Pioneers in developing intrinsic motivation with students.
Lionel Sosa, Founder
More about Lionel Sosa
Lionel founded Sosa Bromley Aguilar and Associates which became the largest Hispanic ad agency in the country serving Fortune 500 clients such as Coca Cola, Anheuser-Busch, Proctor & Gamble and American Airlines, to name a few.
During the course of his career, Lionel has played an active role in the field of education. He helped the University of the Incarnate Word increase its enrollment from 1,200 to its current level of nearly 11,000. Sosa served on the Board of Regents of The Texas A&M University System and the Boards of Sesame Workshop (creators of Sesame Street), ACT (American College Testing) and PBS, the Public Broadcasting System, and the Board of Trustees for the University of the Incarnate Word. He currently serves as an advisor to the president of Texas A&M–San Antonio. In 2015-16, he served as a planning member to the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board’s Texas 60X30 initiative.
Lionel is an acknowledged expert in Hispanic consumer and voter behavior and was named “One of the 25 most influential Hispanics in America” by Time Magazine. NBC.com named him as one of the five people in the U.S. who are “The Keepers of the Latino Culture.”
Sosa was a fellow at Harvard’s Institute of Politics in 2001 and was awarded an honorary doctorate degree by the University of the Incarnate Word.
Prior to forming Sosa Consultation & Design with her husband, Lionel, Kathy Sosa served as president of Garcia•LKS, the Southwest’s largest independent Hispanic ad agency, which she founded as KJN in 1987.
Kathy has served in multiple roles during her 20-plus year marketing career, including ad agency principal and entrepreneur, strategist, planner, creative director and copywriter. In addition to commercial advertising experience on accounts from Dr Pepper and Mexicana Airlines to Sî TV and Budweiser, she is experienced in both education-related marketing and public service communications, and is a veteran of over 25 political media campaigns.
She holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees in political science from St. Mary’s University. Kathy currently serves on the Generation Texas Board of Directors. She was appointed by former Governor George W. Bush to the Children’s Trust Fund of Texas Council, and by Governor Rick Perry to the Founding Board of The Texas Conference for Women. Kathy served as a member of the Girl Scout National Board, a member of the National Board of Directors – AVANCE, and is past-chair of City Year San Antonio. She also was named by Inc. magazine as an Entrepreneur of the Year.
A renowned artist, Kathy was commissioned by the Texas Women’s Conference to do a portrait of keynote speaker Martha Stewart, to whom she personally presented the work. She received national recognition for her traveling exhibition “Huipiles: a Celebration”, which debuted at the Mexican Cultural Institute in Washington, D.C. as part of the Smithsonian Latino Center’s 2007 summer season before traveling to the Museo Alameda in San Antonio in 2008. 2009. Currently, she mounts shows in New York City and Tulsa. Her work has been featured on CNN, in FiberArts Magazine, in Skirt!, San Antonio Woman, Country Lifestyle, Destinations, and is available in San Antonio through AnArte Gallery and the Regalo Gift Gallery at the Museo Alameda. She is also represented by galleries in Boerne, Texas, and Charlotte, North Carolina.
Most recently, Kathy, and her husband Lionel Sosa, created and produced the critically-acclaimed documentary titled “Children of the Revolución – How the Mexican Revolution Changed America’s Destiny,” a 20-part storytelling series which chronicles never-before-told American history of the Texas/Mexico borderland.
John founded Andrade Communicators in 2004 and quickly began working with clients throughout Texas, Florida and Colorado. Among the most memorable campaigns he has worked on are the “Million Reasons Campaign,” a fundraising initiative to support the Center for Miracles (for abused children) at the Christus Santa Rosa Children’s Hospital; and a financial literacy for youth campaign initiated by the Texas Dow Employees Credit Union.
John and his wife have homeschooled their children for the past five years, and this experience has provided him with first-hand insight into the crucial role that providing direction and a sense of purpose plays in the educational process. This sense of purpose is not only important for the impacted children but for our communities and state as well.
