10,000 Degrees President & CEO: Kim Mazzuca

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Kim Mazzuca has served as the President & CEO of 10,000 Degrees® since 1999. A Bay Area native and first generation college graduate, Kim has dedicated her life to social justice.  She brings more than two decades of executive nonprofit management and philanthropic leadership in the areas of youth development, human services, workforce development, and education. Prior to joining 10,000 Degrees®, Kim served as the Associate Executive Director of Jewish Vocational Service and as Director of Rehabilitation and Special Assistant to the Founder and Director for RCH, Inc. She holds her bachelor’s and master’s degrees from San Francisco State University, is a graduate of the Stanford Graduate School of Business Program for Nonprofit Leaders, where she was named a fellow in 2001, and is currently seeking her doctoral degree in Organization and Leadership at the University of San Francisco.

In 2014, Kim was named a Nonprofit Leader of the Year by North Bay Business Journal and in 2015, she was named Legislative Woman of the Year for California’s 10th District. Kim has served on numerous community boards, including the National College Access Network Board of Directors, where she completed a three-year term as board president. She is a member of the Board of Directors for the Prison University Project at San Quentin.

 

Pay-It-Forward Honorees: Chris & Chuck Michaels

Chris and Chuck both grew up in Arizona and attended Arizona State University. Though they did not meet during college, they had the good fortune of sitting next to each other on a Southwest Airlines flight in March 2000. They eloped to New Zealand in 2003 before welcoming their children, Samantha in 2004 and Benjamin in 2006, into their family.

Once married, they wanted to do more to give back to their community but also wanted to be targeted with their philanthropic activities. They decided that education was “the great equalizer” and started down two paths.

First, they established an undergraduate scholarship at AS. Their goal was to help a single student get his or her college degree through mentoring and financial support. This scholarship program has evolved and is currently in its 13th year. Cumulatively, they have assisted more than 50 students.

During this same time frame, wanting to do something within their community, they were introduced to 10,000 Degrees by Graham Brandt, 10,000 Degrees alumnus and past Board Chair. Both Chris and Chuck immediately fell in love with the mission, the passionate CEO, and the students!

They started as mentors and later became donors. Chuck was on the 10,000 Degrees Board of Directors from 2007-2010. Last year, Chris and Chuck made a significant gift to 10,000 Degrees in honor of Chuck’s father who recently passed away.

Winston Churchill said, “We make a living by what we get, we make a life by what we give.”

 

Keynote Speaker: Mario Ernesto Lopez

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Born in San Francisco and raised in San Rafael, Mario Ernesto Lopez has been nothing if not incredibly busy since he turned 15 years old.

While attending San Rafael High School, Mario began scheduling transportation for elderly citizens in Marin County through Whistlestop Wheels. He later worked at Bank of America, which he continued to do through college.

After starting at the College of Marin, where he served on the Board of Trustees and as Student Senate President, Mario transferred to UC Davis, where he served as President of the UC Davis College Democrats. Mario graduated with a B.A. in Political Science but not before interning for Senator Dianne Feinstein in her Washington DC office.

Upon graduation, Mario worked for Union Bank and then Charles Schwab, and served on San Rafael’s Green Ribbon Committee on 2020 Emission Standards. In 2012, Mario entered UC Hastings College of The Law, where he was the fundraising chair of La Raza and a member of UC Hastings nationally recognized Trial Team. He also clerked for the San Mateo District Attorney’s Office, winning each and every hearing in San Mateo Superior Court (2014).

During his third year at UC Hastings, Mario participated in the White House Internship Program on the National Economic Council. Most recently he worked on the 2016 Hillary Clinton Presidential Campaign and is currently the Associate Director of Admissions at UC Hastings.

Mario credits 10,000 Degrees with helping him get to and through college, starting with his participation in the 10,000 Degrees multi-day in-residence summer college preparation course and continuing with renewable scholarships and individualized near-peer support.

These days, when not busy with work, Mario enjoys training for and running in marathons-he’s completed seven in the last two years. He also recently attempted his first Olympic distance triathlon, during which, he confesses with a laugh, “I was literally the last guy out of the water.”