Our Staff

ALAYNA BOWMAN

ALAYNA BOWMAN

X3 Workforce Learning Coordinator

As the X3 Workforce Learning Coordinator, Alayna’s role is to collaborate with X3 staff and partners to co-create and implement curriculum and preparatory experiences for X3 internships and virtual internships. She co-led X3’s first virtual internship in the summer of 2020, which sparked her interest in using virtual internships to provide students with a unique experience and access to develop the necessary professional skills during the pandemic. Alayna is currently working on virtual internships and leading a cohort of young parents in the spring.

Alayna comes to the Future Focused Education with a background working with youth in the International District in Albuquerque, Los Lunas, and Belen. She grew up in the International District and attended the University of New Mexico. Alayna has a passion for positive youth development. She hopes to create opportunities for youth to prepare them for their lives post-graduation. She loves spending time with her family, photographing people and places, and eating new foods with her two small children. 

MISTIE GALLEGOS

MISTIE GALLEGOS

Director of Operations

Mistie has been part of the Future Focused team since 2015. As the Director of Operations, Mistie’s primary role is to develop and manage the organization’s operations including Human Resources and finance/grant management. In 2017, her work expanded to support the development, growth, and success of the X3 Internship program

Mistie was born and raised in the South Valley of Albuquerque, and she is driven by her roots and experiences as a high school and college intern. Knowing first-hand the power of internships to grow skills and professional networks, she leads program development in areas that ensure X3 interns have meaningful opportunities combined with mentorship and support. She believes in the power to pay it forward because every young person deserves a chance for a life-giving career.

CURRENT FOCUS

Rapid adaptation during COVID-19
The COVID-19 pandemic has required quick adaptation to build infrastructure and new systems for the X3 internships program. Mistie is helping the program continue to scale while helping youth shape their future in the workforce.

X3 On-boarding
Mistie works to create comprehensive on-boarding processes for the X3 program to facilitate first-time relationships between new mentors and high school interns even while adapting to virtual, hybrid, and intern-from-home models during the pandemic.

Resource documentation
Mistie is dedicated to ensuring processes and practices are streamlined and documented as Future Focused extends their work, school modeling, and support outside of New Mexico. 

Nicolette Garcia

Nicolette Garcia

X3 Workforce Learning Coordinator Intern

Nicolette is currently a Bachelor of Social Work Student at New Mexico Highlands University. She is completing her senior year practicum with Future Focused Education under the supervision of Ali Moore. As part of the X3 team she collaborates with LSN partner school staff and offers coaching and support to students at Health Leadership High School.

As a native New Mexican, Nicolette is proud to work with individuals, groups, and organizations to promote social change and action. She has a deep respect for the diverse multicultural populations of New Mexico and the Southwest and hopes to enhance the capacity of people to address their own needs. In the future, she plans to continue her education at the post-graduate level in order to increase her skills and knowledge related to the delivery of human services.

 

CURRENT FOCUS

Virtual Internships
Nicolette contributes to the X3 team’s build out of virtual and hybrid internships. She collaborates with community partners and supports the recruitment, application and interview process of students.

DEBORAH GOOD

DEBORAH GOOD

Director of Organizational Learning and Research

For more than a decade, Deborah has explored how innovative uses of data, evaluation, and research can inform programs, policy, and practice decision-making in a variety of settings. She was born and raised in Washington, DC, and then studied social work at Temple University in Philadelphia, earning her master’s degree (MSW) in 2009 with a specialization in research. Prior to joining the staff of Future Focused Education, Deborah served as the Director of Data and Research for Mission: Graduate where she led the collaborative development of the Central New Mexico Graduate Profile, an exemplar statewide. 

At Future Focused, Deborah leads the organization’s internal evaluation and continuous improvement, as well as supporting organizational learning and growth through group facilitation and strategic thought partnership on all initiatives. She lived in New Mexico for eight years and now telecommutes from Corvallis, Oregon, making regular trips back to New Mexico (except during global pandemics) for work engagements and a healthy dose of green chile.

CURRENT FOCUS

X3 WorkReady Credential
Deborah is leading a design process to develop the X3 WorkReady Credential. The credential will meet a crucial need by validating interns’ transferable workplace skills with a certification recognized by local employers as a signal of competence and work readiness. Prototyping is now underway.

Integrated data systems
Deborah helps schools collect data to tell their unique stories of success. She is now collaborating on a rollout of the Leadership Schools Network Integrated Data System, which stores and displays data on shared metrics and will support meaningful data use across the LSN.

New graduation pathways
Deborah is part of a collaboration with the New Mexico Public Education Department to prototype and pilot a new graduation pathway for schools across the state by which students would complete senior capstone projects to demonstrate their learning and readiness for graduation.