John believes the best way to secure the success of Texas and the rest of the nation is to ensure more students pursue some form of education beyond high school. Convincing students and their parents of this reality is a meaningful cause that John wholeheartedly supports.
John earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in communication design from The Texas State University.
Janine earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in early childhood from the University of the Incarnate Word, graduating magna cum laude. The Yes! Our Kids Can program has brought her work experience full circle, fulfilling her desire to make a difference in the education arena.
Janine’s marketing background includes working on Fortune 500 and government accounts such as the Centers for Disease Control, Targeted Youth Media Campaign, Coca-Cola and Anheuser-Busch. During her tenure at Sosa, Bromley, Aguilar and Associates, Janine worked as a broadcast and print producer and promotions fundraiser, as well as in the development and implementation of account contracts. She also was the logistics producer for the award-winning documentary, Children of the Revolución.
Janine is a member of Sister to Sister International, a global organization that links together girls, women and families of African descent. She also served as a Knights of Peter Claver Junior Daughter Director, Court 135. The Knights of Peter Claver is the nation’s oldest and largest African-American Catholic lay organization.
Janine’s interpersonal skills, professional approach and energetic spirit, coupled with her many years of marketing and business experience, are invaluable to YOKC.
Cynthia Marshall is a mindset coach, inspirational musician and spoken word recording artist with more than 3 decades of consultative sales experience. She specializes in developing and nurturing productive client relationships.
After earning her MBA from the University of Texas in San Antonio 2004, she became a certified Success Coach and has helped professionals in diverse fields to meet their personal, professional and financial goals. Coming from a family of educators, who they themselves experienced how education can totally change the trajectory of one’s life, she is committed to assisting educators change the lives of the students they serve, especially those children in underserved areas. She is adept in helping education leaders resolve issues that may arise as she builds a trusting and faithful relationship with them in a true partnership with the goal of student success.
Born in San Antonio, Mark traveled the world as a Military dependent and graduated High School in San Angelo, Texas. After high school, he joined the U.S. Air Force as a Public Affairs Specialist. Mark has been advocating for the underserved for many years, including foster care children, college recruiting, job coaching and supported employment. He also has a Directors Certification as a Community Rehabilitation Provider through University of North Texas. Mark is passionate about helping others, and the Yes! Our Kids Can really hits home for him. His 9-year-old daughter, Haley Grace, loves that her Dad has joined the Yes! Our Kids Can team.
Born and raised in Brownsville, Texas, Joan learned early on that hard work and dedication is important to succeed in life. As a migrant farmworker and proud daughter of immigrants, she migrated with her parents from the Rio Grande Valley to work in the fields around the Midwest and Florida. This experience taught her resilience and the value of education, inspiring her to become the first in her family to obtain a college degree. The driving force to her success in education is attributed to her parents and to her migrant outreach counselor at Rivera High School.
Joan started her outreach career as an affordable housing mortgage loan officer in a small rural community in Central Iowa. This position gave her the opportunity to conduct workshops and seminars on topics varying from homebuying and financial literacy to citizenship and continuing education for adults. After more than six years of a successful career in lending, she began her career in educational outreach. She directed the Marshalltown Education Partnership and worked as an outreach counselor assisting first generation college students for over six years in Iowa.
As an Awareness & Outreach Specialist for Federal Student Aid at the U.S. Department of Education in Washington D.C., Joan understands the importance of early outreach and parental involvement for students’ academic success. A perpetual learner, Joan obtained an Associate’s Degree at Marshalltown Community College, a Bachelor’s degree in Human Services with minors in Psychology and Spanish from Buena Vista University, has a Master’s degree in Public Administration from DeVry University, and is pursuing a Ph.D. in Educational Leadership from Iowa State University.
Sofia is a first-generation Salvadoran American and proud San Antonio native. She earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Radio, Television and Film from the University of North Texas, returning thereafter to San Antonio where she did freelance work with local independent productions and photography.
