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Sustainable South Pas!

Welcome to Sustainable South Pas, where our passion for both education and environmental stewardship converge to create positive change. We are a non-profit organization dedicated to fostering a sustainable future for both our community and the planet. Our mission is two-fold: not only do we strive to empower students through scholarships, but we also champion environmental responsibility by repurposing second-hand items that would otherwise contribute to landfill waste.


In a world where the need for education is undeniable and the impact of waste on our environment is increasingly apparent, Sustainable South Pas stands as a beacon of hope and innovation. Through our unique approach, we have turned the tide on the traditional model of discarding items and, instead, transform them into opportunities for aspiring scholars.


Join us in our journey to make a difference, one recycled item at a time. Together, we can build a sustainable legacy that not only supports the dreams of students but also contributes to a healthier, more vibrant planet for generations to come. Welcome to Sustainable South Pas – where every purchase, every scholarship, and every small act of recycling brings us closer to a brighter, more sustainable future.


OUR BOARD


At the heart of Sustainable South Pas lies a dedicated team of individuals who are passionate about our mission and committed to making a meaningful impact. Our board members bring a wealth of experience, diverse perspectives, and a shared commitment to creating positive change in our community. Get to know the faces behind the vision:


President: Robert Zapata

Meet the driving force behind Sustainable South Pas, our passionate and visionary President, Robert Zapata. At the youthful age of 29, Robert is not only an entrepreneur but a multifaceted professional with a background in aviation, real estate, and the vibrant world of vintage and antique businesses.


Robert's Professional Background: Robert holds an associate in science in Aviation Maintenance Technology and a resume that includes working with industry giants such as SpaceX and Delta Airlines as a contract worker. His expertise extends beyond the skies, as he holds an FAA Airframe and Powerplant License, an FCC General Radio Operator's License, and a California Real Estate License.


A Catalyst for Change: After a career in aerospace, Robert's entrepreneurial spirit led him to explore new horizons. He transitioned into the world of coffee, roasting beans and dedicating himself to a cause close to his heart – raising funds for scholarships. This endeavor paved the way for the creation of Sustainable South Pas and South Pas Vintage, a vintage clothing store in South Pasadena, CA, contributing to the community's unique charm.


Stewardship and Sustainability: In addition to his involvement in South Pas Vintage, Robert is a key player at Hodgson's Antiques, South Pasadena's oldest single-owner business. Peggy Hodgson has been in business for 52 years and it's here that his commitment to sustainability takes root. As he actively seeks ways to repurpose and breathe new life into timeless pieces thanks to Peggys mentor ship and allowing him to get involved in her business. He owes a lot of his success to her and is extremely grateful for her support.


A Community Builder: Robert, along with his fiancée Samara Hodgson (Sustainable South Pas's Treasurer), is a co-founder of South Pas Flea. This vibrant flea market in the historic Mission District of South Pasadena brings together vintage clothing, antique treasures, and arts and crafts vendors. Their collaborative effort creates a space for local artisans to showcase their unique creations while fostering community engagement.


As the President of Sustainable South Pas, Robert Zapata's dynamic leadership and commitment to blending entrepreneurship with environmental and educational advocacy drive our organization's mission forward. With his diverse skill set, boundless energy, and dedication to making a positive impact, Robert embodies the spirit of change we encourage at Sustainable South Pas.


Vice President: Rosie Rios


We are proud to introduce Rosie Rios, a dynamic force and the Vice President of Sustainable South Pas, where her unwavering dedication to social justice, education, and environmental sustainability converges to inspire positive change.


Education: Rosie is a scholar and visionary, currently pursuing her Juris Doctor degree at the University of California, Berkeley School of Law, where she stands out as a Public Interest Scholar. Her educational journey includes an Advanced Clinical Practice Master's degree from Columbia School of Social Work and a bachelor's degree in Sociology with honors from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). Rosie's academic excellence is highlighted by her Latin Honors - Cum Laude distinction.


Professional Journey: In her role as the Managing Director of the UCLA Prison Education Program, Rosie plays a pivotal role in providing education and UCLA Bachelor's degrees to incarcerated students. Her leadership is instrumental in advising staff and launching the Center for Justice, bridging the gap between correctional facilities and universities.