GRACE GRANILLO

GRACE GRANILLO

Research Assistant

Grace comes to Future Focused from Dual Language Education of NM, another educational nonprofit, where she was an administrative jack-of-all-trades. While at DLeNM she completed her Master’s in Public Administration with a minor in Community Planning at the University of New Mexico. She brings her education and experience in developing organizational processes and systems to bear at FFE to assist with evaluation and design of current and emerging programs.

She has interest in Indigenous cultures, language preservation, decolonization, social justice movements, organizational change, and becoming a better gardener and global citizen. Born and raised in Albuquerque, she loves exploring NM, especially sampling new restaurants and breweries around the state. She has recently purchased her first home and plans to be immersed in DIY projects with her partner and kitty cat for the foreseeable future!

ITZEL GUILLEN

ITZEL GUILLEN

Future Focused X3 Intern

Itzel Guillen is an AmeriCorps Public Ally Intern, working with the Future Focused X3 internship team to support company relationships and recruitment.

Itzel is a first generation college graduate. She earned her bachelor’s degree in Biology from the University of New Mexico with double minors in Chemistry and Human Medicine Human Values. Before joining the Future Focused Education team, she worked as a program assistant for EOC at The University of New Mexico. Her favorite hobbies are spending time outdoors, hiking and reading.

MIKE MAY

MIKE MAY

Director for Workforce Learning

Mike has worked in education since 1996. He has held teaching and school leadership positions in innovative spaces in a variety of settings, including laboratory, charter, public and private schools, both domestically and internationally. Most recently, Mike directed a high school in Switzerland, a country known for its exemplary multi-tiered model of work-based learning. 

At Future Focused, Mike leads the X3 Internship team, creating ecosystems in Albuquerque and beyond in which marginalized local youth and young adults are supported in accessing pathways to industry exposure, training, and employment. Mike grew up in a rural community, and because his own path was shaped by work-based learning experiences in politics, communications, and education policy, Mike believes in the transformative power of mentorship through accessible, supported and compensated work-based learning experiences. He fights to offer that same access to others and creates the relationships and systems that contribute to more prosperous communities. Mike has lived and worked in Honduras, Switzerland, and Germany. He can frequently be found at different elevations throughout the Land of Enchantment pursuing whitewater kayaking, hiking, biking or swing dancing.

CURRENT FOCUS

Scaling the X3 program
Mike is leading the growth of the X3 Internship program, facilitating over 400 student placements. He has developed expertise in recruiting employers to invest in young talent in their community and in supporting schools to engage with employers effectively.

Hybrid internships during COVID
In the face of COVID-19, Mike is designing virtual and hybrid internships. Through the innovative design of virtual and hybrid work-based learning, X3 is doing its part to stem the tide of disengaged youth by serving more students than ever before.

Expansion beyond internships
Mike is partnering with local companies in healthcare and commercial construction along with industry associations, higher education, and workforce development boards to create additional pre-apprenticeship and apprenticeship pathways.

MELISSA MICHEL

MELISSA MICHEL

Office Administrator/ Fundraising Apprentice

Melissa supports management of the organization’s operations, finances, and assists with grant writing.  After helping deliver a pitch to a local foundation and landing the grant, Melissa’s work expanded to support fundraising for the organization most recently focused on funding to grow the X3 virtual internship program.

Melissa is a first generation bilingual Mexican American who graduated from South Valley Academy.  She participated in various high school internships which jump-started her professional career after graduation as an administrative assistant and later office manager before joining Future Focused Education. Drawing from the appreciation of her own experiences, Melissa helps support the X3 internship program and has previously served as a mentor to interns hosted by the Future Focused team. She is currently pursuing her degree in Business of Arts. In her spare time she enjoys traveling new places, being outdoors, eating good food, and reading novels.

CURRENT FOCUS

Fundraising and grant writing
Melissa interfaces with the Grant Plant, receiving training and managing the organization’s grant calendar. She assists throughout the entire process of writing and submitting, management of funds, and reporting to foundations and funders. 

X3 mentorship
Melissa mentors X3 interns throughout the session, and coaches small cohorts of participants to strengthen their presentation skills.

TONY MONFILETTO

TONY MONFILETTO

Executive Director

Tony Monfiletto’s family has a long history in New Mexico and his Chicano heritage informs his vision. Tony has worked in education since 1990. He has been a leader in establishing the context for a network of schools in his hometown of Albuquerque, NM, and a broader vision for schools to be the catalyst for creating healthier and more prosperous communities. 

In 2008, Tony began working on ACE Leadership High School, the first in a network of the next generation of career-focused schools that are designed to serve students that are off-track to graduation or are no longer attending school. There are now four schools in the Leadership Schools Network which are committed to providing “the best education for the students who need it the most.”

He is emerging as a leader in equity conversations across the country. His belief in local wisdom and the inherent value of young people and their lived experience frames his approach to the most complex and seemingly intractable problems we face.

