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Jovanny Orellana  Director  jorellana@kipphouston.orgJovanny Orellana, the oldest of 4 children, was born in Michoacán, Mexico but raised in Houston, Texas.  Jovanny was the first in her family to ever graduate from high school, nonetheless, go to college.  Understanding the importance of education, she graduated from the University of Texas at Austin with a double major in Psychology and Mexican American Studies with Concentration in Public Policy. Upon graduating, she accepted an offer from Rural Development and Finance Corporation (RDFC) in San Antonio to help with a program called the Latino Financial Issues Program which she was a member of during her undergraduate years. In her heart, she knew she wanted to come back to her hometown and work with students from underserved communities. In 2006, Jovanny joined the Houston Scholar Program (HSP) as Resident Staff. Currently, Jovanny holds the Director position in the program and is joined by a great staff within HSP and KTC. This year, Jovanny will complete her 7th year with HSP and 4th year with KIPP.

To contact Jovanny Orellana please email her at

staff pic lorenaLorena has been working in higher education since she graduated from The University of Texas at Austin (UT) and she looks forward to continuing helping students to successfully attend & graduate college. She grew up in San Antonio, Texas and is a proud Spurs fan, Go Spurs Go!! After high school, she majored in Advertising at UT and took advantage of all the opportunities that a large university can provide. Throughout college she interned with The Wine and Food Foundation of Texas and Stitch: Handmade Revolution Fashion Show doing event planning and public relations. She also participated in a study abroad program in Lyon, France. She is a big advocate of students getting out of their comfort zone and taking part in abroad experiences. She worked with the Office of Admissions at UT Austin for seven years assisting students, specifically first-generation and underrepresented minorities, with the college application process and planned enjoyable campus visits. After working with the Office of Admissions, she took the position of Recruitment Coordinator with The Equal Opportunity in Engineering Program at UT. There she organized engineering summer camps for high school students, strategically recruited underrepresented students and helped first-year engineering students with the transition from high school to college.

To contact Loreana Alvarez please email her at


Leticia Contreras has worked closely with middle and high school youth since 2008.  She has always had a passion for giving back to her community and creating solutions alongside those who are most marginalized and underserved. Born and raised in Southwest Houston, Leticia saw a lot of her peers fall through the cracks in the system because of a lack of support from their schools or families.  She attended Hampshire College in Amherst, Massachusetts. While completing her degree in Latina/o Studies and Photography, Leticia spent several years organizing within the reproductive justice and immigrant rights throughout the Southeast and Southwest. She is really looking forward to supporting HSP 8th/9th grade students and their families to achieve their greate_st potential. She is very humbled to be working with such an amazing and inspiring team like the KIPP Through College Program and can’t wait to learn so much from these bright, young HSP leaders.

To contact Leticia Contreras please email her at


Tony Hernandez currently serves as a Program Assistant for the Houston Scholar Program.  In this role, he provides an extra layer of support to guarantee scholars are equipped with and are using the skills necessary to get to and through college, with special focus on ensuring they celebrate their accomplishments, are committed to empowering themselves and their community members, and value the importance of giving back. Although his ultimate career goal is to become a police officer and eventually a detective, he has learned a lot while working at KIPP Houston.  He graduated from The University of Texas at Austin in 2011 with a B.A. in Sociology.  Upon graduation, Tony briefly worked for KIPP Austin Public Schools before moving back to Houston.

To contact Tony Hernandez please email him at