Our Staff

ANGIE IBARRA

FOUNDER AND EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR

Founder Angie Ibarra is a San Francisco native, born to immigrant parents but raised, along with several siblings, by a single mom. With intimate understanding of the struggles of life on welfare, she has always held deep compassion for families in her community. While working professionally in the corporate sector for over 25 years, Angie volunteered her time reaching out to mothers and their children. This grew her passion to equip others to do the same, with the goal of transforming the lives of families who live in poverty. Angie has a reputation for “getting the job done,” a strength she brings to her work in Redwood City. Since launching Generations United, her work has reached over 1,000 children a year, mobilizing 500 volunteers annually. Angie's ability to engage with leaders, school administrators, community partners, churches, city officials and businesspeople has been vital in serving families increasingly under duress from threat of displacement.

MARY MARTINEZ

PROGRAM DIRECTOR

Mary Martinez made the transition from our Board to leading our onsite staff in August of 2020. Mary has served in different organizations over the last 15 years in Redwood City and North Fair Oaks specifically. In this role, her task is to bring families and community members together to provide a network of support for the students, helping maximize their potential for success. Her relational connectedness proved critical over the past few years as the district threatened to close down the school due to declining enrollment and revenues. Advocating tirelessly, and helping elevate the voices of the parent community before the district, the decision to close the school was reversed and enrollment numbers went back up. Mary, a graduate of University of California, Santa Cruz, also brings valuable experience having served as a Recreation Coordinator for the city for seven years. Her most treasured role, however, is being a mom to her two elementary school children, themselves members of the student body of the Redwood City School District.
candice bun

CANDICE BÚN

COMMUNICATIONS AND ADMINISTRATION MANAGER

Candice is a native of the Bay Area, growing up in Millbrae and San Bruno, and finally making her way to Redwood City where she and her husband lived with their son until the fall of 2017. Living part of her life as a high schooler in her ancestral Mexico, she developed a deep love for her heritage and language, bringing these to the Latino community she served faithfully in the Bay Area. She has volunteered and worked in various non-profit settings related to youth and families, including working on the ground with GU as well as the Mission Preparatory Charter School in San Francisco where she served as the communications director.
She loves spending time with her husband and family, traveling and exploring places she has never seen before. In fact, in September of 2017, Candice and Norman packed up and moved across the country to the Charlotte area and in 2018, they bought a home in Rock Hill, just across the border in South Carolina. In late 2019, they welcomed a baby girl to their family.
After serving for many years on the board, Candice has rejoined the GU team as Communications and Administration Manager in a remote capacity. She will travel to CA once or twice a year(and use technology outside of those visits) to stay connected with the work that still needs to be done.

CYNTHIA NAVA

AEC COORDINATOR

Cynthia is a North Fair Oaks native and her parents long standing community members for 25+ years. She actually graduated from Fair Oaks School and has spent her entire life in Redwood City. Cynthia had the privilege of working for The City of Redwood City as a Recreation Program Coordinator for twelve years. Her position as a Recreation Program Coordinator consisted of various responsibilities such as implementing and accommodating both academic and enrichment activities for several communities in Redwood City. In addition, this has given her the opportunity to supervise students from all backgrounds, primarily low-income students. Her goal is to ensure that every participant receives equal opportunity, and provide a safe, and fun environment by accommodating and modifying enrichment and academic activities to provide equity. Cynthia has worked cooperatively with school staff, parallel programs and partners to achieve this goal. Cynthia’s greatest joy is making memories with her husband, and two children. They love camping, hiking, and going to the drive in movie theater.
andrew cruz portrait

ANDREW CRUZ

ACADEMIC PROGRAM COORDINATOR AND COMMUNITY LIAISON

Andrew is a Bay Area native, raised in the Belle Haven neighborhood of Menlo Park, where he has lived his whole life. His passion for supporting students through academic and personal challenges began in college where he worked as a Migrant Education tutor and mentor. This experience opened the door to learning how to truly support the students that are in the most need.
After graduating from the University of the Pacific with a B.A. in Sociology, Andrew served as a Peace Corps volunteer in the Dominican Republic. While there, he learned about the different learning styles and trained teachers how to adapt their lessons to be able to reach each one of the students. He went on to co-teach first grade at Phillips Brooks School where he learned the value of social-emotional intelligence and a responsive classroom.
Andrew is now pursuing a Masters in School Counseling because of his desire to continue to provide emotional support and connect students to services they may need. It is important to Andrew that all students are supported by their educators and also have opportunities to explore their own interests. Andrew has attended workshops that focus on diversity and how to tailor lessons to be culturally inclusive and insightful. He is grateful for the opportunity to bring his skills to Generations United and continue to learn how he can better serve as an educator.

FELICIA TSE

TEACHER

I was born and raised in the mountains of North Carolina. My passion working with kids started in college when I helped out with and led tutoring through Habitat for Humanity. Working with them inspired me to pursue a career where I could change a child's life. From then on, I decided I wanted to become a teacher and make an impact in every students' lives. In 2016, I moved to the Bay Area. Since then, I have been a teacher in the Redwood City School District. I taught kindergarten for two years at Fair Oaks Community School. Currently, I'm teaching second grade at Roosevelt Elementary. My passion working with kids continues to grow through teaching and Generations United.

