Staff & Advisory Board

Learn more about the team behind Roots of Success



Raquel Pinderhughes, Ph.D. is Professor of Urban Studies and Planning at San Francisco State University where she has been teaching classes on urban planning and environmental planning since 1991. An internationally recognized expert on sustainable development and environmental justice, her work focuses on improving quality of life for people living in low-income communities and families. Much of her work has focused on providing individuals with barriers to employment with the knowledge and skills they need to benefit from efforts to “green” cities in the face of neighborhood improvements that typically lead to gentrification and displacement. She conducted the first study on “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 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. She is the Founder and Executive Director of “Roots of Success”, an innovative and empowering environmental literacy and work readiness program that is used in prisons, jails, job training programs, youth programs, and other settings throughout 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.

Colin Smith headshotColin Smith is the Head Editor of Roots of Success. He holds a B.A. in History and American Studies from Kalamazoo College. Colin is interested in advocating for literacy and how culture, policies, and the economy have affected communities. He has previously interned under a sustainable farm in British Columbia, the environmental news organization Circle of Blue, and had enrolled in Sociology and Development courses for six months in Kenya. As a writer and editor, he works with Roots of Success‘s books and texts, including laying out the Green Jobs and Career Pathways Guidebook.

Kristin Linden is graduating with a Master of Public Health from U.C. Berkeley and is a Project Manager (Intern) at Roots of Success. As a life-long learner with a background in journalism, marketing, and business operations, Kristin believes education empowers and enables people to reach their full potential.


Myah Rivera-Wiegmann is a recent graduate from San Francisco State University with a B.A. in Environmental Studies and an emphasis in Sustainability and Social Justice and is a Project Manager (Intern) at Roots of Success.

Juliana Maia is passionate about social and environmental justice, education, and human development. What makes me passionate about these areas are the learning processes that take place inside communities, the shared lived experiences, the ways education can be transformative in people’s lives, and the ways education can empower people and bring social change. She truly believes in the force of community leadership and grassroots movements and the ways they can bring significant transformations.


Advisory Board

Kay O’Neill – Senior Strategist Workforce and Economic Development, MYND Global Group
Cyril Walrond – Roots of Success Teacher and Master Trainer, Washington Dept. of Corrections
David Duhaime – Roots of Success Teacher and Master Trainer, Washington Dept. of Corrections
Grady Mitchell – Roots of Success Teacher and Master Trainer, Washington Dept. of Corrections
Eugene Youngblood – Roots of Success Teacher and Master Trainer, Washington Dept. of Corrections
Curtis Penn – Program Director, Justice Services, Felton Institute, SF Family Service Agency
Maurice Hampton – E.I.T. Civil Engineering, Quality Engineering Solutions (QES)
Lisbeth Shepard – Executive Director, Green City Force
Jamie Brewster – Program Manager, Five Keys Charter School
Patrick Brown – Leadership Academy Manager, Greenlining Institute
Paul Cox – Founder, Veterans Speakers Alliance
Anne Boyd-Rabkin – Nonprofit Consultant in Health and Sustainability
Mark Jacobstein – Technology Entrepreneur
Pedro Noguera – Distinguished Professor of Education at the Graduate School of Education and Information Studies at UCLA
Van Jones – ReBuild the Dream

Employment Opportunities

We are hiring for ! See the post 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