Meet our Founders


Ruth Vizcaya

I was co-chair when we got established in the new school year 12-13

Since I have graduated I have been full time with AmeriCorps for two years. I worked with the Child Abuse Prevention Center along with the Meadowview Family Resource Center. I worked with low income families with children 0-5, case managed families, and conducted court approved parenting classes. Currently I am with the Kern County Superintendent Office of School at a High School mentoring and case managing highschool students.

Karen Soto

I majored in human development with minors in Chicano Studies and Psychology

I've been working for the Unity Council at one of their Head Start preschool programs as a home visitor/family advocate. I visit families once a week and facilitate educational activities that are age appropriate to guide and support parents in their child's development. We offer the families information about resources in the community and support parents in the formulation of individualized goals for their children and families. I'm also currently going through training to become a CASA (court appointed special advocate). It's a volunteer program where you get appointed by a juvenile court judge to advocate one-on-one for children or youth who are the victims of abuse and neglect and in the foster care system.

Melissa Castillo

I moved to San Francisco in August 2014 and got a job as an Immigration Paralegal.


In October, I started volunteering as a Reentry Advisor for the California Reentry Program at the San Quentin State Prison helping inmates who are either being paroled or will be going before the parole board soon.


In March, I switched jobs and started working as a Legal Assistant for McClellan and Corren, a Workers Compensation Defense firm in South San Francisco. In May, I got sworn in as a Court Appointed Special Advocate for CASA of San Mateo and I am now the advocate of a three year old girl in the foster care system.

Carla Rodriguez

My name is Carla Rodriguez, one of the HaU founders at UCDavis. Unfortunately, I was just a general member because I studied abroad that same year and could not do both things.

I am currently working as a Program Assistant at the Meadowview Family Resource Center in Sacramento. It is a family resource center where we focus on parenting classes and offer resources to families. This center mainly focuses on families who could be at risk of child abuse.

Angela Munoz

I started the Credential/MA at UC Davis school of Ed in 2014. I will be teaching 3rd grade at a dual immersion school next year in Davis while finishing up the MA in Winter 2016.

Jennifer Zermeno

I served as Fundraising Chair from 2012-2013.

Since graduating UC Davis, I've been working my way up as a Behavioral Therapist for children with Autism and other related disabilities. I am also currently working on my Masters in Social Work through USC's virtual field program and hope to finish next year.

Liliana Bonilla Lopez

My Name is Liliana Bonilla Lopez. I was the herstorian. 

-While at Davis I double majored in History and Chicano Studies. I am currently working as an intensive instructional assistant for an early intervention preschool program in walnut creek. This is my second year working there. Our program is geared to help special needs children ages 3-5 years old. We work with children from Moraga, Orinda, and Walnut Creek districts.


-Our goal is to provide special education opportunities for children who have identified special needs. The program is designed to promote a partnership between professionals and families to meet each child's needs in order to help increase our students future success. Apart from this program I also work along side an applied behavioral analyst doing in home therapy. I'm looking to pursue a masters in special education.

Melissa Vega-Valdez

My name is Melissa Vega-Valdez and I am a proud Hermana Alumni from the University of California, Davis where I served as the Academic Chair for two years. 

I graduated in 2013 with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Communication & Spanish and a Minor in Education. After graduation I pursued my Master of Arts Degree at New York University Madrid in Spanish Applied Linguistics, where I graduated from in 2014. 

Currently, I am a doctorate student at the University of California, Davis in the Spanish and Portuguese Department. My Ph.D focuses on Spanish Linguistics; my research interests are on Spanish as a Heritage Language, Second LanguageAcquisition, and Bilingualism. I am also an Associate Instructor for the university and teach Elementary Spanish 1-3. Recently, I also became one of the co-chairs for the Cluster on Language Research Club. Aside from being a nerd, I love traveling. I have had the prodigious opportunity of visiting different counties: Spain, Italy, Holland, France, and the Dominican Republic.

Life after graduation has been challenging however, I know I will always have my Hermanas to lean on. Therefore, I strongly believe that if there is a WILL there is a WAY. 