CURRENT FOCUS

The Reciprocity Project
One of Tony’s passions is to support community-based efforts to reimagine schools across the country. He has teamed up with the Center for Collaborative Education and the Education Resources Consortium to launch a new nationwide school development strategy called The Reciprocity Project in 2021.

New graduation pathways
He is also partnering with the New Mexico Public Education Department to create a new graduation pathway focused on applied learning in the community. This is a direct response to the generations of institutional racism and resulting economic and health disparities across New Mexico. 

Network-wide support
Tony stays connected to the everyday needs of the Leadership Schools Network by supporting their ongoing organizational development, cultivating partners, and supporting young people.

ALI MOORE, LCSW

ALI MOORE, LCSW

Director of Student Support

As the Director of Student Support, Ali Moore focuses on fostering the development of asset-driven, trauma-informed and inclusive school practices in order to increase schools’ capacity to set students up for success, while promoting school cultures of support for all. With over 10 years of social work experience domestically and abroad, she holds a Masters in Social Work (MSW), with an International Concentration, from Dominican University, and a Bachelor’s Degree in Social Work from Pacific University. 

Although her career has taken her to work internationally, she is most passionate and proud to be living and working in her community of birth. Her work in Albuquerque, NM has included: in-home services to youth and families, building case management services within School Based Health Centers, youth-drive program development, the training and development of young adult peer support workers, teaching and supervising BSW and MSW interns, establishing and mobilizing community partnerships and the opening of a peer-support drop-in center for transition-age young people who have experienced disconnection from school, work, family and/or community.

 CURRENT FOCUS

SEL infrastructure for schools statewide
Ali is spearheading an initiative with the New Mexico Public Education Department to develop a Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) framework that provides a theoretical foundation for integrating SEL into the infrastructure and classrooms of schools statewide. 

Equity and cultural responsiveness
In partnership with the Leadership School Network, Ali has been helping build and support the Culturally and Linguistically Responsive Framework for centering educational equity at the LSN schools. This also includes co-developing and facilitating professional development regarding these practices. 

X3 support for young parents
Ali is recruiting and carving out career pathways for young parents within the X3 Internship program. This includes developing responsive systems of support to meet the needs of young parents, contributing to a positive intergenerational impact.

MONEKA STEVENS

MONEKA STEVENS

Director of Community Engagement

Moneka is a community organizer. For the past 20 years Moneka has worked in community development and curriculum design focused on Positive Youth Development and youth leadership. At Future Focused Education she serves as the Community Engagement Director supporting schools in shifting practices to be centered and driven by community. She served as the former Director of New Mexico Youth Alliance, a statewide youth council connected to community transformation through policy development. She also served as the Co-Director of Community Learning and Public Service, a university based organization developed through community partnerships, to engage university students in youth development. 

She serves on the Board of Dorn Charter School, Together for Brothers and Juvenile Justice Advisory Committee. She earned her Bachelors at the University of New Mexico with a concentration in family studies, health education and community & regional planning; and her Master’s in Community and Regional Planning. 

CURRENT FOCUS

Expansion of the LSN model
Moneka is supporting new schools and programs in New Mexico, Tennessee, and Minnesota who are using the learnings of Future Focused and the Leadership Schools Network to build institutions that are responsive to local needs.

Anti-racism trainings and convenings
These discussions reflect on systematic racism and explore how schools must transform to be accountable to students, families, and community. Moneka does this by implementing an anti-racist framework that makes students successful because of their community rather than inspite of it. She is completing her certification on Coaching for Equity and Transformation, a W. K. Kellogg Foundation initiative. 

Youth Participatory Action Research Project
One example of Moneka’s asset framework is her leadership in the Youth Participatory Action Research project in the International District of Albuquerque, NM, designed to create sustainable economic development for young people, their families, and employers. 

Our Board

Leigh Caswell

Leigh Caswell

Leigh Caswell, Vice President of Community Health at Presbyterian Hospital, helped develop Presbyterian’s Mobile Farmers’ Market and the Food Farmacy, which offers food to patients who have limited access to healthy food, as well as the Presbyterian Community Health Resource Center, which opened in June at the Presbyterian Kaseman Hospital campus. 

Caswell has a passion for climbing, mountain rescue, and social justice. While her professional life is all about public health, she is dedicated to helping people thrive and making sure they have access to nutritious food and healthy lifestyles.

Jason Espinoza

Jason Espinoza

Jason Espinoza is co-owner of KW Consulting LLC, which is a full-service form specializing in government affairs and association management. Jason has years of experience in public policy development, government affairs, and association management. He served as President and CEO of New Mexico’s statewide chamber of commerce and prior to that served as its Vice President of Government Affairs. In both roles, Jason led the organization’s public policy and government relations efforts.

