Nancy George, Executive Director
Nancy George has an MS in educational leadership, and 30+ years of experience working with at-risk families and youth. She served as Director of Adult Education and Intervention Services in New Haven Unified School District, located in Union City's Decoto Neighborhood, for 8 years prior to being appointed Executive Director for UNION CITY FAMILY CENTER.
During her tenure in New Haven Unified School District, Ms. George successfully led efforts to secure supplemental funding to provide an award winning family literacy program, much needed education and support for citizens seeking naturalization, and support services for students of migrant families, to name a few. She was also instrumental in the design and implementation of a career and technical education program for adults and a district wide academic intervention program for students in kindergarten through twelfth grade.
In addition to her knowledge of serving at-risk and immigrant populations, Nancy has extensive expertise in program development, grant writing, and community and staff relations. She was one of the founding Co-chairs of the NHUSD Equity Task Force, serving in that capacity for over three years. Nancy was also one of the original members of the UNION CITY FAMILY CENTER collaborative group and has always been passionate and committed to community empowerment and to the families in this community.
Jennifer Hawkins, Manager
Before joining UNION CITY FAMILY CENTER in February of 2014 as Manager, Jennifer's passion for youth development, higher education, and youth/family/community empowerment stemmed from her experiences in nonprofit program management, school administration, education, and expanded learning. Jennifer found her niche in educational administration stemming from her previous role as the Dean of Students with a public charter school - this is where she realized that additional supports are essential for students and families’ academic and future successes, which led her to the mission and vision of UNION CITY FAMILY CENTER.
Jennifer holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Child Development from San Jose State University and a Masters of Arts in Education (School Administration concentration) from Stanislaus State University. With over 18 years of experience in the educational field coupled with her education, Jennifer, will continue to deepen her work in youth, family and community development through her role as the UNION CITY FAMILY CENTER Manager.
Although, Jennifer was born in Southern California, she calls the Bay Area her home; her extended family, UNION CITY FAMILY CENTER and New Haven Unified School District's students and community, reside in Union City, California. In her downtime, Jennifer enjoys spending time with her three kiddos and husband! She hopes to return to her longtime love of swimming as this is when she is freest spiritually. Her most favorite spot in the whole entire world is the Imperial Beach Pier located in Imperial Beach, California (the most southern beach in California)!
Ernesto Avina-Ramirez, Secretary
Ernesto Avina-Ramirez was hired as the UNION CITY FAMILY CENTER’s Staff Secretary in February of 2018. He has worked within the New Haven Unified School District since his high school days beginning as the Logan Health Center’s Peer Navigator during his senior year at James Logan High School, to Special Education Paraprofessional, and now as the UCFC Staff Secretary.
At the UNION CITY FAMILY CENTER, Ernesto is able to do what it is he loves to do, help his community and those in need of support or guidance. He is a very organized, detail oriented, and passionate professional and is always up for learning new things.
Ernesto is an outgoing, friendly, and understanding person who never fails to have a smile on his face, and loves to live by the quote, “Start each day with a grateful heart!” On his days off you can catch him listening to music while driving with his cousins by his side, shopping, relaxing at the beach at night or eating tacos. Ernesto is a guy with a huge heart and loves to love. He is a Son, Brother, and most importantly a friend that you can always count on.
Alexandra Cardenas, Family Service Assistant
Lourdes “ Luly” Villegas, Community Specialist
Lourdes has been a part of UNION CITY FAMILY CENTER since October of 2013; and a part of the New Haven Unified School District since 2008. She is a proud Union City resident who spreads hope to many in the community and is extremely passionate about supporting families and community members with access to resources.
Lourdes’ dedication and love for her community can be seen in her work with the UNION CITY FAMILY CENTER. She serves as an important link between home and school by solving problems affecting students, parents, and community members; and breaking down barriers families may be facing. Building trust and relationships with families and the community has been a meaningful journey for Lourdes. She gives families, students, staff, and community hope despite how large the need may be. Lourdes was the recipient of NHUSD’s Classified Employee of the Year 2014-2015 for her dedication to families district wide.
She is a proud mother to two children who attend NHUSD schools and is actively involved with school wide activities and events. On her downtime, Lourdes enjoys spending quality time with her family. She loves baking with her daughter, watching her husband Eddie and son play congas at family events, and most of all she likes getting together with her extended family to root for the San Francisco Giants!