Rosie is also the Co-Founder of Beyond The Bars (BTB), a visionary initiative at the UCLA Center for Justice. Her work involves co-facilitating seminars, organizing conferences, and fostering fellowships, showcasing her commitment to restorative justice and community development.


As a Holistic Defense Advocate at the Santa Barbara Public Defender’s Office, Rosie coordinated mental health diversions cases, providing comprehensive support to individuals in need of criminal defense. Her extensive experience also includes roles as a Social Work Intern at The Bronx Defenders and Release Aging People in Prison, where she delivered holistic legal defense services and crisis intervention.


Community and Leadership Service: Rosie is not only a professional leader but also an engaged community advocate. As a Collaborator for the Network for Advancing Abolitionist Social Work, she actively contributes to disseminating abolitionist content and building a network of like-minded social workers. Rosie's co-founding role in Power to The Youth (PTY) at Columbia University reflects her dedication to developing leadership and mentorship programs.


Her community involvement spans roles as a Board Member for various organizations, including the National Plan for Hispanic Latino Ministries, the United Methodist Church, and the Salvadoran Consulate.


Fellowships and Research: Rosie has been a part of prestigious fellowships such as the Legal Education Access Pipeline (LEAP) and the Munger, Tolles, and Olson Diversity Law Fellowship. Her research experience includes roles in the Narratives of Freedom Oral History Research Collective, Guardian Angels Immigration Court Watch, and the National Day-Laborers Organizing Network Research Team.


Certifications, Skills, & Interests: Rosie's skills are diverse and impressive, including fluency in Spanish, round table facilitation, and public speaking. Her certifications include training in Psychological First Aid and Trauma-Focused Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy. Beyond her professional pursuits, Rosie finds joy in snowboarding, skateboarding, and exploring new destinations.


Rosie Rios, as the Vice President of Sustainable South Pas, brings not only her rich educational background and professional expertise but also a profound commitment to fostering positive change in our community and beyond. Her multi-faceted contributions exemplify the values and mission of Sustainable South Pas.


Treasurer: Samara Hodgson


It is our pleasure to introduce Samara Hodgson, a dedicated and dynamic individual who serves as both a board member and Treasurer for Sustainable South Pas. Samara brings a wealth of experience in education, a passion for equal access, and an unyielding commitment to sustainability.


Education and Professional Background: Samara holds a bachelor's degree in psychology from Azusa Pacific University and a master's in education from Cal Poly Pomona. With around 8 years of experience in education, Samara is deeply committed to providing equal access to students of all ages and backgrounds. Her enthusiasm for learning and dedication to fostering educational opportunities have been the driving force behind her career.


Entrepreneurial Ventures: Beyond her contributions to education, Samara is a dynamic entrepreneur and community builder. Together with her fiancé, Robert Zapata, she runs South Pas Vintage and manages Hodgsons Antiques, a business deeply rooted in the world of vintage and antiques. The duo's creative spirit also led to the creation of South Pas Flea, a vibrant marketplace in the historic Mission District of South Pasadena.


Passion for Sustainability: Raised in the world of antiques by her mother, Peggy Hodgson, the owner of Hodgsons Antiques, Samara has been immersed in the realm of vintage and antiques throughout her entire life. This upbringing has fueled her deep passion for sustainability, and she actively seeks ways to integrate eco-friendly practices into both her professional and personal pursuits.


Contagious Energy and Community Spirit: Samara's energy is contagious, and her willingness to lend a helping hand to those in need is a testament to her genuine commitment to community service. Whether she is contributing to educational initiatives, managing antique stores, or organizing community events, Samara consistently brings a positive and inclusive spirit to everything she does.

In her role as Treasurer and board member at Sustainable South Pas, Samara Hodgson combines her diverse skills, educational expertise, and entrepreneurial spirit to contribute to the organization's mission. Her dedication to sustainability, community, and equal access makes her an invaluable asset to the board, embodying the values that Sustainable South Pas holds dear.


Board Member: Ricardo Martinez


We are delighted to introduce Ricardo Martinez, a dedicated and accomplished individual who brings a wealth of education, professional experience, and community leadership to his role as a board member at Sustainable South Pas.


