Our Team


Jenn Yao

Executive Director

Jenn is a Project Manager in Renewable Energy at Shell. Jenn has volunteered in education for over 10 years, working with students of all ages from elementary school through high school. One of her most fulfilling experiences was mentoring a high school senior in New Orleans who went on to study nursing at a 4-year college. For that reason, Jenn joined Minds Matter in 2018 after moving to Houston because she resonated deeply with the mission and enjoyed mentoring at the high school level. Jenn has a BS in Mechanical Engineering from Cornell University and an MBA from the University of Texas at Austin.

Lucía Cerritos

Chief of Operations

Lucía is a marketing specialist at The Post Oak School. She has worked in education and non-profits for ten years and is passionate about storytelling for mission-driven organizations. Lucía served as a Minds Matter mentor for three years to an alumna (who is now a sophomore at Texas A&M University!). She deeply believes in empowering young learners and guiding them toward becoming self and community advocates. Lucía has a BA in art history and Spanish from Rice University and a MS in marketing from the University of Houston.


Amanda Gujral

Director, Volunteers

Amanda is a Registered Nurse at UT MD Anderson. She has always had the passion for helping others and this drove her decision to pursue a nursing career. Amanda would like to do more for others outside of the hospital and believes Minds Matter is the perfect organization for her. She is excited to be the Co-Vice President of Volunteer Recruitment and believes finding the best volunteer support system for the students is critical in the success of Minds Matter Houston. Amanda obtained a B.S. in Biology from Lafayette College and a B.S. in Nursing from NYU.


Amar Gurjal

Director, Fundraising & Board Member

Amar is the co-founder of Minds Matter Houston. He is a Managing Director and Partner in L.E.K. Consulting’s Houston office. As a member of the firm’s Energy & Environment practice, Amar works with clients on growth strategy, new product commercialization and M&A transaction support. He brings deep expertise for energy and investor clients in areas that include power, renewables, energy transition, oilfield services and downstream fuels. Amar is a founding member of the firm’s Sustainability Centre of Excellence, drawing together best practices and strategic insights from the firm’s sectors and geographies to support organizations as they work to meet the challenges of—and identify opportunities related to—climate change and the broader sustainability agenda.

Prior to joining L.E.K., Amar was an engagement manager on the energy team at Strategy& | PwC, and an equity research analyst for Guggenheim Partners, where he covered the oilfield services sector. He began his career in solar power development. Amar earned his B.A. degree in Engineering from Lafayette College. He earned M.S. degrees from the Colorado School of Mines and IFP School.


Steve Hodges

Director, Programming

Steve has worked in the energy sector for more than 35 years, as an engineer, manager, technical expert and consultant, designing and building large floating platforms and subsea developments. Along the way, he developed a passion for mentoring and career coaching. In the latter years of his career at Shell, he built and nurtured a mentoring circle for young engineers, led a diversity book club, and continues to mentor and coach young engineers since retiring from Shell in 2019.

Steve joined the Minds Matter Programming Team in early 2020 and has thoroughly enjoyed engaging with the students and mentors, and building content. He is a certified Myers-Briggs practitioner and a lifelong student of human behavior with a passion for career coaching and mentoring.

Away from work, Steve enjoys woodworking, garden railroading, reading voraciously, and following his two grown children’s journey through college and beyond. Steve has a BS in Civil Engineering from Northwestern University, and a MS and PhD in Naval Architecture & Offshore Engineering from UC Berkeley.


Haley Jensen

Director, Summer Programs


Daniel Krause

Director, School Engagement 

Daniel is a Consulting Estimation Advisor at PwC. As a lifelong teacher and mentor, Daniel jumps at any opportunity to support others. He has spent time as a volunteer tutor in college, new hire training instructor and mentor at PwC, and most recently as a three-year Mentor and two-year Director of School Engagement for Minds Matter Houston. Daniel spends his free time climbing and coaching at the local climbing gym. Daniel holds his B.S. in Physics from Texas A&M University.


Nashey Perry

Director, Student Engagement

Nashey is a Grand Prairie native. She achieved her M.S. in Business Management & Entrepreneurship and her B.A. in Mass Communication, while actively volunteering with local charities supporting youth, education, and faith-based outreach.

