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
650-779-5000   |   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.

Lianne Aratea
Program Coordinator
650-779-5000   |   lianne@peninsulacollegefund.org

Lianne is a San Diego, CA native and attended San Diego State University for her undergrad. After undergrad, Lianne moved away from San Diego to San Jose where she worked for 2 years as a College Adviser with UC Berkeley's Destination College Advising Corps at Overfelt High School. During her time in this position, she learned about college access and was also introduced to PCF as they would come to the high school to present the amazing scholarship opportunity to students. Lianne is currently a graduate student in the Master's program of Higher Education and Student Affairs and the University of San Francisco and looks forward to supporting scholars in PCF through her role as a Program Coordinator while also applying newly acquired knowledge from her graduate program.

Vanessa Magaña
Program Coordinator
650-779-5002   |   vanessa@peninsulacollegefund.org

Vanessa Magaña was born and raised in Hayward, CA and is a first-generation college graduate. She attended San Jose State University and earned her bachelor’s degree in Psychology with a minor in Sociology. After graduating from SJSU, she started her fellowship with UC Berkeley's Destination College Advising Corps where she served as a College Advisor at Mt. Eden High School in Hayward. In this role, she empowered first-gen, low-income, and underrepresented youth to view higher education as a feasible option after high school. During the summer, Vanessa works with another non-profit called Camp Phoenix as a Head Counselor, where she supports low-income youth from Oakland to close the opportunity gap and combat summer learning loss. Vanessa has always had a passion for supporting youth in different capacities and is excited to bring those passions and all that she’s learned in her prior roles to PCF and PCF scholars. Outside of her professional life, she enjoys attending concerts and music festivals (pre-COVID-19) and hanging with friends and family at the beach.

Martha E. Corral
Development, Marketing and Operations Coordinator
650-779-5000   |   martha@peninsulacollegefund.org

Martha E. Corral was born and raised in Newark, CA and is a first-generation college student. She attended De Anza College and obtained her Associate of Arts in Liberal Arts with an emphasis on Social and Behavioral Sciences. Having worked while in school advanced her career. It allowed her to climb the career ladder at a young age. Her job offered her amazing opportunities with potential for growth, but she knew she would face a glass ceiling and obtaining a four-year degree would be able to break it.

Martha attended California State University, Northridge and majored in Communication Studies. While at CSUN, she focused her studies on the intersectionality of communication in human relations, cultural studies, social justice, training and development. Due to her own story, Martha is passionate about career development, specifically for first-generation scholars. She enjoys traveling and learning about different cultures.

Cara Magliaro
Community Engagement Coordinator
650.779.5000   |   cara@peninsulacollegefund.org

Cara Magliaro joins PCF in community outreach and engagement with more than 10 years in educational and leadership positions. A first-generation college student, Cara graduated from Cornell University with a B.S. in Education to pursue her lifelong goal of educating, connecting, and serving others to make the world a better place. Outside of PCF, Cara stays busy raising her three kids, two dogs, and three chickens and is greatly looking forward to traveling again soon.