It wasn’t long after a different calling caught her attention to Seoul, South Korea, where she taught ESL at the Sogang Language Academy to 7-15 year-olds. In those two years, Sofia discovered her passion for working with children and families. With her new-found ambition for educating children, she returned to Texas and earned her Alternative Teacher’s certification through the Texas Teachers organization.
Sofia enriched elementary students in small rural communities and large urban areas alike. As an energetic, compassionate teacher, she excelled in cultivating positive, productive relationships with students and families. She particularly strived to encourage students’ social-emotional learning and ensure that parents were always aware of their children’s success both in and out of the classroom. Her experience working in small rural communities and in large urban districts with Title I schools and turnaround campuses has given her unique insight into the needs of these neighborhoods. It is her belief that for children to be successful, success must begin at home. Armed with this knowledge, she is driven to make the Yes! Our Kids Can mission a reality.
Danica has a master’s degree in instructional technology and brings a wealth of experience in designing technology units that meet and exceed the Student Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS) standards.
In her 10 years of teaching in Title 1 elementary schools, Danica has developed a deep respect for public education and the families and communities it serves. As an educator, Danica wants students to understand and appreciate their own worth and that of others, and to always act with kindness and respect. In the classroom, her teaching style was student centered, inquiry based, and fun. Through Yes! Our Kids Can, she wants students to be confident, persevering, loving what the world is ready to teach them, and aspiring to a future that they may have otherwise felt unachievable.
Danica has a special interest in educating “at risk” and “significantly out of sync” (S.O.S.) students through the development, implementation and integration of science, technology, engineering, art, and math (STEAM) across the curriculum. She is excited about the positive effects of creating technology-rich, student-centered learning environments. She loves writing innovative curriculum for Yes! Our Kids Can in a way that is enjoyable and easy for teachers to implement and that best meets the demands of the current digital generation of students.
Both of Danica’s parents are college professors, and future education was a regular topic of conversation in her home. She understands the need for all children to be exposed to daily discussions about college, and she is committed to helping create the Yes! Our Kids can system in a way that is in sync with today’s digital generation of students.
Tiffany completed her Doctor of Philosophy degree in Culture, Literacy, and Language at the University of Texas at San Antonio in 2015. Her research calls attention to social action, identity negotiation, production of social values, and decision-making in the classroom.
Along with her research and teaching, Tiffany remains grounded in the community through service and activism. In 2015, Tiffany co-founded San Antonio’s first and only Girls Rock Camp (SAGRC), which is an integral component of the South Texas Music Scene for all girls, including gender fluid/non-binary and transgender youth. San Antonio Girls Rock Camp provides girls with a safe space to gain leadership and collaboration skills, share their stories, and create positive change within the self, the community, and the world at large.
Tiffany brings more than a decade’s worth of experience working with in-service and pre-service teachers, students in grades K-6th, and assisting in the planning and implementation of professional development courses that have been implemented at the campus and district level.
The mission and vision of Yes! Our Kids Can complements Tiffany’s passion for providing all students with equitable learning experiences. She takes pride in providing teachers with the support to overcome challenges and maintain best practices that are rigorous, effective, and inclusive for all students.
For more than 15 years, Alma cultivated Pre-K and Kinder students in the Somerset ISD Title 1 schools. In addition, she was the Math Interventionist for grades K-2nd. During this time, Alma participated in the Teacher Advancement Program, which allowed her to work alongside principals and other educational leaders. Together, this school leadership team was responsible for setting student learning goals as well as providing ongoing coaching and support to fellow classroom educators.
In 2016, Alma became the campus parent liaison. With this experience, Alma was able to understand the diverse families students came from, along with their needs. These learnings heightened her need to do more for her students and, thus, the community, realizing a key factor to their success would happen if she could create a self-efficacy mindset and embed a uniqueness and strength in each child.
Alma, a San Antonian, was raised by two loving parents who came from Mexico. She is a 1st generation college graduate from Texas A&M University-San Antonio, where she earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Interdisciplinary Studies. Currently, Alma is working on her Master’s Degree through Concordia University in Austin, specializing in Instructional Leadership.
