Mission & Vision

Founded in 2004, PLAN empowers parents to transform schools so that every child gets an excellent education. Our vision is for every student to graduate high school ready for college, career and life. Informed, active parents are essential to making this vision a reality.

Every parent wants their child to succeed in school. But not all families feel welcomed as partners in their children’s education. PLAN works to create pathways for families to become strong leaders and advocates for their children.

PLAN engages parents through training, organizing and campaigns. Our trainings give parents the tools they need to be active in their child’s learning, our organizing connects families who are transforming schools, and our parent-led campaigns challenge and change systems that aren’t working for our kids.

By building parents’ leadership and organizing for safe, healthy and equitable schools, PLAN supports parents as we improve conditions for learning at the school site, district and state levels so that schools are 100% Engaged.

"Since its inception, PLAN leaders and parents have been important allies and critical friends in the quest for fair and adequate funding for our schools and quality instruction in every classroom. PLAN's work is more important than ever!”
~ Gary Yee, Retired OUSD Superintendent

Staff Members

Pecolia Manigo, Executive Director

Pecolia Manigo

Pecolia is Plan’s Executive Director with over 15 years of organizing and advocacy experience. She joined PLAN in 2013 as a Program Director, and was promoted to Associate Director in 2015. As Associate Director she developed strong relationships with all members, established herself as a leader in the organization and in the parent leadership movement in Oakland.

In January of 2016, she was appointed by the Board of Directors to serve as Acting Executive Director based on her multi-faceted understanding of parent engagement and advocacy.  Prior to coming to PLAN, Pecolia worked for Coleman Advocates organizing with low-income families of color to launch school-based and district-wide campaigns to improve the conditions of their children’s education environments.

During her almost six years with Coleman Advocates she worked to build a theory of change to create systemic change in education in San Francisco. This included creating a hybrid advocacy- and membership-based organizing model and designing education justice campaigns that addressed policies and that shifted institutional responsibility to solutions-oriented strategic planning and implementation.

Before her time at Coleman Advocates, Pecolia worked as an administrative assistant at the East Bay Alliance for a Sustainable Economy (EBASE), where she developed a keen understanding around the operational side of non-profits. Before her work at EBASE, Pecolia worked at the Jamestown Community Center as Coordinator of Youth Power, a middle school leadership development program in San Francisco’s Mission District.

Pecolia believes that authentic and transformative family engagement makes a significant difference in early childhood success for lifelong achievement. Recognizing the boundaries of traditional parent involvement, she leads PLAN to design programs and organizing strategies that foster shared responsibility for student success among families, schools, and communities. Pecolia inspires action through stories of parent-led advocacy efforts to provide quality education for all children. She invites the education sector to reflect on how to meaningfully apply research, experiences, and best practices to foster a deeper understanding of how individual family engagement successes lead to the broader systems change we desire.

As a Public Administration and Political Science student at California State University at East Bay she hopes to continue building her skills and knowledge to support communities of color to successfully design practice and policies that close the achievement gap, train a new generation of education organizers and support the movement for education justice within the Bay Area, statewide and nationally.

Monica Scott Green, Ed.D. Family School Partnership Lead

Monica Scott Green

Monica started out at PLAN as parent volunteer engaged with parents and teachers to organize the first Oakland-wide Parent -Teacher Summit to improve communications between teachers and parents. Monica joined PLAN as a Training Associate in April 2014, and is now the Family and School Partnership Lead.  As a PLAN staff person, Monica led a team of elementary school parents, school site and district staff to create infrastructure for parent volunteer program which built capacity and infrastructure for sustained family engagement and increased parent leadership.

Monica is also responsible for working with parent leaders and incorporating their voices in the design, field test, collection and analysis, of teacher and parent surveys on their aspirations for an effective school site.  She also designs, implements and evaluates of our annual five-day multilingual leadership academies for parent leaders. Also, she facilitates workshops for parents with children younger than 8 through the Parents Ready for School and Plan-to-Lead curricula. Monica understands the importance of a quality education for all students. She believes that parents are the primary educators of their children and must develop relationships with teachers and schools in order to promote and protect the education of their children.

Monica has cultivated the ability to work with people of diverse cultural, economic and language backgrounds. She has worked with parents and educators throughout the Pacific Rim in Cambodia, Thailand, Vietnam, and China, Outer Pacific Island nations and Honduras.  Originally from Denver, Colorado Monica holds a BA degree from the University of Arkansas, MA in Environmental Planning from California State University Dominguez Hills and a Doctorate in Organization and Leadership from the University of San Francisco School Of Education.

Enrique Valencia, Lead Organizer

Enrique Valencia

Enrique is the Lead Organizer at PLAN. He was born and raised in East San Jose, CA.  As a youth he was an active member of Californians for Justice (CFJ), a statewide grassroots organization working for racial justice by building the power of youth, communities of color, immigrants and low-income families and LGBTQ communities. Thanks to the support he received from his family, educators, CFJ and countless individuals in his school and his community, Enrique was able to attend the University of California at Berkeley on an Incentive Awards Program scholarship. In 2010, he graduated with a bachelor’s degree in political science. He has experience working with service delivery organizations, labor unions and community-based organizations.

