Architects of Change March Monthly Highlight: AOC In Me Reflection

By Rivka Bent

An Architects of Change tradition is to seek out people in our community, each month, who embody our motto: Challenge what is, Imagine what can be, and Move humanity forward. Typically, these are people from clever small business owners to notable leaders of major San Diego-based corporations. This month, we decided to take a different approach. Members of our team chose to highlight the people we feel are Architects of Change in our lives and share their stories with the OLP community. Take some time, below, to peruse through our incredible role models, and think about who your Architect of Change could be.

AOC Anne Newbury by Cassidy Matwiyoff '22

My grandmother embodies what it means to be an Architect of Change through her pioneering efforts in the realm of cosmetic sales. She retired as the #1 National Sales Director at Mary Kay cosmetics, setting the world record for sales that still remains unbroken today. She paved the way for women in the workplace during the 70s and 80s, helping to break down the gender barriers across the globe.

AOC Arnel Barba by Izzy Barba '22

I see my dad as an Architect of Change, not only in my life through his advice and leadership, but also out in our community as he is a nurse anesthetist. Even throughout the pandemic when it can be risky at times working in the health setting, he still goes to work everyday and puts his passion into what he does to help other people’s lives. Personally, he has taught me the value of mindset and selflessly giving back to others as I am finding my own path in life. 

AOC Olga Álvarez by Belén González '23

My grandmother is the Architect of Change in my life because not only does she challenge me to leave my mark on the world each day, but she left her positive impact on the world as a second-grade bilingual teacher. Growing up as a Mexican- American girl in segregated, rural Texas during the 1930s and 40s, she did not have many opportunities; but, she managed to persevere and receive her college degree. She, then, dedicated her life to teaching children and giving them the resources they needed to succeed.

AOC Debra Cota by Abby Cota '22

My mother, Debra Cota, is my Architect of Change because she is filled with strength and love. My mom has been dedicated to serving others through teaching. She became a teacher right after college and taught high school and middle school English for over 20 years. Two years ago, she became principal at a local Catholic Elementary school. My mom has dedicated her life to serving and teaching others. She lives a life full of faith and continues to bless people on an everyday basis. I pray that I will be like my mom one day. She is my best friend and my Architect of Change!

AOC Maricarmen Castellanos by Valentina Gonzalez '22

My mother Maricarmen Castellanos is my Architect of Change. Because she is the most empowering and inspiring woman I know. Not only has she raised 6 girls, she has given jobs to so many people, she is the CEO of many foundations and a real estate business in Tijuana. She has dedicated her life to serving others, giving love, making a lot of sacrifices for the ones she loves, and always spreading God’s message. She alone started looking for work to support her 6 daughters and although there were many downturns, she was able work hard and succeed. She is a strong independent woman, and she never fails on making me the happiest and proudest daughter.

AOC Diana Bosdet by Katiana Yazdani Bosdet '22

My mother, Diana Bosdet is an Architect of Change in my life. My mom has gone through all of the ups and downs in life, yet she has achieved so many things in her life. My mother always puts others before herself and constantly helps others. She continually pushes me to be the best version of myself, no matter the obstacles. Everything she has worked for is so that my two older sisters, younger brother and I can have a role model in our lives who challenges what is, imagines what can be and moves humanity forward. My mother, Diana Bosdet, is a fascinating and inspirational Architect of Change.

AOC Kim James by Chloe James '21

My Architect of Change is my mom, Kim James. As a Kindergarten teacher, she has moved humanity forward by innovating new ways to make her classroom a safe and enjoyable learning environment. She is an inspiration to us all through her dedication to teaching and impacting the leaders of tomorrow amid the difficult challenges we face today.

AOC Toni Russo by Giavanna Russo '22

The Architect of Change that I have chosen to highlight is my mom, Antoinette, or “Toni”, Russo. As the Director of Facilities at the Academy of Our Lady of Peace, Toni imagines what can be as she is leading our campus remodel, and changes what is to better the entire OLP community. In her recent efforts to move humanity forward, she has taken on the responsibility of keeping the school safe from COVID-19 and making sure that all rules and regulations are followed.

AOC Guillermina Partida by Valentina Parra '23

Guillermina Partida– a woman of crinkled eyes and honeyed laughs, of morning pecks and evening chai, of diligence, of valor, of naps, of utter levity– but above all, of fervor for change. My grandmother is my lesson in candor and simplicity, teaching me that progress starts from within, that to move humanity forward, earnest I love you's and ceaseless passions will do the trick. 

AOC Ana Karen Franco by Annya Apodaca '22

As an entrepreneur with a small business in Tijuana, my eldest cousin Ana Karen Franco successfully earns the title of an Architect of Change in my life. Being the oldest of seven girl cousins, Ana Karen has always been the greatest role model we girls could have. Inspired by her strive, innovative hardworking skills, and the love she pours into JOIANA, her jewelry store, Ana Karen inspires me to work hard and challenge myself, chasing my dreams and making them a reality.