Aside from the classroom, Alma likes to spend time with her husband of 21 years and two children. She also likes to create early childhood math products on Teachers Pay Teachers as well as write math blogs on her website.
Alma will continue to inspire students, communities and teachers through the “Yes! Our Kids Can” program.
While working for large multi-national companies to small start-up medical device/pharmaceutical companies, Ben was able to build skills in the development of technology and shepherd products for commercial distribution.
After successfully managing a career in the highly regulated medical device/pharmaceutical industry, Ben shifted gears and learned programming and game development skills to pursue a lifelong dream of creating video games. His burgeoning knowledge of the programming languages Java, C++, and C#, along with his experience in developing games within the world-leading creation engine Unity3d, has allowed Ben to become an integral part of the Yes! Our Kids Can team. With his skills in technology development, quality assurance, and programming, Ben is dedicated to developing a robust and fun digital environment for helping children envision a future full of endless opportunities.
Jessica, a San Antonio native, earned a degree in horticulture, business, and leadership studies at Texas A&M University.
Upon graduating, Jessica moved to Washington, D.C., and worked for U.S. Congressman Will Hurd, who represents the 23rd Congressional District of Texas. She worked with Congressman Hurd’s team to respond to all constituent correspondence and covered agriculture and education policy. During her two and a half years there, Jessica lead a special project that trained middle school teachers to incorporate computer science curriculum in the classroom. Collaborating with teachers and leaders in education inspired her to join the Yes! Our Kids Can team, where she shares a passion for creating educational opportunities and brighter futures for all children. Jessica joined the YOKC team in January of 2018 as the Operations Manager and Grant Writer.
Ana Paula Tomita
Operations Administrative Assistant
More about Ana Paula Tomita
Ana was born in Mexico City and moved to San Antonio in elementary school. She earned an Associate of Arts from New York University and a Bachelor of Arts in Anthropology and and Certificate of Business from the University of Texas at Austin. Having worked for San Antonio staples such as The RK Group and Sushi Zushi Inc., she has experience in marketing, design and social media. She dedicated many years to another nonprofit close to her heart called Hope for HumaNS, serving as a volunteer, intern, and board member. With a life-long curiosity and passion for learning, she is incredibly proud to be part of the Yes! Our Kids Can team. Her life and studies have taken her all over the globe, but she is delighted to call San Antonio home.
David began his professional passion here in San Antonio, graduating Magna Cum Laude from Northwest Vista College and then continuing for his BS in Film from UT Austin. His first project was a small one, a feature film in Ecuador, following the children and friends from his year-long volunteer position with a local orphanage.
During that time and for the next decade in Los Angeles and around the world managing and producing projects for a variety of clients including the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, Fox Sports, the Oprah Winfrey Channel, NBC Universal, The World Gold Council, Showtime, The Writer’s Guild and numerous companies and celebrities.
David believes in the transformative power of stories and ideas to create change and influence the hearts and minds of whoever can be reached. He believes that Yes! Our Kids Can has a profoundly important and inspiring message to bring to those who need it most.
Edgar holds a BoFA in Visual Communications from the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor. Soon after graduation, he founded his own design company, Edgar Ortiz Design, has developed visual identities for numerous clients in the US and Mexico.
Prior to entering the design field, Edgar studied fine art, with a focus on painting. Today, he keeps his artistic side sharp by illustrating children’s books for non-profit organizations. Raised by Mexican parents who taught him the importance of education and hard work, Edgar is a strong believer in the mission of Yes! Our Kids Can. He is committed to helping YOKC develop a program that will help children believe they can achieve their goals, no matter their background or financial circumstances.