Enrique is driven by the belief in the power of people to transform their lives and their community through organizing. In 2014, Enrique joined Bay Area PLAN as the Leader for Engaged and Active Parents (LEAP) Parent Organizer. He successfully developed the capacity of leaders to organize and win a new traffic safety program at two East Oakland elementary schools, as well as begin to organize to improve the academic program at their schools. In 2015, Enrique became PLAN’s Lead Organizer.

He is lead on the Leadership Equity Advocacy and Democracy (LEAD) program, where he builds the skills of parents to work with multiple stakeholders across schools to shift the negative perceptions of families and organize for increased investment in their engagement for student success.

Sasha Shane, Parent Organizer

Sasha Shane

Sasha is the Parent Organizer at PLAN.  She organizes parent leaders participants in the Leaders Engaged for Active Parents (LEAP) program.  Alexandra focuses on engaging families to promote transformative family engagement practices at their schools through trainings and leadership development to increase the skills, knowledge and the confidence of parents to become strong advocates for their children.

Sasha and her family migrated to United States in 2002 fleeing violence after an attempted kidnapping. Sasha had a hard time adjusting to her new home in East Oakland.  Her parents struggled to access information in order to make Sasha’s educational transition a success.  She attended middle and high school in Oakland.   In the mid-2000s, Sasha became involved in the movement for immigration reform.  She also organized against budget cuts to save programs in Oakland public schools such as access to cafeterias, gymnasiums and school libraries.

Sasha learned a valuable lesson as she went off to college; she learned that it takes more than will to be successful. She values the hard work and organizing needed our communities for schools to be truly transformed.  She believes that every student should have access to excellent education, and parents play a key part in making those transformations a reality.

Gomez Arteaga, Development and Communications Associate

Gomez Arteaga

Gomez has worked nearly two decades in various social justice movements including those that advocate for the rights of migrants, youth, the LGBTQ community, women, low-wage workers, and communities of color. In August 2016 she joined Plan’s staff to support the development and communications work.

She is a daughter of immigrant parents from Mexico. Gomez grew up, and went to public schools in the South Side of Chicago. She has done organizing, policy and individual donor cultivation work with various progressive organizations like Northern California Coalition for Immigrant Rights, National Network for Immigrant & Refugee Rights, Mujeres Unidas y Activas.  On her spare time she likes support political campaigns, hike and garden.  She lives in West Oakland.

Rochelle Robinson, Administrative Lead

Rochelle Robinson

As Administrative Lead, Rochelle provides program and general operations support for PLAN team members and parents. She has worked more than a decade within the non-profit sector and as a community grassroots organizer with as many years experience working in an administrative capacity.

Board of Directors

Angelica Jongco

Angelica Jongco

Angelica Jongco is a Senior Staff Attorney on the Education Equity Team at Public Advocates, a public interest law and advocacy organization dedicated to fighting the root causes of poverty and discrimination for more than 40 years. Through partnerships with community organizations, strategic policy advocacy and litigation, Angelica works towards ensuring all California’s students have an equal opportunity to learn and achieve their highest potential.

What she loves most about her work is the ability to use legal and data analysis in support of building the power of low-income students and parents of color to create transformational change in our education system.  Angelica partners with grassroots organizations to provide Bay Area students and parents with the technical know-how to ensure that the biggest change to California’s school finance system in the past four decades, a new law called the Local Control Funding Formula, results in greater equity and student success. With her partners, Angelica works to ensure school districts increased resources towards high-need students and meaningfully engage families and students in critical decisions. In addition, she is co-counsel in Campaign for Quality Education v. State of California, a pending lawsuit to enforce students’ fundamental right to education under our state constitution by requiring California to adequately and equitably fund its public schools.

Prior to joining Public Advocates, she practiced with the civil rights law firm, Lewis Feinberg PC and was a judicial clerk for the Honorable Denny Chin in New York. She is a graduate of NYU School of Law and alumni of the Immigrant Rights Clinic and Root-Tilden-Kern public interest program. Follow her on Twitter @edequitylawyer.

Avery Nelson

Avery Nelson

Avery Nelson joined the PLAN board in Spring 2016, and has served in a leadership capacity in his professional career for over 20 years. Avery lives in Antioch and works for City College of San Francisco currently in the role of Principal Business Analyst for the financial unit of the Central Business Office. Born and raised in West Oakland Avery has enjoyed the times of when your neighbors were your extended family and parents and educators worked together making sure that their children had the tools needed to succeed.

