New Faces and New Places

As our students head back to the classroom, our Leaven centers are opening their doors to students both old and new. There are also some new faces among our staff as this new school year kicks off, as several new site directors are joining our staff. We think they are amazing and inspiring people, and we couldn’t wait to introduce you to them!

Photo by Darin Reyes

Photo by Darin Reyes

First up, Phoenix Center’s new Site Director is Juliana Zamora. Juliana is a graduate of Fairfield Christian School, and is currently studying at Solano Community College to be a nurse practitioner. She also gives of her time at Hope Christian Church teaching pre-school Sunday school. Her passion for children and dedication to God make her a great fit for our centers.

Rod Kenny will also be joining our staff at our Marina Heights center. Rod is a stay-at-home day of seven children with his wife of 26 years. He is a member of Church on the Hill and a former chef. But at one point, it didn’t look as if Rod’s future would be so bright. When he was a kid, he got caught up in gangs and even spent a summer in prison. “I realized the world I was living in was not the world to be in,” he reflects.  Spending the summer in jail “gave me an awareness that I needed to change my life.” We know Rod will be an amazing mentor to our students, and his story can help inspire them to make choices in life that lead to futures bright with promise.

At Parkway Gardens, Muriithi Alafia joins our staff. He is a substitute teacher for the Fairfield-Suisun Unified School District and has worked in child development and education. He’s also a part of the music ministry at his church, CME Church in Fairfield. In fact, he was introduced to The Leaven by his pastor and school board president David C. Isom. Muriithi is a dedicated educator and is excited to have more opportunities to help our students grow.

When Dina heard about The Leaven, she knew “I had to check it out!” Now she is the Site Director at Signature at Fairfield, one of our newest centers. Dina has a long career working as a reporter and DJ at radio stations. She has years of experience volunteering and giving her time to help nurture children, and continues to serve at Liberty Church’s Liberty Kidz program. She’s driven by the knowledge that “Jesus loved the little children — and so do I!”

Our final new Site Director is Aria Reno-Maldonado at our Burgess Point Center. She was introduced to The Leaven after hearing Mark Lillis speak at Church on the Hill and she says, “I just felt the Lord speaking to me. There was a tugging in my heart to learn more about The Leaven.” She attended Berean University and is excited to help students in Benicia improve their classroom performance.

We are so excited for these new Site Directors who are joining us. Each of them are benefitting from our intense training program that includes working with our experienced Site Directors at other sites. As they greet Leaven students at their own centers, it will be thrilling to see how they will help kids and communities rise.

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