Bachelor of Arts: Political Science
University of California, Berkeley
Certificate: Nonprofit Management Fundamentals
College of Extended Learning, San Francisco State University
Semester of study
Universidad Nacional Autonóma de México, Mexico City, Mexico
Paola is an associate project director with CompassPoint. She works across practice areas as a project manager and thought partner on client engagements. Paola also plays a role in our internal practice management as the link between new client intake, staff deployment, and operations.
Before working at CompassPoint, Paola worked as the Community Affairs Manager at the Latino Community Foundation, where she was responsible for the coordination of grant making activities, managing donor relations, and organizing community outreach efforts. During her time at LCF, Paola developed systems to support the foundation’s growth as a statewide funder. Paola is a former research fellow of the Latino Issues Forum, a statewide policy advocacy organization. As a fellow, her research focused on K-12 education funding reform, and the relationship between juvenile delinquency and high school attrition rates—a piece of the school-to-prison pipeline. As part of her fellowship, she completed a nine-month assignment in Mayor Gavin Newsom’s Office of Education.
Paola is the daughter of two loving, immigrant parents from México and Guatemala. Her roots are in the east San Fernando Valley in Los Angeles, where she first became aware of systemic inequality as a volunteer completing numerous wage claim forms at a local worker’s rights clinic. Since then, Paola has been committed to work in service of social equity through the nonprofit sector: “I work in leadership development because I believe that it is key to self-empowerment and agency, which are pivotal forces in the fight for social equity.”
- Arc Toward Justice Cohort Program: The Arc Toward Justice Leadership and Solidarity Program, an initiative of the Akonadi Foundation, supports leaders working toward a racially just society for youth of color in Oakland. As part of the facilitation team, Paola set and managed program operations to successfully launch the inaugural cohort in 2015. In coordinating this project, Paola also received training as a Circle Process facilitator and played a role in delivery as a peer coaching circle and caucus facilitator.
- The Federation of Child Care Centers of Alabama (FOCAL): is a statewide membership organization, representing 300 community-based licensed child care providers (family home, group home, and center), parents, community leaders, and other child advocates throughout Alabama. Paola was a partner in delivering a transition process that honored the organization’s values by coordinating a timely and effective search for the next executive director of the founder-led organization.
- Washington State Nonprofit Leadership Scan: Funded by Social Venture Partners Seattle and the Statewide Capacity Collaborative, the scan deepened understanding of the state’s nonprofit sector and its contributions in building leadership capacity. Paola’s role on the project was to support project management and coordinate data gathering activities for the scan.
- Samaritan House: This safety-net organization based in San Mateo conducted an executive search for its new chief executive officer. Paola’s role was to ensure the timely and effective execution of the project, conduct stakeholder calls to gain an accurate leadership review of the organization, recruit potential applicants, conduct screening calls, manage logistics during the interview process, and monitor internal communications and project evaluation.
- CompassPoint’s Practice Management Committee: In this role, Paola monitors business development tracking systems and staff deployment. Paola’s experience as the intake coordinator and as a practice member guides her role on the committee to support the cultivation of new work with agencies.
- CompassPoint’s Multicultural Organizational Development Team: As part of this internal organizational committee, Paola works with the team to keep CompassPoint on target with its Multicultural Organizational Development plan; make recommendations to ensure that CompassPoint programs and communications reflect our values; and host internal discussions to heighten awareness, all toward the goal of social equity. Currently, the team is developing a racial justice agenda and race-based identity caucuses.