Project GRAD Welcomes New Staff Members

We are pleased to welcome five new members to the Project GRAD team -- Jonathan R. Grady, Ernesto Gutierrez, Ric Leon, Elizabeth McCormick, and April Salazar. They all bring an expertise and a passion for working with students.

Jonathan Grady
College Success Team Leader

Jonathan R. Grady, PhD. has years of experience working with first-generation, low-income, and underrepresented students as a college and academic advisor, assistant director of TRIO programs, and educational anthropologist at UCLA, Cornell University, and California State University, Dominguez Hills. Jonathan holds a PhD. in Education with a concentration in Anthropology from UCLA, a MPS in Africana Studies from Cornell University, and a BA in Psychology from UCLA. Jonathan is excited to join Project GRAD Los Angeles and looks forward to utilizing his experience in college access and retention to assist students in graduating college.

Ernesto Gutierrez
College Success Advisor

Ernesto was born, raised and currently resides in the San Fernando Valley. He completed a bachelor's degree in Business Finance at Cal State Northridge in 2008 and then returned to CSUN for a master's degree in School Counseling in 2012. For the past ten years, Ernesto has worked in education in the community where he grew up. This has fueled the passion to continue to advocate, mentor, and assist students to reach their academic and career goals. 

Ric Leon
College Success Advisor

Ric was born and raised in the San Fernando Valley. He is an alum of San Fernando High School and was a Project GRAD Scholar. In 2012, Ric graduated from UCLA with a major in Political Science and a minor in Global Studies Finances. While at UCLA, he worked side by side with the Early Academic Outreach Program. 

Elizabeth McCormick
College Success Advisor

Elizabeth is a southern California native and first-generation college graduate. She earned a BA from UCLA as an Anthropology major and Education Studies minor. Elizabeth will be completing her Master's in School Counseling Leadership/PPS and CWA Credential from California State University, Los Angeles this June. Prior to joining Project GRAD, she worked at the UCLA Lab School. Elizabeth's role as a student advocate is something she is very passionate about and looks forward to putting into practice at Project GRAD. 

April Salazar
College Success Advisor

April was born and raised in the San Fernando Valley. She is a first generation college grad. April has a B.A. in Psychology from UCLA and a Master's/PPS credential in Counseling from Loyola Marymount University. Her previous experience with students includes being a preschool teacher, school counselor for students with special needs, and a mentor.

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