AOC Socorro Gutierrez by Valentina Gutierrez '22

My grandmother Socorro is an Architect of Change in my life. She has been a hard worker since she arrived in Tijuana many years ago, fighting to give her three children a better life. With only half of her education complete, her determination and courage were what helped her stand out. Now, she continues to fight for herself and her family, always speaking wise words and giving the best hugs.

AOC Teresa Saucedo by Alyse Saucedo '21

My mom is my Architect of Change, paving a path of opportunity for me as an immigrant that thrived in a new country through determination, an advocate that represents the least of us, and a caregiver that gives with her whole heart to whoever she meets.

AOC Monica Quiroga by Priscila Cano '23

My mom is an Architect of Change. She has shown me to view life through many perspectives and how a positive mindset can make anything better. My mom has been through so much and has continued to grow stronger every day with a positive mindset that pushes everyone to be the best that they can be.

AOC Timothy Stanton by Julia Torres '22

My grandpa, Timothy Stanton, is an Architect of Change in every aspect of his life. He works to see the best in people daily, make the community better, and will always offer a piece of truth and advice. He always works to achieve the best and inspires me to do the same.

AOC Dorothy Macavinta by Chelsea Macavinta '21

An Architect of Change in my life is my mother, Dorothy Macavinta. At seventeen years old, she moved to the United States to continue her studies. Today, she has over 25 years of service as a healthcare worker. With a smile on her face, Dorothy gives her best work into all that she does. Not only does she strive to see the best in herself, but she inspires others to bring out the best in themselves as well.

AOC “Tity” Arizmendi BY Nathalia Cerda '22

My grandmother is the most loving, most fun, most authentic, and the truest human being I know. She is a true Architect of Change because she is ALWAYS inspiring others. She always has a smile on her face and she always sees the light in every situation. She gives so much to everyone who gets in her path. She is and has always been my role model. She inspires me to be my truest self and to always believe in the magic of life. I want to be like her when I grow up: joyful, youthful,  healthy, authentic, inspiring, and so much more.

AOC Jack Beresford by Alejandra Beresford '21

My dad, Jack Beresford is an Architect of Change. In my life, he’s always challenged me to pursue my passions and to give it my all. He’s always supported me and given me a positive outlook on life. Despite his busy work schedule, he always makes time to take me surfing, walk the dog, and attend mass every Sunday. Not to mention, he is an excellent trip coordinator and I give him credit for every wonderful vacation we’ve gone on. He always makes time for himself even if it means waking up at 5:30 to kneeboard in the freezing ocean. I cannot imagine a better person to look up to and I know that even as I get older, he will always be there for me, especially when it includes a visit to Disneyland.

AOC Enrique Hernández by Isabella Hernández '23

An Architect of Change in my life is Enrique Hernandez (aka my old man). My dad is possibly one of the most determined and hard-working persons I know. I also know him to have always been someone that never let excuses stop him from doing the things he sets his heart to- demonstrated that in every aspect of his life. Above all, he has raised three incredible young women and has taught them important values and morals through his own example. My father makes evident of his unwavering support and unconditional love to my sisters, to his family, and most importantly, to me.

AOC Maria Morgan by Jolie Morgan '21

My sister, Maria Morgan graduated in the year of 2017 from OLP. She is currently studying mechanical engineering and through all of her hard work, she never fails to embody the traits of a hardworking and independent young woman. She pursues her passions as she coaches tennis and also teaches young kids coding. Not only is she very academically motivated, but she also prioritizes her character above all else and ensures that all she does is out of love.

AOC Rory Dougherty by Malone Dougherty '22

Rory is an Architect of Change in my life. She never fails to brighten any room she walks into. I'm truly blessed to watch her grow up and impact everyone she meets. Although 7 years apart, I look up to her for her beautiful outlook on life.

AOC Sanjana Paye by Anjali Paye '21

My sister, Sanjana Paye, is an Architect of Change in my life. She is an OLP graduate of the Class of 2019 and now attends USC. Every weekend, she drives home from LA to work as a caregiver in a home for elderly residents with cognitive impairments. She spends her weekends bringing hope to these residents, many of whom have been unable to see their families during the COVID-19 pandemic. She is one of the most hardworking people that I know, juggling two jobs, her schoolwork, and volunteering in a lab. She brings joy to all those that she meets and has a maturity far beyond her years. She is currently studying to become a geriatrician and hopes to one day volunteer through the Doctors Without Borders program.

AOC Daniel Cano by Barbara Cano '21

My dad, Daniel Cano, is an Architect of Change not only in my life but also in his community and work environment. He pushes us to fight for what we believe in and set goals for ourselves. He has been through so much while working towards creating a safe work environment in Mexico that supports all from wherever they are from. Despite everything he may have going on, he always makes time for his family. I could not be any prouder to be his eldest daughter, always teaching my siblings and me new things while serving as a role model for those around him.