Catherine Cotter

Catherine came to the United States from Ireland at the age of 32 and has been supporting youth in the East Bay ever since. She uses her Masters in Counseling and license in Marriage and Family Therapy in her current position as a school counselor in East Oakland. Catherine is excited be part of a program that addresses the social inequity and lack of opportunity that faces kids in Oakland. She values the resiliency that Promising Paths’ mentor teams offer through “belonging” and being part of a meaningful community.

Ruby De Tie

Ruby De Tie is a first generation college graduate who earned a dual degree in English and Education from the University of Nevada Las Vegas . After beginning her teaching career in Las Vegas, Ruby moved to the Bay Area in 2011 and taught 7th and 8th grade English in West Oakland. After 5 years of teaching, she realized the limitations of her impact in the classroom and joined the New Leaders Aspiring Principals program. Ruby has now been a lead principal in East Oakland for the past 5 years. Because of her ability to see the strength in ALL students, Ruby knows that Promising Paths will support students to dream bigger and accomplish their goals. 

Kyle Lloyd

Kyle Lloyd graduated with a BA in Business Administration from California State University East Bay in 2015. He started teaching Math and Science to Newcomer students in 2016 at Frick Impact Academy in Oakland, and has also taught English in orphanages and schools throughout Latin America. Kyle believes that immigration status should not impact his students’ educational opportunities. He co-founded Promising Paths to provide the all-encompassing support that Newcomer students need to achieve beyond their wildest dreams.

Joel Thompson

After graduating from Rice University, Joel started teaching math and science to beginning English Learners in 2017. Joel aims to support his students inside and outside the classroom through student leadership initiatives, collaboration with families and community organizations, and celebration of students’ cultural and linguistic diversity. Joel hopes that Promising Paths will provide support to his middle school students as they transition to high school and make their dreams of college and career success a reality.

Elsa Varela

Elsa Varela was born in Sinaloa, Mexico, and came to the United States at the age of 17. She learned English and worked full-time while studying at Chabot College, Cal State East Bay, and Patton University. After earning a BA in Psychology and a teaching credential, Elsa started teaching Humanities to English Learners and native English speakers in Oakland. She brings her decades of experience teaching and supporting immigrant families to her role as Family Outreach Chair at Promising Paths. Her passion is helping new arrivals from other countries acclimate to the United States and find educational opportunities.