External Relations Team

Andrew Ferson | Director of Policy

Andrew Ferson serves as the Director of Policy and Partnerships at PIQE. In this role, he advances national, state, and local efforts to advance equitable education reform for families. Prior to this position, he was a Grant Associate with PIQE and briefly was a Federal Government Relations Analyst for the Scripps Institution of Oceanography at University of California, San Diego. Before moving to San Diego, Andrew worked as a federal education policy consultant in Washington DC and as a legislative aide in the Massachusetts state legislature.

Originally from Massachusetts, Andrew received his B.A. in political science, with a minor in education, from Boston University. He earned is M.Ed in education policy and management from the Harvard Graduate School of Education.

Stephanie De Anda | Director of Philanthropy

Stephanie grew up in East Los Angeles in a Latino family where Spanish was her first language. Growing up she knew she wanted to work to address disparities for Latino, multi-ethnic, underserved communities like the one she grew up in.

She is now a dedicated and purpose-driven non-profit professional with a deep commitment to advancing underserved communities of color through education, workforce development, and advocacy. With a career in the nonprofit sector, she has relentlessly pursued empowerment and well-being enhancement for individuals and families.

Currently serving as the Director of Philanthropy here at the PIQE, Stephanie plays a pivotal role in empowering families to actively engage in their children’s education and advocate for their success in school. This role reflects her unwavering dedication to the mission of upliftment.

Prior to joining PIQE, Stephanie held positions in various organizations, including the Los Angeles Urban League, Crystal Stairs, Inc., Goodwill, Hispanic Scholarship Fund, and AltaMed Health Services, where she developed a diverse skill set in fundraising, grant compliance, program management, and community overall engagement. Her impressive track record of coordinating fundraising initiatives, cultivating donors, and managing grants demonstrates her expertise in philanthropic endeavors.

She is a visionary leader and advocate who has consistently worked towards the betterment of underserved communities, leaving a lasting impact on every organization she has been a part of. Stephanie continues to be a driving force in advancing the mission of empowering and uplifting communities through philanthropy.

Isaac Cox | Director of Communications

Isaac Cox is a seasoned professional with over ten years in strategic communications and brand development, currently serving as the Director of Communications at the Parent Institute for Quality Education (PIQE). He specializes in innovative marketing, strategic communications, increasing brand visibility, and multimedia management, all in alignment with PIQE’s mission and vision.

Isaac is committed to using his extensive knowledge in strategic communications and marketing to promote informed engagement within the educational sector. Before his tenure at PIQE, he was the Assistant Manager of Communications at Crystal Stairs, Inc., leading the agency’s rebranding and helping to develop an organizational voice that echoed company values. His leadership in marketing campaigns and rebranding initiatives led to significant increases in brand recognition and enrollment.

Living in Koreatown, Los Angeles, Isaac pursues photography and videography as hobbies. He holds a B.A. in Journalism and Creative Writing from the University of Arizona and is a proud supporter of his alma mater’s sports teams. BEAR DOWN, Arizona.

Miguel Angel Segura | Director of External Relations

Miguel Ángel Segura (MÁS) was born and raised at the intersection of Westlake, Echo Park, and Historic Filipinotown. Miguel went on to pursue his Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) in Political Science and Chicano/a Studies at California State University, Northridge and his Masters at Loyola Marymount in Education. 

Miguel taught in Pico-Union and South Los Angeles. Miguel later worked for the State Assembly uplifting constituent concerns to the Assemblymember and assisting families with access to workforce and income resources. 

Miguel left the Assembly in November 2015 to support the Hillary 2016 campaign. Miguel came back to Los Angeles and worked for LAUSD’s Board of Education for three years. He built trusting relationships with District leaders and capacitated parents to advocate for themselves. After leaving LAUSD, he worked for a parent advocacy organization to support parents of English-Learners, students with disabilities, and immigrant families.

Miguel rejoined the Advance Staff to support the presidential campaigns for 2020. He then joined the staff of US Secretary of Education, Miguel Cardona, on a special effort to assess the impacts of COVID-19 on schools, colleges, and universities in several states across the country. Miguel then served as an Advance Associate for the Office of the Vice President Kamala Harris.

