Our Team

Britt Ortiz, Director 

UC Santa Barbara 

Contact Britt: 

Rosa Martinez
Rosa Martinez, Associate Director

UC Santa Barbara 

Contact Rosa: 

I was born in Mexico and migrated to the US at the age of 12. Graduated from UCSB with two Bachelors of Arts in Sociology and Spanish. I love spending time with my family. In my free time I enjoy reading and running.

EAO has given me the opportunity to provide many students with the tools, support and inspiration needed to achieve the american dream of becoming successful through Higher Education . As part of the EAO team I am able to change lives on a daily basis and that is my personal goals in making this world a better place. 
"Call me crazy, but I live to see other people happy and succeeding! Life is a journey, not a competition" - Unknown

: UC Santa Barbara, Santa Barbara, CA
CONTACT MRS. SANCHEZ: griselda@ucsb.edu

Daniel Cortes, Academic Services Coordinator 

About Daniel: Daniel was born in Coahuila, Mexico and was raised in a rural community in Guanajuato, Mexico. At the age of 13, him and his family migrated north to the United States and settled in Hughson, CA, a rural town in the Central Valley of California. Daniel comes from a big family; he is the youngest of 9. He attended school in Mexico all the way till 8th grade and completed high school in Hughson. Daniel is a first-generation college graduate- he made history in 2018 when he became the first one in his family to graduate from college. He received his BA from UC Santa Barbara, where he double-majored in Political Science and Chicana/o Studies. Daniel is passionate about education and helping students achieve their higher education goals because he wants to provide them with the same opportunities and chances that were given to him during high school and in college. In his free time Daniel enjoys reading about politics, photography, and staying active

Location: UC Santa Barbara 

Contact Mr. Cortes: daniel_cortes@ucsb.edu

Britney Luebeck, Academic Services Coordinator 

About BritneyBritney was born and raised in Temecula, Ca. She is a first generation American that is proud of her Mexican and German heritage. Britney grew up traveling to both Germany and Mexico to visit family and was incredibly fortunate to see many other countries along the way. These experiences influenced her choice to attend Humboldt State University 800 miles away from home. At Humboldt State she received a BA in History and a minor in Studio Art. She then continued her education at Azusa Pacific University where she received her Master’s in Education. Britney is passionate about her work at EAOP because she understands how overwhelming the higher education system can be when you’re trying to figure it out on your own and believes that everyone should have access to these opportunities regardless of one’s background. In her free time, Britney enjoys true crime documentaries, embroidery, traveling, running, and kickboxing.

LocationUC Santa Barbara

Contact Ms. Luebeck: bluebeck@ucsb.edu 

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Crystal Buchan, Academic Services Coordinator 

About Crystal:
Crystal was born and raised in Santa Maria, California. A daughter of a single mom, Crystal saw the struggle and strength of life as a single parent daily. Crystal recalls the process and accomplishment of watching her mom, grandparents, and aunt all obtain their United States citizenship while she was young, which in turn motivated her in pursuing her own goals. She is the oldest of three and first-generation college graduate. She attended UC Berkeley until a family emergency brought her back to Santa Maria. Crystal finished a year at Allan Hancock Community College before attending California Polytechnic University in San Luis Obispo. Crystal received her Bachelor's of Science in Psychology with an emphasis in social work. She also received a Bachelor's of Arts in Child Development and a minor in Graphic Design. Crystal's passion for academic advising first started with her younger siblings- her sister graduated from UC Irvine in 2020, and her autistic brother continues to take college courses. Her career has taken her to supporting and encouraging both students and adults in becoming self-sufficient. Crystal has a passion for advocacy and education which has taken her to Peru to assist at Casa Del Aguila orphanage in the remote village of Limbatambo. A piece of her heart remains there, and it's her goal to continue to make the yearly voyage to help the children and staff at Casa. She is excited to join the EAOP team and use her experiences, struggles, and triumphs to encourage and build rapport with the students and families she will serve. In her spare time, Crystal likes to snowboard, skateboard with her siberian husky, going to concerts, and as a self-proclaimed "foodie", she loves to travel with her husband to experience the gastronomy of the places she visits.

