Brenda grew up in Cudahy, Maywood, and Bell, moving around these three cities every few years as a child. Brenda graduated from UCLA in 2008 with a BA in history with a minor in Latin American studies. Brenda has a professional background that includes bicycle safety education for youth & adults, taking youth out on rides throughout Los Angeles, planning group bike camping trips, sustainable food production & land management, and leading youth and adults on hiking trips. Currently, Brenda works for the LA County Bicycle Coalition as the Community Engagement Manager.
Hi, my name is Melissa . I go by She/her. I am fluent in English and Spanish. On my mother’s side, I am a first-generation Mexican American. My passion is early childhood outdoor education. Also a mother to three beautiful and healthy children. My goal is to develop access to outdoor education for underprivileged youth in my area. I am a licensed early childhood educator. I have served youth in my community over the past 3 years as a volunteer for free forest school and local homeschool cooperatives. I created a personal Facebook blog on nature schooling: facebook.com/mynaturetribe. I hope to update parents through this platform on nature for all events and future initiatives.
My name is Jordan, a few years ago I started a community organization called Cleaner Greener Whittier with an emphasis on environmental justice and empowering the community to see themselves as change-makers. I’m also passionate about connecting families and children to the nature hidden within the “concrete jungle” and breaking down barriers to access the pockets of nature available to us. I’m very eager to join Nature For All’s Leadership Academy and develop my skills to better serve my community!
Ariel Dela Cruz
Ariel is a passionate eco educator and sustainability professional wanting to bring awareness of environmental justice and mindfulness through community education and engagement. Her focus is on empowering BIPOC and low-income communities towards taking action in combating climate change. Ariel’s overall mission is to navigate consumerism in today’s society with plastic pollution, waste management, and air and water quality. She has worked in the environmental non-profit sector for the past 5 years and has experience in public engagement. Through her experience of outdoor trips and traveling to different countries, she wants to provide opportunities for others to get outdoors more and gain a deep appreciation of what Mother Nature provides. Her hope is for others to become stewards in protecting the one home we have – the Earth.
Hello, my name is Lionel. I grew up in the San Fernando Valley my whole life; I attended public schools in the Valley; including going to community college and transferring to a university. I graduated from CSUN with a B.A. in Sociology with an emphasis in Criminology & Criminal Justice. I attended Graduate School where I took courses in Public Administration (MPA). I recently completed my graduate studies and finished grad school. I have a passion for Public Service and Civics. Currently, I am a Tree Ambassador with TreePeople where we do Tree Care and Tree Planting events in the local community. Our goal is to increase the tree canopy in underrepresented and underprivileged communities. We do outreach and tree distributions in Los Angeles and the San Fernando Valley. I’ve been with Tree People since July. The work that we do is for a good cause.
In my free time, I go hiking in the local mountains such as the San Gabriel Mountains, Santa Monica Mountains, and Griffith Park. I enjoy hiking because I want to be closer to Nature. I enjoy the breeze and the birds chirping among the trees. It is a great way to deal with the mental stress of city life. I also participate in volunteer work to advocate for social and environmental causes because I believe in a future where people have access to parks, beaches, and the mountains for recreation and exploration.
My name is Kyle Cavazos and I’m a Texas transplant living and working in Los Angeles, CA. My passions include exploring and connecting with nature, going to house/techno raves for cosmic dancing, thrifting to satisfy my love for personal style, and holding space for deep spiritual talks, healing, and meditation. My deepest desire is to pursue inner freedom to the highest degree and live a life full of gratitude. I wish to connect everyone to the infinite wisdom and support we can receive from nature and show how we can use it as a gateway to discover the expansive love and truth in our hearts. Thank you for being here!
Iliana Lagunas Abundez
Hi my name is Perla Iliana Lagunas Abundez I was born in Zacatepec Morelos Mexico came to North Hills California December of 1989 I am concern of the quality of life we lived that’s why I report to MyLA311 app every week to keep my area and around clean living in dirty conditions and surrounded by garbage generates anxiety, depression, attracts insects, rodents, pollutes water ,air and ground we also have sanitation truck drivers alone picking up heavy bulky items we don’t have parking enforcement patrolling on Mondays and Fridays between 8am 10am when the street sweeper passes by so a lot of people don’t move there park cars on the street street stays dirty because of the park cars I hope that future generations will value the environment more we need Immigration Reform Now !Reforma Migratoria Ahora!
