Our staff is dedicated to empower youth with resources, knowledge, and support. Whether it's waking up at 4am to get ready to head out on a field trip, showing up after school to run programs, or being a supportive and encouraging point in a young person’s life; we’re always here with a smile on our face and an enthusiastic attitude.
Jose Juan “Johnny” Rodriguez was born and raised in Brentwood, California. He has more than 20 years of experience working with youth, young adults, school administration and the community focusing on youth empowerment, conflict mediation and violence intervention. Johnny originally started working with youth as a Campus Resource Officer at a local middle school. He saw the need some students had for additional support, so he began offering workshops, on his own time, in the hopes of teaching them to make better life choices. Committed to helping youth change their lives for the better, Johnny founded ODAT. Throughout his career, Johnny has received extensive training, has been certified by the National Safety Training Institute, LLC. and has also completed the Dialogue for Peaceful Change training by the Youth Intervention Network (YIN). Johnny has received numerous awards for his work throughout the community. In 2014, Johnny traveled to Belfast, Northern Ireland to solidify a partnership with The Corrymeela Community, an organization that strives to decrease violence in Northern Ireland; as well as train others to do similar work around the world. This partnership has allowed ODAT graduates to travel to Belfast and complete training on peacebuilding and reconciliation and also allowed for a year-long internship at The Corrymeela Community. Upon their return, they serve as mentors to the younger youth going through the program. In 2014 Johnny also ran and was elected as a member of the Brentwood Union School District Board. His goal is to make decisions to better improve the school climate for students, families and school staff in our area. Johnny wears an array of hats, but is usually found working with youth on local campuses, meeting with community partners to create more opportunity for youth or working with his staff in the office. Johnny continues to serve his community to provide more opportunities to empower youth.
Sarai Espinoza has shown leadership and dedication in helping others by serving the community of East Contra Costa County since the age of 14. She has volunteered and worked in several different organizations such as First 5, C.O.P.E. Family Support Center, You Me We Oakley, and the Child Care Council and Regional Center of East Bay. She is currently working with ODAT as our Development Manager. Sarai graduated from the ODAT program and has volunteered at ODAT since 2011, she was previously employed through ODAT as a community engagement team member and has experience in our Beyond Violence program. Her love and passion for helping others is what lead her to her studying Business Administration, in hopes to sustain a program that will always be able to serve the community. Sarai is currently working towards achieving her bachelor’s degree in Business Administration. She is also CPR certified, completed Mandated Reporter General Training, as well as the Dialogue for Peaceful Change training by the Youth Intervention Network (YIN).
Rick was the co-founder and managing editor of the four independent weekly newspapers in Costa County, California. Over the years he’s been involved with many charities, and was named the 2010 Brentwood Citizen of the Year for his community involvement. He retired from The Press in 2013 to focus on helping non-profit organizations with funding, outreach and publicity. He and his wife, Cyndy, have been married 40 years, and have two children and three grandchildren.
Paulina Fregoso is a committed and resilient individual. In May 2018, she graduated from Dominican University of California with a bachelor's in Public Health. During undergrad school, she was able to study abroad in Merida, Yucatan Mexico during the summer to assist in medical research and serve rural Mayan communities. Paulina has been helping and serving others since the age of 11. She has had the opportunity to volunteer and or work at Antioch's First Five, The Eden Center, Ambrose Community Center, East County Boys and Girls club, The Ritter Center, Marin County Health Services, Contra Costa County Alcohol and other Drugs services, and the Center for Human Development. Paulina's main career focuses are to reduce health inequities and empower youth.
Juliana "Julie" Anaya has volunteered over the years for ODAT assisting the executive director at some of the local schools and has now officially joined the team. With her first degree completed from Los Medanos College majoring in Criminal Justice she is planning on completing her bachelors at Cal State East Bay. Julie also spent several years volunteering in a Juvenile Hall detention facility. Her role was to assist in a course for the girls in motion program. She was a mentor in the facility and was able to work directly with girls when released. Her work included but was not limited to; positive decision making, setting and accomplishing educational goals, employment and successfully completing probation. Julie also has over 5 years of experience working directly with human trafficking victims and sitting on the board of Directors for Human Trafficking Agency.