Location: Ernest Righetti High School, Santa Maria, CA

Contact Ms. Buchan: cbuchan@ucsb.edu

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Laura Rojas , College Site Coordinator 

About Laura: Laura was born and raised in Carpinteria, California. She is a proud daughter of immigrant parents from El Estado de México, Mexico. Laura is a middle child of three and the first one in her family to pursue higher education and attain her Bachelors Degree. She graduated from Carpinteria High school and attended Santa Barbara City College acquiring her Associate’s degree in Sociology and Criminology. Laura then transferred to San Jose State University, where she completed her degree in Sociology with a minor in Child and Adolescent Development. Laura has a passion in working with students and hopes to inspire more first generation students to pursue higher education. With EAOP, she hopes to use her experience to connect with students and provide more support for students navigating the educational system. In her free time, Laura enjoys hanging out with friends and family and teaching her puppy new tricks.
Location: Pioneer Valley High School, Santa Maria, CA

Contact Ms. Rojas: laurarojas@ucsb.edu

Nancy Pacheco, College Site Coordinator 

About Nancy: Nancy was born in Oaxaca Mexico. Her and her mother migrated to Santa Maria California when she was 5 years old and settled roots in the beautiful valley. She attended elementary school in the Santa Maria Bonita School district, where she was introduced to the Early Academic Outreach Program, during a field trip to UCSB. Later, Nancy was promoted to Santa Maria High School where she joined the EAOP program. Her goal of obtaining a higher education grew through her high school years thanks to the guidance of her EAOP coordinator. This goal was also fueled by her teachers, coaches and most of all her mother, who she credits all of her accomplishments to. Her mother has worked arduous hours in the strawberry fields of Santa Maria in order to provide Nancy with the opportunities she has had. Nancy has served her community working in the nonprofit sector, Santa Maria Bonita School District and is now serving at her alma mater, Santa Maria High school, as the College Site Coordinator. In her free time, some of Nancy’s personal hobbies are to attend community service projects with her fellow Lions through her membership in the Santa Maria Sunrisers Lions Club. Nancy is passionate about helping students reach their higher education goals because she is a product of the work of other passionate individuals as well. She hopes to inspire students from her community to cultivate big dreams and reach those dreams.
Location: Santa Maria High School, Santa Maria, CA

Contact Ms. Pacheco: nancypacheco@ucsb.edu


Stephanie Navarro-Herrera, College Site Coordinator

About Stephanie: Stephanie Navarro was born in Michoacan, Mexico. At the age of nine, she moved to Santa Maria, California; Stephanie is the oldest of three. Stephanie graduated from Santa Maria High School and continued her higher education starting at Allan Hancock College where she received her Associate degrees that allowed her to continue and received her Bachelor of Arts in Liberal Studies from Brandman University. Stephanie is a first-generation college graduate. She is the first female in her family to be a college graduate. She is a role model to her family, and most importantly to her six-year-old son, who motivates her to be the best version of herself as she works on providing him with the best future. Stephanie is passionate about education and enjoys working with students to help them dream big. She understands the challenges many students face in her community and wants to inspire them to continue with higher education. In her free time Stephanie enjoys soccer and spending time with her family. 

Location: Santa Maria-Bonita School District, Santa Maria, CA 


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Wendi Pacheco, College Site Coordinator 

About WendiWendi was born in Santa Maria, California and raised by immigrant parents from Oaxaca, Mexico. Being the oldest of three siblings, Wendi navigated the education system with the help of counselors and inspiration from her family. In 2015, she made history by becoming the first person in her family to graduate from college. She attended UC Santa Cruz and received her Bachelor's degree in Psychology and Latin American/Latino Studies. Wendi believes that education is the most powerful weapon that a person can possess in order to create change in the world. By educating ourselves we create connections to people all over the world. Wendi's passion for education stems from the radical people that fought for equal access to education and her hardworking family that, with resilience, overcame many obstacles. As a College Site Coordinator, Wendi is determined to help critical thinking students reach their educational goals! In her free time, she enjoys being in the outdoors, reading, art, and is a fan of international movies.

LocationSanta Maria Bonita School District

Contact Ms. Pacheco: wendi@ucsb.edu

Elizabeth Vasquez, College Site Coordinator 

About Elizabeth: Elizabeth was born and raised in Oxnard, CA. From a young age, her family instilled the importance of a quality education. With tough love and unconditional support, Elizabeth graduated from the University of California Santa Barbara with a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology and a Minor in Educational Studies. Working for EAOP gives her the opportunity to not only work on behalf of her Alma Mater, but to also give back and empower her own community in Oxnard. As a byproduct of the OUHSD and now a College Site Coordinator, Elizabeth is able to help first generation and socio-economically disadvantaged students turn their educational dreams into reality. Elizabeth finds it fulfilling and rewarding to be able to guide and support leaders and professionals of the future. She spends her free time playing with her adorable niece, scrolling through Pinterest, and binge-watching Netflix series.