Imelda Rivas, Early Childhood Community Specialist
Imelda has been part of New Haven Unified School District since 1997 in various capacities. She is now the newest addition to the Union City Family Center as the Early Childhood Community Specialist working with families with children ages 0-5. Imelda brings with her over twenty years of expertise in family, student, and community engagement and outreach; and knowledge in academic and social emotional services provided district-wide and community-wide.
Imelda’s passion for education started at California School for the Deaf Fremont where she supported the Infant Preschool Program where her Deaf son attended. She then joined NHUSD where she worked with Severely Handicapped students as well as with Autistic students in the preschool/Kinder Special Education program before transferring to the office as clerical support and eventually supporting at-risk families as an Outreach Facilitator for the last five years.
Imelda and her supportive husband work endlessly in serving the Union City community. They are proud parents of their two sons. Imelda is a passionate and a guiding force to many families in our community. She is resourceful, patient, passionate and willing to go the extra mile to search and guide those who may not have access to services for the purpose of improving their lives. Imelda is dedicated to inclusiveness and acceptance of every human being.
Charmaine martin, FAMILY SERVICE ASSISTANT
Raised in Los Angeles, CA for most of her life, Charmaine has proudly made Union City, CA her home now for over 10 years with her husband and 3 daughters.
Before taking time to focus on raising her girls, she worked for a merchandising company helping to create promotional products for the entertainment industry.
When her daughters became school-aged, she started volunteering in their classrooms assisting with small group interventions; eventually becoming a paraprofessional in Special Education.
In 2011, she joined NHUSD’s Equity Task Force (aka Equity Council) where she remains an active member, and has also served on subcommittees responsible for the District’s current board policy and administrative regulations.
Excited to join UNION CITY FAMILY CENTER in 2016 as a Family Service Assistant, Charmaine will continue to be an advocate for students and families who tend to be under-served in our community.
clarissa dalman, Family Service Assistant
Clarissa (Clare) earned her Bachelor’s of Science in Human Development, with a minor in Asian American Studies, from UC Davis. After working in early childhood education, the biotech industry, social services, and the dental field, Clare took some time to focus on raising her four daughters. Having grown up in Union City, Clare knew that it was where she wanted to raise her family as well. Clare has always been active at her daughters’ NHUSD schools as a volunteer and a member of their PTCs. Once her youngest was in school, she took her school district involvement a step further and began to work as a substitute classroom assistant. Clare first became acquainted with UNION CITY FAMILY CENTER as a member of the UNION CITY FAMILY CENTER Community Council. Clare so admired the work that was being done in the community by UNION CITY FAMILY CENTER that she was inspired to join the team! Clare feels it is an honor and privilege to be a part of the UNION CITY FAMILY CENTER family!
When not working, Clare is often found supporting her girls at soccer games, basketball games, cross country and track meets, choir performances, hula performances, and cheer leading competitions. She often feels like her life is lived in her van shuttling the girls to these events or the many practices preceding these events, but she wouldn’t have it any other way. Her family is her life and being able to now help other families in our community through UNION CITY FAMILY CENTER is so meaningful.
edgar pacheco, FAMILY SERVICE ASSISTANT
Edgar Pacheco was born in Mexico and moved to the USA at the age of thirteen. He grew up in a very traditional Latino family where he learned the importance of hard work and respect for one another. His three sisters and parents are his biggest motivation and with their support he hopes to be the first member of his family to graduate from college. Edgar is currently a senior at San Francisco State University majoring in Broadcast and Electronic Communications. He is very passionate about mental health and helping people who are facing difficult challenges in their lives. Edgar’s family has been deeply affected by mental illness and that's where his passion for mental health and helping others comes from.
Before becoming part of the UNION CITY FAMILY CENTER team, Edgar was a volunteer for the Family Education and Resource Center (FERC); where he utilized his lived experience with mental illness to promote mental health awareness. Since then, he has used everything he has learned to help family members with being more informed and educated around mental health. Edgar believes that education and sharing personal stories is the best way to inform and eliminate the stigma on mental illness. His ultimate goal is to work in the media industry to help eliminate the stigma surrounding mental health.
janice abad, FAMILY SERVICE ASSISTANT
Janice joined UNION CITY FAMILY CENTER in February 2016. A proud spouse of a U.S. Air Force veteran, she has served military communities for over 14 years, both in the United States and overseas, as an educator, family and early childhood development advocate, mentor and volunteer.