Education: Ricardo is a proud graduate of the University of California, Davis, where he earned his Bachelor of Arts in Political Science Public Service & Philosophy in December 2018. He also holds a minor in Latin American & Hemispheric Studies. Ricardo's commitment to global perspectives led him to complete the One-Year PUC-Rio University of California Study Abroad Program in 2017-2018, enriching his understanding of international dynamics.


Professional Experience: Currently contributing to digital safety as part of TikTok's Risk and Response team since December 2021, Ricardo previously served in key roles within the United States House of Representatives. His tenure includes legislative staff responsibilities, a crucial role as a Staff Associate for the U.S. House Foreign Affairs Committee, and earlier service as a Congressional Intern. Before entering the realm of politics, Ricardo gained valuable experience as a Bank Teller at Bank of America and as a Research Assistant Intern at the BRICS Policy Center.


Additional Skills and Interests: Ricardo's linguistic versatility is noteworthy, as he is fluent in English and Spanish, and functionally proficient in Portuguese. Beyond his professional endeavors, he is a co-founder of La Puente Mutual Aid, a local advocacy organization in his hometown, the City of La Puente. This community group organizes to provide vulnerable individuals with essential resources such as water, food, and more, showcasing Ricardo's commitment to grassroots activism.

His dedication to political engagement is further evident in his role as the Assembly District 56 Delegate for the California Democratic Party. Additionally, Ricardo has demonstrated his commitment to public service by running as a City Council candidate in the City of La Puente for the 2022 general election.

Ricardo Martinez's multifaceted background, international perspective, and commitment to community advocacy make him a valuable addition to the Sustainable South Pas board. His diverse experiences and passion for positive change align seamlessly with the organization's mission, contributing to the collective effort to create a more sustainable and inclusive community.


Board Member: Magybet Mendez


We are delighted to introduce Magybet Mendez, an accomplished professional with an impressive eleven-year work history and a diverse skill set that spans project management, paralegal expertise, and a deep commitment to community service. Magybet's passion for making a positive impact is evident in her multifaceted career and her dedication to Sustainable South Pas.


Professional Profile: Magybet boasts an extensive eleven-year work history marked by her exceptional ability to manage multiple tasks, ensure project completion, and prioritize client satisfaction. Her experience in fast-paced and deadline-driven environments has honed her strong administrative skills, making her adept at overseeing office operations, managing personnel records, and excelling in case reporting. Fluent in Spanish, Magybet brings a multicultural perspective to her professional endeavors.


Core Competencies: Magybet's core competencies include adeptness in intake and discovery processes, office coordination, case research and reporting, meeting deadlines consistently, and tracking financials. Her well-rounded skill set positions her as a valuable asset in various capacities.


Professional Experience: Currently serving as the Nonprofit Founder of IMMIGO in Los Angeles, Magybet is actively involved in nonprofit management and operations, showcasing her dedication to creating positive change. Her prior roles include serving as a Senior Managing Paralegal at The Romero Firm, LLC., where she excelled in consultations, court filings, USCIS filings, office calendaring, file management, and payment collection. Magybet has also contributed significantly as an Immigration Specialist and Managing Paralegal at HMN Non-Profit Org-Accredited Office, and in various paralegal roles at Law Group and The Law Offices of Rosana Kitwai Cheung.


Education: Magybet holds a Paralegal Diploma from Paralegal Studies at Los Angeles Valley College, where she specialized in family law, criminal law, immigration law, and employment law. Her related coursework and internship at Neighborhood Legal Services Worker's Rights Department further enriched her understanding of the legal landscape. Additionally, she earned an AA in Political Science with a Business Management Certificate from Los Angeles Valley College.


Community Involvement and Awards: Magybet's commitment to community service is evident in her role as the co-founder of La Puente Mutual Aid, a local advocacy organization providing essential resources to vulnerable individuals. Her involvement as an Assembly District 56 Delegate for the California Democratic Party and a former City Council candidate in the City of La Puente underscores her dedication to civic engagement.


Magybet has received numerous accolades, including Certificates of Recognition from the California Legislature Assembly, the City of Los Angeles, and the U.S. House of Representatives, demonstrating her significant contributions to the community.


