Meet the City Year San Antonio staff
City Year San Antonio has a diverse, energetic team that seeks to be representative of the students we serve.
Laura Cortez serves as the Impact Manager at Tafolla Middle School. She grew up in Midland, TX, and moved to San Antonio in 2001 to attend the University of Texas San Antonio where she received her bachelor’s degree in History and her teaching certification.
Laura has taught middle school social studies for the last 16 years in both the Harlandale and Northside Independent School Districts primarily at Title 1 campuses.She also worked with the Curriculum and Instruction Department in planning and presenting professional development for middle school teachers in NISD. Laura serves as the Worship Ministry Director alongside her husband, David, at her church as well as Women’s Bible Study Teacher. She is currently pursuing a Master’s of Theology from Fuller Theological Seminary. She and David have been married for nearly 15 years and have 3 very spoiled dogs at home. Laura has always had a passion for helping students develop a thirst for learning that eventually allows them to learn who they are. She loved providing avenues for students within the context of US History and Civics to learn how to find their place and identity for the purpose of participating in their community positively and effectively. She enjoys connecting with the community surrounding her campus and helping both students and Corps members find their place and purpose so that in turn they may have a lasting impact in whichever community they may find themselves.
Danielle’s introduction to City Year started in 2015 serving as a First Year Corps Member with City Year Little Rock. Currently, Danielle proudly serves as an Impact Manager with City Year San Antonio (CYSA) after completing two previous years with CYSA.
One in 2021 as a Second Year Corps Member and another year in 2022 as a Team Leader, making this her fourth year with the organization. She has championed the strengths and potential of young people while advocating for their right to a fair educational environment. She is a San Antonio, Texas native with a Mexican Heritage background who emphasizes the importance of pouring back into her community and supplying tools for young people to freely pursue their definition of success. Danielle curated the core of her career to be on others and their journey to their next. She has worked alongside three Non-profits, Integrity, Girls Inc., and City Year and volunteered with many others within the San Antonio community. Integrity provided her the opportunity to aid physically disabled women by connecting them to resources that help with cultivating a fulfilling and community-integrated life. As a Program Facilitator with Girls Inc., she mentored young girls from ages six to fifteen on the importance of being Strong, Smart, and Bold as well as ensuring the logistical needs of the program were met. She has a passion for youth development and building community with her students, she believes in social-emotional learning, restorative justice and advocacy. She is ecstatic to have found a more permeant home with City Year San Antonio as we set out to strive for equitable education for the San Antonio Independent School District (SAISD).
Jasmine is proud to serve as Senior Impact Director for City Year San Antonio. Originally from Gonzales, Louisiana, Jasmine graduated from Washington University in St. Louis in 2012 with a B.A. in Political Science and Accounting.
Her involvement with Alpha Phi Omega - a national community service fraternity - in college led her to national service. Prior to joining the staff in San Antonio, Jasmine has held several corps and staff positions within City Year at the Baton Rouge, Dallas, and Kansas City sites. In her current role with the organization, Jasmine is responsible for overseeing school partnerships and supporting our Impact Manager team. Outside of service, Jasmine enjoys reading and group exercise classes.
Abigale James Van Haselen is passionate about making a more equitable world for future generations. Most recently she served as the Director of Development for City Year San Antonio.
Under her leadership, City Year San Antonio was awarded the High Impact Education Grant by Impact San Antonio and she has worked hard to ensure City Year San Antonio has meaningful relationships with all City Year champions, partners, and stakeholders. Prior to joining City Year San Antonio, Abigale worked overseas in Thailand as the Business Operations Director for an international anti-trafficking NGO. During her time there, she worked closely with Thai law enforcement agencies, prosecutors, and nonprofits to create an intelligence network that shares data that helps government officials understand the trends of human trafficking in the region. Before entering the nonprofit world, she worked in the business sector where she served as the Director of Southern California for Bisnow, the largest commercial real estate media firm, for Groupon in the travel sector, and she worked internationally in Istanbul, Turkey as an investment banker that helped international companies, such as Pfizer, acquire or merge with Turkish firms. Her diverse background gives her the ability to understand the for-profit and non-profit sectors and how they can work together to create a better world. Abigale believes change occurs when great people with common values work together.
Michael serves as the Events and Marketing Communications Manager for City Year San Antonio. He began with CYSA as the Development Operations and Brand Manager. His love for storytelling and eye for creative has informed his role.
Michael is a Texas native who grew up in West Texas and moved to San Antonio in 2006, where he was married, and his three kids were born. In 2017, Michael and his family moved to Eugene, Oregon, to serve as lead pastor of Eugene Church of God. For four years, along with serving the church, he served multiple local nonprofits and schools and as a board member of Love For Lane County. They moved back home to San Antonio in June of 2021. Michael is an award-winning graphic designer who has worked in marketing and branding for over 12 years. He has done work for locally and nationally known corporations, restaurants, colleges, universities, agencies, and nonprofits and has successfully taken national brands to market. Michael has a BA in Journalism and Mass Comm from Texas State University and a BA in Christian Leadership and Pastoral Ministry from Artios Christian College. A passion for serving people and his community has led Michael on a unique path that has equipped him to help others find their own stories. Along with being a husband and father, Michael is the lead pastor of New Hope United Church in San Antonio. He also enjoys cooking, coffee, and is a die-hard fan of the Boston Red Sox and the San Antonio Spurs.
Alyssa Pepio is a passionate changemaker with a strong commitment to social justice, education, and LGBTQ advocacy. Alyssa’s passion for equity was ignited when she first served as a City Year AmeriCorps member in 2015, and since then she has dedicated her life to education as radical activism.
After graduating from Florida International University with a degree in Women’s and Queer Studies, she started a nonprofit organization called HEART Initiative, which helps educators and healthcare providers to identify child survivors of human trafficking by providing training and comprehensive response protocols. In 2019, she returned to the classroom as a reading and social studies teacher at Democracy Prep. During this time, she also served as the school’s civics coordinator, where she developed a school-wide civics curriculum to educate and empower students to become agents of change in their community. Driven by the desire to broaden the reach of her impact, she returned to City Year as a staff member, where she currently serves as the Senior Impact & AmeriCorps Member Experience Manager.
Marisol serves as the Impact Manager at Margil Elementary School. She joined City Year as a national volunteer in 2017, where she served as a student’s success coach, and near-to-peer mentor for 3rd graders at Martin Luther King Academy.
Marisol decided to return as Team Leader the following year and served proudly at Lanier High School in 2018. The majority of her career has been serving people, either by being a customer service representative or a server at several restaurants. Throughout her time, she has learned that serving others is her passion. She’s had the privilege of serving within her church community as a Sunday school teacher, as part of the worship team, and as one of the youth leaders.
Camryn joined City Year San Antonio (CYSA) as the Development Administrator in September 2022. She has dedicated herself to education and youth empowerment with a focus on equitable education for black and brown communities.
Camryn is passionate about the power of community and carries this passion with her wherever she goes by cultivating authentic relationships. Prior to joining City Year, Camryn completed a fellowship through the Harvard Graduate School of Education. As an educator, Camryn prioritized genuine connections and social-emotional growth with students to ensure that students were able to bring their whole selves into the classroom. Additionally, Camryn served as the director of a youth-serving summer program for three summers during her undergraduate experience at Harvard University. This position shaped her understanding of and passion for youth empowerment as it relates to non-profit management.