Photo Credit: Inspira Studios
We are Rise Together
Click Our Portraits to Read Our Stories
All portraits were taken by Devi Pride Photography.
Ashlyn N. Adams
Ashlyn was once a young person in what felt like an impossible situation. She raised herself and her siblings in the Bay Area, and came to Santa Cruz for education and new opportunities
I was born and raised on the East Coast. My family moved to the North to escape the Jim Crow South. I was raised by my grandmother. Although she did not have a high school education
Born in Monterey and raised in Santa Cruz through the ’80s and ’90s, I know that my life today as the director of pediatrics at Watsonville Community Hospital is the reality of...
Cat Willis is the founder and executive director of the Tannery World Dance and Cultural Center in Santa Cruz. She is originally from Rochester, New York, where she began her...
Consuelo Alba is the executive director and co-founder of the Watsonville Film Festival (WFF). Under her leadership, WFF developed from a grassroots collective into...
I came from very humble beginnings, growing up in East St. Louis, Illinois—a place rivaled by street gangs and poverty. I am the son of a schoolteacher and a construction worker...
I was born in Watsonville, the first U.S.-born daughter of Mexican immigrant parents. As a small child, I remember vividly the day that Cesar Chavez came to our home...
Fe Silva-Robles is an indigenous woman, native of Santiago Laxopa, Ixtlán, Oaxaca. She grew up speaking Zapotec, learned Spanish in elementary school, and learned English when she...
When you hear my story, do not think of me as a victim or a survivor. I am a champion!
I do not remember most of my childhood. I just know I wanted to be loved. By age 11, my mom and I...
I am a proud child of la bella María Elena y Antonio el hermoso. In my parents’ search for home, they found each other in Boyle Heights, where they first...
“When you create an environment where youth feel respected, like they belong, and have a supportive community, they can envision a different future for themselves.”
As the granddaughter of Jewish refugee factory workers and union organizers and the daughter of civil rights and feminist queer activists, I inherited a hard wired drive
Jorge Savala grew up in a migrant labor camp north of Santa Cruz. His mother asked the owner to address the inhospitable conditions, but he refused...
As a child growing up in Chicago, IL, I was very passionate about diversity, social justice, and protection of the natural environment. This inspired me to become very active as a college student...
Keisha Browder has a legacy of breaking barriers to pave the way for communities of color - from her early years as a member of one of the first African American Girl Scout Troops in Compton...
Kevin spends most of his days hanging out at the intersection of giving and action for the greater good. Each passing day is a chance to learn from and assist generous souls and community problem..
De La Garza
Born and raised in Watsonville, I bring over 30 years of nonprofit experience to my work as executive director of the Community Action Board (CAB) of Santa Cruz County...
Dr. Nereida Robles Vásquez is a co-founder of Senderos, a non-profit organization created in 2001, as a folklorico dance group for disenfranchised youth. She was inspired to...
I am the daughter of loving parents who worked the fields, safeguarded traditions, served others, and emphasized the importance of education and familia. These values have...
I come from a bicultural family, composed of teachers, Cuban immigrants, environmentalists, athletes, organizers, and poets. They taught me how to...
As the CEO of Community Foundation Santa Cruz County, Susan oversees the stewardship of over $170 million in assets and mobilizes people, ideas and resources to...