Westminster Upward Bound



Meet our team


Alejandra Garcia, Project Director

I am a PROUD first-generation college graduate and a TRiO Alumni!!

I received my undergraduate degree from the University of California, Riverside in Spanish Literature and Chicano Studies.  I then continued to obtain my Master’s Degree from the University of La Verne in Gerontology and Counseling.  Since college I’ve been working with students, helping them navigate higher education, I love working with students and parents.  I’ve been in the TRiO family since high school, then as a tutor, then as an Educational Advisor and I am going on 8years as the Director of the Upward Bound Program.  I am a family-oriented person, I have a 13th year old son who occupies most of my time.  If not with my son am relaxing at home grilling or gardening.

Richard Perez, Project Advisor

I am a first-generation college graduate from the California State University of Long Beach [CSULB] with an undergraduate degree in Biochemistry. It is both a pleasure and a privilege to work within a community of young scholars motivated to improve themselves academically and socially. Helping students transition into adulthood and independence is challenging. I cannot help but empathize with my students’ toils, trials, and tribulations as they progress through their academic investments. However, when I watch my students strut across that stage with that degree in hand, it brings me great joy to see them one step closer to completing their goals.

I enjoy rogue-like video games, cold weather, trying & cooking new foods, world-building board games, and driving down long, winding roads.

Luis Payes, Jump Start Program Coordinator

I am a first-generation college student attending California State University of Fullerton where I’m working towards obtaining my Bachelor’s Degree in Sociology with an emphasis on Social Work. I plan to further my education by pursuing a Master’s Degree in another field and Counseling Degree in the future. Growing up, I realized my passion was to inspire and help others be a better person. I enjoy spending time with family and friends, trying new places to eat, and going on small adventures here and there.

Luis Rizo, Coordinator

I am currently finishing up my second year of higher education, and I aspire to obtain a degree in Kinesiology and use said degree to eventually pursue a career as a physical therapist. Because of my love for exercise and movement, I hope to be working alongside athletes in both their training as well as any rehabilitation that may be needed due to injury. In my free time, I enjoy reading fiction, playing video games, and exercising.

Personally, I understand how impactful the Upward Bound program is to disenfranchised youth who may be confused on what to do to get to higher education and it is my hope to be a guide in the confusing transition from high school to college.

Jailane Lopez, Coordinator

Hello! I am Jailane Lopez and I am currently attending California State University of Long Beach pursuing my bachelor’s degree in Math Education. In the future, I hope to become a high school math teacher. In my free time I enjoy hanging out with friends, listening to music, and doing my makeup!

Kristy Lee, Lead Coordinator

My name is Kristy Le and I am the Head Tutor at Upward Bound Westminster. I graduated from CSULB with a B.S. in Statistics. Math was one of the subjects that did not come easily for me. Thus, being able to get a degree in Statistics is one of my greatest achievements. I wholeheartedly believe that any student is capable of learning math; they just need the right encouragement and motivation to push through. For me, my motivation came from learning about cool and practical applications of mathematics and statistics through my professors at CSULB. Thus, I hope to become a math or statistics teacher in the future who can do the same. I also enjoy drawing, watching Korean dramas, and playing games on my free time.

Natalia Reyes, Office Coordinator

I am a college student at Orange Coast College, and I am currently looking to transfer to a four-year University where I plan to major in Psychology. My goal is to either become a Marriage & Family Therapist or a Family Law Attorney. My career plans have changed multiple times throughout high school and college, but the one thing that has stayed the same is my desire to help people and to make them feel comfortable with themselves and others. Some things that I enjoy are reading, baking, pottery, stationery and spending time with my family.


Westminster Upward Bound,  14482 Beach Blvd. Suite A, Westminster, CA 92683  •  upwardboundwestminster@gmail.com  •  213-369-9064

English English Spanish Spanish