Magybet Mendez's extensive professional background, commitment to community service, and passion for positive change align seamlessly with the values of Sustainable South Pas, making her an invaluable asset to the board.


Board Member: Daniel Duron


We are pleased to introduce Daniel Duron, a distinguished professional in the field of renewable energy and a valuable member of the Sustainable South Pas board. Daniel's educational background, diverse work experience, and commitment to equitable sustainability make him an invaluable asset to the organization.


Education: Daniel holds a Bachelor of Science in Renewable Energy from Texas Tech University in Lubbock, Texas, showcasing his dedication to advancing sustainable practices. Additionally, he earned an Associate of Arts in History from Citrus Community College in Azusa, California, reflecting his well-rounded academic background.


Professional Experience: Daniel brings a wealth of experience to Sustainable South Pas, currently serving as an ORISE Workforce Development Fellow at the United States Department of Energy since February 2023. Prior to this, he served as an Environmental Policy Specialist at Strata Clean Energy, where his role involved navigating the complexities of environmental policies in the renewable energy sector.

His professional journey includes positions as a Construction Materials Field and Lab Technician at Braun Intertec, QA/QC Specialist at Signal Energy Constructors, and General Labor at WOOD Group USA. Each role has contributed to Daniel's versatile skill set and understanding of the renewable energy landscape.

Notably, Daniel served as a Solutions Specialist at Verizon Wireless (Corporate) from October 2017 to February 2020, highlighting his proficiency in diverse roles within the corporate sector.


Qualifications: Daniel Duron is a renewable energy policy expert with a strong professional background in federal programming, equitable workforce development, utility-scale energy project development, and project management. His commitment to advocating for underserved and underrepresented communities is a testament to his dedication to fostering sustainability in a socially responsible manner.

Daniel's multifaceted skill set, educational foundation, and dedication to community welfare make him an excellent addition to the Sustainable South Pas board. His expertise aligns seamlessly with the organization's mission to promote sustainability and inclusivity within the community.


Board Member: Jackie Hernandez


We are thrilled to introduce Jackie Hernandez, an esteemed member of the Sustainable South Pas board, whose rich educational background and extensive experience in public health make her a valuable asset to our organization.


Education: Jackie holds a Master in Public Health (M.P.H.) with a focus on Community Health Education from California State University, Northridge (CSUN), where she graduated in December 2020. Prior to her M.P.H., she earned a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology with a Minor in Sociology from California State University, Dominguez Hills (CSUDH) in May 2018.


Professional Experience: Jackie's commitment to public health is evident in her roles as a Health Educator, where she has contributed significantly to various initiatives. Currently, she serves at the Los Angeles County Public Health Department in the Office of Women’s Health, focusing on reproductive health and the Abortion Safe Haven program. Her previous role in the Environmental Health department showcased her dedication to COVID-19 prevention strategies and employer education.

Her tenure at the American Lung Association involved managing grants for tobacco control policy, conducting outreach in marginalized communities, and facilitating bilingual workshops for health prevention.


Jackie's experience extends to organizations such as Peer Health Exchange and Salud Al Pueblo, where she served as a founding health educator and public health advisor, respectively. Her expertise includes program development, stakeholder engagement, and community outreach.


Community Leadership & Advocacy: Jackie's leadership extends beyond her professional roles. As a Public Health Advisor and Educator at Salud Al Pueblo, she mentors students, provides financial advice, and participates in public panels. Her involvement with Public Health Awakened Los Angeles Chapter and Canyon City Environmental Project reflects her commitment to health justice, social justice, and environmental health advocacy.


Certifications: Jackie is a Certified Health Education Specialist (CHES) with the National Commission for Health Education Credentialing. Additionally, she holds a certification from the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

Jackie Hernandez's dedication to public health, education, and community advocacy aligns seamlessly with the mission of Sustainable South Pas. Her expertise and passion for creating positive community impact make her an invaluable member of our board.


Board Member: Ruben Flores


We are delighted to introduce Ruben Flores, a dedicated member of the Sustainable South Pas board, whose educational background, professional experience, and commitment to community growth make him an invaluable asset to our organization.


Education: Ruben holds a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology and Public Policy from the University of California, Berkeley. His academic journey also includes an Associate Degree in Social Behavior and Sociology from Mt San Antonio College.


