Raquel Pinderhughes, Ph.D. is Professor of Urban Studies and Planning at San Francisco State University and the Founder and Executive Director of the Roots of Success Environmental Literacy and Work Readiness Program. Her work focuses on improving quality of life for people from underserved communities. She conducted the landmark study “Green Collar Jobs for Individuals with Barriers to Employment” and co-authored the first report on “The Greening of Corrections: Creating a Sustainable System” for the Federal Department of Corrections. Her programmatic work on preparing people with barriers to employment for jobs in the green economy informed the creation of the Obama Administration’s “Pathways Out of Poverty” Program and the development of hundreds of green jobs training and environmental literacy programs in the United States.

Chad Flores is the Head of Product and Deputy Executive Director of Roots of Success. His expertise is in nonprofit organizational management and environmental policy. Previous to his work with Roots of Success, he worked for the online fundraising nonprofit Network for Good and the social innovation incubator Hub Bay Area. Chad holds a M.S. in Public Service Management from DePaul University’s School of Public Service and a B.S. in Biomedical Sciences from Marquette University. He is passionate about issues at the intersection of public health, economy, policy, and innovation.

Grady Mitchell is Corrections and Reentry Program Director and Advisory Board member at Roots of Success. Grady became a Roots of Success instructor and Master Trainer in Washington state prisons, where he taught hundreds of students over many years. In January 2021, Grady’s 37 year sentence was commuted and he was able to return home to his family and community. Contact:

Abby O’Brien is Program Manager at Roots of Success. Prior, she worked at the SFS Center for Sustainable Development Studies in Atenas, Costa Rica. Abby holds a B.A. in Environmental Analysis with a focus in sustainability and the built environment from Scripps College. She is excited to work with our partners and help Roots grow.

Florencia Diano Borghini is a member of the Roots of Success en Español team, working on Curriculum Development and as Video Editor. A photographer and filmmaker from Uruguay, she holds a degree in Social Communication with emphasis in Audiovisual Narrative and a Diploma in Editing. She works as a photographer, audiovisual producer, teacher, and graphic designer.

Shruti Sreenath is the Product Manager and Project Lead for Course Migration at Roots of Success where her work focuses on researching learning management systems, content migration, and improving user experience. She has a wide range of experience in Technology Management and Consulting with multiple industries. Shruti holds an MBA degree from Indian Institute of Management, Indore and a B.E degree from BITS Pilani. She is passionate about learning new technologies and their application in product management.

Board of Directors

Kay O’Neill – Chair
An Bui – Vice President and Secretary
Chad Flores – Treasurer
Maurice Hampton – Member at large
Raquel Pinderhughes – Member at large
Cyril Walrond – Member at large


Van Jones – CNN political contributor, The Van Jones Show, The Redemption Project
Curtis Penn – Division Director of Justice Services, Felton Institute
David Duhaime – Roots of Success Instructor and Master Trainer, Stafford Creek Correction Center
Grady Mitchell – Roots of Success Instructor and Master Trainer, Washington Corrections Center; Corrections and Reentry Program Director, Roots of Success
Eugene Youngblood – Roots of Success Instructor and Master Trainer, Monroe Correctional Complex; Facilitator and Community Engagement Specialist, The Freedom Project
Karlyn Eklof – Roots of Success Instructor, Coffee Creek Correctional Center 
Traci Akers – Roots of Success Instructor, Coffee Creek Correctional Center 
Jaime Armour – Roots of Success Instructor
Lanelle Warner – Roots of Success Instructor, Coffee Creek Correctional Center
Lisbeth Shepard -Independent Consultant
Jamie Brewster – Employment Programs Director, One Treasure Island
Pedro Noguera – Dean of Education, University of Southern California (USC)
Deborah Moore – Principal, Campaign Catalyst Solutions
Amy Kiser – Independent Consultant
Matthew DelSesto – Inside-Out Program Coordinator and Teaching Fellow in Sociology, Boston College
Dan Pacholke – Co-director, Segregation Solutions
Suzanne Lane – Graphic Design Consultant
Shirley McLaughlin – Principal, Adler & Colvin

Employment Opportunities

We may be hiring! Look for our postings on Idealist, or send an email to for more information.

Volunteer and Internship Opportunities

If you are interested in Interning or Volunteering with Roots of Success please send your resume and a cover letter to