Our Story

Arriba Juntos was created by three social justice activists – Leandro Soto, Herman Gallegos and James McAlister – on May 13, 1965. Originally named the Organization for Business, Education and Community Advancement (O.B.E.C.A), the staff at that time was comprised of just these three men. Their vision, will and commitment to the Mission District led to the creation of a successful new non-profit organization for a community in transition.

The founders would change the organization's name in 1967 to Arriba Juntos but the original mission stayed the same. That was to meet the basic needs of the increasingly large number of Latino immigrants that were moving into what was before a primarily Irish working class neighborhood. The needs of these newcomers were adequate housing and education, improved employment opportunities, reliable childcare, and health care. During the 1960s such efforts were supported by President Lyndon B. Johnson's War on Poverty.

In the early 1970s the Model Cities Program came to San Francisco and many new agencies began to serve this growing Latino population. AJ's most notable program at this time was training checkers at Safeway stores. Throughout the 1970s and '80s AJ grew, adding many new programs and services, especially in the development of clients's employability. In 1987, AJ also broke ground on a low and moderate income housing development, the Leandro Soto Apartments.

 From the 1990s to the present AJ has expanded its vision and now provides all of its programs on a citywide basis. In doing so AJ serves more of San Francisco's diverse population and better stands for its clarion call: "Upward Together."

 

Our Staff

Dalila Ahumada
Executive Director

Robyn Lederer
Executive Assistant 

Patricia Melgar
Training Programs Coordinator

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Gladys Garcia
Community Jobs Program Coordinator

Robert Garcia
Youth Programs Coordinator

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Hilda Garcia
Janitor

Jorge Rivera
Prgrams Assistant

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Carmela Ciccone
ESL/Work Readiness Instructor

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Efrain Sandoval
Project Assistant, Case Manager/Employment Specialist

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Eleanor Dimapasoc
CNA Instructor


Homecare/Work Readiness Instructor

Asma Patras
Home Health Aide Instructor

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Jonathan Padilla
Programs Assistant

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Jorge Rivera
Programs Assistant

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Joyce Hedges
ESL Instructor

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Mohammed Ahmed
Computer Instructor

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Netra Rhodes
Case Manager/Employment Specialist

Silvia
CNA Assistant Instructor


Case Manager/Employment Specialist

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Cheryl Kuresa
Case Manager/ Employment Specialist

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Eric Hanlan
Case Manager/ Employment Specialist


Work Readiness Instructor

Reyna Tiscareno
Receptionist


GED/Work Readiness Community Jobs Program

Rashedia Collins
Case Manager/ Employment Specialist

Shamane Felix
Case Manager/ Employment Specialist


Case Manager/ Employment Specialist


Case Manager/ Employment Specialist

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Belen Escobar-Briones
Case Manager/ Employment Specialist

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Cheyenne Oberes
Case Manager/ Employment Specialist

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Christopher Castle
ESL Instructor

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Gabriella Will
Case Manager/ Employment Specialist

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Micha Antonio
Vocational Immersion, Rapid Response, & HomeWORC Program Coordinator

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Oscar Tang
Case Manager/ Employment Specialist


Case Manager/ Employment Specialist

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Latoya Spears
Case Manager/ Employment Specialist


Case Manager/ Employment Specialist


Case Manager/ Employment Specialist

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Myesha Williams
Case Manager/Employment Specialist


Case Manager/Employment Specialist

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Andy Yee
Case Manager/Employment Specialist


Case Manager/Employment Specialist

Brian Legaspi
Case Manager/Employment Specialist


Facilities Coordinator

Mariyah Sroles
Case Manager/ Employment Specialist

 

 

Our Board of Directors

 

Steve Lewey
Chairman of the Board

Jim Kennedy
Secretary

 
 
 

John Phillips
Treasurer

Daniel Kingsley
Board Member

 
 
 

David Bracker
Board Member

Ivan Ruiz
Board Member

 
 
 

Armida Calixto
Board Member

 

Our Advisory Board

 

Mario Diaz
Advisory Board Member

Rita Alviar
Advisory Board Member

 
 

Our Partners

Since our early days, Arriba Juntos has teamed with other
community-based organizations and local government agencies who have played an active role in making everything we do possible.

 
 

Our Annual Reports