As we prepare to open the 2022 Student Basic Needs Spark Grants funding cycle on August 23, 2022, please join us in welcoming the team of student parents, systems leaders, and non-profit advocates who will provide feedback on the cycle’s applications and grant-making process: 

  • Audrey Dow, Senior Vice President, Campaign for College Opportunity
  • Bianca Estrada, Student Parent and California State University (CSU) Monterey Bay Student Basic Needs Initiative
  • Shelley Mann, Associate Director of Programs, Swipe Out Hunger
  • Sade Johnson, Student Parent and Graduate Assistant, CSU Fresno
  • Henoc Preciado, Systemwide Manager, CSU Basic Needs Initiatives

Their combined decades of experience directly supporting college students in California will help ensure that the solutions chosen to advance in the 2022 cycle will have a positive, scalable impact on helping meet students’ basic needs. 

Audrey Dow

Senior Vice President, Campaign for College Opportunity

Audrey DowAudrey Dow is the Senior Vice President of the Campaign for College Opportunity, a California-based policy and research organization that ensures more students go to college and succeed. At the Campaign, she has led successful campaigns to end the use of the SAT/ACT in admissions at the University of California and California State University, ushering in remedial education and transfer reform at California’s community colleges, urgently prioritizing the hiring of racially/ethnic and gender diverse faculty, college and university leaders across California’s public institutions of higher education, and reforming financial aid to serve more low-income students regardless of when or where they go to college. 

Audrey has over 20 years of experience in the public and nonprofit sectors where she has trained Latinas to take on elected and appointed leadership roles in the public sector at Hispanas Organized for Political Equality (HOPE) and served as a gubernatorial appointee to the Business, Transportation and Housing Agency.

She was appointed in 2022 to the CA Student Aid Commission by Governor Gavin Newsom and in 2021 to the California Health Workforce and Education Training Council. She also serves on the Board of Directors for Excelencia in Education and the Alliance for a Better Community.

Bianca Estrada

Student Parent and CSU Monterey Bay Student Basic Needs Initiative

Bianca EstradaBianca Estrada is a first-generation college student currently pursuing her Master of Social Work (MSW) at California State University, Monterey Bay (CSUMB), and is expected to graduate in 2023. She moved to Monterey County at 19 years old from San Diego and attended Monterey Peninsula College (MPC), where she earned her Associate’s Degree in Administration of Justice in 2015. Bianca continued her journey in pursuing higher education by attending CSUMB, where she obtained her Bachelor of Arts in Collaborative Health and Human Services (CHHS) with a concentration in Social Work from CSUMB in 2019. 

Bianca found her passion for advocacy when she had her son in 2017 and learned the power of advocacy and its empowerment to students in the campus community. Her passion is demonstrated through her current work as the co-founder of the Family Friendly Club on campus, whose mission is to provide support and resources to parenting students pursuing higher education. In her journey, she recognized the unique needs of each individual and the need to collaborate as a community toward bringing inclusivity and social change. She strives to help parents like herself build strong communities and practice inclusivity regardless of socioeconomic level, race, ethnicity, or gender identity. 

Shelley Mann

Associate Director of Programs, Swipe Out Hunger

Shelley MannShelley Mann is the Associate Director of Programs at Swipe Out Hunger. Her enthusiasm for food justice brought her to the front doors of more than 36 food banks during her many years in this work. Shelley has always been a passionate advocate for social change and believes that the answer to food equity can only be found through gender, racial, and economic justice. Shelley’s focus has primarily been in the SNAP program, most of which has been spent developing, evaluating, and directing food bank outreach programs to ensure that people have access to the benefits they are entitled to. Previously, Shelley served as the Director of Public Benefit Programs for the Food Bank for the Heartland. She holds a B.S. in Social Psychology from Park University and a certificate in Community Engaged Leadership from Kansas State University.

Sade Johnson

Graduate Assistant, Project Hope, California State University, Fresno

Sade JohnsonSade Johnson was born and raised in Madera, California. She has 10 siblings and countless nieces and nephews.  A wife and mother of two children, Sade received her B.A. in African American Studies from the University of California, Davis. She currently works as a Graduate Assistant for Project HOPE, which is a case management service that addresses the basic needs of Fresno State’s student population. As a student in the Higher Education Administration and Leadership graduate program at California State University, Fresno, Sade aspires to continue working in higher education with student-parents, Black students, students of color, first-generation students, system-impacted students, and low-income students. Sade has a strong belief that everyone is entitled to an education—it should not matter if they are raising kids at the same time, their needs should still be met.

Henoc Preciado

Systemwide Manager, CSU Basic Needs Initiatives

Henoc PreciadoHenoc Preciado is passionate about serving marginalized and historically underserved student populations and works towards a model of higher education that is accessible and equitable for all. For close to a decade, Henoc has served in roles at college campuses that have allowed him to create experiences, programs, and services that are responsive to student needs. He currently serves as the inaugural Systemwide Manager of Basic Needs Initiatives at the California State University (CSU), Office of the Chancellor. In this role, Henoc works closely with the 23 campuses in the CSU as programs and services are created and delivered to support students who experience food and housing insecurity. Prior to his current role, Henoc served as the inaugural Director of the Dreamers Resource Center at Cal State LA and the inaugural Coordinator of the Titan Dreamers Resource Center at Cal State Fullerton. Henoc is a proud product of the California State University, having earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in English from California State Fullerton and his Master of Science degree in Higher Postsecondary Education from Syracuse University.

We look forward to welcoming the 2022 Student Basic Needs Spark Grantee cohort, based on the community advisors’ recommendations, in the coming weeks.  

Michelson 20MM is a private, nonprofit foundation seeking to accelerate progress towards a more just world through grantmaking, operating programs, and impact investing. Co-chaired and funded by Alya and Gary Michelson, Michelson 20MM is part of the Michelson Philanthropies network of foundations.

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