Educational Talent Search Staff

Michelle Guan

Senior Educational Advisor
George Washington High School

Michelle Guan grew up in San Francisco and graduated from Phillip & Sala Burton Academic High School. She then continued her education at UC Irvine where she received her B.A. in Public Health Policy and Anthropology in 2014.

During her time at UC Irvine, her involvement with the campus and community made her realize that she enjoyed helping others figure out what their dreams and aspirations were and how they could achieve them. With her current role as an Educational Advisor, she wants to encourage and provide necessary resources for her students to pursue their academic and career goals, whatever they may be.

Vicki Kong

Educational Advisor
​Galileo High School

Vicki Kong was born and raised in San Francisco. She was a participant of JCYC ETS (formerly AACE Talent Search) when she attended Galileo Academy of Science and Technology. Then, she went to University of San Francisco and graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Exercise and Sports Science.

After graduation, she worked with newcomer youths from China at Chinese Education Center. There, she found her passion in working with youths in achieving their highest potential. She believes that everyone should be able to achieve their dreams despite the obstacles they encounter.

arthur de la cruz

Educational Advisor
balboa High School

Arthur De La Cruz was born and raised in various suburbs of Los Angeles. He graduated from UC Berkeley with a double B.A. in History and Mass Communications. Beginning in 2008, Arthur began working for the Galing Bata Afterschool Program, the first Filipino bilingual afterschool program in the United States, located in the South of Market district of San Francisco. 

It is because of his work at Galing Bata that Arthur first realized his love for youth work and education. As Balboa High School's advisor he hopes to help students discover their potential and achieve great things.


Educational advisor
Jefferson High School

​​Cristina grew up in the East Bay and was part of a program in high school to promote a college-going culture and exploration of schools outside of California. She attended the University of Pennsylvania and graduated with a degree in history and a minor in Latin American/Latin@ studies. At Penn, Cristina was part of Big Brothers, Big Sisters and tutored local middle school students. Her most meaningful experience with youth was working as a teacher's aide for a first grade classroom in West Philadelphia. As an educational advisor, Cristina hopes to learn more about high school students and break down the complex college application process for them.



​1st year at SF State, Sociology



​1st year at USF, Entrepreneurship and Innovation



​1st year at SF State, Political Science

mitchie zeng

francisco middle school


lisi chen

francisco middle school


Kristin Tatum

Middle School Program Coordinator
Roosevelt Middle School

After graduating from college, Kristin led service learning projects for young people as an AmeriCorps member.
Next, she worked as an activity leader for Roosevelt Middle School's after school program.

Since joining JCYC ETS, Kristin coordinates tutoring at Roosevelt and organizes presentations and field trips that encourage youth to think about college and future careers. She is continually inspired by students' curiosity and determination.

Arleen Garcia

Educational Advisor
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Middle School

Arleen Garcia is a San Francisco native. She graduated from Thurgood Marshall High School. She went on to earn a B.S. in Conservation and Resource Studies from UC Berkeley.

During her time at Cal, she participated in outreach efforts to promote higher education to students throughout California. Arleen has a passion to empower youth and raise educational awareness to underserved communities. She is the Educational Advisor at Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Middle School. She will coordinate tutoring, field trips and presentations for the students. She looks forward to working with the students, as well as learning from them.

Kristenne Abalos

Educational Advisor
​Francisco Middle School

Kristenne Abalos is a Bay Area native and was the first in her family to attend college. She received her B.A. in Psychology from UC Berkeley. While at Cal, Kristenne participated in various youth groups and even facilitated an orientation class where students could learn ways to be successful in college.

After graduating in 2012, she worked at a Filipino Bilingual Afterschool Program committed to the care and guidance of its participants. Kristenne is very passionate about supporting students in their endeavors and hopes to help them realize their potential through the services she provides. She looks forward to working with everyone this year.

Diane cho

Educational Advisor
Thomas R Pollicita Middle School

Diane Cho was born and raised in San Francisco and first learned about JCYC in middle school, when her brother participated in one of JCYC's workforce programs, SF YouthWorks. In high school, she was an Educational Talent Search participant at Galileo Academy of Science and Technology.

Diane went on to attend UC Berkeley, where she majored in Cognitive Science and minored in Education. While in college, Diane worked with youth throughout the Bay Area, ranging from preschoolers in children's museums to middle school students for the REACH Let's Rise! Mentorship Program and high school students for CollegeSpring's SAT prep program. Diane looks forward to being an educational advisor so that she can continue to mentor youth and help them realize their own potentials.

justin butac

educational advisor
james denman middle school

​Justin Butac was born and raised in San Francisco. He grew up with JCYC as a participant in the Tomodachi Summer and Teen Program. During high school in the summer he volunteered as a counselor.  He continued his involvement with JCYC in college by working during the summer months with youth in the same program.  It is because of his early participation and support with JCYC that he found his passion for working with youth. 
Justin graduated from University of Hawaii at Manoa with a B.A in American Studies and Minor in History.  During his time in college, he worked with the after school programs in the Honolulu School District.  He continued his passion for helping youth to succeed academically there.  Justin is excited to be an educational advisor at James Denman Middle School and looks forward to inspiring and working with students to achieve great things




naomi neal

francisco middle school


trang tran

francisco middle school