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New Leaders Council


Chris Gonzales, Jr. - Supervising Clinician, HealthRight 360


Chris Gonzales, Jr. has over 8 years of experiences in the human services field, and a lifelong commitment to supporting people and communities struggling with mental health, elder justice issues, and poverty. Chris served in several capacities such as supervising, direct mental health counseling, interfaith organizing, and volunteering. In 2012, while serving as a VISTA for AmeriCorps, Chris was awarded a National Economic Development Impact Award in Chicago for developing a homeless resource center in Sacramento, CA. Chris is currently a Supervising Clinician at Asian American Recovery Services/HealthRight360. He received his Masters in Social Work from San Jose State University.

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Valdez.Christian.NLCSV.Headshot2016.jpgChristian Valdez was born in Mexico City and immigrated to the California at the age of 4. Raised in Redwood City, he attended public schools through the 7th grade and went on to graduate from Sacred Heart Preparatory in 2009. He then attended the University of California Los Angeles where he earned a BA in Linguistics & Philosophy and a BA in Chicana/o studies with a concentration in law, labor, and policy studies. 

During his time at UCLA, Christian was involved in Camp Kesem, UCLA Mentorship, and IDEAS where his direct service to immigrant communities commenced. Christian is currently a regional program coordinator at Building Skills Partnership, a statewide nonprofit that aims to meet labor-management needs through in-depth programming around workforce development, immigrant integration, and community advancement. As a coordinator, he is responsible for programs oversight, evaluation, and development strategies in the region. Christian’s immigrant background and passion for language continues to drive his commitment and dedication to immigrant communities in the San Francisco Bay Area.

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Avila.Jeremy.NLCSV.Headshot2016.jpgBorn and raised in San Jose, California, Jeremy is a Bay Area native with a strong commitment to and interest in public service. The product of a single parent household and son of an immigrant father, Jeremy was the first in his family to pursue a higher education, attending the University of Southern California and UCLA School of Law. 

His interests in politics, public policy, and the legal system resulted in internships with Senator Dianne Feinstein, the California Court of Appeal, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of California, and the White House Domestic Policy Council. During law school, Jeremy volunteered his time with community legal aid clinics that served the HIV/AIDS community and children with intellectual and physical impairments.

Since graduating from law school, Jeremy has returned to the Bay Area where he serves as a Deputy District Attorney. Jeremy has first-chaired over 20 bench and jury trials ranging from misdemeanor DUI to domestic violence and other assaultive crimes. He is currently assigned to the Narcotics Unit where he prosecutes felony narcotics offenses. He aspires to one day advocate for victims of economic fraud and sexual assault.

Outside of the courtroom, Jeremy is active in efforts aimed at increasing diversity to the legal community and providing access to services for LGBTQ victims of domestic violence.

Jeremy enjoys going to the gym, hiking, finding new restaurants to enjoy with friends, and watching and re-watching the Star Wars and Godfather films.

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siliconvalley-Silva.jpgMs. Dora Maria Silva was born in Guatemala and moved to California at the age of six. After graduating from Hayward High School she pursued higher education at University of California, Berkeley and in 2009 graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Molecular Environmental Biology and a concentration in Human Health. 

Ms. Silva also founded a nonprofit organization known as Organizing Medicine Globally, while a student at UC Berkeley, which provides health education and referrals to community resources for underserved communities in the Bay Area and in Guatemala. After college, Ms. Silva worked in Santa Clara County at RotaCare Bay Area's free clinics as a Clinic Patient Navigator and later as a Clinic Manager, for over two years. Ms. Silva also worked at Community Health Partnership as a Program Coordinator, for about two years, for the Community Mammography Access Project and later also as a Health Educator for the Every Woman Counts state-funded program. Ms. Silva is now pursuing graduate school to earn joint MBA-MPH degrees, with the goal of continuing her career in healthcare management to increase healthcare access to underserved families.

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Iván Montes, Director of Impact Design, City Year


Iván Montes serves as the Director of Impact Design with City Year San José/Silicon Valley. In this capacity, he designs the impact models for City Years work in thirteen East San José schools, which has led to the piloting of a year-long science, technology, engineering, art, and math (STEAM) program impacting 1,200 students in grades 1 through 8. This standardized STEAM curricula is implemented across twelve schools and provides learning opportunities to enhance content knowledge, and to foster students’ abilities to think critically and creatively. As a San José native and former teacher, Iván is passionate about education and ensuring that all students in Silicon Valley receive access to an education that humanizes them and provides them with the tools to navigate our society and succeed. Iván’s previous experience includes serving as the Curriculum Support Specialist of English for the Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) program for Miami-Dade County Public Schools’ Education Transformation Office, where he advocated for students in 13 high-needs secondary schools. The practice of conducting socio-historical research at the Bahrain Ministry of Culture and completing a US Fulbright Fellowship deepens his impact within our culturally diverse community. Iván earned his Master of Arts from the American University in Cairo and his Bachelor of Arts from the University of California, Santa Barbara, with a double major in Political Science-International Relations and Middle East Studies.


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