JACKSON MOONEY

STUDENT ADVISOR

Raised in Redwood City California, Jackson Mooney is a college student who has a heart for children. His involvement with Generations United began with a relationship with Angie Ibarra, who mentored him in developing an aptitude for interacting with families in need. Six months into his work with GU, you can find him helping with food deliveries, tutoring his beloved students, or talking about strategies to more effectively aid the North Fair Oaks Community - and beyond - educationally, physically and financially. Jackson has overcome incredible odds over his young life and is using his story to bless many - young and old. He spends his free time learning to surf, speaking Spanish, and playing/writing music. His greatest joy is spending time with his family.

CRYSTAL TAPELU

ADMINISTRATIVE SUPPORT

Crystal hails from San Mateo with an extensive background both in the corporate sector as well as nonprofit. As a young teenager she launched into a lifelong career of missionary work spanning everywhere from Latin America to the Polynesian islands. She spent a number of years as a missionary and in Leadership roles with Missions organizations and working with local organizations in countries visited. As a missionary she has traveled to 11 countries. Currently she lives in Hawaii with her husband and 5 1/2-year-old daughter, some of her favorite things to do are hiking, studying the Bible, dancing, Karaoke, learning about other cultures & languages and swimming.

Our Board of Directors

KYLIE BILLINGSLEY

BOARD MEMBER

Dr Kylie Billingsley specializes in psycho-diagnostic testing and therapy for children and adolescents with complex developmental and diagnostic presentations through Sequoia Counseling Services in Redwood City. She works with children, teens and families with neurodevelopmental disorders such as ADHD and ASD, as well as trauma, attachment disorders and rare medical conditions. Prior to private practice she was the developmental specialist at Kaiser RWC for 8 years. She uses CBT, play therapy and family systems approaches.

STANLEY JOHNSON

BOARD MEMBER

Stanley Johnson is the father of three young adult children and married to his wife and friend of 30 years Karen Johnson. Stanley is a native of the Redwood City. He graduated from San Diego State in 1981, with a degree in business administration and an emphasis in marketing. Stanley has worked with Pepsico, and its Frito Lay brand of products, in a sales and marketing capacity and for three decades. He has also served in regional sales in a managerial capacity for ERICO International Corporation, a company that provides electrical solutions for construction projects all around the globe. Stanley has a passion for outdoor adventures, but more importantly, a heart for the vulnerable and marginalized. Over the past two decades he has served on the boards of community-based organizations, including the American Youth Soccer Organization of San Carlos, and Peninsula Covenant Community Center in Redwood City.

SHARON SEEBERGER

CHAIRMAN OF THE BOARD

Sharon Seeberger, Glocal Hub Director for Peninsula Covenant Church, has lived her life committed to serving her community, whether across the street...or the ocean. Having taught English-as-a-second-language for many years in Asia and Europe, she returned to the United States to teach in a Wyoming school district just as the children of migrant farm workers began to show up in class. She would become the first teacher they would come to know, this side of the border. This experience deepened her vision for the opportunity that cross-cultural teaching brings to develop and prepare young people for indigenous leadership within their home countries. For Sharon, every child is significant, made to dream, love and serve, whether in Beijing, the Congo, or Redwood City. Thus, she is passionate for Generations United’s commitment to see children reach their fullest potential. Living in Redwood City, she and her husband Bob have been married for over 40 years.

PETER MORRIS

BOARD MEMBER

Peter Morris was born and raised on the San Francisco Peninsula. He grew up as a young boy in Redwood City, and received his public education in the Redwood City’s classrooms. Fond of this experience growing up, Peter has a special heart for local schools, and the families that attend them. As he always has enjoyed, he has great love for physical fitness and outdoor activities of every kind. He also has a love of music, and now performs the trumpet with the San Jose Wind Symphony as one of its principal brass players. Peter serves as a investment advisor with Lincoln Financial, where he helps clients achieve their financial goals and plan for their retirement. Married for over 40 years, Peter and Fredda have four adult children and five grandchildren. They are active members of Peninsula Covenant Church and the Peninsula Community Center. Peter’s wife Fredda has been instrumental in developing relationships with children and families through tutoring weekly with Generations United.

CAROL PATTERSON

BOARD MEMBER

Carol Patterson serves as the CEO of Shepherd’s Gate, a Bay Area nonprofit that provides safe refuge for battered and homeless women and their children. Her background in nonprofit management, finance, operations and fundraising, is extensive. She began her professional career in the software industry, where she spent 23 years in executive roles, successfully assisting with Silicon Valley startups, including a product acquisition of Oracle. With a deep personal passion to help those struggling in poverty, Carol started tutoring at-risk youth in East Palo Alto as a volunteer with City Team, a nonprofit ministry that serves the homeless, the hungry, and the addicted. As her heart grew for the work, she left the high-tech industry to serve on City Team’s executive staff. She is a graduate of California State University, East Bay, and has earned additional certificates from Santa Clara University and The Wharton School.