Location: Hueneme High School, Oxnard, CA

Contact Ms. Vasquez: elizabethevasquez@ucsb.edu

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Karen Correa, College Site Coordinator 

About KarenKaren was born in Culver City, California and was raised in Inglewood. She is the product of public and charter school education. Karen comes from a large family; she has two older siblings and two younger siblings. Although Karen was not the first of her siblings to go to college, she is the first  in her family to graduate with a Bachelor's degree in the United States. She received her Bachelors of Arts in Sociology from Mills College, a private historically women's college in Oakland California. While at Mills College Karen worked as a Peer Advisor to first-year first-generation college students. Karen loves working with EAOP because she recognizes the impact that outreach programs can have on first-generation college students' lives herself.  On her free time Karen likes to spend time with her family and friends

LocationRio Mesa High School, Oxnard, CA

Contact Ms. Correa: kcorrea@ucsb.edu

Claudia Gonzalez, College Site Coordinator 

About Claudia: Claudia L. Gonzalez was born and raised in Oxnard, California. A daughter of immigrant farm worker parents from Guanajuato, Mexico, and a sister to five siblings, she was the first in her family to graduate college. She earned her A.A. degree from Ventura
College and then transferred to CSU Channel Islands where she completed her
undergraduate degree in Sociology with a minor in Chicana/o Studies. She received her
Masters in Educational Counseling from National University, while being a wife, a
mother, and working full-time. She credits her educational achievements to the support
and motivation from her family, in combination with her own determination. Claudia is
passionate about social justice, equity, and advocating for our youth. She is driven to
support first-generation students pursue their dreams of higher education, and utilize
their own stories of resilience as power to create brighter futures and opportunities for
their families. In her free-time, Claudia enjoys spending time with her husband and five-
year old son, exploring bookstores, drinking coffee, and attending live music events.

LocationChannel Islands High School, Oxnard, CA

Contact Ms. Gonzalez: claudialgonzalez@ucsb.edu

Josh Tirado, College Site Coordinator

About Josh: 
Josh was born in Ventura, CA and grew up in the city of Oxnard. He attended junior high in Santa Paula before moving back and graduating from Oxnard High School. Josh was a first-generation student, the first in his family to obtain a degree. He received his BA from Cal State Channel Islands in Liberal Studies. Josh is passionate about higher education, the EAOP program, and helping students build the bridge between dreaming about college and actually going to college. He is excited to give back to the community that he comes from, and guide other students to take advantage of the opportunities that were given to him. In his spare time, Josh enjoys playing sports, fishing, camping, spending time with his wife and 2 sons, and being a part of the young christian community in Ventura County as a Pastor

Location: Pacifica High School, Oxnard, CA

Contact Mr. Tiradojtirado@ucsb.edu

Marisol Luna-Lopez, College Site Coordinator 

About Marisol: 
Marisol Luna- López was raised in a small, agricultural town, named Santa Paula. She is a proud first-generation college graduate. She attended California State University, Channel Islands where she received her Bachelor of Arts in Spanish, along with two minors: Psychology and Chicana/o Studies. Soon after, she attended California State University, Northridge and obtained a Master of Arts in Educational Administration in Higher Education. Marisol is the oldest of four and helped pave the way for her younger siblings and now she is supporting families to do the same. She loves to encourage students to reach their full potential/educational goals; by educating the students and their families about the opportunities and resources they have available. Marisol loves the work that she does within EAOP because she sees herself in so many of the students that she serves, similar backgrounds and aspirations. She wishes to create ripple effects, continuing to strive to create equity, a college-going culture and dismantle the barriers facing underserved students. Knowledge is power! Aside from EAOP, she enjoys spending quality time with her loving husband, family and friends. Marisol loves going to the movie theater to watch action, horror and comedy films, going to amusement parks (loves roller coasters) and discovering new books to read.

