Meet Our Counselors
Education Fund Career Counselors are available throughout the regions where we work. View bios and contact information below, organized by region.
Marcellus Brookshaw, Sacramento
Marcellus is a Career Counselor/Implementation Specialist serving members in the greater Sacramento region and the Northwest. Marcellus is an experienced counselor with over 8 years working in the fields of career services, academic advising and workforce development. He earned a Bachelor of Arts in Social Science from California State University, Chico and a Master of Education in Postsecondary Administration and Student Affairs from the University of Southern California. Marcellus enjoys working with his members in developing and achieving their academic and career goals.
Jennifer Frost, San Jose
Jennifer is located in the Education Fund’s San Jose office. She earned her Master’s Degree from Santa Clara University in Counseling/Psychology. Prior to joining the Education Fund in November 2007, she worked as a Vocational Counselor with San Jose Job Corps for 7 years, working with at risk youth and young adults in a vocational/education setting and providing case management and support to youth in the areas of Medical Office, Dental Assisting, Medical Assistant and Clerical vocational training programs. Jennifer brings to the Education Fund extensive experience in vocational education, case management, social services and facilitation experience of support groups for youth and adults. Jennifer enjoys working with people to help make a difference in their lives and strives to provide inspiration and support to those who want to move up the career ladder in the health care field.
Daisy M. Kinyauo, Bay Area
Daisy is a Bay Area Career Counselor and works out of the Oakland office. Having experienced a positive career change herself, Daisy enjoys working with members who want to move into meaningful and rewarding careers. With the use of skill and career interest assessments, Daisy helps members to explore career options, determine necessary training and create a career plan. Before joining the Education Fund in 2005, Daisy worked as a Career & College Counselor at several Bay Area community colleges and as a Career Development Program Manager for a non-profit agency serving youth. Additionally, Daisy worked for 13 years as an Outreach and Admissions Officer for UCSF School of Pharmacy. Daisy earned a B.S. degree in Business Administration from University of San Francisco and in 2001 completed a M.S. degree in Counseling, with specializations in Career and College, from San Francisco State University. Daisy has taught courses on Career Development and Student Academic Success and has facilitated workshops on Career Exploration, Career Transition, and Job Search Strategies.
“The key to a happy and fulfilling future is knowing yourself. This self-knowledge is the most important component of finding the right career”
~ Richard Nelson Bolles
Kareim McKnight, Bay Area
Kareim is a Career Counselor for the Bay Area. She works with members from their initial career exploration counseling through their participation in educational programs that will advance their careers. Kareim has a Bachelor’s Degree from the University of California at Berkeley. She comes from a social service background and has experience in career counseling, job coaching and case management. Additionally, she has worked in the field of Education for the last 15 years, first as a course facilitator at her university and later creating and presenting community relevant workshops.
“I believe everyone has the right to work towards a better life for themselves and their communities. Talking to a career counselor can be the first step towards realizing your career goals.”
Lisa M. Ramos, Sacramento
Lisa is an Education Fund’s Career Counselor serving the members in the greater Sacramento Region. She earned her Master of Science degree in Counseling, with a Career Counseling specialization, at Sacramento State University. Lisa’s professional background includes working in the areas of academic advising, recruitment, and human resources. Lisa has been with the Education Fund since 2005 and looks forward to continuing her work of assisting eligible members with their academic and career goals.
Linda Redricks, Sacramento
Linda is one of the Education Fund’s Career Counselors serving the members of the greater Sacramento Region. Linda received a Certificate in Adult Career Planning & Development from New York University School of Continuing Professional Studies before earning her Master of Science degree in Career Development at The College of New Rochelle in New Rochelle, New York. Prior to joining the Education Fund, Linda worked for the 1199/SEIU Training & Employment Funds for 11 years. Linda’s professional experience includes member services support, outreach/recruitment, academic advisement, career counseling, academic/career workshop facilitation, and academic/professional program coordination.
Clara Tao, Bay Area
Clara is a Career Counselor for the Upgrade program and works out of the Oakland office. Clara has her master degree in Business Administration from University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. After working in the corporate world in the global market analysis field for 8 years, Clara decided to pursue a career which she is passionate about. She got a Career Development Practitioner certificate, and became a career counselor. Clara has worked in China, Canada and the US in both private sector and social service sector. She is passionate about helping students to live out the best version of themselves, stay motivated to find ones’ inner calling and advance their careers. Clara has facilitated workshops on How to Motivate Yourself and Get That Job, Career Exploration, Active listening, and Academic Success.
