Serving Los Angeles and Riverside Counties "Re-Entry Services & Transitional Housing" needs
Starting Over, Inc.

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Los Angeles  | Inland Region

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A Holistic Approach to Re-Entry!

Starting Over Inc. Board of Directors

Brenda Mabin, Board Chair, (VonRose Consulting, HR)

Brenda Mabin, Board Chair, (VonRose Consulting, HR)
The founder of Von Rose Consulting is a Human Resource professional experienced in organizational and leadership development. Mrs. Mabin has decades of human resource experience. Mrs. Mabin has served on the Starting Over, Inc. Board for 2 years and maintains community involvement through her volunteer commitments to Starting Over, Inc. and other organizations.

Rick Aldridge, BA Economics, Chief Financial Officer

Rick Aldridge, BA Economics, Chief Financial Officer, (Boeing Corporation Retiree)
UCLA Alumni, BA in Economics, Boeing Corporation Financial Management. Active community member and board member for two community organizations, volunteer for the Museum of Contemporary Art in LA and the Brotherhood Crusade. Participates in a mentoring program for young men in the local community and with the LA Sheriff's department youth academy.

Susan Burton, Member

Susan Burton, Member, (Founder of A New Way of Life, Author & National Criminal Justice Activist)
Founder of A New Way of Life Re-Entry Project began providing housing and re-entry services for women returning home. Her transformational leadership was so successful that she received a 2011 CNN Hero Award for her work, including housing, civic engagement, leadership development, and a legal clinic. Ms. Burton also received the James Irvine Foundation Leadership Award in 2014. In 2015, the Los Angeles Times named her one of the nation's 18 New Civil Rights Leaders. She is co-author of the best-selling memoir: Becoming Ms. Burton.

Gwendolyn Elzy, Member, (BP America)

Gwendolyn Elzy, Member, (BP America)
BP Environmental Consultant, mentor, and women's support services specialist. A certified mentor, fund developer, and life skill coach, and member of several women's circles working to reduce child poverty.

Tessa Hicks Peterson PhD

Tessa Hicks Peterson PhD, Member
Tessa is the Assistant Vice President of Community Engagement at Pitzer College and acts as the faculty director of the Community Engagement Center and CASA (Critical Action & Social Advocacy Academic Program and Community Hub) the director of the Office for Consortial Academic Collaborations for the Claremont Colleges, and an Associate Professor of Urban Studies. Tessa worked with communities throughout Southern California on human relations and civil rights issues as Associate Director at the Anti-Defamation League and, prior to that, as the Youth Programs Director at the National Conference for Community and Justice. She has a Masters and PhD in Cultural Studies from Claremont Graduate University and a BA in Psychology, Sociology, and Spanish from UC Santa Cruz.

Charles Johnson Co-Founder

Charles Johnson, Co-Founder & Member, (IE Shades of Afrika)
Starting Over, Inc. co-founder, co-developer of the Inland Empire Sankofa Project, Beacon House Alumni, homeless champion, entrepreneur, coach, and mentor.

Derik Smith

Derik Smith, Member, A professor in the Department of Literature at Claremont McKenna College.
He is currently chair of the Intercollegiate Department of Africana Studies at the Claremont Colleges. Smith is the author of many articles and the book Robert Hayden In Verse: New Histories of African American Poetry and the Black Arts Era. He also teaches courses in and about American prisons.


Starting Over Inc. Staff

Vonya Quarles Esq., BS, BM, JD, Co-Founder & Executive Director

Vonya Quarles Esq., BS, BM, JD 
Co-Founder & Executive Director

(951) 898-0862
vonya@startingoverinc.org
Starting Over Inc. co-founder, Women Organizing for Justice Fellow 2010, Women’' Policy Institute fellow 2012/2013, J. Irwin Award recipient 2013, advocate, and attorney.

Charles Johnson Co-Founder

Charles Johnson
Co-Founder & Operations Manager
(562) 676-3784
Charles@startingoverinc.org
Charles supports site managers, maintains housing integrity, and is the volunteer coordinator.

Bobbie Ebony Butts

Bobbie Ebony Butts
Family Reunification Project Coordinator

bobbie@startingoverinc.org 
Bobbie Ebony Butts is a Criminal Justice Policy Advocate in Riverside County. She received her General Equivalent Diploma from Chattanooga Community College in Chattanooga, Tenn. Graduated from UEI with a diploma in Business Office Administration in Riverside, California.



Rosita Dozier

Rosita Dozier
Administrative & Reporting Manager
(951) 500-5660
Rosita@startingoverinc.org
Rosita has a BS degree in Accounting and has experience in administration. She is an ordained minister and Bible teacher; and a published author with 2 books on Christian Living. She joins Starting Over, Inc. as the Adult Re-Entry Grant Program Administrator. She will assist in the program documentation and reporting under the direction of the program director.

Michael Wahome

Michael Wahome
Employment and Special Projects Manager

Michaelw@startingoverinc.org
As founder of a private company, Michael Wahome recognized the untapped potential of justice involved individuals after hiring them to work for him and watching them grow into some of his most productive and dependable employees. He has been active in the service of the re-entry community since 2012 by providing instruction and training on various employment and personal development topics, through local organized groups and at a local community college. Michael earned his master’s degree in Business from California State University at Monterey Bay.

