Meet the Coaches

“Leaders become great, not because of their power, but because of their ability to empower others.”

Russell Degnan – C.E.O

“The only person you should strive to be better than, is the person you were yesterday” ~Matty Mullins

Russell Degnan is a passionate change maker who has followed in the footsteps of his father (Bill Degnan), the founder of Operation New Hope.

1996 he began his career journey as a group counselor assigned to ONH’s contract with Riverside County’s Diversion and Los Angeles County Juvenile Parole. Assuming the Executive Director role in 2009 his goal was to elevate ONH from a successful “mom and pop” non-profit in to a thriving key-stakeholder in the communities they served.

2009 he set out a vision to establish a Youth Opportunity Center for the disadvantaged youth ONH served. The goal was to increase the success rate of those classified as “dropouts” throughout San Bernardino County by providing our Evidence Based Practice of case management, educational opportunities, leadership development, and career pathway programs. With these supportive services, he was confident that ONH would assist San Bernardino County in achieving more success with the TAY youth (Foster Youth, Teen Parents, Homeless, Mental Health, and those experiencing the Judicial System).  

2010, He would lead the formation of a successful collaboration to create two Youth Opportunity Centers to provide meaningful life skill resources for disadvantaged youth. As a result, ONH has been able to stimulate, sustain and engage “dropout” youth into comprehensive services in San Bernardino County.

Since the opening of the Youth Opportunity Centers; 3135 students have successfully completed ONH’s Career Pathway Program, 411 have graduated with an accredited high school diploma, with 83% entering in to employment, and or enrolled in to higher education or a technical schools.

Ultimately Russell’s passion is to provide underserved youth who have been expected to be the failures in society a place where they experience genuine love, hope, and opportunities to succeed in life. Weekly you will find him in the community encouraging youth to handle their business, actively engaging community leaders, and or developing community partnerships to help empower his beloved students he has devoted his entire life to serve. Mr. Degnan is one of the most loyal and sincere voices for our under-served youth.

Claudia Rodriguez – Program Manager

“Be the change you want to see in the world.” ~Mahatma Gandi

Adrianna Jaimes – Youth Reinvestment Manager

“The most important thing is to try and inspire people so that they can be great in whatever they want to do.” – Kobe Bryant
 

I have been youth developer for 4 years. What I enjoy most about teaching our Youth Reinvestment Program is seeing my students on a beautiful Saturday morning. My students come ready to participate and become leaders of our community. We grow and learn how to be aware of emotions and learn how to positively respond to our emotions.

 

One of my favorite piece of working with our youth is assisting and mentoring them as they Build a Roadmap to Success. A Roadmap to Success has a huge impact on my students because they are finding their strengths, passions, and planning how they will achieve their own success.

 

Working with youth has impacted my life in a beautiful way; not only am I teaching the youth, but the youth are teaching and showing me that when life knocks you down you will always stay on top. I enjoy bringing awareness to the students their gifts and talents that they didn’t realize were inside of them. The youth of San Bernardino are STRONG, BEAUTIFUL & GIFTED. This is one of my favorite quotes from one of my students, “If life doesn’t go your way, then make it.” – Seth 

 

I am a dog mom to a beautiful dog named Stella. I like to travel and learn new experiences. One of my favorite hobbies is to joke around and always lighten up the mood wherever I am at. I enjoy finding new foods and restaurants to try. I’ve always shown leadership in my life because I wanted to make sure I had an impact on whoever came in my life. One of my biggest blessings is my FAMILY, they have always showed me support and always told me to reach for the stars and never give up on myself. PERIOD!!!

Summerly Sanchez – Prison to Employment Manager 

“Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.” ~Romans 12:2
 

I was born and raised in San Bernardino, CA. I am a wife and mother of 3 beautiful children. My husband and I started Etrnl Life church out of Operation New Hope in 2019. My family and I enjoy doing art and music together. We also enjoy outdoors and trying new restaurants and food. We do our best to share the love of God with everyone we encounter. My whole life revolves around my family.

 
After building a great relationship with both Russell and Claudia I became staff at Operation New Hope in 2020. I have my B.A. in Visual Communications and I utilize my education in all areas of business. I enjoy using my gifts and talents to help those around me. I do my best to uplift others and encourage them to grow as an individual. Life is rough and everyone can use some encouragement. 
 
