Gabriel has worked on reforestation efforts in South Africa and Australia, helped build a free medical clinic and school for poor villagers of rural India, volunteered his time as a naturopathic medical practitioner in Mexico, and created a higher education scholarship fund for an orphanage in India. He now is community director/liaison for the Romero Institute and the Lakota People’s Law Project, and also directs the Santa Madre Center in Santa Cruz, where youth come for camping, horseback riding, and organic farming.
Kermit is a transit planning supervisor and former Employee of the Year for the Valley Transportation Authority (VTA). He is also an ultramarathon runner and a team captain for the 500 Mile American Indian Spiritual Marathon team. Many Sunrise students have participated in the team training runs, and he is passionate about helping the students believe in themselves and search for greatness. His greatest satisfaction comes from being a mentor to young people.Kermit was recently honored for his nomination for a youth service award from Project Cornerstone./p>
Marilyn is an energy healer, massage therapist and artist. She is a product of alternative education. She likes to help youth and volunteers as a part-time art instructor at Sunrise Middle.
Maria De Jesus Sedano
Maria de Jesus Sedano is the parent representative on the Sunrise Middle School Board of Directors. She is the mother of a 7th grade student and an active volunteer at the school. She was born in Mexico and came to the United States when she was 16 years old. She is a medical assistant and has worked overseas training medical companies in Costa Rica on quality assurance. She became an American citizen in 2003.
Lex became aware of the importance of providing alternatives to youth when he was not “fitting inside the box” and succeeding in high school. He found success at Pegasus High School and now is an artist and musician. He is passionate about finding new educational alternatives for youth.
Jean Jaco is a marketing and operations associate at Samsung Semiconductor here in San Jose. Before that he was a full-time consultant and sales program manager for Microsoft in San Francisco. “J.C.” as friends call him, grew up in East Palo Alto, the child of immigrants. He then graduated from UC Berkeley and now wants to give back to his community. He is fluent in both Spanish and English and loves to delve into travel, sports and social justice.