MODERATOR: YOLANDA VALENZUELA
Yolanda Valenzuela is the founder and CEO of Alamo City Consultants. She holds a Master’s Degree in Counseling & Guidance and is currently pursuing a PhD in Psychology. She has more than two decades of experience in Special Education and Mental Health education. In addition, Yolanda has 15 years of Nonprofit organization experience working for a local Volunteer based Nonprofit. Yolanda holds a National Certification in Nonprofit management.
Emma fay rudkin, aid the silent
Emma Faye is an internationally-known role model for the (D)deaf and hard-of-hearing (HOH) community and founder to nonprofit organization, Aid the Silent. Aid the Silent is a system of support for the four main programs of: deaf ministry, deaf education, deaf research and deaf resources. The overall mission is to aid economically-disadvantaged deaf children and teens to reach their full potential and to live life more richly by providing funds to receive hearing and speech resources (hearing aids, FM systems, speech therapy), ASL lessons, ministry-related activities and education enrichment programs.
LOWELL BUTLER, GOODWILL INDUSTRIES
Lowell was born in Louisiana but spent a lot of time in the Mississippi Gulf Coast area. It was at that time he was first exposed to national service. His first term of service with AmeriCorps was with a state and national project called the TeachUp program, where he helped Mississippi educators integrate technology into their schools and other surrounding areas. After graduating with his bachelor’s degree in business administration; Lowell relocated to San Antonio, Texas and went on to serve as an AmeriCorps VISTA with Texas Impact. Lowell was an outreach coordinator helping to connect low-income families to state benefits.
Mr. Butler later served as VISTA Leader with the City of San Antonio’s Promise Zone with the Office of Eastpoint, in this role he served as a mentor and a local resource for new VISTAs. After concluding his year of national service he went on occupy the role of Volunteer Program Coordinator at Goodwill Industries of San Antonio.
His latest assignment with Goodwill Industries was the result of a partnership with San Antonio Education Partnership where he served as a College Access & Success Advisor where he worked with adult learners to complete their college degrees. During that time he also earned his Master of Public Administration degree.
michael guajardo, sa lighthouse for the blind
Michael Guajardo is the Supervisor for the assistive technology department at the San Antonio Lighthouse for the Blind and Vision Impaired (SALBVI). As an assistive technology specialist, he and his team assists other individuals with vision impairments by providing computer training and conducting technology evaluations. Mr. Guajardo is a graduate of Texas A & M University Kingsville where he earned his Bachelor’s degree in Computer Information Systems.
melissa cochran, whataburger
Melissa was born in Boston, MA in 1983. Melissa has lived in San Antonio for 26 years, and loves participating in local events that help raise money for music and the arts. Melissa has worked at Whataburger for 10 years and loves being an important part of the team.
MARIAH KILBOURNE, UTSA SMALL BUSINESS DEV. CENTER
Mariah works full time as the Training Coordinator for the UTSA Small Business Development Center. She coordinates and organizes training workshops and assists with special events.Mariah joined the SBDC in 2015 and brings with her more than four years of experience working with the City of Seguin, Texas in Economic Development. She has written many articles for various local publications promoting small business and economic development.
She earned her Bachelor of Arts in Communication Studies from Texas Lutheran University. She is an adaptive sports enthusiast, avid concert-goer, and loves to write. She has been honored to serve as Ms. Wheelchair Texas in 2012 & Ms. Wheelchair America in 2013. Mariah is a strong advocate for diversity and inclusion.