Michael Jurado

Michael Jurado
Participatory Defense Organizer
Michaelj@startingoverinc.org
Michael Jurado is a community organizer who practices Participatory Defense and Court watch. Both models were created by Debug to co-power with people facing charges, their families, and communities through engaging and impacting the criminal justice process. This model has improved the outcome in criminal cases and transforms the landscape of power in the courtroom. Time Saved: 112 years. Michael is also a participatory research specialist and motivational speaker.

Monet Andrews

Monet Andrews
Administrative Assistant

Monet@startingoverinc.org
Monet grew up in Cerritos, California, attended Cerritos High, Cerritos College, and San Jose State University. She has played basketball since she was 11 and received Division I (one) NCAA basketball scholarships twice. Monet worked for the City of Long Beach – Harbor Department (Port of Long Beach) in the HR department and previously worked as a dispatcher for Schaeffer Ambulance in Costa Mesa/Santa Ana.

Monet still has a Love of Basketball. She enjoys being a Coach and mentor's kids in basketball. She has coached Freshman/Sophomore girls at Santa Ana Valley High School, Junior Varsity Girls at Artesia High School, and a traveling boys' team. She began with Starting Over Inc. in 2013 as an administrative assistant volunteer and has since become an integral part of the Administration and Legal Services teams.

Jen Clifton

Jen Clifton
Paralegal

Jen@startingoverinc.org
Jen graduated from Golden West College with a degree in Business Administration and attended Cal State Long Beach for Business Management. She brings 20+ years of administrative experience in many different industries. Being a stay-at-home mom, she was very involved in her children's education and extracurricular activities: launching fundraisers, four years of being a booster for Corona High School volleyball, four years as the Chair of the Nutrition Committee and one year as Vice President for the CHS band. For the last 15 years, Jen has been an Independent Contractor doing medical and legal transcription. In her mid-life, she decided to change careers and pursue her paralegal studies at South Coast College. She is also a member of the Orange County Paralegal Association. In her free time, Jen's hobbies include crafting, cooking, gardening, and hanging out with friends and family.

Creiselda Terpoorten

Creiselda Terpoorten
Case Manager

Creiselda@startingoverinc.org

Creiselda Terpoorten has earned her Bachelor of Arts in Sociology from CSUSB and an Associates in Social & Behavioral Sciences from Norco College. She has also been trained by RI International as a Peer Support Specialist focusing on Wellness Recovery Action Plan (WRAP) program. Her life goal is to share her lived and professional experience to find, identify and address gaps in the system to reduce harm to the community. Mrs.Terpoorten is no stranger to Starting Over, Inc. She has worked with Starting Over as a Special Projects Coordinator and Organizer and returns as Case Management for Starting Over, Inc. residents. 

Carmellia Chavers

Carmellia Chavers
Administrative Assistant

carmellia@startingoverinc.org

Carmellia has worked most of her career in the accounting field (AP, AR, and some payroll), which was intermingled with a substantial amount of office administration. She earned a Business Office Diploma from United Education Institute in Ontario, CA, in 2012 and worked for almost 2 years at the Carolyn E. Wylie Center, a non-profit in Riverside, CA, in the accounting department. She is always willing to learn new things and eager to help others when needed. She is a people-oriented person and has a friendly demeanor. As a breast cancer survivor, Carmellia is asked to speak to women who are about to go through or have gone through the experience and need someone to talk to about it. Carmellia enjoys writing, painting, drawing, sewing, music and hosts a talk radio show on KCWGthetruth.com called "Making Room for Your Gift" once a week. Her first book, "Six Days of Christmas, A Heart of Trust" was just published this past Christmas. During the year, she participates in various charitable events serving the community of Corona. She is very excited to be a part of the Starting Over Inc. organization.

Emma Li

Emma Li
Media and Communications Specialist
emma@startingoverinc.org

Emma is a recent graduate from Scripps College with a BA in Political Theory and US Politics. She joined Starting Over with the Family Reunification, Equity, and Empowerment Project and was previously co-president of the Claremont Colleges Prison Abolition Collective. She is an incoming Solís Policy Institute fellow and creative at heart with a love for art, history, politics, and their intersections.

Ashley Williams

Ashley Williams
Internship Program Manager and Housing Program Staff Developer
ashleyw@startingoverinc.org

“Ashley Williams has served marginalized populations her entire life. Her passion for people inspired her to pursue her Bachelor of Arts in Sociology and Minor in Africana Studies from San Francisco State University (SFSU). While there she serviced BIPOC in her university and the community for four years In addition to service Ashley also earned the high academic honor of Phi Beta Kappa during her senior year at SFSU and graduated as the valedictorian of the Sociology Department in 2019. While living in San Francisco Ashley recognized the immense suffering that was occurring around her and the immediate need for change. This inspired her to continue her education in pursuit of her Master’s in social work (MSW) from California State University, San Bernardino (CSUSB). While there Ashley continued her service to the community by co-founding a Social Work club entitled Ubuntu Coyote Circle (UCC) that supports Black students and aides the community. Ashley graduated CSUSB with MSW honors and as a published researcher whose work The Utilization of Mental Health Education in Schools for Prevention not Just Intervention has been downloaded over 100 times across 17 countries to date.”