Avery is the second oldest of five children and the first of his siblings to achieve a college degree, and second to achieve his MS degree. Avery has been such an inspiration to his family that his older brother now retired Navy returned to school to achieve his BA degree then a Masters and now is completing the work for his second masters. Avery’s younger sister has recently completed her Doctoral program and is working on her dissertation. Avery’s interests are to inspire others to unlock their potentials and seek to be better and more than they realize.

Betty Olson-Jones

Betty Olson-Jones

Betty Olson-Jones grew up overseas in India, Italy, and the Ivory Coast, and has lived in Oakland for over 36 years. She has always considered herself a citizen of the world. She moved to the Bay Area after getting active in the anti-Vietnam War movement at Carleton College in Minnesota, and has been involved in movements for justice and social change ever since.

After receiving her teaching credential at Holy Names University, she began her teaching career at Allendale Year-Round School in 1994 as a bilingual Spanish teacher in 2nd, 3rd and 4th grades, and then taught 4th and 5th grades at Sequoia Elementary. After twelve years in the classroom she was elected President of the Oakland Education Association, and during her six-year tenure focused on advocating for the supports and conditions teachers and students need to be successful.

After terming out as President in 2012, she returned to Sequoia, where she taught 5th grade for two years before retiring. Since then, she has been active in the Oakland Alliance, seeking progressive candidates for Oakland School Board and City Council, has become a Master Gardener, and is a Teaching Assistant for a Qi Gong class. Betty joined the PLAN Board in 2015.

Deb Nemecek

Deb Nemecek

Deb Nemecek joined the PLAN board in April, 2015.  She retired from teaching in 2014 having spent her teaching career at an elementary school in New Haven Unified School District in Union City, CA.  Currently, Deb is working part-time for the New Teach Center, a non-profit organization that provides mentoring and professional development to new teachers throughout the Unites States.

She is a literacy and language development specialist mentoring teachers to support struggling students and English Learners.  As a former Kindergarten teach, Deb believes that the partnership between teach, parent, school site and district is a critical component for student success.

Gordon Leung | Treasurer

Gordon Leung

Gordon has been involved in affordable housing management for ten years. He joined Chinatown Community Development Center in 2008 and eventually assumed the Director of Property Management position in 2011. He is overseeing operation of a portfolio including 2200 residential units while leading over 80 employees in his department.

In addition to property management, he also specializes in non-profit management, business strategy, leadership development, and special project management. Gordon holds a MBA degree from Golden Gate University and a B.S. in Managerial Economics from the University of California, Davis.

In his leisure time, Gordon likes playing basketball, swimming, hiking, traveling and wine tasting.

Liz Suk | Board Chair

Liz Suk

Liz Suk is rooted in Oakland, CA and uses her passion for community building and social justice to build cooperative spaces that try to challenge the status quo. A connector, she enjoys bringing folks together to eat, drink and talk stories, and finding ways to get off the grid.

Liz currently works as the Evaluations and Learning Coordinator of CoreAlign, a reproductive movement organization, after working 20+ years in the community providing direct services ranging from foster care, recovery services, domestic violence advocacy and counseling, and youth gang prevention as well as social justice organizing that includes third world liberation, Korea peninsula solidarity, cultural arts and cooperative early childhood education. She is a single mom and staunch believer in self-determination and smashing on cultural appropriation.

Marcia Henry

Marcia Henry

Marcia Henry is the mother of two graduates of Oakland public schools (Sequoia, Bret Harte, and Skyline) who themselves became teachers in Oakland. While her children were in school she was extremely involved in Oakland Unified School District matters, both at school sites and at the district level, and came to see what a difference the voices of parents could make. Her own experience leaves her with no doubt as to the importance of PLAN’s mission.

For nearly 40 years Marcia worked as a civil legal services attorney in programs that offer free representation for low-income clients; she spent approximately 15 years each at the Sargent Shriver National Center on Poverty Law and the Oakland-based National Center for Youth Law as well as shorter stints elsewhere. After a few years representing individual low-income clients she turned to writing and editing for poverty law journals that help other advocates serve their clients most effectively. She retired in 2013.

Marcia’s oldest grandchild will start kindergarten at an Oakland public school this fall.

Rebeca Diaz

Rebeca Diaz

Rebeca Diaz joined the PLAN board in Spring 2015 and has provided leadership in the roles of Secretary and Board Chair. Diaz lives and works in Oakland, California. She was born in Durango, Mexico and moved to the U.S. as a child in the early 70s. As the eldest child of immigrant parents, she was often responsible for interpreting for her parents when they visited her school.

Today she is a Senior Research Associate at WestEd, where she has worked since 2000. As a Sr. Research Associate, Diaz conducts research and evaluations of school programs. She is particularly interested in the experiences of underrepresented students and families. Additionally, Diaz is a co-founder of the East Bay Latina Giving Circle, a group sponsored by the Latino Community Foundation. Diaz has a Ph.D. in Education from UCLA and a B.A. in Sociology from UC Davis.

Connect with PLAN

Each month, you’ll get stories of parents’ successes, policy updates, links to our recent blog posts and more.