Neva Bandelow’s career in early care and education has spanned over 30 years as an educator and administrator. She is a fierce advocate for young children and their families, teachers, and educational systems change. Neva served as adjunct faculty at local community colleges where she taught early education students on topics focused on social justice, anti-bias analysis of curriculum, educational standards and assessment, and teaching practice.

Neva is passionate in raising equity issues and is honored to be a graduate from Build’s Equity Leaders Action Network, a national fellowship. She holds degrees in liberal studies, early childhood education, and human and community services, and a Master of Arts degree in 21st Century Leadership.

Brooke Giesen has been in the field of early childhood education for over 20 years. She has been a toddler teacher, a preschool aged teacher and directed a preschool program for 10 years. She also works as a consultant on issues of equity, and anti-bias practices, particularly within Early Childhood Education. She has a BA in Women’s Studies from UCSC and is over one year into attaining her MA in Early Childhood Education (ECE) from The Erikson Institute with a concentration in Leadership and Advocacy. 

Brooke serves as a member of SF’s Childcare Planning and Advisory Council and is a Board member of ECE SF. She also served as a Mentor Director for The CA Early Childhood Mentor Program’s Equity Leadership Fellowship, held here at Chabot. Brooke grew up in Oregon, but has lived in Oakland for 21 years.  

Vanessa Dilks is the California Early Childhood Mentor Program’s Program Analyst and has been in the Early Childhood Education field for over 15 years. Beginning her career as a preschool teacher, Vanessa found her passion in working with young children and their families. Vanessa continued her work in the ECE field at an Alameda County Resource and Referral Agency in providing professional development opportunities for child care providers, partnering with families to help them find and pay for quality child care, and to most recently working as a Program Director providing innovative programs to families, child care providers and the community.

Vanessa has a Bachelor’s of Arts in Sociology with an Applied Psychology Minor from the University of Santa Barbara and most recently served on the Leadership Pleasanton Steering Committee and Las Positas Early Care and Education Advisory Board.

Jo Nacola joins the CECMP Team as Senior Administrative Assistant having recently migrated to the US from the Fiji Islands. Jo has a Bachelor of Law degree and at heart is a human rights advocate.

Jo has worked in the international human rights sphere with the UN Human Rights Pacific Office focusing specifically on access to justice, providing support, technical assistance and capacity-building to civil society actors and human rights networks across the Pacific.

Jo is passionate about human rights and sustainable development.  He is very excited to join the CECMP Team and working in the early childhood space.  He looks forward to supporting and learning more about our shared work on early childhood development across California.