Sandra (Sol) Ruiz
Sandra is a first-generation indigenous migrant from El Salvador, unceded Kuskatan. They often reminisce on their grandparents’ teachings about building respectful and meaningful relationships with the land, which serves as a source of inspiration for their community work. Sandra has the privilege of being the first person in their family to graduate from Middlebury College, a private undergraduate institution. After finding pieces of home away from home in Vermont, Brazil, and the Dominican Republic, Sandra is looking forward to continuing to forge connections between community and nature. They seek to honor the communal knowledge and the biodiversity that co-exist in an urban area like Los Angeles, CA. Their vision is to redefine the narrative of the “environmentalist,” which often excludes low-income, BIPOC, and systematically impacted people who have limited to no access to outdoor spaces.
As an artist, educator, and lifelong learner, Sandra hopes to bring their passion for community empowerment through nature journaling, birdwatching, and sensory learning, where they aim to encourage keen observation, critical thought, and holistic wellness among youth and adults alike.
Rebecca (Pahtli) Nunez
Hello! My name is Rebecca Nunez but you can call me Pahtli. I am a queer indigenous person current living on Tongva Land. I am a mental health therapist and social worker. I care deeply about servicing my community especially when it comes to BIPOC. As an Indigenous person I believe we all have a strong connection and obligation to protect and honor the land as the land is part of us and we are a part of the land. This includes honoring and advocating for the Native People of the land you reside on . Throughout my lifetime I have seen the land being more destroyed than ever by capitalism and colonialism, this not only hurts the spirit of the land but also deeply affects the mental health of all us. Being a part of the Nature for all Leadership Academy I hope to learn more about the way we can come together to honor and protect our Mother Earth.
I’m Azeneth Martinez, a long time Pacoima resident. I was born in Coahuila Mexico and came to the USA at the age of 10. I graduated from CSUN with a BA in Urban Planning and Chicanx Studies. Ever since my childhood I had questions on why every community I lived in was surrounded by pollution and lack of green space. I also always saw my neighbors filled with powerful people who will help each other regardless of having very little. I am currently working for Nature for All navigating new spaces and learning on how we can make the outdoors more accessible specially to communities that look like mine. I use different mediums to explore healing through nature like dance, paint and clothes. I am very interested on immigration and childhood topics and the ways nature can help heal. I am very excited to begin the Leadership Academy and get new ideas for future projects.
Zee is a trans-queer AfroIndigenous sacred seed to the lands of Kuskatan, now known as El Salvador. They graduated the University of California Riverside with a B.S in Political Science Law and Society. They were born and raised in South Central LA–a city full of culture and small pockets of home gardens. Admired by their grandmas sacred connection to nature by having watched her tend to her fruits trees and make medicinal tinctures, Zee is constantly reminded of a nurturing reciprocity to not only the land, but to self and those around us–true meaningful relationships that informs the power of connection to ultimately bring transformation. Drawing inspiration from their grandma and earth stewards like Fannie Lou Hamer, Zee brings 10 years of community organizing and popular political education, alongside their profound commitment to reciprocal healing between soil and self.
They currently serve as the Program Coordinator with Community Nature Connection’s Transit to Trails and Public Programs, where they provide access to outdoor interpretive programs relating to campfires, nature talks, hikes, and skill-shares. Outside of work, Zee co-leads Rootin’ 4 Us, a land-based collective where they empower communities through land liberation, community food networks, and ancestral knowledge and practices. Zee’s overall experience in community organizing and land stewardship informs their connection with Nature For All’s community work of protecting public lands, connecting community to nature, protecting water resources, and developing leaders because it means creating meaningful impacts on people’s lives and the environment we live in.
A few activities that energize Zee are cooking, birding, hiking, and nature journaling.
Hi my name is Angela, I just joined the San Gabriel Valley Conservation Corps as an Outreach Coordinator. After studying environmental science, environmental studies, and with a concentration on geospatial analysis, then to getting a certificate in sustainable systems and technology for organics waste recycling. I hope to grow my love for food, friends and family, while striving for the greater purpose of growing our local and global communities through community action and celebration, to food empowerment with a commitment to community action against climate-change, decarbonization, and decolonization. When the hopes become nopes, I pet my cats when they let me.
Angel Arellano is born/raised in Pomona, California. He is 23 years old and has a 3 year old son named Elias. Angel enjoys spending time bonding with his son, journaling/writing notes, shooting pictures, and going into nature for spiritual purposes. He currently works at SGVCC, IVVRC, and does freelance photography. His favorite food is pizza.