Growing up in Manila, Philippines, Janice experienced first-hand the challenges of family life with limited resources, destitution and confined access to health care and other services. Breaking out of poverty through a college education, perseverance, and the support of her loved ones paved the way for her to lead a successful management career in advertising before marrying into the military.
Janice believes in fostering domestic resilience and community engagement to help students and family members become successful, empowered individuals. Being a part of UNION CITY FAMILY CENTER gives her the opportunity to work towards this endeavor.
In her spare time, Janice loves to go camping, hiking and travel with her husband and 3 kiddos. She also dabbles in glass art, beading, singing and acrylic painting at paint-nite events
Mary Diaz, Family Service Assistant
Mary Diaz joined the UNION CITY FAMILY CENTER family in September 2015. Mary is a proud Decoto/ Union City resident who has lived her whole life in the community; she is excited about helping. Mary has two daughters attending different schools, but that doesn't stop her from being involved in both of their PTC and SSC. Mary has always taken pride in knowing she's helping students and families at the school, plus there's no better reward, Mary says, than having your little ones see you putting up a poster on the wall or helping out for a school event!
Mary also prides herself in being part of different charity organizations. One that she's been involved in the longest is the Supernova Foundation that her family friend started with a group of other Latino professionals including Mary. Their tagline is, "Celebrating Life, While Giving Back To The Community!" The Supernova Foundation focuses on providing toys and gifts for children and women who are survivors of domestic violence and were living in shelters. Over the years, their charity has grown to include a scholarship fund that is offered to college students who want to be a part of change and help raise awareness of cancer in the Latino community.
When she's not volunteering at one of her daughters' schools, or being involved in charity work, Mary's off doing another passion of hers... radio! Yes, her voice can be heard on the radio! She's also an on air personality in San Francisco at 99.7 NOW on the weekends. Mary’s been a part of the radio world for years and is still going strong with her #1 rated weekend show! In her free time, Mary loves spending time with her family, traveling, participating in RunDisney half marathons and going to Disneyland as often as she can!
Melissa Blancas, Family Service Assistant
My name is Melissa Blancas and I am a proud Union City resident. I was raised in the Decoto community and have been part of NHUSD since January 2013. My passion has always been helping others and being involved in my community and knowing the importance of value for community involvement. I am blessed to have the opportunity to work for UUNION CITY FAMILY CENTER as a Family Services Liaison supporting our students, parents, and families from our community. It excites me to know I am making a difference everyday in supporting our families when they are in need of any help. It warms my heart and brings me happiness knowing I have built so many relationships with students and families throughout many difficult times they have faced. In my spare time I enjoy spending time with my family and cooking.
Nora Moussavi, Family Service Assistant
Nora is a native of Union City, California. Mrs. Moussavi worked as a Contract Administrator in the High Tech Industry for over ten years. While volunteering in her children’s schools, Mrs. Moussavi discovered a new passion for working with students.
Mrs. Moussavi has since worked as a Special Education Paraprofessional with NHUSD for the last five years. She is now combining her previous business experience with her passion for working with our NHUSD families and her community in her role as a Family Service Assistant.
Valerie vermazen, Program Specialist
Andrew Cheng, Program Specialist
Quinn Perry, Program Specialist
Quinn, Hayward High School Alum, recently found his way back home to Hayward, CA after 6 years of living in 3 different states (Missouri, Montana, and North Dakota). For the love of the game, Quinn played his collegiate football career at Laney Community College receiving a scholarship to attend Southeast Missouri State University where he finished his football career and obtained his Bachelor’s Degree in Family Studies. Quinn went onto the University of Mary for graduate school completing his Master’s Degree in Education (Magna Cum Laude) in 2017, while maintaining his role as Graduate Assistant for the University of Mary's football program.
A famous quote that Quinn lives by is “It takes a village to raise a child”. This African proverb is one that Quinn was raised on and teaches/coaches to. With Quinn’s positive outlook on life, one of the most important things that Quinn said he can’t live without is laughter and family ~ he has a knack for making people laugh and motivating others, which can be seen in his work with youth.