Growing up in the area I am familiar with the needs of the community. I have a heart for all people and enjoy meeting people where they are at and accepting them for who they are. I have compassion and drive to see the best out of situations and people and to always encourage growth in their lives. My life is a living testimony for overcoming common obstacles in our community. 
 
Operation New Hope is a comfortable place to be uncomfortable for EVERYONE. Growth begins where comfort ends!

Kaylee Frost – Community Liason

“You can’t go back and change the beginning, but you can start where you are and change the ending.” ~C.S. Lewis

A proud mother of 3 amazing kids; born and raised in San Bernardino County’s High Desert region.

Since 2019 I have had the opportunity to be positive change maker in youth lives. I am passionate about giving opportunities to our youth who have faced barriers in their life.  I enjoy mentoring and guiding them in developing confidence in themselves and establishing their professional goals.

With determination and support I have helped many youth overcome life’s obstacles and guide them in the development of a road map to success. ONH leadership has inspired me to take on new tasks and build on the knowledge I have.  I look forward in seeing how many lives we can change this year together.

Irma Corzo – Career Pathway Coach

“You do not know how strong you are until being strong is the only choice you have,” ~Bob Marley

I am a Mestiza woman, which means that I had combined indigenous (Maya) from Guatemala and European descendants. I had a wonderful career helping people which began after I earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology (B.A.) from California State University of San Bernardino (CSUSB). Currently I am the Career Pathway Coach at Operation New Hope’s Alta Vista Innovation High Schools located in Hesperia and Apple Valley. I educate, mentor, and job coach students to plan their career pathway and equip them with essential life skills to develop a road map for success.

My journey started when I immigrated to The United States of America to follow the American dream. I am married, have five children, and one grandson. I enjoy walking, hiking, and I love gardening. I am an active member of the Catholic Church in Apple Valley, California where I participate on the Restorative Justice Ministry where I visit incarcerated people. In addition, I am a co-author of the book “Stand Still “by RJ Jackson and her friends. I also would like to have a nonprofit business to help poor people in Guatemala. I am passionate to help others and offer the best professional-human services. Lastly, I enjoy traveling. I visited Rome, Italy, France, Barcelona, and London. My next trip will be to visit Japan.

Shaun LeFlore – Case Manager

“Minds are like parachutes they only function when they’re open”  ~Tommy Deware

When lived experience and education meet. I personally understand what happens when young minds are not cultivated and validated. The world has a way of conveying to people in certain communities everything they are not. It is my job to convey the opposite. I believe in giving a voice to the voiceless and amplifying the preexisting intelligence of all impacted communities. I am heavily involved at Norco College, after finishing up my Associates in Business Admin. I am the president of a Social Club called Liberated Scholars which helps returning citizens navigate and complete higher education. I sit on the Anti-Racism task force at Norco College which follows a 10 point plan focusing on racial and cultural inclusion in academia. Throughout life, I have learned that equality and equity are vastly different. In America, we will never have equality if we fail to create equity.

Dealing with invisible ceilings inside an economically divided society can be frustrating. This frustration can lead to all forms of trauma. This trauma can last for generations upon generation. I am thankful for organizations like Operation New Hope who are willing to be innovative in their approach to underserved communities. Due to the evidence-based curriculum, we can change the trajectory of young lives. The people who are inside a community have the vested interest to change that particular community. I am a part of the community, therefore it is my purpose to change it.

Jerry Sifontes – Community Service Manager

Aryana De La Torre – H.E.A.L. Manager

“When I give food to the poor, they call me a saint. When I ask why the poor have no food, they call me a communist” ~ Dom Helder Camara 
 
I am a 2019/2020 alumni of the Youth Reinvestment Program. I have seen firsthand how influential this curriculum and staff can be.  Provided the opportunity to showcase my leadership qualities and passion to give back to the community I was granted the opportunity to be an interictal staff member of our Healthy Eats and Love Food program.  
 
As a practicing Catholic, this line of work is a constant blessing, which affords me many opportunities to serve God, my community, and affirm my faith.  I value the power of knowledge and I am passionate about politics and being active change maker in the social justice movement. 
 
I am from Boyle Heights and I am a faithful Dodger Fan.  I love various types of music some of my favorites are rock, classical, reggaetón, and rap. On my free time you find me reading and visiting museums. 

Javier Salgado – Community Service Assistant Manager