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 Jung is an alumnus of the Berkeley Community Scholars High Hopes Scholarship program. Eric is a passionate advocate about education and social equity. He has experience in the nonprofit, public, and private sectors and has worked in sustainability, policy, IT, and risk management. Eric previously served on the Lawrence Berkeley National Lab’s Community Advisory Group and is also a proud founding member of the BCS Alumni Council. He received his BA from UC Berkeley and MA from Columbia University.

Colleen Sparks

2013 High Hopes Scholar

Colleen graduated from UC Santa Cruz in 2017 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 since 2018 and received her M.A in Higher Education and Student Affairs in 2021 from the 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.