With a passion for design and storytelling, she is committed to working with service-based professionals and organizations to build their brand and grow their business with top-tier content marketing.

In her spare time of being a wordsmith and operating her own company Perriellei, Nashey is blogging about fashion, being a socialite and dedicated to being a chips and queso enthusiast.

Programming Team

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Dan Boileau


Tommy Hooks

Tommy is the Head of User Experience at Chevron. He joined Minds Matter in 2022 and has a special connection to the mission and purpose, having benefited from similar support during his high school career. He also volunteers as a coach and mentor to university students of entrepreneurship in product management, design and innovation. Tommy has a BS in Accounting from the University of New Orleans and an MBA from Simon Fraser University in Vancouver, Canada.


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Reetal Pai

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Chris Pecci

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Max Raev

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Marissa Rains

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Jeff Whitley


Will Yao

Will has worked in the IT Industry for over 30 years. He started as a programmer in the mid 80s and later proceeded to management and consulting positions. In 2021, he retired from Boeing as an IT project manager.
He has had a passion for mentoring since he was a teenager, when he tutored elementary students during his high school years, and continued to be involved in various mentoring organizations over the years. He also coached soccer as a soccer dad. He is an advocate for providing critical resources for younger generations to better prepare them for real life issues, especially the skills not commonly included as part of our current school curriculum.
During his retirement, Will enjoys learning new languages and setting up websites. He also loves to swing dance and attempts to play piano.
Will has a BS in Electrical Engineering and a MS in Information Science. He is a member of the American Mensa Society.

Volunteers Team

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Ali Daredia


Will Shropshire

Will is a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center where he studies complicated hospital acquired bacterial infections in cancer patients. Over the past ten years, he has obtained a B.A. from the University of Texas at Austin as well as a Master and Doctorate in Public Health at the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston. He currently serves as a teaching sub-committee director in the MD Anderson postdoctoral association where he coordinates efforts to provide teaching opportunities and training for aspiring educators in academia. Having participated in volunteer educational opportunities throughout his career, he sees the importance in improving equity in higher education and affording those with lesser means the opportunity to achieve aspirational educational and career goals.

Summer Programs Team


Al Foglesong

Al grew up in Tulare, South Dakota. He graduated from South Dakota School of Mines with a degree in chemical engineering. After working 37 years for Shell Oil Company, he retired in 2019. Al is married to Lynn, and they have a son Tyler (25) and a daughter Sydney (23). He enjoys sports and travel. Al is in his second year as a Minds Matter Houston on the Summer Program team and is looking forward to more face-to-face interaction with the students (and less virtual interaction as was necessitated by COVID-19).
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Neil Wingkun

Neil is an emergency physician in Houston, Texas. He is originally from West Palm Beach, Florida. He received his bachelor’s degree from Washington University in St. Louis and subsequently, a Fulbright Scholarship in the Philippines. He received his medical degree from the University of Florida and his Master of Public Health from the Harvard School of Public Health.  He completed his residency at the University of Texas Health Science Center in Houston and currently practices at Houston Methodist and MD Anderson Cancer Center. 

School Engagement Team


Sonia Galvan

Sonia is a bilingual case manager for RAICES (Refugee and Immigrant Center for Education and Legal Services). Sonia is a native Houstonian who has served the Houston community professionally for eight years. Most of her career has been in the non-profit sector, focusing largely on immigrant and underserved communities. She joined the Minds Matter team in hopes to extend greater opportunities to young minds. Sonia has a BA in Psychology from Texas State University.


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Joe Hawkins

Joe grew up overseas, attending schools in Norway, China, Belgium and Qatar. His parents were educators and taught him the value of an education and the doors it can open. After high school, Joe earned his Bachelor of Science in Chemical Engineering and Economics from the University of Wisconsin - Madison and started working professionally as a chemical engineer with Lubrizol in 2019. In 2021, Joe moved to Houston and joined Minds Matter as a mentor to share his experiences and the importance of education with the next generation of college graduates. Joe joined the fundraising team in 2022 to contribute to Minds Matter in an additional capacity.
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Max Raev


Will Yao