Joshua Williams serves his community through philanthropy, mentorship, and social entrepreneurship. The mechanical engineer by day is also the founder & CEO of the non-profit organization Young Echelon (YE), which utilizes Science Technology Engineering Arts and Mathematics (STEAM) programs as a conduit to teach students their leadership styles and hone their true potential while preparing for college and future careers.
Williams is a District Engineer of Electric Region Operations for San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E). He serves as a board member of Sempra’s Employee Giving Network and is Director of Governance for SDG&E’s Black Employees Business Resource Group (BEBRG).
Williams holds a Dual-Bachelor of Science and Bachelor of the Arts degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of San Diego (USD). In 2021, Williams received alumni honors and was named a Torero Changemaker for his steward leadership throughout the community. In addition, he serves as Co-Chair of USD’s Shiley Marcos School of Engineering and Computers Science alumni counsel and is a member of USD’s Employer Advisory Board. During his tenure at the USD, Williams was President and Founder of USD’s National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE) chapter. He was a Division I student-athlete and team captain who led the Toreros to four PFL Championships.
Williams is a natural harmonizer and, in his own words, does unique work in “Bridging Together.” He utilizes his engineer and social entrepreneur expertise to bridge the divide and foster racial equity, inclusion, and community. Rather on the field, in the community, or a corporate environment, Williams values diversity, teamwork, and collaboration. He takes pride in contributing to the overall well-being of those around him and seeks out ways to bridge a better tomorrow.
Social Media Manager | PolicyLink Rise Urban Leadership Fellow | Mentor
A Community Arts Manager | A Reason To Survive
TMT Banker | Citi
Community Health Promotion Specialist, County of San Diego
Ferchil Ramos currently serves as the Social Media Manager for PolicyLink. Before that, Ramos was the digital media and creative strategist for the ACLU of San Diego & Imperial Counties for five years. There he developed a layered approach to combining art and activism that makes an impact on the city and the communities where he lives and serves.
Born in the Philippines and raised in the Bay Terraces neighborhood of southeastern San Diego, he continues to use his experience to find ways to navigate the ever-changing digital landscape with a unique lens and a sense of civic duty and culture.
Nadia is a bicultural Architect and Artist from Tijuana. She has experience working in both small and big scale construction companies on both sides of the border.
Her love for art, the build environment, and youth empowerment led her to teaching, where she creates opportunities to explore deep aspects of design, culture, and community through creative self-expression and collaborative projects. As an artist, she has focused her efforts on promoting art as a healing and empowerment tool.
Nadia enjoys playing with colors, forms, and exploring diverse mediums. She designs and creates beautiful spaces, objects and experiences that inspire creativity.
Casey Dobiesz grew up in St. Petersburg, Florida where he was first introduced to the impact that quality education can have on the lives of students. Due to his upbringing surrounded by a failing education system, Casey is devoted to providing students the skills they need to take agency over their own lives.
Casey came to the University of San Diego to earn his BA/BS in Mechanical Engineering. Casey’s minor in Finance inspired him to pivot to International Corporate Banking for global technology companies at Citibank. Casey specializes in providing financial education and services to help non-profit organizations access and scale funding.
A Mechanical Engineer by education and Corporate Banker by profession, Casey brings a wealth of knowledge, experience, and passion for developing the next generation of globally-minded youth. As Young Echelon’s CFO, he is looking to bring both the education and professional skills to bear for both the students and the organization as a whole.
Born and raised in Anaheim, California to Haitian-American parents, Chiara moved to San Diego over 15 years ago to attend San Diego State University. While there, she earned a Bachelor of Science in Biology and began working in stem cell research studying pancreatic cancer and therapy treatments for stroke victims. She later went on to achieve her Master of Public Health from Nova Southeastern University in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.
Through her travels, she has interacted with health care and public health in varying capacities in Haiti, Ghana, Panama, South Africa, Mexico, and Cuba. Some of Chiara’s notable work includes coordinating a medical mission to Haiti in which over 500 patients were treated within three days and conducting ethnobotany research in Ghana to study a plant traditionally used in the treatment of various diseases.
Chiara passionately believes that access to adequate health care is a right that everyone deserves regardless of their circumstances. Her unquenched curiosity about the world has granted her insight into the complex relationships between health, economics, politics, ethics, and religion. She tirelessly works to improve the inequities caused by these systems in order to increase the quality of life for vulnerable communities.
Chiara works for the County of San Diego Health and Human Services Agency (HHSA). In the various roles she’s held with HHSA, she helps empower residents to create positive changes in their communities, including currently supporting oversight of operations and administration of the County’s Public Health Lab to increase access for vulnerable communities to needed public health testing. She also advocates on behalf of opportunity youth to connect them to resources throughout the community and provide them safe spaces to learn, work, and play.
Chiara continues to build on her years of local community work, including promoting S.T.E.M. to grade school students, providing mentorship to youth, conducting global health research, and promoting diversity and inclusion. She sits on the board of directors for Mama’s Kitchen, a local non-profit that provides meals free of charge to medically eligible patients through a “food as medicine” approach. She enjoys reading, playing soccer, traveling, and anything else that allows her to enjoy life to the fullest.