Karina Gomez is known for her positive energy and her outlook in life. She is a self-empowering resilient individual who uses her life experiences and communication skills to make an impact in people’s lives. The way she overcame life-death situations with hardships is the reason she believes in the importance of positiveness and support from others. She is currently attending Sacramento State to receive her Bachelors in Sociology to continue serving the public. Her long- term goal is to focus on kids who have experienced trauma. Karina holds many roles; working with youth and being a student herself as well as being as a single mother of a five-year-old boy. She graduated from ODAT in 2009, then volunteered and a year later was hired. She became the first female and the youngest staff member. Karina is very passionate about helping others and working with kids. From 2009-2011 she volunteered and received training by Royal Family Kids Camp as a counselor for foster kids who have been abused, molested, and abandoned. She also successfully completed the DPC (Dialogue for Peaceful Change) Training by YIN in 2011. Karina was recognized and awarded by Los Medanos College in 2011 with the Cesar Chavez Spirit Award for her extraordinary commitment to public welfare and community service. She also lived in Mexico for almost four years and volunteered at schools in ranch areas working with k-5 kids in their math and writing. Karina completed a course through Cambridge University to teach the English language in Mexico. She also worked for the Antioch School District performing multiple roles, from working with special need students, as a bilingual aide, and clerical office work. Karina returned to work for ODAT in March 2019, after eight years. She is now filled with more knowledge and experience as a mother and a humble human being.
Alex Martin Del Campo successfully graduated from ODAT in his senior year of high school in 2013. He continued his involvement as a peer mentor the following years while also attending San Joaquin Delta College working towards a degree in Sociology. Alex’s passion for working with youth gained him a position working with elementary school children at the Boys and Girls Club of Tracy. In 2016, Alex was selected through a partnership between One Day At a Time And The Corrymeela Community to take part in a year-long internship in Ballycastle, Northern Ireland volunteering at The Corrymeela Community hosting international workshops on peace and reconciliation. During his time there, Alex worked with various groups including refugees, youth empowerment groups, religious groups, college students and families going through bereavement. He also became certified in Dialogue for Peaceful Change (DPC) training and Mandated Reporter General Training. Upon his return, Alex continued his involvement volunteering at ODAT and sharing his newly acquired knowledge until being hired as a lead Community Engagement Member at ODAT. He continues to give back to the community and the organization he feels has helped pave the way for himself and others to have a successful future. Alex currently works with youth in both east Contra Costa County and San Joaquin County.
Jose Cordon is a dedicated and motivated individual. His first contact with One Day at a Time came when he was a freshman attending Freedom High School. Jose struggled all throughout his high school experience; associating with gangs, failing most of his classes, and landing in juvenile hall. Despite his ups and downs in school, he graduated from the ODAT program in 2009 and was awarded the Most Changed award by his peers. Two years later, in 2011, he graduated high school and received the Perseverance award. Jose has experienced ODAT in many ways; as a participant, volunteer, advisory board member, and current staff member. He has been through multiple trainings that include; Dialogue for Peaceful Change, Mandated Reporter, and the Art of Hosting. He's had the opportunity to live in Northern Ireland and work hand in hand with the Corymeela Community. A place for peace and reconciliation that aims to better relationships between Catholic and Protestant groups in Northern Ireland, as well as provide the international community with a place to gather and share ideas with like-minded people to create a more embracive world. After returning from Northern Ireland, Jose started his own business providing training, walking, and grooming services for dog owners in East Contra Costa County. In the future, Jose hopes to emerge both his love for dogs and his passion for serving young people to create an additional outlet ODAT participants. Currently, Jose works as the lead community engagement member at two middle schools; Dallas Ranch and Park Middle. A talented writer and avid reader, he will also play a part in developing our new Youth Communication Initiative and help establish a poetry group that will allow the youth to share their story.
Victoria Ponce graduated from El Camino High School in 2017, during high school she was a part of “Generacion Cambio” where she was voted for one of the youth leaders. In that group she was able to help out communities struggling throughout the Bay Area, there were also many fundraisers to help elder people and people without homes. Shortly after graduating high school Victoria got pregnant and is now a mom to a one-year-old boy, this caused Victoria to take initiative with her life and is now enrolled at Grand Canyon University to become an elementary school teacher. She believes that change and empowerment can come at an early age because young minds are so powerful and full of imagination and we should learn to encourage that rather than take it from them. Victoria is also coaching girls soccer team which has taught her to be patient and continue to work on her communication and leadership skills. Victoria hopes to be an example to all youth and show them that anything is possible no matter the obstacles.