Staff

  • Sherry Smith, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR

  • An educational professional with more than 35 years’ experience, Sherry has focused on school and college admission, financial aid, recruitment, organizational management, organizational change and school to college selection and matriculation. She is especially committed to serving the needs of the underserved, under-resourced and first-generation students navigating transitions from Kindergarten to graduate degrees.

    Sherry has worked with students from the most challenging neighborhoods especially in the cities of Los Angeles, Richmond, Oakland, and San Francisco. She has also spent time connecting with influential members of major companies and foundations in order to provide the necessary resources for the students in which she served. From her earliest days at Santa Clara University both as a student and an Admission Counselor and her most recent work with Making Waves Foundation, Sherry has helped low students reach their dream of being accepted, attending and graduating from college. She is blessed to now be a part of Berkeley Community Scholars continuing along the path of serving students.

  • Lynn Walker, College Success Manager

  • Lynn grew up on the east coast and earned her B.S. in Cognitive Psychology from Carnegie Mellon University. She began her career serving youth and families in the child welfare system in New York City. Her passion for improving access to resources and opportunities for youth led her to pursue a Master’s Degree in Social Work from UT Austin and later to obtain a certificate in College Admissions and Career Planning from UC Berkeley. In her role as the College Success Manager, she develops programs and provides coaching and support to empower scholars to reach their higher education and career goals. Since joining BCS in 2014, Lynn has focused her efforts on deepening relationships with community partners and growing a supportive community of mentors, scholars, and alumni. She has increased scholar engagement by involving students in the planning and delivery of services. Lynn is grateful to the High Hopes Scholars whose talents, drive, and social activism provide constant inspiration and hope for future generations.

  • Linda Osuorji, College Success Advisor

  • Linda’s relationship with youth development began when she had the opportunity to mentor an incredible young woman when she was a senior in college. The interaction sparked her interest and commitment to providing youth-centered programming to students. The experience inspired Linda to start her career in the mentoring field once she graduated from CSU, Chico with a B.S. in Psychology. Her continued passion for working alongside students to reach their goals led to her having more than 12 years of comprehensive experience across multiple community service organizations providing program development and implementation, youth and family support, and staff coaching. Linda recently pursued her Master’s degree in Leadership for Social Justice from Saint Mary’s College which later brought her to BCS. As the College Success Advisor, her role includes developing the High Hopes Scholarship mentor program, supporting scholars and their mentors to achieve their full potential, and creating networks of support and resources. Linda is excited to be part of the BCS team and continue the work to ensure opportunities and access for our young people.

  • Fatima Rodriguez-Ortiz, Program Coordinator

  • Fatima first joined the organization in 2016 and serves as BCS' Program Coordinator. She is the first in her family to graduate from college and was once a recipient of the High Hopes Scholarship in 2010. Fatima holds a double degree in Latin American/Latino Studies and Sociology from UC Santa Cruz. She has a strong passion for social justice, which led her towards internship opportunities at various organizations such as Santa Cruz Barrios Unidos, CURYJ, RISE, and Y-Scholars. As coordinator, Fatima oversees the Berkeley Promise Scholarship Program, managing the application process, developing the curriculum for cohort meetings and conducting individual meetings. She one day hopes to become the director of her own non-profit organization providing retention programs for promising youth.

  • Colleen Sparks, Marketing & Program Assistant

  • A former High Hopes Scholar herself, Colleen initially joined the BCS staff as an intern, and currently works as the Marketing and Program Assistant. Her duties include managing our website, writing monthly newsletters, designing graphics and updating social media. She also helps support the scholarship programs and accounting. 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. Colleen is now pursuing her M.A in Higher Education and Student Affairs from the University of San Francisco.