top of page

Our Staff

Executive Director

Delan Hilliard is a professional educator with over 15 years of classroom experience in California elementary schools. After receiving her BA from UCLA, she returned to California State University, Long Beach to earn her Multiple Subject Credential. Years of classroom experience equipped her with the necessary tools to create child-centered curricula that aligned with the California State Standards to nurture student achievement.  

In the past ten years, Delan segued into broader areas of education and community involvement. She merged her interest, skills and passion to work toward providing a warm and caring environment that is stimulating, encouraging and responsive to the varied needs of children and families in areas suffering from disinvestment.

Email Delan Hilliard

Computer Lab

Sonia Gurrola has been a part of the St. Lawrence community since she started as the school librarian and eventually began teaching as she worked on her credential.  She has classroom experience in several grade levels including TK-2nd grade.  Her passion has always been teaching ELA and sees the importance of quality reading instruction for our younger students to set up a good foundation for their academic future.  Ms. Gurrola is one of the most respected educators on site and we are so pleased she joined our after school team to solidify our students' reading journey. 

Program  Coordinator

Karina Bermudez grew up in the Watts community.  She has a great fondness for the people and their resilience and tenacity. Karina benefited from the support of Friends through out her primary and secondary education.  She knows firsthand how education can break down systemic barriers.  Because she takes pride in her neighborhood she wants others to see how wonderful the people who live there are. 

Email Karina Bermudez

Literacy Tutors

Each year, Friends hires 25-30 teenagers from the Watts neighborhood.  These hired tutors, who know firsthand the obstacles of living in the inner city, are working to improve the lives of the children they work with while reaching educational goals of their own.  Our program is centered around these positive role models and the relationships they build with their students.

We take applications during the summer from local Watts teens/young adults who are enrolled in school (high school or college) full time.  Interviews are held during the month of August before the new school year begins.  You must go through the mandatory training to be considered for a position.

We have concluded our hiring for the 2023-24 school year.  Please look for information for the next session in the summer of 2024.

bottom of page