Our Team


Eder Gaona-MacedoEder Gaona-Macedo, Executive Director

Born in Guerrero, Mexico, Eder was brought to Santa Barbara, California at the age of 4 as an undocumented immigrant. Eder believes that being exposed to domestic diversity can help policy leaders better serve marginalized communities. He attended UCLA, where he advocated for immigration reform and educational access for all students. Upon graduation, Eder worked at the UCLA Community Programs Office where he managed the Student Retention Center, working towards 100% student retention. Eder received his Masters’ of Public Administration at Columbia University concentrating in Urban and Social Policy.

Gabriela MaciasGabriela Macias, Program Manager

Originally from Jalisco, Mexico, Gaby has lived in Califorina since the age of 7 and for the past 10 years has considered Oxnard her home. Her journey to achieve higher education began after migrating to the United States with her family; however as an undocumented student she has encountered many struggles that have shaped her community involvement. She has advocated for the rights of undocumented students and of the greater immigrant community through her involvement with student organizations such as the Oxnard College DREAM Club and IDEAS of UCSB and also through community organizations such as Ventura County CLUE.As an Alumni Gaby considers FLA to be an instrumental part of her self empowerment and she recognizes the value of building peer networks amongst youth as a source of support but also as a way to strengthen our community. Her biggest source of inspiration are the people in her community who turn their struggle into their strength and she hopes that the youth will also be able to be able to find their inspiration in the prior generations who have fought to lead the way for those to come. She is a recent graduate of UCSB where she earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Spanish and Latin American Studies.

Vicente Garcia Jr.Vicente Garcia, Jr., Lead Organizer

Vicente Garcia, Jr. Vicente started to work for Future Leaders in October 2015. Born and raised in Isla Vista, Vicente understands the importance in teen-prevention programs for Latino/a youth; he himself participated in local programs such as the IV Teen Center and Just Communities. After spending his childhood in the small immigrant community that resides in the college town of Isla Vista, he decided to continue his higher education at Santa Barbara City College where he received an Associate of Arts Degree in Chicana/o Studies and Associate of Science Degree in Automotive Technology. With the guidance of student programs, he then chose to continue his higher education at the California State University at Channel Islands where he graduated with Honors, receiving a Bachelor Degree in Chicana/o Studies and minor in Spanish.Vicente’s passion for culture and history has developed into a wealth of knowledge for the youth of Future Leaders of America. He states, “As the community has supported me through my educational career, I have chosen to now come back to be at service for my community.” Having seen the struggles of the low-income communities in Santa Barbara, his goals are to guide Santa Barbara youth towards a more positive identity all the while reaching their maximum potentials as human beings. He is currently looking into graduate schools, in hope to set yet another example for his students.

Esperanza OceguedaAndrea Esperanza Ocegueda, Santa Barbara Youth Organizer

Andrea Esperanza was born and raised in the small town of Fillmore, California. After graduating from Fillmore High School, she went on to attend the University of California San Diego where she was part of various social justice student organizations. After learning about mass incarceration and how it affects people of color, Esperanza collaborated with other students to create the organization, Students Against Mass Incarceration. During her final years at UCSD, Esperanza served as a Co-Campaign Director for the Invest in Graduation Not Incarceration Transform Education (IGNITE) campaign, and later went on to become a Co-Campus Organizing Director, helping oversee all University of California Student Association campaigns on the UCSD campus. Through her involvement in social justice efforts, Esperanza was able to find her passion for advocacy and organizing, furthermore strengthening her belief that knowledge is power. Esperanza is joining the team with prior experience as a Mental Health Crisis Counselor working with youth in Ventura County. One of her future aspirations is to create systemic change through public policy.

Olivia CarranzaOlivia Carranza, Santa Barbara Parent Organizer

Olivia Carranza came to the United States at the age of seventeen, where she began her journey to access higher education and social mobility. It was challenging for her to complete her high school education but she was able to graduate from Santa Marcos High School and enroll at Santa Barbara City College where she earned a certificate in Hotel, Restaurant and Culinary Management. While she encountered many challenges in the process she always remembered an important lesson her mother taught her, “Si estoy aqui es porque puedo y no aver si puedo,” which translated into “I am here because I can, and not only to see if I can.” Soon after completing her education at SBCC she married and had three daughters Alexandra, Monica and Olivia. After being employed throughout SB County in restaurants and hotels, Olivia made her last career change in 2007 to the Financial Industry working as a Life Insurance Agent for Tremblay Financial Services. Olivia began to learn about the challenges in our public education system when she got involved in her children’s education. After volunteering in their classrooms, helping with fundraising and as a chaperone during school trips she learned that her daughters might still not have a clear path to higher education. She participated in parent workshops and attended school meetings that were very difficult to understand and often times unwelcoming to Latino parents. It was then when she came across Future leaders of America and she realized that there was more that she could be doing to pave the way for her daughter’s education. Above all, she was inspired to share her passion for helping others with parents and children in the community as well. Olivia trusts the path she is on and feels that she has so much to gain from giving back to her community.

Daisy Basulto, Santa Maria Youth Organizer

Daisy Basulto was born and raised in Santa Maria, CA. As an alumni of Future Leaders, Daisy returned as a volunteer for the summer while she was in college since 2013 and has returned every year. She received her BA in Sociology at California State University Northridge and returned to her hometown in hopes of contributing to her community. Upon her return, she devoted her time to work with young children with disabilities at PRAISE Behavioral Services, volunteering her time to Future Leaders and educating community members on sexual reproductive health through the Promotorx program at Planned Parenthood Central Coast.In 2016, Daisy became part of the Future Leaders team to help Santa Maria youth develop and grow their leadership skills. She has continued to express her passion for working with youth coming from low-income and immigrant families by empowering youth to become positive role-models for their peers. Daisy see’s the value of work Future Leaders does to build self-empowerment and inspire youth to continue their educational journeys. Her goal is to support youth across the Central Coast towards self-empowerment and success as community leaders in their community.

Daniel GonzalezDaniel Gonzalez, Oxnard Youth Organizer

Daniel Gonzalez was born and raised in Ventura County. While attending Fillmore High School, he co-founded and became the first president of One Step a la Vez, a non -profit teen drop in center committed to empowering youth to take part in community organizing in Fillmore and the Santa Clara Valley. During his time as a community organizer at One Step a la Vez, Daniel took part in canvassing to recruit youth and community members to form part of a task force to address transportation concerns in the Clara Valley corridor. He later took back the streets canvassing to raise awareness about the environmental hazards of the Super Fund site in Fillmore. During these efforts Daniel coordinated forums with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the EPA’s Technical Assistance Service for Communities and the Chevron Corporation. Daniel was able to hone in on his organizing skills to directly mobilize youth and community members to stand up for the health of their community. After graduating from Fillmore High School, Daniel attended Ventura College and later transferred to the University of California Santa Barbara where he obtained his Bachelor’s degree in Sociology in 2017. He has since returned to Ventura County and wants to continue his work empowering youth to advocate for social justice in the community.