Meet the Team
Executive Director, Founder &
MAE, Educational Leadership and Change
California Teaching Credential: Multiple, Single-Subject English & Spanish
Mentor to Youth Leadership Clubs: Girls Support Girls, Latinos Unidos, Grassroots Organizing
Ashley Dos Santos
After 10 years of classroom teaching, Ashley was fed up. She was frustrated. She knew that we could do better for our youth. After being told too many times not to let students pursue their passions, read what excited them, create projects in their community that actually motivated them, Ashley committed to working with kids outside the classroom -- in after-school clubs, leadership groups and with local non-profits. Unfortunately, working both in the classroom and after-school with her students was not sustainable. It was killing her. That is when Mentor Me Learning was born.
Ashley decided to apply her decade of experience in traditional classrooms, as an after-school mentor, her Masters Degree, and her many California Teaching Credentials to a different type of teaching. To exclusively work with young people outside the formal classroom setting. Ashley is now committed to using Mentor Me Learning as a space to show students and parents that there is a way to build confidence, become an independent learner, develop academic, communication & leadership skills -- all the while pursuing something that students are actually interested in.
Whatever it may be. It is possible. Ashley is committed to helping youth and their parents see the connection between what they love, learning and creating amazing projects in their community.
10 Years as Lead Teacher in Public and Private Schools
Board Member of Drains To Ocean.
Founder and Executive Director of Mentor Me Learning.
Advisory Board of Directors
Kimberly Schaefer graduated from University of California, Santa Barbara where she earned a degree in Economics and Accounting. She currently works in the Department of Treasury as a bank regulator specializing in anti-money laundering and counter terrorism regulations for the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC). Prior to joining the OCC, Kimberly worked as a senior regulatory consultant at PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP. She volunteers as a Court Appointed Special Advocate for CASA of Orange County and previously mentored high school students through Minds Matter of Los Angeles. Kimberly is a Certified Public Accountant and Certified Anti-Money Laundering Specialist. Her expertise in financing and commitment to giving back to her community is a huge asset to Mentor Me Learning; Kimberly is an essential part of our sustainability and capacity to provide young leaders with scholarships to participate in our Youth Empowerment Programs.
Juen Steinhaus has a lifetime of experience with progressive education and diversity programs in Southern California. She grew up in Los Angeles’ Koreatown, earning a scholarship to one of the most progressive K-12 schools in the LA area. She then went on to earn her BA at UC Berkeley and a Masters Degree in Education at UCLA. Jueun has been a classroom teacher for 7 years, worked in Alumni Relations and Fundraising Development, and is committed to being an advocate for young people. She is also a special advocate for Asian American issues and active with the Asian Personal Exchange (APEX). Her unique experiences gives Mentor Me an added perspective that helps us focus on student-centered and diverse programming, recruiting powerful partners in the Southern California community and acquiring funding for our youth leadership scholarship programs.
Lachelle Carrozza is a businesswoman, entrepreneur, and innovator. Her adult journey began at the University of California Irvine where she earned a full athletic scholarship playing Division I soccer while working toward her degree in Social Ecology. She then made the biggest decision of her life and decided to drop everything to start a family - which catapulted her into a life of service in her community and assisting small businesses to succeed along the way. She was also the president of NALS (National Association of Legal Secretaries) of Orange County during her days in Corporate America. She has labored tirelessly to empower the youth around her as a valued mentor, organized multiple outreaches and lead various fundraising campaigns. Due to her extensive experience and relationships through volunteering, leading and coaching she will play an integral role in bridging the gap between MentorMe and the community. Her diversity, forward-thinking and passion make her a crucial part of this organization.
Jeff Javanbakht is a business transformation consultant in the banking industry. He’s currently a Director a MUFG Union Bank where he is responsible for delivery of key business initiatives for the bank’s core banking transformation program. Prior to Union Bank, Jeff was a management consultant at PriceWaterhouseCoopers LLP’s Financial Services Advisory practice where he specialized in business transformation, process improvement and system implementations. He earned his MBA from USC’s Marshall School of Business and his BA in Social Science from the University of California, Irvine. Jeff is a father of two and an Orange County native. After being introduced to Mentor Me Learning’s purpose, he knew he had to be involved. He sees the intersection between our youth and the community as the critical junction to creating a better world.
Leslie Carrera-Silva is an educator, arts advocate and yogini. She has worked for a few school districts within Orange County, also serving as a Spanish dual language teacher for primary grades. Being multilingual and having lived and worked in other countries herself, Leslie is passionate about multiculturalism. Growing up she had a love of the performing arts which led her to the UCLA School of Theater, Film and Television. She believes that an arts-rich education is profoundly enriching. When she is not teaching young students in the classroom, she can be found teaching hot yoga to adults. She has practiced yoga since 2005 and has taught in Europe and Australia. She holds a multiple subject teaching credential and Masters in Education from Cal State Fullerton.
Elena Clark’s career in education began after receiving her Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary Education at the University of New Mexico. She began working in the field of Early Childhood Education as a preschool teacher, while simultaneously working towards her degree at UNM, as a teaching assistant in a first and second grade bilingual classrooms.
After receiving her degree, her love for the ocean moved her to Newport Beach, where she continued her education, attending the University of Southern California. While pursuing her MAT Multiple Subject teaching credential, she worked with teachers, administrators and educators in school districts throughout Orange County.
Elena has served as the Director of a Costa Mesa preschool, and is passionate about guiding children through their early years of development. Currently, Elena is a Kindergarten teacher at a non-profit school in Newport Beach, where she takes pride in fostering relationships with children and their families in order to give them the building blocks to becoming successful members of the community.