#Poder #HaU #onceanhermanaalwaysanhermana'

Monique Palacios

Kristy D. Ayala

Since gradating from UC Davis in 2012 and majoring in Spanish & education, I went on to study Bilingual/Bicultural Education at Teachers College Columbia University. During those 2 years until I graduated in May 2014, I got to experience living on the East Coast for the first time. Never visited the East Coast so that was a shock for me to pack up and move for school. Best decision I ever made in my life. Took advantage of the neighboring cities like Boston and Washington DC to explore and looking to explore more like Niagara Falls, Philly, etc. Since graduating in 2014, I went on to vacation abroad in Madrid Spain and Paris France as a graduation gift to myself. From July-January I was unemployed so I moved back home to find a stable job. 

The job market is no joke so be persistent and don’t give up! Got offered a job to teach the SATs in China for a year at a private school but turned it down for an offer from NYC. Found a job at an international school in NYC so I took it on first thought because it’s where my heart is. I’m currently here at the international school as a teaching assistant and working part time at a private school as supervisor for after school programs. Life has the ups and down so don’t forget to enjoy the ride and don’t get caught up in negative vibes/experiences. Follow your heart and be happy. 

Darlene Ruiz

I held the position of Campus/Raza Liaison. I mainly relayed info between the LRCD committee and HaU in order to participate in events like the gran tardeada (one of our biggest fundraisers) and make sure to stay connected with other orgs.

Shortly after graduating from Davis I worked on my pharmacy school application. I started pharmacy school in August last year. I will begin my second year of pharmacy school in mid August. I am attending California Health Sciences University, which is a new school in Clovis that is focused on primary care and has a team based learning approach.
I am considering opening an independent pharmacy someday, but am excited to see what the future truly holds for me.

Francina Osejo

I was the Public Relations Chair. I am a family advocate for The Unity Council- Head Start in Concord, CA.

Some advice I would give: study what you personally love and enjoy doing. Money pays for luxuries, but doesn't necessarily bring happiness. I majored in sociology and spanish and it has led me to work with low-income families. I know that I am doing what I love because I don't wake up dreading going to work in the mornings. If you question or doubt the work you do, change paths no matter how hard it seems. You'll thank yourself later for making sure you've put happiness first.

Kimberly Moreno

Founding Hermana Kimberly Moreno held the social chair position during the process of establishing HaU on campus and was elected as collegiate networking chair for the year 2012-2013. She has continued to stay involved by helping out with conference, linking up community outreach opportunities for our chapter and by checking in with her former Hermanas. 

Since graduating, Kimberly has worked as an Americorps member for the Child Abuse Prevention Center which is linked with family resource centers to help prevent and overcome child abuse. Through her experience as a Family Resource Aide, she was able to solidify her dream and has decided to pursue her journey towards the medical field. She has recently relocated back to the Bay Area and will keep us updated with her next move! 

A little something she wants you all to know..
Hermanas is not about fulfilling certain requirements to be a member in good standing. Hermanas is about finding others with the same drive to overcome the barriers we face as a minority on campus and out in the real world. My Hermanas from college have become my main supporters and the ones I can still call when all that I need a coffee date. The bond you create within HaU will only continue to blossom if you nurture the relationships you establish. College is about finding your passion and I hope that HaU allows you to find that. Good luck with your school year, and can't wait to meet you all! 

Tanya Anaya

Community Service Chair. One of the main reasons why I joined Hermana Unidas, I really wanted to be part of an org. that focused heavily on community service, for HaU it is one of its pillars  

- Still in town (Davis) 
- Did my teaching credential (Multiple Subject BCLAD) right after graduation '12-'13 at UCD School of Education 
- Did my Masters in Education '13-'14 at UCD School of ED
- Got my teaching gig (on my 2nd year) taught 6th grade last year and currently teaching 3rd grade at Beamer Elementary, a Dual Immersion School in Woodland Ca. (LOVE IT! ^__^) '14-current'
- Started another Masters program in Theology, last year, at Santa Clara University. Completed a year but decided to put a pause on it so I can sanely complete my 2nd year of teaching and successfully clear my credential (it takes 2 years of teaching to clear it). '14-'15
- Practicing yoga, loving life, owning this teacher/mature adult chapter in life and buying grown up stuff/appliances, dancing salsa/bachata, and currently trying to master my headstand