Alumni Council

Paola Alonso

2013 High Hopes Scholar

Paola Alonso is a BCS alumna and is one of the founding members of the BCS Alumni Council. She was a 2013 High Hopes Scholar and has been an active volunteer with the program for the last three years. As a first-generation college graduate and recipient of a BCS High Hopes Scholarship, Paola is passionate about ensuring other students have access to the same opportunities she has had. Paola currently works as a Senior Prospect Analyst at UC Berkeley’s University Development and Alumni Relations. She received her B.A. in Economics from Boston University.

Wess Barrett

2015 High Hopes Scholar

Wess Barrett went to UCSC and graduated with a degree in Political Science. She is very passionate about social justice and solving education equity disparities in the Bay Area. Similar to BCS, she is interested in community engagement and fostering social and emotional development in underrepresented youth. She joined the alumni council because she believes it is very important to have a safe space where scholars support each other and strive to build connections. She wants to emphasize that we are not only empowering ourselves, but we are also empowering other BCS to keep aiming for their goals while knowing they have a caring and supportive environment.

Cuca Gonzalez

2014 High Hopes Scholar

Cuca was a 2014 High Hopes Scholarship recipient and holds a degree in Economics with a minor in Education from Barnard College, Columbia University. She currently works as an Education Analyst in RTI Internationals Postsecondary Education Center on the NSF’s Survey of Earned Doctorates. Cuca helped start the BCS Alumni Council because she saw that the resources she had access to at her private school weren’t always offered at other schools, so she wanted to make sure her BCS peers had access to the same level of resources.

Eric Jung

2011 High Hopes Scholar

Eric is a strong advocate of social justice and equity, the environment, and education. He is currently an IT professional at the San Francisco International Airport. In 2019, Eric project managed a campaign to help the City and County of San Francisco raise over $1.23 million for more than 1,200 non-profits. He is a member of the Lawrence Berkeley National Lab’s Community Advisory Group and volunteers teaching music in Oakland. He is also a proud founding member of the BCS Alumni Council and hopes to engage more students to participate with the organization. He received his B.A from UC Berkeley and M.A. from Columbia University.

Fatima Rodriguez-Ortiz

2010 High Hopes Scholar

Fatima was once a recipient of the High Hopes Scholarship in 2010 and holds a double degree in Latin American/Latino Studies and Sociology from UC Santa Cruz. She currently serves as a Community College Success Advisor for the Berkeley Community Scholars and aspires to  become the director of her own non-profit organization providing retention programs for promising youth. Fatima joined the BCS Alumni Council as she enjoys collaborating with her peers in projects that look to serve the larger alumni community.

Colleen Sparks

2013 High Hopes Scholar

Colleen graduated from UC Santa Cruz with a B.A in Community Studies and a minor in Education. Her studies focused on contemporary issues in education, social justice theories, advocacy, and community building. She has long had a passion for education and social justice, leading her to intern for other education-focused non-profits, and is thrilled to be able to give back to the organization that helped her through college. She has worked for BCS as the Program and Marketing Assistant since 2018 and is now pursuing her M.A in Higher Education and Student Affairs from University of San Francisco.

Hammad Zahid

2015 High Hopes Scholar

Hammad graduated from UC Davis with a degree in Computer Science. He has previously interned at AT&T and the Sacramento Municipal Utilities District (SMUD) and is interested in software engineering, design, IT, and technology. Hammad joined the Alumni Council because he loves the BCS community and wants to be a resource for other scholars.