Meet Our Staff
After graduating from high school, Alejandro decided to go to community college to make it more affordable. After finishing up his second year, Alejandro transferred to Sacramento State to finish up a B.A. in sociology. During Alejandro’s time in college, he worked as a team lead for the Bridges after school program. Alejandro’s responsibilities were to help students with their homework before they could engage in any other activities. After working on their homework, they were split into two groups and took part in various activities such as sports, dance, cooking, and science projects. After that Alejandro worked as a visitation monitor for a nonprofit foster agency and as a behavior technician for an ABA company. Alejandro enjoyed working with youth and it makes him feel good when he know’s that he’s making a difference in their lives. Alejandro wants to ensure that they can succeed and can make the most of their time.
Program Coordinator – Lift a Brother Up
Before BOTR, Cesar spent the bulk of his career as a Spanish teacher within Oakland high schools. He also supervised community survey implementation as part of Hayward Promise Neighborhood. Cesar has also been active as a community artist and curator.
Program Coordinator – Brothers, UNITE!
Before BOTR, Chris was a leader within Oakland Parks and Recreation and also his church. He supported fatherhood and male involvement at Brighter Beginnings. Prior to his community-based work, Chris honed management skills in the corporate world for Enterprise Rent-a-Car and AT&T Park.
Jon Gilgoff, L.C.S.W.
Senior Director for Programming and Systems Change
Jon is the Founder of Brothers on the Rise, and served as the Executive Director for its first eight years in operations. Jon brings over 15 years of experience designing, delivering and directing programs for urban males of color in Washington, D.C. New York City and now Oakland, CA. He is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker, fluent Spanish speaker, certified mediator, published writer, and leading trainer and consultant around therapeutic empowerment work with boys and young men of color. Jon holds a B.A. in International Relations from Tufts University and an M.S.W. from Columbia University. He has been honored with a Jefferson Award for Public Service, as well as with a Bowne Foundation Research Fellowship, a Progressive Jewish Alliance Social Justice Fellowship and a LeaderSpring East Bay Executive Director fellowship.
John comes to BOTR from the Richmond/San Pablo area. John identifies himself as a student who didn’t know what his next step in life was after high school. With the guidance of mentors throughout his college career, John learned to balance school and work full-time. Transferring from Contra Costa College, John completed his undergrad degree at UCSB where he discovered his passion for working with underrepresented youth. Along with working in the mental health and non-profit sectors, John has volunteered with various organizations that continue fueling his desire for change in our communities. John strives to become a motivational speaker in the near future to carry on words of wisdom to our youth and young adults of today.
As the Executive Director of BOTR I have found true alignment of my purpose, passion, and skillset. I have been building up these areas of my life in very different ways. My passion around working with our youth and young adults has been ongoing through volunteering with various bay area groups focused on supporting our youth to reach their full potential. My skillset has been developed through my time in the for-profit sector along with partnering with many bay area non-profits to get them to the next level of operating to make a broader impact. Then my purpose comes from my own experience of growing up as a child of immigrant parents trying to navigate through systems that were not set up for us. I will be today the person my family and I needed growing up.
Elgin was born and raised in Oakland, California. Graduate of Florida Memorial University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science and a graduate of California State University Long Beach with a Master’s Degree in Public Administration. He has an extensive professional background in education. Working as an upward bound counselor, elementary after school program coordinator, and a peer college advisor. He is a firm believer that education is a crucial tool that the youth and next generation should utilize to be successful. He is also a member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Incorporated.