Finding Your Path – Career Panel – Passport to Success


Passport to Success – College and Career Edition 

Finding Your Path – Career Panel

As part of Families In Schools’ Passport to Success – College and Career Edition, we will be providing a series of virtual college and career sessions between July 13 – September 4, 2020. Attend 8 approved virtual events or sessions on college and career preparation and complete your workbook in order to be eligible for a $1,000 scholarship!


The purpose of this panel is for high school students to learn how individuals ended up in their current careers. Students should get an understanding of what majors, interests, and/or life factors have influenced their pathway. Families and mentors should gain an understanding of how they can support their students to reach their college and/or career goals.

This first virtual career panel will take place on Thursday, July 16th from 5:30 PM to 7:00 PM, streamed live via Facebook and YouTube. Join our panel of diverse professionals for an engaging and informative conversation! Please note, if time allows, questions sent from the audience may or may not be answered. 

About the Panelists

Javier Crespo is an Innovation Chef and restaurant owner from Norwalk, CA. Crespo creates and assists in the production of recipes, menus, and items for celebrities, brands, and restaurants. He also serves as the Director of Culinary for RockbiRd, a small restaurant he and his friends opened almost 3 years ago in Glendale, CACrespo has been cooking for the past 13 years and habeen extremely blessed to have worked in every facet of the culinary industry. He enjoys and looks forward to learning more about his industry as it is always changing.

Wendy Estrada is both an excellent leader and philanthropist, who is frequently called upon for her knowledge in banking, marketing, student development, business development, and community outreach. Currently, as Community Lending Officer at MUFG, Union Bank, one of the world’s leading financial groups with approximately 360 years of history, Wendy is responsible for generating home loans and specializes in programs that help first time home buyers build wealth. Wendy has over 15 years of financial industry experience, holds a BA in Business with a certificate in Marketing, serves as the Vice President of the National Latina Business Women Association- LA Chapter, and is on the advisory board for Bloom Again Foundation.


Julio Segura was born in El Salvador in 1979. He immigrated to the US in 1981 and was raised in Los Angeles by his mother Myrna, alongside his older sister Keny and younger sister Elsa. Julio graduated from LACC (Los Angeles Community College) with two AA degrees (Liberal Arts and Architecture) before transferring to the University of Southern California (USC) where he graduated with a BA in Architecture in 2005. He currently lives in Los Angeles and is a Freelance Designer. In his free time, Julio enjoys fishing, spending time with family, hiking, and being in nature. He also dedicates time to volunteering in Catholic youth ministries in the Los Angeles/San Gabriel Valley regions.


Jamila Snell was born and raised in San Francisco and received her Bachelor’s Degree in Liberal Arts from Soka University of America in 2015. Soon after graduation, she joined the Sales and Operations team at Informa (formerly UBM Tech). A year and a half later, she joined Twitter as an Ad Operations specialist but later in the role, started to develop and lead programs aimed at increasing the efficiency of her global team. She is now exploring more Program Management roles in the Tech Industry. 


Michelle Thompkins-Lima is an L.A. based storyboard artist at DreamWorks tv. She graduated from Cal State Long Beach in 2011, and 2014 with her Masters of Fine Arts Degree. She has worked on The Croods television show as a production assistant, Trolls: The Beat Goes On as a revisionist and is currently working on Trollstopia as a storyboard artist.




About the Moderator

Joe John Vallejo Jr. is a Community College Counselor and Instructor for Chaffey College and Barstow Community College. He also works as a consultant for Career Ladders Project. These positions allow Joe John to facilitate systemic change within the California Community College System and meet with students individually. When meeting with high school students he helps them plan which college classes to take so that they can get a head-start on college coursework. He believes that this type of work is essential in changing students’ life and family trees for a better future.