Jason also has successfully led two statewide business associations. Jason has demonstrated an ability to increase revenue and member engagement. Jason received national recognition for membership growth and retention from the Association of State Chamber Professionals. 

 

Nichelle Gilbert

Nichelle Gilbert

Nichelle Gilbert serves as Director of Operations for the Partnership for Community Action (PCA). Through advocacy and leadership development, PCA focuses on building a movement around critical community issues such as education, economic equity, wellness, and immigrant rights. In her role, Nichelle oversees day-to-day operations for the organization, implementing a broad strategic plan aligned with the mission and vision while strengthening infrastructure to increase efficiency and effectiveness. 

Prior to her position at PCA, Nichelle served at the University of New Mexico Health Sciences Center for over a decade, working to increase and support a diverse health workforce for New Mexico. Nichelle holds a MBA with a concentration in strategic planning and policy from the University of New Mexico.

 

Dr. Meriah Heredia-Griego

Dr. Meriah Heredia-Griego

Dr. Meriah Heredia-Griego is currently the Evaluation, Learning and Impact Consultant for the W.K. Kellogg Foundation in New Mexico. During the 2019 Legislative Session, Dr. Heredia-Griego served as the Acting Deputy Director for the New Mexico Legislative Education Study Committee. She has been a bill analyst for the New Mexico Council of University Presidents, the University of New Mexico and the New Mexico State Senate.

Dr. Heredia-Griego holds a PhD in Higher Education Administration from Colorado State University, a Masters of Community and Regional Planning and a bachelor’s degree in Broadcast Journalism and Chicana/o Studies from UNM. During her time at UNM, Dr. Heredia-Griego served as Director and Research Assistant Professor at the UNM Cradle to Career Policy Institute (CCPI), previously the Center for Education Policy Research (CEPR), where she partnered with key education agencies and stakeholders to conduct applied research in the areas of education policy and program evaluation. Her work has been critical to making data and research available and useful for decision makers. She has nearly twenty years of experience working with students, families, leaders, and policymakers to address some of the biggest challenges facing children and families in New Mexico.

 

Dan Hill

Dan Hill

Dan Hill, Future Focused Education’s Board President, is an education lawyer who primarily represents charter schools. Previously he was the General Counsel for the New Mexico Public Education Department. As a former teacher and Teach For America corps member he maintains a deep commitment to public education. He is a graduate of the University of Michigan School of Law, and the University of Arizona. He has two children, and in his spare time runs ultramarathons.

 

John Mierzwa

John Mierzwa

John Mierzwa is CEO and cofounder of Ingenuity Software Labs, a custom software firm. Ingenuity Software Labs has designed and developed various custom software applications for commercial, nonprofit and government clients in all types of industries around the country. He is the Founder of Deep Dive Coding Bootcamps, a software development bootcamp in Albuquerque, later acquired by Central New Mexico Community College. 

John was Director at the CNM STEMulus Center in Downtown Albuquerque since its inception. He helped forge partnerships with businesses, government agencies and foundations to build opportunities for low-income residents, people of color and others to learn to code and obtain high-paying jobs in New Mexico. 

John serves on the boards of Workforce Connection of Central New Mexico, Technology Leadership High School, Future Focused Education, Computer Science Alliance, and the New Mexico Technology Council. John holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Business Management.

Glenna Voigt

Glenna Voigt

Glenna Voigt serves as a Public Education Commissioner for the State of New Mexico.  She is a WK Kellogg Foundation Fellow and the retired founding Principal of the Media Arts Collaborative Charter School, the first state-authorized charter school in New Mexico.  As an educator, Glenna believes that public education policy should support schools as incubators for students as independent thinkers and creators within their communities and society at large, while providing them the 360 degrees of support they require to grow and flourish within the 21st Century. 

 Prior to becoming a school administrator, Glenna was a physical education teacher, athletic coach, a photographer in the U.S. Air National Guard, and a teacher in Tokyo, Japan. Glenna serves on three boards and in her free time enjoys playing golf, piano, cycling and reading.

Kateri Zuni

Kateri Zuni

Kateri Zuni is a proud daughter of the Isleta and Zuni Pueblos. She is a BA graduate of the University of New Mexico in multimedia journalism and political science. She earned her MA in Studies of Law with a concentration in Indian Law from the UNM School of Law in 2019. She currently works as a radio producer and youth coordinator for Generation Justice where she was trained in Positive Youth Development practices for youth engagement. In that capacity at Generation Justice, Kateri produces weekly hour-long radio programs, including multi-media training for youth producers ages 13 to 25 and weekly in-office training for a team of youth interns. She was also awarded the 2018 New Energy Economy Coalition Climate Reporting Fellowship as a result of her work at Generation Justice. Kateri serves as Board Chair for the Native American Voters Alliance Education Projec. She lives in Albuquerque with her husband and son.