CAP’s team is dynamic and smart and fun -- and deeply committed to the fundamental value that college can change lives.
Mo HymanExecutive Director
As one of CAP’s founders, Mo can’t think of anywhere else on earth she’d rather be. The students she meets everyday inspire her to work hard and laugh a lot. It’s easy for her to be passionate about college: it was as an undergraduate at Michigan State University receiving a BA in English that Mo developed into a scholar, became a community advocate, and made the friends of a lifetime. She has since gone on to obtain an MA in English from the University of New Mexico and a Masters of Public Administration from USC and spent nearly two decades teaching community college English, which helped to build her passion for educational equality and access. CAP allows her to combine these passions and work shoulder-to-shoulder with the most amazing students, staff, board, and community she could have ever imagined.
In addition to her role at CAP, Mo proudly serves on the Leadership Council of Collaborate PASadena, a shared initiative of the Pasadena Public School district, community organizations, and the city/local governments of Pasadena, Altadena, and Sierra Madre. She also serves on the board of Action Kivu, a nonprofit organization that collaborates with local nongovernmental organizations in the Democratic Republic of Congo and invests in Congo’s women, children, and communities through vocational training and education, creating paths toward peace and prosperity.
Sarah PromnitzDirector of Programs
A native of San Bernardino County, Sarah earned a B.A. in United States History from California State University San Bernardino in 2009. From there, she moved to Los Angeles to pursue graduate studies at UCLA, earning a Master’s degree in US History in 2012. Sarah first came to the CAP family in 2013, serving for more than a year as a Program Development VISTA to enhance existing programs, promote parental involvement, and expand alumni engagement opportunities. After a brief tenure as a college adviser in South Los Angeles, Sarah returned to CAP as Director of Programs and is excited to be working toward educational equality in Pasadena, and is eager to share her experiences as a teacher, mentor, and advocate with CAP’s amazing students.
“Why CAP? Because I believe in the mission. Students in PUSD deserve top-quality college counseling, and they deserve a designated place on campus to get it. Ultimately, I adore my work because of them. I see them changing their communities, campuses, and lives every single day, and every single day I'm inspired.”
-Sarah Promnitz, Director of Programs
Joanne DoDirector of Outreach & Engagement
Joanne is a Southern Californian through and through. She grew up in Orange County before moving to Los Angeles to attend UCLA, earning a B.A. in American Literature and Culture. After a stint working in the entertainment industry, Joanne went on to earn an M.A. in Literature from Loyola Marymount University, where she served as a Graduate Assistant for the English Graduate Program, a Graduate Writing Instructor with the Engineering Graduate Program, and a Summer Research Fellow to execute the English Graduate Program’s inaugural service learning project. These experiences in addition to her academic work reinvigorated her passion for service and action. Prior to taking on her current role as Director of Outreach and Engagement, Joanne committed a year of service to CAP as a Program Development VISTA.
“CAP isn't cookie cutter. We're people-driven. We understand that people are wonderfully complicated, reliably unpredictable, and utterly unique, so we adapt: to community needs, to student needs, to each others' needs. I love CAP because we don't try to fit into other people's molds and we don't try to fit our students into molds. We take stock of our ingredients and try to come up with a recipe for what we have, doing our best to highlight the special ingredients and believing that a cookie cutter isn't necessary for cookies to be tasty.”
-Joanne Do, Director of Strategic Partnerships & Engagement
Lina Calderón-MorinHigh School Program Manager
Lina has been CAP ‘s #1 fan since she was first recruited as a volunteer back in 2007. She has held various staff roles since 2011 while pursuing her own educational goals and returned to CAP in 2015 as the Program Specialist and College Transition Counselor. Lina loves getting to know each unique student in PUSD’s high schools as well as at Learning Works Charter School and their partner site with Homeboy Industries. Working with such diverse groups of students -- from students attending traditional high schools to adult learners enrolling in college for the first time -- has solidified Lina's passion and dedication to making college accessible to all. Lina holds a BA in Sociology and Public Policy from the University of San Francisco and an MSW from USC and is a member of the American Counseling Association. She considers herself lucky to work with the best students and best staff in the world.
Natasha MahoneMiddle School & Parent Engagement Program Manager
Natasha Mahone joined CAP in the Spring of 2016. Born and raised in Southern California, Natasha graduated from California State University Northridge with double major in Psychology and Pan African Studies.
With over 20 years of experience in youth leadership and community programs, Natasha is committed to preparing students and families for college. Her wealth of experience spans from Director of Programs to individual academic counseling. Her passion to fulfill the need of our community was acknowledged by the Pasadena Unified School District, which awarded Natasha Volunteer of the Year in 2016. Natasha knows that striving for higher education is challenging and not sought by all students, but she believes all should be afforded the opportunity. Natasha is thrilled to serve the parents and middle school students of PUSD in her role with CAP!
Jane LeongProgram Coordinator
Jane received her B.A. in Psychology and Social Behavior with a minor in French from UC Irvine and her M.A. in Counseling at Loyola Marymount University. She aspires to bridge the gap for college accessibility and has worked for federal TRiO programs such as McNair Scholars and Upward Bound. Prior to joining CAP, Jane has had experience teaching in various school districts as well as in schools internationally. She is honored to serve the students and families of Pasadena Unified School District as a Program Coordinator.
Innesa RanchparProgram Coordinator
Innesa’s love of literature is the driving force for her educational career; she received a B.A. in English from University of La Verne in 2012 and an M.A. in English from Chapman University in 2016. She first realized her commitment to prioritizing educational equality for the underserved community while teaching reading and writing workshops at Recovery Education Institute. These workshops were offered to adults with "lived experience" of mental illness who were going back to school to complete an educational degree or certificate. Innesa felt incredibly moved by this experience because she witnessed the positive impact educational opportunities can have on the community, and she's made a promise to herself to work alongside organizations that share this vision. This is why she loves CAP so much! During the 2016-17 school year, Innesa taught community college English and served as a CAP volunteer. She is so excited to be a part of the CAP team as a Project Coordinator and is invested in providing unconditional support to high-school students to help them build a proper foundation necessary for their transition into college.
Elena ArellanProgram Assistant
Elena has found her passion for helping youth in the community reach their academic and personal goals. Having been born and raised in Pasadena, Elena has had firsthand experience with what this community can offer to its students. As a first-generation college graduate and a former PUSD student, the CAP program hits home. She graduated from John Muir High School in 2012, where she regularly attended CAP. Elena is a graduate from the University of Redlands where she received her B.A. in Sociology and Anthropology in 2016. She is proud to give back to the community that helped mold the young, vibrant woman she is today. Elena would like to continue inspiring youth to broaden their academic paths to be successful in life-changing careers. She is also looking forward to continuing her path in pursuing higher education. Elena is excited to work with such a great and supportive team as well as the students and parents in PUSD. She feels so blessed to be part of a passionate organization that has changed her life.
Becky SouzaResource Development VISTA
Rebeca Itzel Souza graduated Blair High School in 2013, where she was a regular CAP program participant. During her first year of college, CAP was there for her emotionally and mentally. Rebeca is a first generation college student who graduated from Humboldt State University in 2017 with a degree in Communication and Studio Art. Her natural penchant for knowledge and challenges has always been her motivation. Becky's ambition is to teach and support college students to achieve their goals in their college education. In her spare time, she enjoys spending time with her friends and family, playing with her pets, and going to fancy dinners with her boyfriend.