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About Us

Supporting Vallejo's youth in thriving within their community.

"Vallejo Project gave me a safe space"

- Wellness program participant

Who we are

Vallejo Project brings together volunteers to enhance student success through peer learning, linking young people to enrichment and development opportunities across generations in areas like communication, trades and wellness.


Our core mission is to disrupt the cycle of violence and economic struggle that affects our students, enabling parents to raise their children in environments where they can truly thrive.


Empowered youth, engaged in service, realizing their full potential.


Developing the leadership of youth and young adults in preparation for independence and autonomy.

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Youth Leader

Sydney Allen is a 19 year old Vallejo Project youth leader. She is an aspiring Filmmaker and is committed to living a sustainable and ethical lifestyle.

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Youth Leader

Fernando Prado is a 19 year old Vallejo project youth leader. He has a passion for carpentry and building.

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Youth Leader

Donavon is a youth leader with a passion for sustainability and makes every effort to be a good stuard of our envirmonment

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Dr. Mylene Rucker

Founding Director

Dr. Rucker is a licensed physician who has dedicated her life to underserved communities and spent 20 years as a country doctor in Visalia.


Xochitl Vargas

Youth Leader


Adjoa McDonald

Founder | Chair

Adjoa is a long-time Vallejo resident and has been an urban educator for thirteen years. She is a credentialed administrator and has a Masters in Educational Leadership.

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Richard Abbot

Richard is a local business owner who leads with a passion for community, restorative ecology, and economic development. He leads our music department investing in a restorative future for the youth of Vallejo and  America.

I enjoy coaching and mentoring future leaders and entrepreneurs.


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Paul Kirsch


Paul is a Vallejo Teacher who has a background in filmmaking, gardening and model boat repair.  He has participated in grant writing and reading for many years. Paul is a responsible Vallejo resident who is committed to making a difference.


Veronica Boe

Senior Director of Sponsored Programs and Extended Learning at Cal State University Maritime Academy

Business Advisor


Kweku Middleton

Kweku is project lead for construction at the Sac Street Garden and resident trades expert for training and youth experience. He is passionate about trades and a point of contact for careers in the industry.

Carpentry Advisor


Dr. Peryna Washington-Dillard



Dr. Washington-Dillard worked in retail and hospital pharmacy all over the state of California.  Dr. Washington- Dillard is a recent transplant to Vallejo from Fresno, California. She has a passion for community health.



Renay Conlin

Art Advisor

Executive Director of the Vallejo Community Arts Foundation

Graduated with honors in opera performance winning the Peabody Opera Award


Ja'Leah Smith

Youth Leader

Ja'leah brings over five years of dedicated experience serving at-risk youth, demonstrating a passion cultivated since a young age. Her extensive journey involves collaborating with organizations and initiatives, allowing her to understand the unique needs of these communities and refine communication and problem-solving skills. Committed to empowering at-risk youth, Ja'leah is driven to inspire and create a brighter future for every young person she serves.


Rich Souza

Dedicated, multilingual business consultant and educator



Dr. John Edwards

Dr. John is an experienced thought leader in the public education sector. John has worked with public education policies in statewide DEI initiatives, and with local, state, and federal legislators on supporting public education initiatives. 

Executive Director


Gail Robles

Gail Robles is a Vallejo native and special education teacher who has worked in a variety of school models, including the public and non-public school sectors, as well as charter and private schools.

Special Education Advisor

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Erik Adigard

Erik is a communication designer and educator in the San Francisco Bay Area. He cofounded M-A-D, a Berkeley-based design firm, and is a former design contributor to Wired magazine.

Founding Advisor

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Jon Riley

Jon is a Vallejo native. Jon has dedicated his life to equity in the labor unions of Solano and Napa counties.

Compliance Advisor

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Hugh Kinniburgh

Hugh is a filmmaker, musician , artist , technician and local business owner. Co founder of RCTV Studios, a Bay Area production company and supporter of community based organizations.


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Alex Lindsey

Alex Ben Lindsay is an American computer graphics and video production specialist. He is also the founder of the Pixel Corps and dvGarage which were both companies involved with computer graphics


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Dr. Thomas Snyder

Dr. Snyder is a retired urologist and naval officer. In retirement, he works on a history of the first Navy’s first west coast hospital, on Mare Island. 

Historical Advisor

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Jocylen Merkel

Jocelyn has 20+ years of experience managing marketing/advertising projects - and is excited to showcase work by Vallejo Project and our community partners 


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Carlton Gill

Executive/Entrepreneur/Devops /Emerging Technology Architect · Experience · Volunteer Experience · Financial Licenses & Certifications.

Cheif Financial Advisor

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Fred Lucero

Fred manages the nationally recognized RichmondBUILD Academy and Richmond YouthBUILD pre-apprentice job training program with over 1,200 job placements.


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