Shawn W. Hardeman
Shawn is a Career Counselor serving the members in our Southern California Region. She is an advanced counselor with an extensive background in various aspects of vocational interests, social services and conflict resolution; with over 15+ years of experience assisting individuals in various counseling roles. Shawn obtained her Master’s degree from University of Houston – Clear Lake in Behavioral Science. She has worked as a Qualified Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor (QVRC) for the State of Texas and has experience in assisting individuals with disabilities and social barriers in obtaining employment and self-sufficiency; she is also certified in Mediation (General and Divorce & Family). Shawn has a working knowledge of assessment and diagnostic tools and is familiar with motivational interviewing models and various forms of consumer advocacy.
“Service to others is the rent you pay for your room here on Earth”
– Mohammed Ali
Deanna has a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology from UCLA. She comes to the Education Fund with a background in Social Work from the L.A. County Department of Children and Family Services. Deanna has also worked as a Special Education teacher within San Bernardino County, and served as a supervisor for the Academic Advancement Program at UCLA. Deanna’s current role as a Career Counselor fuels her goal of helping others realize and reach their full potential within educational and professional realms.
“I believe that anyone is capable of learning; but the key factor to being successful is the time, effort and dedication that one puts forth.”
Monica Lond-Le-Blanc is a Career Counselor in the Los Angeles office working with members to help them achieve their career goals. Prior to joining the Education Fund staff, Monica worked at Jewish Vocational Services as a Career Counselor helping clients, informed career choices and providing job search assistance and support. She also provided career and job search information to clients at three local food pantries. As a Career Counselor for 13 years at Mount St. Mary’s College, she provided academic and career counseling to students; created a variety of career workshops and events; developed and taught career planning courses and coordinated a weeklong job-shadowing program. Monica is Global Career Development Facilitator (GCDF), has a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Psychology from San Diego State University and a Master of Science Degree in Counseling Psychology from Mount St. Mary’s College in Los Angeles.
“Your work is to discover your work and then with all your heart to give yourself to it.”
Mabel Meza is a Career Counselor/Implementation Specialist for the ABE, STEP, and Career Counseling programs in the Los Angeles office. Mabel comes to the Education Fund with over 13 years of diverse experience in the field of Social Services and Career Development. She has provided case management, job readiness skills and job placement assistance to youth and adults with an emphasis on career pathways and advancement. She has her Bachelor of Arts in Social Work, from California State University Los Angeles and is able to serve both our English and Spanish speaking participants.
Amanda has been a Career Counselor working from the L.A. office since 2006. Before joining the Education Fund, Amanda worked as a Job Developer for Rio Hondo College and from there was hired as a Bilingual Career Counselor at a Career and Job Resource Center in Pasadena. After five years, she was promoted to Director of the Latina Career Counseling Program, where she provided workshop design and facilitation in English and Spanish. She has designed and facilitated Spanish and English workshops in Career Exploration, Resume Development, Interview Skills, Interview Dress, Time Management, Mid-life Career Change, Study Skills, and a 10-week Career Planning workshop. Amanda majored in Psychology and is a Certified Career Development Facilitator, and Certified Bilingual (Spanish) by L.A. County. For 11 years she has volunteered as an English/Spanish Career Workshop facilitator/ presenter at the Annual Adelante Mujer Latina Conference. She has also presented her workshops at the Annual California Hispanic Women’s Conference. Amanda appeared on Telemundo and Channel 34 on segments highlighting prominent Latinas making a difference in the community. Contact Amanda to explore your career path through learning more about who you are, and identifying your personality type, strengths and interests.
“My commitment to every client is to assist in identifying strengths and interests in order to set short and long term goals which will lead to a rich and rewarding career/work life.”
