Mona proudly founded CRB in 2009 and in addition to her many duties in her role as ED, she also cultivates strong networks with immigrant-, refugee-, and communities of color-serving agencies across the entire region. Mona grew up in Burma and previously worked in technology management positions for over 10 years in the software industry — but a pivotal year of volunteering at various refugee camps along the Thai-Burma border in 2008 changed her life and inspired her to co-found CRB. Another one of Mona’s passions in life is cooking gourmet meals for family and friends.
Early Learning Program Coordinator
Sumaya is a proud Somali American who grew up in Ohio and came to the beautiful PNW to start high school. She graduated from the University of Washington with a double degree in Creative Writing and Education. Upon graduating, Sumaya worked as an ESL para educator and received her TESOL certificate. She is passionate about working with youth and supporting English language learners. In her free time, she likes to watch documentaries, write poetry, play tennis, and spend time with her cat Mkia.
Early Learning Program Manager
Kirsten has worked in the nonprofit field with refugee and immigrant populations for over 10 years. She began her career working for the International Rescue Committee’s refugee resettlement program in New York City. During her time with CRB, she has developed and implemented many programs directed toward families with young children. She is a Pacific Northwest native and enjoys spending time with her family, her three young children, and their dog, Kushi.
Youth Program Manager
Mutende Katambo joined CRB in February 2021, and has a Bachelor of Arts in Medical Anthropology & Global Health from the University of Washington. He has been working with youth since he was 16 years old, as a camp counselor. Mutende’s work focuses on program development, youth voice and empowerment, and designing service projects. His favorite past times are gardening, and film photography!
Youth Program Coordinator
Carely initially planned to work internationally but fell in love with helping the communities around her. After starting her degree at Bellevue College, Carely transferred to Eastern Washington University and received her Bachelor’s degree in Sociology and a Minor in Chicanx Studies. Before joining CRB, Carely worked on advocating for Education Policies and coaching students about the importance of student voices. You will always find her with a cup of coffee and a book at home.
Reading Program Coordinator
Stefanie started with CRB as an AmeriCorps member working with the Reading Program. She grew up in New York State and has taught in New York, South Carolina, California, and Washington states. Stefanie also spent a year teaching English in Taiwan. Stefanie enjoys working with CRB families and getting to know them. During her free time, she cycles and has ridden cross-country on her bicycle three times to raise awareness for multiple sclerosis.
Veronica Soltero Guerrero
Veronica has been with CRB since December 2020 and is passionate about providing families with the help they need. Before joining the CRB team, she owned a restaurant and provided teenagers with part-time jobs to help them develop skills and stay busy. Veronica’s favorite part of working at CRB is helping families find their necessities and connecting them to resources. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with her family and cooking.
Systems Navigation Coordinator
Mehria is from Afghanistan and earned her associate’s degree from Green River College. She joined CRB as a Journey Mentor in 2019 and started supporting newly arrived families with system navigation needs for the PRIME program in 2020 while also overseeing the Spark program. In her free time, Mehria loves to cook for family and friends and bargain shopping.
Initially from Southern California, Angelea’s journey as a nontraditional student sparked her passion for working toward dismantling inequities in youth education. She served as an elementary afterschool program coordinator with AmeriCorps and Seattle University. Angelea enjoys connecting with people over food and engaging youth in socio-emotional learning opportunities. Her interests include cooking, crafting, traveling, and camping with her husband and dog, Quinoa.
Reading Program Lead
Nicholas has worked in education for nearly a decade as a tutor, chess coach, English teacher, and content coordinator for an educational website. He has also worked as a senior case manager for newly arrived refugees. As a published author, he wants to increase literacy and enthusiasm for reading. He enjoys writing poetry and playing percussion in his free time.
Youth Program Lead
Selena volunteered for the CRB Youth Program and worked as a summer program instructor before joining CRB. She grew up in Eastern WA and moved to Seattle where she received a degree in Psychology from the University of Washington. Selena enjoys biking, catching the sunset at her favorite beaches, and exploring Washington mountains and trails during her free time. She appreciates the fine arts and her go-to song is, Are You Even Real by James Blake. Give it a listen!
