Tanya Mota: Director

Tanya has years of experience in both parent education and youth programs.  She holds a MA in Human Development from Pacific Oaks College.  She is currently a Program Director for Palo Alto Community Child Care and is the owner of Helping Hand Parenting where she offers one on one Parent Education and Coaching. Her past experience includes working as a Parent Educator and Preschool Teacher for PreSchool Family in Palo Alto, and a Parent Educator for the YWCA of Silicon Valley. She has served on the PTA Board as Parent Education Chair at JLS Middle School and Vice President at Ohlone Elementary School. Tanya is very passionate about the mission for RISE and feels that her experience and connections within the community will help her contribute to the organization as a Director on the Board.

Danny Luskin: Director

Danny graduated with a B.S in Psychology and a minor in economics from the University of Oregon.  He worked as the mentor coordinator for the Summer Academy to Inspire Learning (SAIL) for 2 years, and was a camp director at Skyhawks sports camp for 2 summers.  He is currently employed as a Senior Account Executive for Yelp.  Danny has always been drawn to education through his parents, and he is passionate about working with kids and helping RISE achieve its mission.

Leslie White: Director

Leslie White is a part of the Pace-Able Private Foundation, focused on reducing the achievement gap for under-resourced students.  Her previous careers were in education, where she worked as a reading specialist and in the computer industry, where she had a number of technical and marketing positions.


Dominic Booth: Director

Dominic brings to RISE a passion for education and several years of professional experience in the field.  Currently, Dominic works as the Director of AJ Tutoring's Los Altos office.  There, he manages daily operations, tutors students in academics and test preparation, and mentors other tutors' work with K-12 students.  Through this work, Dominic has gained an understanding of the Silicon Valley educational environment, which informs his work with RISE.  Before this, Dominic led the communications team of the nonprofit community currency Davis Dollars.  Dominic received a Bachelor of Arts from UC Davis, double majoring in English and History.  He is excited to help RISE expand and develop in the coming years.

Judy Argumedo: Director

​Judy’s career in education began more than 20 years ago as a student mentor at the Kashaya Pomo Rancheria through UC Berkeley’s Native American Studies Department. This experience inspired her to enter the teaching profession and focus on obstacles that bar students from achieving academic success. Upon graduation from CAL, Judy entered the Los Angeles Unified School District Intern program and earned her teaching credential while working at Bryson Elementary in South Gate, CA. After teaching 10 years in the elementary urban setting and having two daughters, Judy relocated to the Bay Area and worked as an English Language learner coach/teacher for Sunnyvale School District. Argumedo earned her master’s degree in education and administrative credential at Santa Clara University. She spent the next four years as the English language development teacher and coordinator at JLS Middle School in Palo Alto Unified. Judy moved to the district office in 2012 and currently is the Director of Academic Supports in the Palo Alto Unified School District. She recently received her doctorate degree from UC Berkeley with a focus on equity in education.

RISE Teachers

Karen Hoopes: Co-Founder, Executive Director


Karen has always had a passion for working with youth. While raising her own two children she spent fifteen years as a volunteer for various schools in Sunnyvale and Palo Alto, working directly with students as well as serving on the PTA Executive Board. For the last five years Karen has worked for Nixon Elementary School as a substitute teacher and classroom aide. Currently, she is the math specialist for 4th and 5th grade. While working at Nixon she has had the opportunity to work with students from East Palo Alto in the Voluntary Transfer Program, and her interactions with these children sparked her inspiration for RISE. She has also been volunteering for the past four years as a CASA for foster youth through Child Advocates of Silicon Valley. Karen holds a BS in Computer Science/Computer Graphics from Chico State University, and she has had two years of coursework in Counseling Psychology from JFK University.

Sheryl Humble: Co-Founder, Executive Director


From an early age, Sheryl knew she would be an educator. She grew up in Palo Alto and after graduating Gunn High School she attended Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo. She majored in Human Development with an Early Childhood Education emphasis and holds a minor in Psychology. After graduation, she returned to Palo Alto and worked as a teacher’s aide for several years in the Palo Alto Unified School District. Her three children all attended Nixon Elementary School and during that time she served as a classroom volunteer, room parent, sat on the PTA Executive Board, and orchestrated several fundraising campaigns. For the past seven years she has been working at Nixon as an Instructional Aide and Substitute teacher. Much of her time is devoted to working with students from East Palo Alto enrolled through the VTP and it is her passion to do more to support these children and their families. This is the foundation for her inspiration for founding RISE.

Shannon Hoopes: Teacher and Project-Based Learning Curriculum Developer

​Shannon has always loved teaching and working with youth and has experience working with students in all grades K-12. Prior to joining RISE, she taught English at a Bay Area high school and worked as an aide supporting students with special needs at a Boston elementary school. Shannon is passionate about equity in education, social-emotional learning, and helping students explore real-world issues through literature, projects, and discussion. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in English from UC Davis and a Master of Arts in Education from Stanford University.

Erika Hoopes: Mindfulness Curriculum Developer, Content Writer 

Erika spent her teenage years running an after-school program for children in East Palo Alto, and ever since, the community holds a special place in her heart. During her college education, she worked with children in various settings overseas, broadening her understanding of how socio-cultural and economic factors can influence a child's life and opportunities. After graduating with a BA in Literature/Writing from UCSD, she helped found RISE and worked as a program developer, content writer, and teacher for several years. With a passion for wellness, she also became a certified yoga and meditation teacher with expertise in trauma-informed practices and mindfulness in k-12 education. Now that she lives overseas, she continues to support RISE as a content writer and mindfulness curriculum developer, and guest teacher whenever she has the chance to visit the community.

Board of Directors

Reaching  and  Inspiring  Success  through  Education 

Curriculum Development

Karen Hoopes: President & Director

Sheryl Humble: Treasurer & Director

​Erika Hoopes: Director