Ed Ballesteros, Bakersfield, Fresno & Central Coast
Ed is the Education Fund’s Program Coordinator in the Central Valley. Ed worked at the Kaiser Permanente Fresno Medical Center for 16 years prior to joining the Education Fund in 2003. He has more than 10 years of workshop and training facilitation experience, initially as a Labor Management Partnership Master Trainer and now in various workshops under the Education Fund’s offerings. Ed has vast experience in program development/coordination, career counseling and case management, and has been instrumental in the successful completion of two Nurse Workforce Initiative Grants, which added more than 100 RN’s to the Central Valley workforce. Ed enjoys being a part of his client’s lives and helping them to achieve their personal and educational goals. Ed’s undergraduate work at Fresno State University was in Biology, with an emphasis in Physiology and a minor in Math, and he is currently pursuing his graduate degree in Counseling with an option in Counseling and Student Services – Higher Education Specialization.
“Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you have imagined.”
~ Henry David Thoreau
Dustin Rains, Las Vegas
Dustin Rains is the Program Coordinator for the Las Vegas office. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Nevada State College and is finishing his Master’s degree in Public Administration from Penn State University. Most recently, his professional background lies in various aspects of counseling from Admissions to Career Transitions at Job Corps, a program for at-risk youth to assist them in obtaining an education and vocational skills. Prior to that, Dustin worked as a Resource Developer and Volunteer Manager for a non-profit refugee organization. He is very passionate about the Las Vegas community and is involved in a few non-profit organizations as an active volunteer. In the last few years, Dustin received a distinguished honor from Nevada Governor Brian Sandoval, the Volunteer Manager of the Year award.
Dustin can not only assist with Career Counseling but can also help employees achieve their goals with other Education Fund programs.
“We are at our very best, and we are happiest, when we are fully engaged in work we enjoy on the journey toward the goal we’ve established for ourselves. It gives meaning to our time off and comfort to our sleep. It makes everything else in life so wonderful, so worthwhile.”
~ Earl Nightingale
Maria Isabela Aldana
María Isabela Aldana is a Program Coordinator. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in History from the University of California, Los Angeles and a Master’s degree in Counseling and Student Services with a specialization in Higher Education from California State University, Fresno. Her professional background lies in the field of counseling, as well as education. Most recently, she served as a high school counselor, where she provided academic, career, and personal counseling to students and parents. Additionally, she has served as a counselor for middle school students, college athletes, and foster care youth. Her belief that everyone has the potential to advance and succeed led her to the field of counseling, and her favorite aspect of being a counselor is helping clients facilitate their own personal, academic, and career growth.
“Success is peace of mind which is a direct result of self-satisfaction in knowing you did your best to become the best you are capable of becoming”
~ John Wooden
Oregon & Washington
Rachel is a Regional Coordinator and works out of the Portland office. Rachel brings to the Education Fund a strong background in educational administration with a specialization in managing at-risk student populations, in alternative learning environments. Specifically, Rachel comes to us with a strong background in serving individuals in vocational, academic and career development opportunities through national Job Corps training programs. Rachel has a passion for helping others to strive for excellence in their lives by focusing on maximizing collaborative and supportive learning environments specific to each individuals needs and professional goals. In her previous work at Job Corps, she served as a Career Counselor, Community Living Manager, Education Services Manager and Career Services Director. Rachel earned a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology with a Minor in Education from the University of California Santa Cruz in 2003 and has also completed her Master’s degree from Portland State University in Educational Policy, Foundations & Administrative Studies; specializing in Educational Leadership in 2008.
“The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.”
~ Eleanor Roosevelt
Sally is a Regional Coordinator in the Portland area. Sally joined the Education Fund in 2018 and offers nearly twenty years of experience in public service, non-profit and higher education. In her most recent position, Sally designed curriculum and delivered training for a socially and culturally diverse population of healthcare providers. Over the course of her career Sally has written policy for state and local government, analyzed business processes and led organizational development initiatives. Her professional training has focused on process improvement and change management. Her academic background includes undergraduate studies in both Sociology and Art History, a Master’s degree in Sociology focused on community development and a post graduate certificate in Adult Learning Theory. Sally is most passionate about the relationship art plays in creating community, and as a result in 2014 she joined the Portland Art Museum as a volunteer docent, fulfilling a childhood dream. She also volunteers with the Association for Talent Development (ATD), where she helped to launch a Career Focus group for members. In her off hours Sally enjoys reading with her book club, gardening with her husband and visiting local Oregon vineyards whenever the opportunity arises.
“The most common way people give up their power is by thinking they don’t have any.”
~ Alice Walker