Joanna grew up in Los Angeles and Jalisco, Mexico, and though she, with her husband, Jonathan, and seven year old daughter, Keira, currently live in Menlo Park, Joanna is an Angeleno at heart and knows where to grab the best ramen in LA. Joanna is passionate about making a difference in her community, and in particular has a heart for working with children. She is currently finishing her general education and hopes to pursue her bachelor’s degree in psychology from Norte Dame du Namur University this year. She enjoys exploring nature, sketching and trying new things. Unfortunately, she is also a HUGE Raiders fan. Contact Joanna.
Jesse is a local leader who loves serving his community. He brings with him his passion for teaching and connecting with students relationally and experience in leading classrooms. Jesse has a B.A. from Bethany University and prior to joining Able Works was working at Bayshore Christian Ministries as the LEAD Program Coordinator. He has worked with both college and high school students throughout his career and had the privilege of volunteering as a soccer coach for the Ravenswood Youth Athletic Association. In his spare time, Jesse enjoys playing soccer, caring for exotic plants and refurbishing furniture. He lives in Menlo Park with his lovely wife Kat and beautiful daughters, Penelope and Juliet. Contact Jesse.
Sue worked in the high tech industry for over 10 years, as a management consultant with Accenture, then in Latin America business development for Apple. After becoming a mother, Sue devoted her time to raising her two children and volunteering in their schools and church. She served on the board of the Las Lomitas PTA, the La Entrada PTA and the Las Lomitas League which oversees after school sports and enrichment classes for the Las Lomitas School District. She is also an elder at Menlo Park Presbyterian Church. Sue spent the last 3.5 years working in East Palo Alto with the Ravenswood Education Foundation as the Operations Manager. She holds a B.A. and an M.B.A. from Baylor University and an M.I.M. from the American Graduate School of International Management and has been married to her husband Scott for 25 years. Contact Sue.
In 2007, Rev. John Liotti co-founded Able Works with a passion to focus on the economic issues underlying the communities in Northern California. John, who has extensive community development experience, recognized a deep need in under-resourced communities for financial education, life skills, assets and connections to the larger community and economy of the region. John is passionate about connecting and harnessing the abundant resources of the Bay Area to shatter generational cycles of poverty and systematic oppression.
Under John’s leadership, Able Works has piloted several innovative programs, including FutureProfits, a curriculum for financial education and decision-making skills for youth; LiveAble, a cohort-based support, goal-setting and finance and career management program for single mothers ages 18 to 30; free foreclosure and credit counseling; and low-income housing.
At an early age, John dedicated his life to serving under-resourced youth and families in communities locally in California’s Central Valley and Bay Area, nationally in Los Angeles, Central Florida and New York City, as well as abroad in Northern Mexico. He has lived and worked in East Palo Alto for seventeen years.
In addition to his work at Able Works, John serves as a board member for the Christian Community Development Association, YCore and the Housing Leadership Council of San Mateo County. John has a Master’s Degree in Intercultural Studies with an emphasis in Ethics from Fuller Theological Seminary in Pasadena, CA and is a Chaplain for the East Palo Alto Police Department.
John is the lucky husband of Melissa (for about 56 million years) and proud father of son Samuel and his two rescue dogs, Jax and Clementine. Contact John.
Alexia is a Silicon Valley native who has always had a passion for bringing justice to the oppressed. After receiving her B.A. from UC Santa Barbara, Alexia worked with the International Justice Mission in Cambodia, where she helped investigate cases of commercial sexual exploitation of children. Upon returning to the States, Alexia worked in various aspects of the justice system, handled many different types of casework, volunteered and completed her J.D. from Villanova University. Alexia was drawn to Able Works to further our mission of dispelling systemic causes of poverty. Alexia is also a runner and a lover of the great outdoors. Contact Alexia.
Blanca attended Cañada College and holds an Associate’s Degree as a medical assistant. Blanca has lived in East Palo Alto most of her life and has worked alongside various community-based organizations such as JobTrain, One East Palo Alto, and New Creation Home Ministries. She is passionate about helping her community and making a positive impact on the lives of its citizens. Blanca is a certified housing counselor and uses her knowledge to help homeowners in south San Mateo County. Blanca resides in East Palo Alto with her daughter Jocelyn and son Jorge. Contact Blanca
An East Palo Alto native, Angela brings her positivity, strong sense of justice, efficiency, kindness and passion for her community to our team dynamic. In addition to keeping the Able Works office organized and well-managed, Angela works directly with clients in for credit counseling out of a desire to help her community. Angela is fully bilingual in English and Spanish and her family is originally from Mexico. Angela has attended San Jose State University and is (still) fiercely loyal to our Bay Area sports teams. She and her five year old son, Carlitos, enjoy going to Target and the movies together. Contact Angela.
Jane is a well-traveled, animal-loving, passionate advocate of social justice. Jane was born in Atlanta, Georgia but relocated to Hsinchu, Taiwan when she was seven. While in Taiwan, Jane witnessed economic injustice and true poverty. After high school, Jane moved back to the States to attend Smith College where she majored in English. After graduation, Jane moved to Los Angeles to work for multiple nonprofit organizations including Asian Americans Advancing Justice – Los Angeles and spcaLA. In 2014, Jane married her husband Michael and later moved to the Bay Area with her two pets, tabby cat Calpico and dachshund Georgia. When not working, Jane enjoys spending time with her family, knitting, and hiking. She also loves to travel and has visited Fiji, New Zealand, Northern Ireland, Iceland, China, Japan, Singapore, Hong Kong and Chile. Contact Jane.