Adolfo Lopez | Community Engagement Associate

Adolfo is the Community Engagement Associate for PIQE. He was born and raised in the central valley town of Modesto, California; whose parents migrated from Jalisco, Mexico. Adolfo attended Modesto Junior College and received his B.A in Political Science from the University of California at Merced. Over the last years, He has worked in diverse communities, focusing on uplifting community leaders centered around health access, immigration reform, education, and local issues.

Since 2017, Adolfo has been honored to sit on the Modesto City Schools’ Board of Trustees. He also serves on boards for non-profit organizations servicing communities in South and West Modesto. Adolfo is passionate about helping individuals find their voice and the power of community while creating strong partnerships. In his spare time, he enjoys to travel, playing golf and watch a good soccer game.

Rachel Morton | Fund Development Associate

Rachel Morton serves as one of our Fund Development Associates. In this role, she supports the fund development department by aiding the development of our partnerships and strategizing our fundraising goals. Prior to PIQE, Rachel served as a grant writer for the HOPE center in Oroville. She has a tremendous amount of experience working and supporting the communities around her.

Iliana Gallego | Communication Specialist 

As Communication Specialist at the Parent Institute for Quality Education, Iliana is responsible for developing and implementing communication strategies to increase PIQE’s public awareness. In other words, telling PIQE’s life changing stories in order to support the organization’s work.

Prior to coming onboard, Iliana worked in different magazines and newspapers for the past 17 years. She has also written, edited, and translated content for small businesses and nonprofits, in English and Spanish. For five years she worked inside the classroom as an instructional aide. She knows firsthand that when the family is involved in their children’s education the children do much better.

Iliana holds a bachelor’s degree in Communications from the Monterrey Institute of Technology (ITESM).

She enjoys meeting new people and having interesting conversations. She is convinced that everyone has a story to tell, we just must be willing to listen.

Iliana is passionate about work. She loves to learn and be proactive. She firmly believes that every dedicated, hard-working person should have the opportunity to succeed. She looks forward to supporting the organization and our families to help them fulfill their dreams.

In her free time, she enjoys decorating and organizing events, going to the beach, spending time with her family and traveling.

Leslie Hernandez | Fund Development Associate

“Leslie Hernandez is the daughter of two Mexican immigrants. She grew up in MacArthur Park with Spanish as her primary language. Leslie obtained her Bachelor of Arts in Public Affairs and International Development Studies at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA).

Growing up, Leslie always knew she wanted to utilize her higher education to serve underrepresented communities much like the one she was raised in. During her undergraduate career at UCLA, she deeply immersed herself within the non-profit sector where she learned there were many ways she could directly impact communities like her own. She is now a passionate non-profit professional dedicated to empowering underserved communities.

Prior to joining PIQE, Leslie held several Development Intern positions with smaller non-profit organizations both locally and abroad in Medellin, Colombia where she developed her passion and commitment to storytelling and fundraising.

In her new role, Leslie plays a vital role in cultivating relationships with donors and ensuring effective storytelling of our organization’s mission and impact. Her dedication to this role stems from a profound belief in the power of philanthropy to drive positive change. Leslie continues to be inspired by the potential to make a lasting change and continues to channel her passion for philanthropy into meaningful actions that contribute to the betterment of underserved communities.

Kyle Kidd-Buckner | Communication Specialist

Kyle Kidd-Buckner, grew up in the vibrant community of South Central Los Angeles. With over six years of experience as a multimedia communication and digital marketing strategist, Kyle has had the opportunity to delve into various industries, including non-profits, political campaigns, and higher education institutions. His journey has been marked by a passion for crafting compelling content that resonates with audiences.

Kyle obtained his Associates of Arts degree from West Los Angeles College, as well as Bachelor of Science degree in Mass Communications with a major in Multimedia Journalism and minor in Political Science from Jackson State University.

In his role, as a Communication Specialist at PIQE, he looks forward to working towards social justice, and building relationships with political stakeholders, and other non-profits.