Our Team

Christina Mireles
Executive Director
650-779-5001   |   christina@peninsulacollegefund.org

Christina grew up in San Jose, CA and attended Harker Academy (grades 3-8; now known as The Harker School) and Presentation High School (9-12) on academic- and need-based scholarships. She then went on to Tufts University where she earned a BA in Political Science with thesis honors, followed by a Master in Public Policy from Georgetown University and a Juris Doctor from Northwestern University. Prior to joining PCF, Christina served as Deputy Director at Escuela Popular, a K-12 charter school in East San Jose that serves a predominantly Latino student population, many of whom are recent immigrants.

For nearly nine years, she spearheaded Escuela Popular’s operations – strategy, HR, compliance, legal, finance, and board relations. Christina entered the charter school landscape through Ed Tec, a mission-driven for-profit company providing back-office services to charter schools throughout the United States. Christina began her career nearly 20 years ago as an attorney with Crowell & Moring, a Washington, D.C. law firm. She is currently on the Board of Directors of Oxford Day Academy, a charter school in East Palo Alto. Given her personal story, Christina is passionate about serving minority and low-income students who need just a little extra support to realize their dreams. In her spare time, she enjoys traveling for pleasure and spending time with her three children and her husband.

Natalie Walker
Development Director
650-249-7754   |   natalie@peninsulacollegefund.org

Natalie Walker grew up in East Palo Alto and is a first-generation college student. She attended Gunn High School and graduated from UCLA with a BA degree in Economics. Natalie brings 25+ years of corporate sales and marketing experience including sales management, business development, and program management success. Additionally, she has 10+ years of non-profit volunteer and leadership experience. Currently, as Board President of the Ivy & Pearls Foundation, her leadership responsibilities include driving strategy, developing, and managing relationships with external stakeholders and partners. She plays a major role in identifying, cultivating, soliciting, and stewarding major individual donors, corporate, and/or foundation gifts. In January, Natalie was selected as an IDEA Fellow (Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, and Access) by the Association of Fundraising Professionals – Silicon Valley. She is also a Year Up and East Bay College Fund Mentor. Natalie resides in Alameda, is the proud mother of a daughter, and enjoys travelling.

Denise Villamil
Director of Career Services
650-727-6563   |   denise@peninsulacollegefund.org

Denise Villamil joins PCF after 15 years in program design/evaluation, relationship building, and management development within the corporate and non-profit sectors. Throughout her career she has been actively involved in developing diverse workforces’ personal and professional development, and consulting organizations in program management and strategic direction. She has a passion for helping individuals realize their career aspirations and highest personal potential. Denise graduated magna cum laude in Business Management from National University. A native Californian, Denise enjoys spending time with family and friends, traveling, and giving back to the community through volunteering her time and talents to various non-profit organizations.

Yadira Antonio
Program Coodinator
650-542-8581   |   yadira@peninsulacollegefund.org

Yadira M. Antonio is a native of San Jose, CA. Prior to joining PCF, she's worked as a college adviser fellow for UC Berkeley's Destination College Advising Corps (DCAC). As a fellow, she worked assisting minority, first-generation and low-income students of color with the college application process. Yadira graduated from the University of California, Riverside with a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science and a Master's in Public Policy from the University of Southern California. While at USC, Yadira continued to pursue her interest in education and also discovered her passion for immigration policy. Yadira is passionate about assisting and supporting school staff, students, parents and communities in order to increase students’ academic attainment.

Rocio Castaneda
Program Coordinator
650-779-5002    |   rocio@peninsulacollegefund.org

Rocio Castaneda was born in El Paso, TX along the Texas-Mexico border and lived in Juarez, Mexico until she was 10 years old. She attended Emory University in Atlanta, GA where she majored in International Studies and Spanish. Her experiences at Emory allowed her to see the great inequity in education that many students of color and first-generation Americans experience. After graduation, she joined Teach For America and taught bilingual kindergarten in Dallas, TX and later in San Antonio, TX. She is passionate about bilingual education, early childhood education, working and supporting high school graduates on their way to college, and working with immigrant communities.

Veronica A. Rueda
Program Coordinator
650-542-0346   |   veronica@peninsulacollegefund.org

Veronica A. Rueda is a recent graduate of San Francisco State University, where she received a Bachelor of Arts in Studio Art and Art History. A San Jose native, she attended River Glen Bilingual Immersion School and Abraham Lincoln High School. After college, Veronica served as a College Advisor at Pioneer High School through UC Berkeley’s college access program, Destination College Advising Corps. As a College Advisor, she gained experience working with first-generation, low-income, underrepresented students and helped them apply and transition to college. Veronica is passionate about empowering students and families to reach their educational goals. She also hopes to help other artists and creatives alike feel like they have a place in academia.

Edher Zamudio
Program Coordinator
650-839-7190   |   edher@peninsulacollegefund.org

Edher A. Zamudio migrated to San Francisco, California from Lima, Peru in 2005. He attended City College of San Francisco (CCSF) and later graduated from San Francisco State University (SFSU) in Sociology and Latina/o Studies in 2014. During his undergraduate career, Edher worked as a teaching and research assistant at SFSU. Off campus, he volunteered at CCSF and worked in the field of education. In fall 2014, Edher began his graduate career at the University of California, Santa Cruz and received a Master of Arts degree in Latin American and Latino Studies in 2018. After completing his graduate education, he worked as a college and career advisor for GEAR UP, a federally funded program with the goal of increasing college readiness and awareness. Edher has two passions: (1) supporting and advocating for low-income, first-generation students in college and (2) Peruvian migration patterns to the Bay Area and how race, immigration status, and class affect immigrants' cultural transition.