Kiki was born in Mexico City and raised in Michoacán, Mexico. He moved to San Antonio in 2003 and earned his associate’s degree in TV, Radio, and Film at San Antonio College. Kiki has worked on commercial production for the San Antonio Spurs, HEB, McDonald’s, and more. He also was the creator, producer, editor, and anchor for a Mexican television show called “Urban Fusion,” which highlighted top musicians, artists, and cultural influencers. In recent years, Kiki has served as the director of photography for several short films and documentaries, including one which raises awareness about the importance of ending domestic violence. Kiki is proud to have contributed to a documentary about how children in an area of Michoacán, Mexico overcome extreme poverty to attain education and success. Kiki now uses his creative talent to serve the children and families of Yes! Our Kids Can.
As a kid, Eric was heavily influenced by music. He was in the school band and enjoyed watching his older brother develop his own personal music skills. He learned to play trumpet, read music and discovered his love of songwriting.
Extremely motivated and passionate about creativity, Eric began songwriting and producing for various local artists and personal music projects. Driven by a desire to teach, Eric is now working towards educating younger generations by instilling a love and passion for music. Eric currently resides in San Antonio, Texas, with his wife and three boys.
Emily has worked professionally and passionately in 2D and 3D animation since receiving her Bachelors of Fine Arts degree at Savannah College of Art and Design and California College of the Arts.
She is driven to help Yes! Our Kids Can (YOKC) connect with students through engaging characters and hopes to inspire every child to reach their goals. Under the mentorship of several artists from studios like Disney and Pixar, Emily has learned the tools to bring a character to life and form a connection with their audience. She has worked for studios such as Janimation and Joe Rothenberg Animation as well as freelance clients from Nickelodeon and VR Design.
In Emily’s free time she loves to create animation centered around dance and participates frequently in short film projects as Lead Animator.
Matthew has been working with Yes! Our Kids Can from the start, illustrating a majority of the character designs our students and parents love today.
Inspired by Disney and other animated films, Matthew put pencil to paper and set out to become a 2D animator. He has a BFA in Graphic Design and six years of freelance experience, and is continually fine tuning his skills. Matthew appreciates the opportunity to use his artistic talents to help Yes! Our Kids Can empower students to overcome obstacles to pursuing higher education
Alex brings the fun and exciting ideas the team has into a fully playable experience while working along with the curriculum to ensure that each game fulfills its purpose.
He creates all of the YOKC games from scratch, working with graphic designers and illustrators to develop each game’s elements and layouts, while ensuring the game is easy to play and enjoyable. He also utilizes his 3D animation skills by creating and animating any 3D elements needed for the games.
Alex is always improving the programming of each game created to make the app as smooth and user friendly as possible. He also handles the quality assurance and tech support sides of the app for the users so they can have the best experience possible and uses the feedback to further improve the product. His goal is to make each game a learning experience while also being as fun as any commercial game.
Kelly earned an MFA in Arts & Technology from the University of Texas at Dallas. She brings an emphasis on storytelling, game design and artistic flair to the team.
Prior to working for Yes! Our Kids Can, Kelly worked as an instructor, illustrator, and game artist. In doing so, she had the opportunity to create games of her own design and develop her skills within Unity and HTLM5. She works to emphasize the narrative and expand the boundaries of gameplay, while continuing to sharpen her programming skills.
Clifford previously worked for six years as an imagery analyst for the Air Force. In this role, he analyzed photos and videos and reported on his findings, learning to pay very close attention to detail.
Following his Air Force career, Clifford graduated from the University of Texas at San Antonio with a bachelor’s degree in computer science. He also studied game design and software development, and enjoyed creating and programming his own games. He is motivated by the people who enjoy playing the games he creates, and always tries to bring more fun to all aspects of gameplay.
Breen Heath has worked in the design industry for upwards of 8 years. Her fascination for science and technology led her to create a Tesla coil at her high school science fair at age 14.
Breen’s art background coupled with her game design knowledge is unique because of her ability to mesh her creative and scientific side. A magna cum laude graduate from Northwest Vista College, Breen earned both an Associates in Game Design and Development and Liberal Arts.
She is a motivated individual who is empowered by learning and what it can do to help children achieve their goals and future hopes for their careers. This mission was further nourished by many years in girl scouts, seeing how teaching makes a big difference in the lives of children.