RICA RUIZ

BOARD MEMBER

Rica Ruiz, as a real estate professional, is privy to the inflated housing market that has been the San Francisco Bay Area, and the peninsula in particular. While she serves a broad clientele with their dreams of homeownership, she grieves the lack of access for so many, particularly among immigrant, working families. Her long-term vision is for affordable housing for this community, a reality that is integral to her understanding of economic justice. Her heart for the poor comes from an intimate place. Born in the Philippines, and raised by a single mom in Contra Costa County, Rica has firsthand experience not only with financial hardship, but the emotional duress of marginalization, an existence that remains largely true even to this day. Working hard her whole life, Rica paid her way through college, graduating with a degree in media at San Francisco State. Her greatest joy is being with her husband, and watching her son play baseball. She also has been a volunteer with Generations United, Inc weekly for 3 years. This has changed her life in ways she never imagined and her heart has been moved to action.

BENITA HOPKINS

BOARD MEMBER

Benita Hopkins, is known by all as an “agent of change,” a reputation she earned while serving as the director of community engagement for Love Never Fails, a nonprofit committed to aiding the trafficked population. She seeks to bring hope to children around the world who have suffered from shame and abandonment, for example, Ghana, where she has advanced efforts in violence prevention and aftercare programs for trauma victims. She was awarded “2015 Abolitionist of the Year” by the San Francisco Collaborative Against Human Trafficking, and the “Working Women’s Award” by the Dr. MLK Jr. Association of Santa Clara Valley. These distinctions reflect her competence as a cross-cultural educator, and a champion for social justice in communities like the ones she serves through GU. Prior to joining the Board, Benita served faithfully as our Director of Education and led our AEC at Schaeberg Library.
latino man with sunglasses at the beach with golden gate bridge in the background

HENRY VILLAR

BOARD MEMBER

Henry Villar was born and raised in Mexico. After graduating from the Naval Academy of Mexico as Valedictorian, he served for seven years in the Mexican Navy as an Engineer and Navy Officer. Henry moved to USA in 2000 and returned to academia earning a second B.S. and M.S. degrees in Computer Science. For more than 15 years, he has been working in the High-Tech industry in Silicon Valley. Henry has been married to his wife Holly for more than 24 years and they have an adult daughter. His family has been members of the Peninsula Covenant Church for the last decade. Henry has been an active volunteer of Generations United for the last six years, participating in the Summer Reads program and providing Taekwondo classes. Henry has a big passion for the Latino Community and believes that change starts by serving.

VERA QUIJANO

BOARD MEMBER

Vera Quijano was born in San Francisco, and raised in Redwood City by her immigrant parents, along with her four siblings. English is her father’s second language, and her mother’s sixth language. Her parents met and married in the early 1960’s, when mixed race marriage was not yet legal throughout the United States. Vera and her siblings endured the stigma that came with being biracial, coupled with the struggles her family faced with language barriers, cultural differences, and financial hardships. In Redwood City, she had attended Roosevelt and Selby Lane Elementary Schools, Kennedy Junior High School, Woodside High School, and Cañada College. She was one of those kids in the Selby Lane lunch line with a dime in hand, rather than a dollar, as her family qualified for the low-income meal program. Vera has firsthand experience of the challenges that disadvantaged children face in the pursuit of public education and the American Dream.

Since 1986, Vera had taught thousands of children tap, ballet, jazz, acrobatics, salsa dancing, and yoga at local schools and community centers. She later expanded her programs to teaching science as well. In 1999, she began her role, and maintains her position today, as Assistant Professor of Dance and Kinesiology at Cañada College, and has been instrumental in creating community via her college salsa dancing and yoga courses. She holds a B.S. in Cell/Molecular Biology, an MPA, and an M.S. in Human Anatomy & Physiology Instruction. She holds Ayurveda and Yoga Certifications from the Deepak Chopra Center, and a Nutritional Consultant Certification from Global College of Nutritional Medicine.

Vera is committed to building interdependent communities. She is devoted to teaching individual and family body-mind wellness and spirituality. She wholeheartedly believes that a shared sense of community will reveal shared opportunities, encourage shared responsibilities, and fuel shared prosperity. Vera actively promotes both economic and environmental sustainability, while living life in the spirit of integrity, service, and FUN! Her ultimate goal is to teach individuals how to Be Happy, Get Healthy, and Feel Connected.

STEVE JOH

BOARD MEMBER

Steve is a community builder, pastor, justice advocate and mobilizer. He brings two decades of pastoral experience in a wide variety of roles at two churches and is currently building a network of innovative, small, missional spiritual communities. A resident of East Palo Alto, along with his wife Amy and two girls, Steve shares a passion for bringing thriving to under-resourced communities and bringing people together for the common good. Steve loves spending time with his family, baking bread, making bacon, creating music, and is obsessed with all things soccer (God's greatest gift).