Founder and Executive Director
Brian Holman is the Founder and Executive Director of Empower College Prep. Previously, he supervised teachers in general education and special education for grades K-12 as a Program Director for 4 years with Teach For America. Mr. Holman has also served his community as the chair of his church’s outreach team and Secretary of the Diaconate. He holds Master’s Degrees in Education Administration from the University of Phoenix and in Curriculum and Instruction from Arizona State University. His Bachelor’s Degree is in Journalism from Indiana University, where he also majored in Political Science and was published for his honors thesis, The Supreme Court and the Establishment Clause.
Director of Finance and Operations
Angela Eich is the Director of Finance and Operations for Empower College Prep. She attended the University of Arizona where she studied Business Economics and Spanish. She received her Bachelors of Science in Business Administration and Masters Degree in Secondary Education. She served as a corps member with Teach For America in 2010 to help ensure that all children have access to a quality education. Since then Angela has worked in education as an Instructional Coach, Vice Principal, and Director of Academics for Math and Science. As the Director of Finance and Operations she aims to serve the scholars of Empower College Prep and their families by establishing and overseeing systems that yield a financially strong organization where instruction is supported by talented staff and aligned resources, and the stability of the organization is preserved so that Empower can fulfill its mission of seeing every child to college.
Director of Special Education
Kendy Walker is our Director of Special Education. She has been in education for over 10 years, always in the area of Special Education, including: elementary and middle resource teacher, self-contained/Autism teacher, special education Co-teacher in the high school setting, as most recently overseeing a large special education department at an Arizona high school. She has a Master’s in Special Education and currently working on a second Master’s in K-12 Administration as well as a PhD in Psychology-Cognition and Instruction. She realizes the need for a high-quality education to reach all children who may be faced with challenges in his or her learning with individualized instruction, as well as ensuring all students the ability to go to college no matter what challenges he or she may face.
Ms. Walker has always had a heart for special education students since having her son, 19 years ago. Her son is on the autism spectrum, with ADHD as well as anxiety and together they worked to navigate this through his education career always believing there was a path for him, it just may look different than other students.
Ms. Walker is committed to ensuring all students are given the guidance and tools he or she needs to succeed whether they have an IEP or 504 plan. Any student can learn, be successful, and attend college. She looks forward to working with everyone to navigate your child/children’s educational journey.
Director of English Language Acquisition
Kate Lezama is our Director of English Language Acquisition. She has a BA in Spanish from Tufts University and a MA in Bilingual Bicultural Education from Columbia University Teachers College. Kate has been in education for over 17 years and began her career teaching English Learners in Brooklyn NY as a bilingual and ESL teacher. Over the years she has also taught college-level courses in teaching ESL as well as worked to design and develop innovative assessments for second language learners for the New York City Department of Education. Kate sees the potential in all scholars to be successful and go on to higher education. She has a specific passion to support Empower scholars who have interrupted or limited formal education along with needs in learning academic English, reach their goals, and close gaps in learning.
Kate and her family are involved in serving the community through the North Phoenix Christian Soccer Club, a refugee soccer ministry serving children in the communities surrounding Empower. She loves being part of the Empower community, connecting to families and their children, and looks forward to supporting teachers and scholars this school year.
Grants and Finance Manager
Angela Ortega graduated from Grand Canyon University with a bachelor’s degree in Health Care Administration and a minor in Business Administration. During her time at GCU, she participated as treasurer for the Latino Student Union and served as a council member for Diversity Leadership Alliance, which provides free leadership workshops for high school and college students. Prior to working as the External Relations Coordinator at Empower, Ms.Ortega served as a Student Recruitment Director for Empower College Prep. Ms. Ortega is deeply connected to ECP’s mission and is thrilled to be part of Empower.
Family and Community Liaison
Kristina Peltin Fuentes was born and raised in Phoenix, Arizona.. She attended San Diego State University where she finished her Bachelors Degree in International Security and Conflict Resolution and Spanish. During her time at SDSU, she studied for a year in Costa Rica improving her Spanish. After graduating, she traveled to 7 other countries in Latin America, teaching English and volunteering. Over the last 10 years, Kristina has worked with kids of all ages with after school enrichment programs and social work with adolescents. Volunteering with refugees and immigrants inspired her to become a teacher so that she could work more closely with those students and help them reach their goals. For the last 4 years, Kristina has been teaching SEI to 6-8th graders in Phoenix building strong and lasting relationships with her students and their families. She is excited for this new role at ECP where she can continue to build relationships and support students and their families.
Ms. Carmen A Garcia joined Empower College Prep July 2015. She is a stickler when it comes to her job and won’t bend the rules! Born in Northern California (Bay Area) and raised in Southern California (San Diego). She enjoys spending time with her family (during our breaks) specially with her niece. She enjoys going to the movies, reading a good book and listening to music. Her favorite author is Gabriel Garcia Marquez and her favorite movies are Breakfast at Tiffany’s and Grease. She loves to cook and bake and once in a blue moon will surprise her co-workers with brownies or cake. She has worked in the education industry for over 10 years, university level to elementary level.
Manager of Facilities and Operations
David Dillman is Empower College Prep’s Manager of Facilities and Operations. He has an interdisciplinary bachelor’s degree, focusing on theology and graphic design, but has a background in construction and IT. David built Empower College Prep’s network at its inception and has been managing its growth and operation ever since. He is proud to be part of a school that equips children to succeed, with the student to tech ratio being 1:1 to further that goal. David has a wife and six children.
Diego Poveda has been with Empower College Prep for four years and now serves as its Operations Coordinator for the Colter Campus. Diego also coaches the 6th-8th grade soccer team, which brought Empower their first championship trophy in 2014-2015. In his free time, Diego enjoys playing outdoors sports.