Meet the LEAD Team


Faculty Members  

Veronica Acevedo Avila photo

Veronica Acevedo Avila
Instructor, English and Reading

avilaveronica@deanza.edu
408.864.5652

  • Want to know more about Veronica?

Alicia Cortez photo

Alicia Cortez
Dean, Equity and Engagement

cortezalicia@deanza.edu
408.864.8365


  • Want to know more about Steve?

Edmundo Norte
Dean, Intercultural/International Studies

norteedmundo@deanza.edu
408.864.8443
MCC 14A


Liliana Rivera photo

Liliana Rivera
Counselor/Co-Coordinator, Puente

riveraliliana@deanza.edu
408.864.8780

  • Want to know more about Lili?

Kimberly Vinall photo

Kimberly Vinall
Instructor, Spanish Language and Culture

vinallkimberly@deanza.edu
408.864.5448
MCC 14H


LEAD Mentors

Jessica Arceo Valencia

Jessica Arceo ValenciaThere are two things I can't live without: Mexican coffee and posole. Every year I get the chance to travel to Mexico for a few months, enjoying the food and culture. My favorite place to visit is Morelia, Mexico. It is such a beautiful city, with Bay Area weather.

I started at De Anza in fall 2017. As a first-generation college student, I learned the system by myself for the first year and a half. I never thought of asking anyone for help. I struggled in balancing my busy life, from working in daycare to sitting for three-plus hour lectures. I spoke about my struggles to my Spanish instructor, Kimberly Vinall, who is a fantastic person with a big heart. She guided me to the resources I needed to help balance my life. Since I enjoyed her teaching, I signed up for her Intro to Peer Mentorship/Leadership Communication class, which led to becoming a mentor in her Spanish courses.

My goal is to help boost your confidence in speaking Spanish. You are welcome to come to the MCC to study or to grab a bite. Most of all, I am excited to see the new members of ¡LEAD!


Vanessa Bermudez

Vanessa BermudezMy favorite cuisine is soup, I dabble in graphic design, I’ve housed a variety of animals – and I looove to play recreational sports, especially tennis and softball.

I started at De Anza College in 2018 as a Promise scholar and as a member of the First Year Experience program in cohort with the Umoja program.

My wonderful FYE instructor, Chesa Caparas, introduced me to the Jean Miller Resource Room in the Office of Equity, where I eventually began to work as a student intern. Two of the most impactful classes I've taken were part of the VIDA Leadership Certificate program and ¡LEAD!

This summer, I had the amazing opportunity to participate in the Philippines Study Abroad 2019. Gradually I have been learning more and more about the resources and communities here at De Anza.

As a mentor, my goal is to share what I know with other students and be a bridge to connections so they can use this to reach their goals, whatever it may be.


Kyla Dizon 

Kyla Dizon picture

I enjoy spending time with my family and friends. My favorite type of food is fruit. I’m very passionate about reading and writing. I love the whole idea of being able to express myself through writing, and as well as being given the chance to put myself in someone else’s shoes through reading.

I started at De Anza College in fall of 2019 as a Business Administration major. To my surprise, I was signed up for a LEAD English class with my wonderful professor, Veronica Acevedo Avila. In this class we were able to not just strengthen our ability to read and write, but also deepen our knowledge in empathy and compassion relating to issues in this campus. After this quarter, I was offered the position of being a LEAD mentor.

As a LEAD mentor, my goal is to give a helping hand to those that need help. I would like to create a safe and comfortable environment where students feel at ease with asking questions and assistance. I believe that not getting help and having unanswered questions should never hinder students’ path to success. All in all, I’m very excited to build strong connections with my peers and to be a part of their journeys.


Martha Cecilia Osuna

headshot of Martha Cecilia OsunaI have become a seeker of peace and a lover of hot chocolate. In my free time, I enjoy collage painting and writing short meaningful passages as a representation of my mind and life. I love to challenge and be challenged. Three of my most important values are family, life and the process of healing.

I started at De Anza College in the fall of 2019 with the determination and unique goals of a first-generation college student. Throughout my education, I have built a strong background of leadership, and one of my priorities going into college was to continue doing just that. I strongly believe leadership creates an understanding and ease of living, and it instills knowledge that will positively expand your life. Through the LEAD program, I met my amazing English teacher Veronica Acevedo, who introduced me to the wonderful opportunity of mentoring. Now I am enrolled in the Intro to Peer Mentoring/ Leadership/ Comm course. The more I learn new ideas and so many more things, the happier I will be.

As a LEAD mentor, my goal is to not only offer a safe place but most importantly be your support system. From personal experience, I know the importance of having someone be your guide and support- exactly what I want to be for students. There will be nothing more beautiful in this new experience than creating a bond to help you succeed and create beautiful friendships. There is so much purpose and heart put into wanting to be a helping hand, a mentor and a leader. I am beyond thrilled and honored to be a part of this new journey.

 “If you can dream it, you can do it.”

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