Introducing the HandsOn Tech Silicon Valley AmeriCorps VISTAs Kristopher Thornton, Lohrie Arruiza, Brian Mattos, and Claire Lewis. These Volunteers in Service to America (VISTAs) have each dedicated a year of service to the HandsOn Tech program. For more information about them, please read below.
Brian is a recent graduate of the Pennsylvania State University with a Bachelors degree in Public Relations/Advertising and minors in Business and Communication Arts and Sciences. Bay Area born, with an east coast upbringing, he has returned to serve the bay as an Americorps VISTA with the Hands on Tech program. While at Penn State he became heavily involved in the nonprofit sector through his work with Habitat for Humanity. He served as the president of the campus chapter of as well as served on the board of the local Greater Centre County affiliate concurrently. A love of people, technology, non profits and how they interact and influence each another is what keeps him motivated and looking forward to the year ahead.
Claire is a recent graduate of the University of California, Irvine, with a dual degree in Behavioral Psychology and Dance. While in college, Claire gained knowledge and experience in the nonprofit sector. As the social market intern for the American Heart Association, Claire helped plan and market the annual Go Red For Women Luncheon. As the administrative intern for the Center For Living Peace of Irvine, she kept her community informed by updating social media pages for the center, and writing copy for the monthly newsletter. In order to gain an understanding of nonprofits from a reseach perspective, Claire created a senior thesis project on performing arts nonprofits. Claire was able to use her skills from her respective majors to qualitatively observe and interview staff from five of the largest arts organizations in Orange County.
Kristopher Thornton has served in the public as well as private sector. He is a founder of Aevoe, a tech start up. He championed the early adoption of camera modules into cell phones with Apple, Siemens, and Motorola as well as other technologies. He has worked as a Aide in the California State Assembly as well as was a staff member for Santa Cruz County Judge Jeff Almquist while he was a County Supervisor. Kristopher Thornton has also worked in Los Gatos and helped coordinate and write the Los Gatos Boulevard Study which helped shape Los Gatos today as well as coordinating their Athletic Field Study. He was a long time board member of the Viet Arts Association and has a Masters in Public Administration from San Jose State University.
Lohrie graduated from San Jose State University in San Jose, California. She is a media communications professional who is pursuing a career in philanthropy. Lohrie likes to use her skills to champion numerous social causes. She has led social campaigns and donation drives that have raised thousands of dollars and in-kind donations for her community. A technology geek at heart, Lohrie spends most of her free time surfing the web, creating and maintaining websites or reading on her Kindle Fire. In her year of service as a HandsOn Tech team member, she aspires to leave a sustainable technology program that will empower nonprofits and will increase their efficiency at meeting their goals and missions. Her sponsoring organization is Silicon Valley Council of Nonprofits, located in San Jose.
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