LocationFillmore High School, Fillmore, CA

Contact Ms. Luna-Lopez: m_luna@ucsb.edu

Laura Garcia, College Site Coordinator 

About Laura: Laura was born in Ventura, CA and raised in Santa Paula.  Laura is the youngest of seven children who were all raised by her hardworking mother. Raised in a small city with limited resources Laura challenged herself to overcome being another statistic. She quickly learned the importance of education but had to self- guide through the system. Laura is first generation. She attended Ventura Community College for two years then transferred to CSU Dominguez Hills, where she attended for two more years. She earned her Bachelors of Arts in Sociology with honors in 2016. She is passionate for helping students seek higher education by leading my example that their background does not define their future. Laura enjoys working with EAOP because she too knows the importance of guidance and support to seek higher education. During her free time she enjoys spending time with her son and her family

LocationSanta Paula High School, Santa Paula, CA

Contact Ms. Garcia: laura_garcia@ucsb.edu

Katalina Navarro, College Site Coordinator 

About Katalina: Katalina Navarro is the daughter of immigrants- born and raised in the agricultural town of Santa Paula, California. Katalina is the second of four sisters and also the second in her family to graduate from a 4- year institution. She received her Bachelors of Science, with a degree in Public Health Education from Cal State Northridge. She is humbled by her work through EAOP because it gives her the opportunity to guide students in navigating the multiple and various higher education paths. Being a first generation graduate, Katalina understands the struggles and obstacles too often faced in the college journey and the importance of having guidance. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with her nephews, traveling, practicing yoga, and being outdoors

LocationSanta Paula High School, Santa Paula, CA

Contact Ms. Navarro: knavarro@ucsb.edu

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Mirka Lopez Sanchez, College Site Coordinator 

About Mirka: Mirka was born in Los Angeles and raised in Bakersfield, CA. She is a daughter of immigrant parents who have sacrificed everything so her and her siblings have the opportunity to obtain an education and pursue a career. Growing up, Mirka was enrolled in bilingual classes until she was enrolled in an all English classroom setting in 4th grade. Learning English was an academic barrier Mirka had to face.  As the oldest of three, completing homework and college was something foreign to her and her family. Navigating the education system to be able to enroll at a college was not easy. Mirka likes to believe that she is a product of student outreach programs such as EAOP. Thanks to all of the opportunities that were given to her throughout high school and college, she was able to make her dreams a reality. Coming from a low-income and first generation household, she thought college was out of her reach until she met her EAOP coordinator. Thanks to EAOP, many doors opened and Mirka was able to graduate from CSU Bakersfield with a major in Psychology and a minor in Sociology. Mirka is passionate about EAOP because it gives her the opportunity to guide and provide access to college resources to high school students and their families. EAOP has definitely had a positive impact in many students/parent lives, and in the community. She loves spending time with her family and making lifelong memories with her loved ones. Mirka enjoys traveling, dancing, watching soccer games, and going to concerts.   

LocationSouth High School, Bakersfield, CA

Contact Ms. Lopez Sanchez: mlopezsanchez@ucsb.edu

In Loving Memory of Juan Gallardo

“While absolutely heart breaking for one and all, I think we must search our hearts to find the beauty in Juan’s short time here with us on the planet.  He blessed us with his presence and at some level impacted us all.  Juan changed the college going rates for all three high schools in Santa Maria.  Juan paved the way for our entry into not one but all three public high schools in Santa Maria.  He gave 110% of his heart to the position and the opportunity to change his community for the better!  And he did so from day one. 

He then opened the doors for some of our newest colleagues on the EAOP team and invited them to come help change their community and this is now happening right before our very eyes in such an incredible way that demonstrates a passion, commitment, and vested interest in our youth that rarely moves beyond dreams.  This one is coming true and Juan set the foundation in motion for the rebirth of EAOP in the Santa Maria community and our current Santa Maria colleagues are making it happen on a daily basis!  A special thanks and appreciation to our Santa Maria colleagues (Nancy, Eunice, Alma, and Fatima) who supported Juan through this challenge and have continued to serve SMHS during his absence.

Let us honor his commitment, his courage, and drive to change the life trajectories of so many young people through education.  And let us never forget his smile, his cooking talents, his sense of humor, his passion, his love for Andrea and his family, and the commitment to his community.”

-Britt Ortiz, EAOP Program Director

Forever in our hearts, and forever a member of our EAOP team. 

2019-2020 EAOP Interns
  • From left to right:
    • Top: Gabriel Bravo, Yulissa Rivera, Daniel Segura Esquivel, Lupe Solis
    • Bottom: Celest Mendoza, Adriana Guerrero, Marisol Gonzalez