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Riordan Programs Staff

Roxanne Mendez 
Executive Director

Roxanne Mendez is the fifth executive director of the Riordan Programs. She has been with the Riordan Programs since 2007, first serving as associate director. In addition, she is a certified career management coach. Roxanne was the 2017 recipient of the Women of Philanthropy Award for her role in changing the community for the better, by Comerica Bank and the Los Angeles Lakers. Mendez was selected in 2016 as part of the Next Generation Latino Philanthropy Leaders Program by Hispanics in Philanthropy. In 2015, she was a member of Leadership California for its California Issues & Trends Program, a prestigious, year-long program for women leaders from across the state of California. Her previous experience includes working in college outreach at the University of Southern California and as a grant consultant, establishing a pre-medical school program for underrepresented populations. Roxanne is a graduate of California State Polytechnic University, Pomona, with a B.S. in business administration. She received her graduate degree from the University of Southern California.

April Owens
Associate Director of Programs

April Owens is passionate about helping people utilize their inner strengths and positive qualities to achieve their desired goals and ultimately thrive in life. April, began her career as a program coordinator at the State University of New York, Albany where she supported and implemented programs that enhanced the college experience for underserved populations and improved retention rates.

As a licensed professional counselor in the state of Texas, April has experience in case and program management and directly delivering counseling services to groups and individuals in both clinical research and crisis settings.

April is a graduate of Spelman College with a B.A. in Psychology and the State University of New York, Albany with a M.S. in Counseling.

Rocio Arellano
Assistant Director of Programs

Rocio Arellano has been an advocate for higher education since her initial involvement as a participant with Cal State LA Upward Bound. Growing up in an underserved community, Rocio sought education as a way to obtain opportunities and believes in the importance of a strong professional foundation to further develop young leaders. Her previous experience includes working directly with youth through educational programs in Watts, Bell Gardens, East Los Angeles and El Sereno as the Educational Counselor with TELACU Upward Bound. In her current role, she works to increase the resources available to our Riordan Scholars. Rocio is a graduate of the University of Southern California with a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology.

Arcelia Flores
Program Manager

Arceila Flores is a College to Career Alumna ('15) who was actively involved with the Riordan Programs throughout her undergraduate career. During her time as a volunteer, she gained an insight of what it took for the Riordan Programs to execute a program and became inspired to empower her community. Flores was interested to learn more about the education field and had the opportunity to intern for a bilingual education school in Spain. Education has always been important to her while growing up in an underserved community, she hopes to continue to expand the Riordan Programs to students who are growing up with the same aspirations. She currently holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Management and Business Economics from the University of California, Merced and hopes to pursue an MBA in the future.

Jasmine Scales

Jasmine Scales is an advocate for the educational attainment of underserved populations and has a passion for both youth development and higher education. Jasmine has worked with various non-profit organizations in the greater Los Angeles area that seek to improve the life and educational outcomes of inner-city youth. She has previous experience mentoring high school students through the college process, providing support to volunteers as an AmeriCorps VISTA, and delivering academic and career advisement to foster youth enrolled in community college.

Jasmine is a graduate of Mount Saint Mary's University, Los Angeles where she completed her B.A. in Sociology. She also holds an M.Ed from the University of Southern California.