2017 HandsOn Leadership East Bay Team

cassandra anderson

Cassandra Anderson​

Cassandra Anderson received her a B.A. in Communication at Mills College, and has lived in the Bay Area for over twenty years. She currently works at Google, assisting executives and teams strategize priorities, projects, and successful initiatives through efficient organization and effective communication. Prior to Google, she has worked in the film, fashion, tech and biotech industries. Cassandra’s love for volunteering was sparked at an early age, as her family’s passion for creating positive change through community service started in Washington D.C. in the 1970s and 80s. She was introduced to Hands On Bay Area two years ago, while volunteering with her team at Google. She currently enjoys working with her South Berkeley neighbors to create Little Free Pantries and Little Free Libraries. As a member of the HandsOn Leadership program, Cassandra looks forward to applying her knowledge, skills and experience to serve organizations and communities in the East Bay, with a strong commitment to making the world a better place through community service and love, in action.

melissa baker

Melissa Baker

is a public servant and public policy professional, specializing in ensuring access to and integrity of federal food assistance programs. She served in the Peace Corps as a Community and Youth Education Volunteer in Niger from 2006-8, which catalyzed her interest in public service and community engagement.  Her current volunteer commitments focus on mentoring undergraduate and master's students- long distance for the College of William and Mary Alumni Program, and locally for the East Bay College Fund (look them up!). Proud to be an East Bay resident, she looks forward to learning more through HandsOn Bay Area about how to better serve, lead, and participate in continually improving East Bay communities.  In her free time, she's outdoors - paddle boarding, backpacking, or just hanging out with Loki, her boston terrier.

cassandra anderson

Mira Brown

Mira works in Walnut Creek as a Teacher's Assistant to students learning English as a Second Language. Throughout her life, she has been involved with various community service endeavors, which include collecting canned food, leading activities with senior citizens at a retirement home, and teaching art and crafts to underprivileged children.  A friend asked her recently what inspired her passion for volunteering: was it her upbringing, groups she was involved in, or her education?  The answer is all of the above.  As a child, Mira first experienced serving others with her Girl Scout troop and later her 4H club.  In college, she worked in the Community Service Center at California Lutheran University, where she received her Bachelors in Spanish and International Studies.  Her studies fueled her passion to understand how people live and how to bridge our differences.  Upon graduating, she combined her love of cultures, languages, travel, and volunteering by joining the Peace Corps and teaching English as a Second Language to college students in rural, western China.  She is excited to become more involved in the Bay Area and to work with a dynamic and compassionate team to bring about change in people’s lives.

cassandra anderson

Rupesh Chakrala

Professional: Currently working at Lam Research as a DevOps engineer and also leading the middleware & Linux teams. I like learning new technologies and exploring different areas within organizations/businesses. I have worked in multiple areas within IT as a Programmer, Software developer, Analyst, Systems & Network administrator, Data center architect, Project manager; awaiting to experience more. Education: I received my Bachelor's degree in Electronics and Communications engineering from Anna University (India) and my Master's in Electrical Engineering from Northwestern Polytechnic University. I'm also interested in business administration and would like to improve my skills in the area. Interests: My interests lie in clean/renewable energy, reducing carbon footprint (global warming), giving back to nature and ultimately building a better environment to live in. Conclusion: I'm excited to participate in the HandsOn Leadership program to improve my leadership skills, to meet likeminded people and learn from their experiences.

cassandra anderson

Annie DeFour

Annie moved out to the Bay Area as a Teach For America corps member and taught in San Jose for 3 years. She currently works at an education technology company as a math curriculum developer. After leaving the classroom, Annie wanted to find ways to volunteer and make a positive impact in her community. She has volunteered in a few different ways and knits and crochets items for charity, but found this program when she was looking for a more consistent way to contribute. As a member of the HandsOn Leadership program, she hopes to learn more about how non-profits are run and collaborate with others to help make an impact in the Bay Area. 

cassandra anderson

Tamara Johnson

Tamara Johnson is currently a PsyD candidate in the department of Psychology at Alliant International University. She is a master level social worker with a concentration in supporting children, youth and families. Tamara has served medically fragile foster youth throughout Alameda County and Del Norte County. In addition, she has served as a Family Finding and Reunification Child Welfare Worker as well as a Parent Advocate. Tamara is committed to addressing inequality through psychoeducation, economic development and community outreach. She is the Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Miracle Students Foundation-- a public charity dedicated to providing at risk youth with tools they need to succeed.

cassandra anderson

Rachel Miller​

Rachel is an Urban Planning professional and MBA, focused on community resilience. Rachel has been dedicated to developing community resilience by approaching urban development through systems change and capacity building programs. Some of these programs include the implementation of a Farm to Restaurant Program through a Local Business Alliance in Santa Fe, New Mexico; and early involvement with People’s Liberty, a grant making non-profit in Cincinnati, Ohio, aimed at direct investment in motivated community members. Although she is a new resident to Oakland, Rachel is already deeply inspired by the abundance of progressive movements engrained in the history and culture of the area. The Hands On Leadership Program is an opportunity for Rachel to strengthen her leadership skills to best serve her community.

cassandra anderson

Abadat Randhawa

Abadat (Abby)’s professional background in the fields of customer service and office administration has afforded her extensive hands on experience in customer service. Abby’s diverse educational background includes a Bachelor’s in psychology and business along with certification in project management. Her most recent experience of working as a behavior therapist with special needs children has taken her communication and social work skills to the next level. Abby’s skill set also includes time management skills, HR coordination, scheduling and MS Office.  During her free time, she cherishes family time and enjoys cooking and hiking. A truly virtual volunteer, Abby lives and works in the Bay Area.

cassandra anderson

Sudarshan Suresh

Sudarshan (Sud) joins the Hands on Leadership team from Pleasanton , CA . Sud has previous nonprofit experience in fundraising, donor relations and environmental activism. Through the Hands on Bay Area Leadership initiative, Sud wants to explore and connect with innovative ideas and people who are engaged in addressing some of the pressing issues of the Bay Area. Sud holds a Masters Degree in Electrical Engineering and works in the Silicon Valley. During his free time, he is an avid runner and loves spending time with his family.


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