go camping, hiking and travel with her husband and 3 kiddos. She also dabbles in glass art, beading, singing and acrylic painting at paint-nite events
Mary Diaz, Family Service Assistant
Mary Diaz joined the Union City Kids' Zone family in September 2015. Mary is a proud Decoto/ Union City resident who has lived her whole life in the community; she is excited about helping. Mary has two daughters attending different schools, but that doesn't stop her from being involved in both of their PTC and SSC. Mary has always taken pride in knowing she's helping students and families at the school, plus there's no better reward, Mary says, than having your little ones see you putting up a poster on the wall or helping out for a school event!
Mary also prides herself in being part of different charity organizations. One that she's been involved in the longest is the Supernova Foundation that her family friend started with a group of other Latino professionals including Mary. Their tagline is, "Celebrating Life, While Giving Back To The Community!" The Supernova Foundation focuses on providing toys and gifts for children and women who are survivors of domestic violence and were living in shelters. Over the years, their charity has grown to include a scholarship fund that is offered to college students who want to be a part of change and help raise awareness of cancer in the Latino community.
When she's not volunteering at one of her daughters' schools, or being involved in charity work, Mary's off doing another passion of hers... radio! Yes, her voice can be heard on the radio! She's also an on air personality in San Francisco at 99.7 NOW on the weekends. Mary’s been a part of the radio world for years and is still going strong with her #1 rated weekend show! In her free time, Mary loves spending time with her family, traveling, participating in RunDisney half marathons and going to Disneyland as often as she can!
Melissa Blancas, Family Service Assistant
My name is Melissa Blancas and I am a proud Union City resident. I was raised in the Decoto community and have been part of NHUSD since January 2013. My passion has always been helping others and being involved in my community and knowing the importance of value for community involvement. I am blessed to have the opportunity to work for Union City Kids’ Zone as a Family Services Liaison supporting our students, parents, and families from our community. It excites me to know I am making a difference everyday in supporting our families when they are in need of any help. It warms my heart and brings me happiness knowing I have built so many relationships with students and families throughout many difficult times they have faced. In my spare time I enjoy spending time with my family and cooking.
Nora Moussavi, Family Service Assistant
Nora is a native of Union City, California. Mrs. Moussavi worked as a Contract Administrator in the High Tech Industry for over ten years. While volunteering in her children’s schools, Mrs. Moussavi discovered a new passion for working with students.
Mrs. Moussavi has since worked as a Special Education Paraprofessional with NHUSD for the last five years. She is now combining her previous business experience with her passion for working with our NHUSD families and her community in her role as a Family Service Assistant.
Valerie vermazen, Program Specialist
Andrew Cheng, Program Specialist
Quinn Perry, Program Specialist
Quinn, Hayward High School Alum, recently found his way back home to Hayward, CA after 6 years of living in 3 different states (Missouri, Montana, and North Dakota). For the love of the game, Quinn played his collegiate football career at Laney Community College receiving a scholarship to attend Southeast Missouri State University where he finished his football career and obtained his Bachelor’s Degree in Family Studies. Quinn went onto the University of Mary for graduate school completing his Master’s Degree in Education (Magna Cum Laude) in 2017, while maintaining his role as Graduate Assistant for the University of Mary's football program.
A famous quote that Quinn lives by is “It takes a village to raise a child”. This African proverb is one that Quinn was raised on and teaches/coaches to. With Quinn’s positive outlook on life, one of the most important things that Quinn said he can’t live without is laughter and family ~ he has a knack for making people laugh and motivating others, which can be seen in his work with youth.