Meet the Team
CEO/President & San Jose Volunteer Director
Born in San Jose, CA, Jasmin lived most of her life in Fresno, CA. Graduated from Sunnyside high school with three scholarship offers to play tennis. She decided to play for a Christian college in Fullerton, CA. As she did what she loved most—playing tennis, school was not a priority and she did not apply herself academically. As time went on, she eventually understood how important school was, so she started applying herself. She soon realized that school was able to give her the same happiness that tennis had. This created the new Jasmin—an overachieving bookworm. She is currently working on her undergraduate degree in Biology with a concentration in Physiology, and a minor in Chemistry and Health Science. Her plan is to attend medical school, and fulfil her dream of becoming a Pediatrician. Aside from her studies, she is a Tennis Professional, and co-founder of GRT Tennis Academy. Jasmin is also a Medical Assistant at an acupuncture clinic in San Jose, CA. At her University—Cal State East Bay, she is a Peer Mentor, which provides assistance to incoming freshmen and transfer students. Jasmin volunteers at Stanford Blood center, Kaiser Permanente, Santa Clara Valley Medical Center, and lastly, she gives Zumba classes at a church. Everything Jasmin does comes from passion deep within her heart, all she wants to do is help, and give hope to others. This has ultimately lead her to start the non-profit organization “Letters to Hope.” This idea first came to her when she saw the news of the terror attack in Manchester, England. She felt so helpless because she felt there was nothing she could do to help. She could not physically, nor financially help, but she soon realized there is something she can do. She decided that she could make a difference by sending letters of hope and encouragement. It is her belief that these letters will give strength, faith and hope to people in need, and act as shining light at the end of the tunnel.
Secretary & Fresno Volunteer Director
Born and raised in Fresno, CA, Sia attended Sunnyside High school and is currently at Fresno City College. She will be graduating in Autumn 2018 with an Associate in Science in Business Management and an Associate in Arts in Business Administration for Transfer. Sia plans on continuing her education at Fresno State University for her Bachelor’s Degree in Human Resources. In the future she plans to get a Masters Degree in Criminology and create an organization dedicated for men and women who are victims of domestic violence for everyone, especially focusing on the Asian community. Her purpose is to educate victims and their families, provide a safe place with support from peers and domestic violence survivors. Her energy and passion are driven by her husband Josue Lopez, and their 9 children along with her family who has always been there with her through all her obstacles in life. When she heard about “Letters to Hope” in her heart she knew she had to take some part of it. Her whole life she was always about making a difference and carried in herself that if everyone wore black she would be the one in red and be the change. This organization was a great opportunity to make that difference in a community and in someone’s life.
Jessica Keaton received her Bachelor’s Degree in English from Young Harris College in Young Harris, Georgia and she received her MFA in Creative Nonfiction and Poetry at San Jose State University. She is currently an English teacher—and Electives Department Head—at Fusion Academy in Los Gatos, California. When she is not teaching middle and high school children about Creative Writing and Literature, she’s at home writing, reading, or playing video games with her cats by her side. One day, she wants her own books to be published. She has decided to join the Letters to Hope family because she believes that instilling compassion and empathy into the minds of young people is key to a better world. She hopes that she can bring her own skills and passion for writing to bring awareness, and funds, to the organization.
Sammy Jo Cienfuegos is a storyteller determined to make a difference with her words. She is an experienced playwright, poet, journalist, and grant writer. Cienfuegos is a recent graduate of St. Edward's University, where she earned her BA in Writing and Rhetoric and was named the "Outstanding Graduate in Writing and Rhetoric" in 2021. She is prepared to work with her team to ensure our organization is able to provide our communities with needed resources that will lead towards their success. Cienfuegos has goals of starting her own nonprofit that would offer creative writing and acting classes to her community. She believes that there is a special magic contained in a theatre and wants to spread that magic across town to those that might not have access to such a wondrous thing.
Besides being a curriculum specialist, Adepeju Olaniyi has a background in development management and policy consulting. In her position as a program manager, she has worked on various international and national projects relating to capacity building and training, advocacy, gender issues, and educational policies. Her research and work in Africa and the USA help bring real-world experience and exposure to realistic problem-solving strategies. Among her work achievements are developing and implementing initiatives aimed at empowerment, leadership, and maintaining networks with NGOs and government agencies, as well as advancing educational causes.
She has presented and published papers locally and internationally on issues of educational policy, human rights, women’s and girls' leadership and participation in politics and governance, and gender-based issues. Her interests and goals relate to being part of the global building process, which prompted her course of study a (Ph.D., M.A. Ed, and B.A. 2nd Class Upper) with an emphasis on educational policy.
Working with Letters to Hope for her revolves around the potential of youth empowerment and leadership, which will invariable contribute to widening human capital and national development. Adepeju's interpersonal skills, research, and expertise in program development will be useful as a grant writer with the organization.