The Cal-SOAP Team

    Sonia Ramos- Executive Director

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    Sonia Ramos has proudly served as the Executive Director of the San José Cal-SOAP Consortium since 2004, a program of the UC Santa Cruz Educational Partnership Center. Sonia has passionately worked with first-generation and low-income schools, students and families for over 15 years. Born and raised in Visalia, CA, the daughter of migrant farmworkers and the first in her family to graduate from high school and college, Ms. Ramos found her passion for working with underrepresented students while serving as a coordinator for the Magical School Bus Ride, a UCSC partnership through the L.A. Basin Initiative, and continued her commitment through work with the UCSC Upward Bound Math Science Program and Early Academic Outreach Program (EAOP). Ms. Ramos holds a B.A. in Psychology from the University of California, Santa Cruz.

  • David Alvarez- Academic Coordinator

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    B.A in Sociology, Minor in Education, UCSC (2010-2014)

    For as long as I could remember, I was on a difficult and lonely path towards academic success. My parents, friends, and family knew little of college and therefore could not help me. I had to learn how to navigate the college-going process on my own and once I did, I knew that I did not want that to be the case for students in my community. I work at Cal-SOAP with the intention of doing everything in my power to provide students and their families with the resources and opportunities regarding the college-going process in order to get them to not only go to college but also graduate. Coming from a disadvantaged low-income family, I know first-hand what it is like to be on the wrong end of the resource and opportunity gaps. The more I read of statistics negatively affecting my community, I was empowered to spark some type of change. If I could play my part to ameliorate those gaps in my community, that would be one of the greatest impacts I could ever make. I hope that with the work of my colleagues and staff, we can accomplish these goals and many more!

    School Site: William C. Overfelt High School and Fisher Middle School


  • Cynthia Borboa- Academic Coordinator-

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    Masters in Education- Counseling, SDSU 
    B.A in Childe and Adolescent Development, Concentration in Youth and Family, SFSU

    My name is Cynthia A. Borboa and grew up in the rural area of California in the Central San Joaquin Valley. I was first in my family to graduate high school and attend college. I obtained my Bachelors of Arts degree in Child and Adolescent Development with a concentration in Youth and Family and a Minor in Counseling from San Francisco State University. I also hold a Masters of Arts Degree in Education- Counseling  from San Diego State University. During my time at SDSU I was a participant of the Native American Scholars and Collaborators Project,  which emphasizes the development of competencies in Native American education issues as they intersect and differ across western and traditional knowledge bases, with an emphasis on decolonizing methodologies and their use in schools and communities.

    My goals and passions include serving my community by widening educational access to non-traditionally college-bound students and their families through our work at Cal-SOAP. I hope to create opportunities of upward mobility to the students and families we serve, by way of higher education and post secondary opportunities for professional development.  

    School Site: Andrew P. High School and Yerba Buena High School


  • Ruby Chávez- Academic Coordinator

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    Masters in Educational Counseling and PPS Credential, SJSU (2016-Present)
    B.A in History, Latin America & Latino Studies, UC Santa Cruz (2010-2014)
    As the first in my family to go to school in the United States I had a lot of navigation and learning to do on my own. The first time I heard about college was in Elementary School when I stepped foot on a college campus. This inspired me to be the first in my family to attend college. I am passionate about working with first generation students because as a first generation college student myself I am thankful someone from the James Lick High School Cal-SOAP team took the time to assist me with the process of applying to college. I love what I do because I enjoy getting to interact with the students, assisting them with their post-secondary goals. I hope by working with these middle and high school students that I am able to pave the way for their futures.

    School Site: James Lick High School and Sheppard Middle School

  • Academic Coaches

  • San Jose Cal-SOAP Team Portrait

    The academic coach team strives to make college a reality for students. Focusing on helping students become more familiar with the college application process and promote student academic success.