Work Experience: Currently serving as a Junior Paralegal at Nelson and Fraenkel LLP, Ruben brings legal insight and analytical skills to our board. His previous roles include being a Research and Operations Specialist at Oakland Rising and a College and Career Advisor at East Bay Consortium. Ruben's dedication to student support and advising is further evident in his role as a Student Mentor and Assistant at Trio Upward Bound.


Community & Volunteer Work: Ruben actively engages in community and volunteer work, demonstrating a commitment to making a positive impact. As a Collegium Research Fellow at the Berkeley Interdisciplinary Migration Initiative, he contributed to an ongoing policy analysis of Bay Area community development, focusing on combating spatial inequality. Additionally, he served as the House Treasurer at Casa Joaquin Murrieta, where he collaborated on various initiatives, including house meetings, developmental workshops, and fundraising activities.


Qualifications: Ruben's diverse background, combining legal expertise, community engagement, and data analysis, positions him as a well-rounded contributor to Sustainable South Pas. His extensive network in education, non-profit organizations, and local government aligns seamlessly with our mission, providing valuable connections that can contribute significantly to achieving our goals. Ruben's passion for community growth, coupled with his personal experience and knowledge, makes him an instrumental member of our board and a key asset to our organization. We look forward to benefiting from his insights and contributions to further our mission.


Board Member: Christina Rodriguez


Sustainable South Pas is honored to welcome Christina V. Rodriguez, MBA, to our esteemed board. With an impressive academic background and a wealth of professional experience, Christina brings a unique blend of skills and a passion for diversity, equity, and inclusion.


Education: Christina's dedication to education is evident through her diverse academic journey:

  • Doctorate in Education (Present) - Mills College at Northeastern University

  • Diversity, Equity and Inclusion in the Workplace Certificate (2021)

  • Master's in Business Administration, Emphasis in Marketing (2017) - University of South Florida

  • Bachelor of Arts in La Raza Studies (2012) - Notre Dame da Namur University

Skills & Qualifications: Christina's extensive skill set includes:

  • Strong leadership with a focus on creating positive cultures of belonging and learning environments.

  • Expertise in advising and a passion for assisting others in achieving their academic and professional goals.

  • Bilingual proficiency in English and Spanish, with excellent verbal and written communication skills.

  • Academic advisor experience for community college transfers to CSU/UC and graduate school admissions.

  • Technology expert with proficiency in various tools, including Microsoft Office, Adobe Creative Suites, Google Docs, and more.

  • In-depth knowledge of California Labor Laws, Fair Housing Laws, and other relevant regulations.


Professional Affiliations: Christina is actively involved in various professional organizations, including Insider Higher Education, Latinx Education Creators Association, and the National Apartment Association, among others. Her engagement showcases her commitment to staying informed and contributing to industry advancements.


Teaching Experiences: As a guest lecturer and facilitator, Christina has shared her knowledge on housing education, graduate school admissions, and housing insecurity at institutions such as San Francisco State University, UC Berkeley, and Solano Community College.


Professional Work Experience: In her role as Marketing & Education Manager at Woodmont Real Estate Services from 2015 to 2022, Christina managed over 6000+ units of apartment internet listing services, led marketing campaigns, and executed company events. Her efforts were recognized through awards for Emergency Preparedness, Creative Value, and Exceptional People.


Community Engagement: Christina's commitment to community growth extends beyond her professional roles. As the Founder/Creator of Latinas with Masters, LLC, she has created a podcast aimed at inspiring and empowering communities of color. Her advocacy work includes panel speaking engagements and keynote presentations at various institutions.


Awards and Recognitions: Christina has received several awards, including the 2021 Exceptional People Recognition for her community involvement and the 2019 Corporate Super Star Award for implementing virtual and self-guided tours.

Sustainable South Pas is privileged to have Christina V. Rodriguez as a valuable member of our board, and we look forward to benefitting from her insights and dedication to sustainability and community well-being.



These dedicated individuals collectively guide Sustainable South Pas towards achieving its goals, ensuring that every effort contributes to a brighter and more sustainable future. As we unite under a shared vision, our board members lead the way, inspiring change and fostering a sense of community and purpose.

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