Lina came to know CRB as an HS student attending Kent-Meridian HS in 2017 after arriving from Afghanistan and joining the CRB after-school program until she graduated and went to college. After receiving her Associate degree in Applied Science from Highline Community College, Lina worked for Highline in admissions, helping students enroll and apply for financial aid. Lina came to work for CRB in 2021 as the Spark Mentor, helping Seattle residents navigate complex systems and get better employment. Lina speaks Dari, Farsi, and Urdu.
Zohra is a LEAP home visitor and came to CRB with a background in leadership and working with families as a monitoring and evaluation officer for a World Bank project in Afghanistan, the goal of which was to help poor families with horticulture and livestock care so that they could become self-sufficient. With LEAP, Zohra currently works with 12 families from Afghanistan who are either expecting and/or have children under 5 years old. She shares research and helps parents learn how to care for themselves and their baby during pregnancy as well as supporting children in early learning and school readiness.
Sharon Bamage is a married mother of a 17-year-old son and a 13-year-old daughter and came to the U.S. as a refugee. She has worked as a Home Visitor at CRB since 2019. She has also worked as a private caregiver and volunteer at Ubumwe Women Association. Sharon has a degree in nursing and social studies from the Democratic Republic of Congo. As a Community Leader at CRB, Sharon works with immigrant families that speak French, Swahili, Lingala, Kinyarwanda, and Kirundi — to help them understand and navigate the U.S. educational system and to prepare their children for kindergarten.
Faten is a LEAP home visitor. In this role, she supports Arabic-speaking families, translates articles into Arabic to share knowledge about child development, healthy growth, school readiness, as well as what is happening in the greater community that affects these families, and children’s activities that the parent and the child can work on together. Faten makes sure that all her families have knowledge and understanding of what they can do to support their children until they go to school. Faten loves helping families and supporting the children in her community.
Meet our board
Marcia has supported students and their families as an educator, guidance counselor and college advisor for over 30 years. Highlights of her career include coordinating the transformation of service delivery models for students with learning disabilities and creating student and family advocacy and community outreach programs. Her passions include traveling, cycling, hiking, reading, gardening, watching all genres of movies, and supporting young people to succeed in life.
Vice President and Secretary
Gloria is a retired hospice social worker with 20 years of experience at Group Health. She and her husband Gary have supported the welfare of the Burmese and refugee communities in various capacities for over 30 years. She’s been involved with the Cross Border HIV/AIDS Peer Support group in Thailand’s Mae Tao Clinic as well as the Good Morning migrant school on the Thailand-Burma border. She joined the CRB Board in 2017 and loves to travel, garden, and is a yoga aficionado.
Josh is a Business Development Manager for strategic partnerships at Microsoft. With deep involvement in leadership and community service, Josh contributed in the capacity of a student mentor for Young Executive of Color while working for a degree in Finance and Entrepreneurship at the University of Washington. He joined CRB in 2019 as the Board Treasurer and has assisted with resource management and funding tracking. In his free time, Josh likes to play volleyball.
Myra was an internally displaced person and refugee before she resettled in the US. She has been a community organizer and a human rights advocate since a young age. She is a member of the Karen Women’s Organization, a board member of the Karen American Communities Foundation, and has testified before Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission. She joined the CRB Board in 2016 and continues raise awareness to eradicate genocide, promote human rights in Burma and all over the world. Myra likes to pamper her collection of rare flowering tropical plants in her free time.
May is a neurologist specializing in multiple sclerosis and an associate professor at Stanford University. She is an educator, outreach director and patient and family support group leader for patients with neurological diseases. Born and raised in Burma, she relocated to Seattle and completed her post-graduate training at University of Washington. Previously, she volunteered at Mae Tao clinic as a visiting physician. Outside of work, May’s interests include yoga, meditation, running, literature, food, oenology, and bread baking.
Robert “Burns” Petersen
Burns worked in the King County Department of Public Defense for over 30 years. He also has played multiple roles in community outreach, leadership, and social justice including as an MLK committee member, board member of Criminal Defense Attorneys of Washington State, King County Big Brother mentor, and more. He is a member of Burma Round Table and joined the CRB Board in 2020. His interests include international travel, bicycling, and photography.