Jose Sabala


Jose Sabala is married to his beautiful wife Araceli. They have two young children. Jose Sabala was born and raised in Modesto. Graduated from Thomas Downey High School and was the first in his family to receive his Bachelors in Business with a concentration in Management. Jose Sabala is a passionate about serving the South Modesto Community to be a small part to a City Transformation. Jose is a servant hearted man and cares about people. He takes the scripture serious “ Love God, Love People”.

Jorge Perez

Vice President

Married to Yvonne and have 4 children. Serves as a Modesto High School Counselor. Also, served on the Stan County Hispanic Leadership Council, Stan County Latino Emergency Council, MJC African American Education Conference Planning Committee, MJC Hispanic Education Conference Planning Committee, South East Asian Education Conference Planning Committee and serves on other committees providing support and outreach services to students and families. Proud to serve South Modesto Partnerships!

Manuel Rivera


Manuel Rivera is married to his beautiful wife Miriam. Manual is a Mental Health Clinician at Stanislaus County. Manual is passionate about serving as a board member with South Modesto Partnerships (SMP) because SMP is a platform to build relationships with community and allows us the opportunity to complement existing efforts that community members have identified that most matter to them.

Maria Hernandez


Maria Ana Hernandez is married, has three children and four handsome grandsons. Maria worked for the Patterson Unified School District for 36 years. She was the Senior Payroll/Personnel Technician after which she retired in 2007. Maria’s parents immigrated from Mexico, and as a result, Maria was a farm worker part of her life. She remembers it was not easy getting up really early in the morning to work in the fields hoeing, harvesting tomatoes, picking apricots, peaches, bell peppers, and melons. For that reason she has a passion to help others to have a better future. In her heart she wants to help the community. She wants to be a part of helping someone further their education, and obtain a scholarship to attend a university. She feels proud to serve South Modesto Partnerships and the community.

Mike Daniel

Board Member

Born and raised in the South Modesto, Mike’s passion for the community brought him back after several years away where he served in leadership capacities for large technology companies and startups in both Washington DC and Seattle, Washington. In 2015, he chose to return home, lay roots, and build a business focused on helping business grow through technology and marketing. Mike attributes his upbringing in South Modesto, and the mentors who guided him as keys to his success. When not focused on his business and the community, Mike spends his free time with his son, Matthew.

Sergio Lara

Board Member

Sergio is a first generation Immigrant. Originally from Michoacán, Mexico he was raised in Redwood City, California. He attended UC Berkeley for his B.A. in Sociology and a Minor in City and Regional Planning. It was in college where he found both his passion for Community Organizing and Higher Education. Having been a long-time advocate for Immigrant Rights and Higher Education Sergio is extremely humbled and honored to serve with South Modesto Partnerships.

Emmanuel Escamillia

Board Member

Emmanuel E. Escamilla was raised in Modesto,CA. He graduated from Modesto Junior College in 2013 and from the University of California, Berkeley in 2015. He is currently living in Boston, MA attending Harvard University and upon graduation, he intends to pursue an MBA. As a board member of South Modesto Partnerships he is passionate about the organization’s efforts to make education and economic self-sustainability more equitable for the residents of South Modesto.

Homero Mejilla

Board Member

Married to Marta Mejia. They have two children Isaac Mejia 5 years old and Camila Mejia .Homero Mejia, is member of City Ministry Network board, Habitat for Humanity board and South Modesto Partnerships. Homero is passionate about actively engaging in many community efforts to improve the quality of life of Stanislaus County residents!

Armando Mendoza

Board Member

Armando Mendoza is happily married to my beautiful wife who is his better half. We are blessed with a three year old daughter and with a newborn baby daughter . Armando Mendoza is a Math Teacher at Evelyn A. Hanshaw Middle School, which is the middle school he attended. He is very am proud to be a part of the first graduating class to have attended Hanshaw Middle School both 7th and 8th grade in 1993. Armando believes one of his missions in life is to help others and teaching gives me an opportunity to share with his students and their families the importance of education. He is very grateful to the teachers, counselors, principals, friends, and family members who helped him along his journey to becoming a teacher. Now, he wants to help others in their journey. Armando believes that SMP can prove to be a great asset to the South Modesto community and to the City of Modesto. He enjoys working alongside the individuals who formed SMP since we share the passion to help make a positive difference in the lives of others, especially the less fortunate. As a teacher, SMP helped him provide educational resources for some of my students with participating in Code X.

Violeta Castro

Board Member

Violeta Castro is an attorney who was born and raised in Modesto, California. She is the fifth of six siblings and the first to become an attorney in her family. Violeta’s parents, Jose and Rosario Diaz, emigrated from Mexico to the United States in pursuit of the American dream. In 2012 she married the love of her life, Jonathan Castro who shares her love for people and service. Growing up Violeta witnessed many incidents of differential treatment towards her parents and family members because of their lack of education. At the age of 12 she was the victim of a direct discriminatory remark that forever changed her future. It was at that moment Violeta decided she would be an advocate for people and education. Her commitment to family and education, the love for her community, and her life experiences as the child of two immigrants, are the reasons she is honored to serve on the board of South Modesto Partnerships.

John Castro

Board Memeber

E. Jonathan Castro is a professional tile installer, entrepreneur and former small business owner who was born and raised in South Modesto, California. He is the third of four siblings and son of Dr.Everardo and Mrs. Andrea Castro, both of Mexico. In 1998 he moved to Sacramento, California where he finished his schooling and began his career in the flooring industry. In 2012 he married the love of his life, VioletaCastro who shares his love for people, service, and adventurous traveling. Over the past few years, E. Jonathan has had the privilege of employing more than 10 men who were in need of job placement, direction, and mentorship. This has quickly become one of his greatest passions. He is currently attending Modesto Junior College in hopes of enhancing his education and role in the community. His desire to empower the men of this generation, love for service and community, and commitment to family are the reasons he is honored to serve on the board of South Modesto Partnerships.

Evelyn Mejia

Board Member

I have always had a passion for serving the community, and being part of the SMP board is just a blessing. I love being part of an amazing team who has the same views to help support an amazing community. We all have our stories, but coming together as a whole and being able to be a support to our community is what makes me love serving on the SMP board.