We are a group of diverse professionals volunteering our time to assist those that need a little extra support entering or advancing in the workplace. We are passionate about helping others.

This is an attempt to support those who may have been impacted by COVID, were not granted the same opportunities as others, or need extra support in pursuing their career goals.

We know that barriers to employment disproportionately affect some communities more than others. This is also our way of trying to balance the scales.

Scroll down and get to know us a bit more!


Sukh Chugh

  • Role: Chief Dreamer
  • Professional Life: President of XL-Lead Staffing and Consulting. We are a full-service staffing firm assisting our clients with contractor placement and permanent hiring.
  • Personal Tidbits: I’m big on running and meditation. Since the COVID stay-at-home guidance, I’ve built a hiking trail on the hill by my house, taken advantage of my pool table, and brushed up on my table tennis skills.
  • Why Rise Up? As a result of the staffing firm I started 5 years ago, we’ve gotten really good at reviewing resumes and conducting interviews. In the quest to find the best talent for our clients, we’ve discovered what it takes to enter and advance in the workplace. Why not pass these skills on to those who need them? Not everyone has had the same opportunities in life – some are disadvantaged because of the social economic conditions they were born into, others because of mistakes they may have had in the past, some because of COVID, and others because of changing conditions in the workplace. Whatever the case, helping someone advance in their life is a gift we actually give ourselves. In the words of Robert Ingersoll: “We rise when we lift others”.  

Gunita Singh

  • Role: Legal Counsel
  • Professional Life: California Attorney 
  • Personal Tidbits: In my free time I like to bike to the beach, oil paint, hang out with my dog, Mojo, at the park, meditate/yoga, go hiking/camping, and read self help books. 
  • Why Rise Up? I am excited to be a part of the Rise Up Project because there are particularities in resume/cover letter drafting and interview etiquette that are not always intuitive. They must be taught in order for one to gain a competitive advantage. I am proud to contribute to this organization because I believe it is an invaluable resource for those who are navigating the job market during this economic recession.

Alissa Santolo

  • Role: Curriculum Development
  • Professional Life: Financial Consultant for a mid-sized Consulting Firm
  • Personal Tidbits: I really enjoy cooking, reading and running.
  • Why Rise Up? I joined RUP after recently participating in programs like this while I was in college. I wanted to continue mentoring in order to help people find opportunities for a successful career.

Mahek Ghelani

  • Role: Curriculum Development
  • Personal Life: Sophomore at UMass Amherst studying Finance and Economics.
  • Personal Tidbits: I enjoy practising yoga and painting. 
  • Why Rise Up? I joined RUP because I want to give back in any way I can, and try to spread all the knowledge that I’m gaining from business school to other people who need it but can’t afford these resources! I can’t wait to get started. 

Michelle Camden 

  • Role: Coach and Mentor
  • Professional Life: Learning & Development Specialist 
  • Personal Tidbits: For fun, I love to travel, volunteer, read, spend time with friends
  • Why Rise Up? I joined RUP because I want to help people build skills and confidence to lead to successful job opportunities. I also want to connect with others in this time of social distancing. 

Farzana Hossain

  • Role: Eager Learner and Outreach
  • Professional Life: Research Coordinator at UCSF
  • Personal Tidbits: For fun, I love dj-ing, making mixes, reading, and cooking 
  • Why Rise Up? The reason why I joined RUP is because I want to dedicate my time and skill set to help individuals succeed and help them achieve their career goals.

Amanda Pandey

  • Role: Curriculum Development and Communications
  • Professional Life: Customer Success Manager
  • Personal Tidbits: What I do for fun: bake, yoga, read
  • Why Rise Up? Everyone deserves access to free job skill training, especially given the unemployment rate due to the virus. 

Kimberly Capehart

  • Role: Curriculum Development and Logistics 
  • Professional Life: Office Manager
  • Personal Tidbits: Read, Videogames
  • Why Rise Up? Help motivated people have a leg up on the job market, especially under-resourced populations.

Robert Holzinger

  • Role: Coach and Mentor
  • Personal Life: Paralegal, real estate investor, securities trader
  • Personal Tidbits: I enjoy martial arts, salsa, reading, quality time with my wife
  • Why Rise Up? I joined the Rise Up Project because it serves a big and growing need for persons economically displaced by the pandemic. These shifting times are scary, but also filled with new opportunities if you stay focused and maintain an abundance mindset. The Rise Up Project is a tool to help others do just that.

Kristeen Singh

  • Role: Outreach and Quality Control
  • Professional Life: Social Entrepreneur, a natural connector and networker who mobilizes communities for causes. Currently running the fair trade project rHope and raising a magnificent little human!
  • Personal Tidbits: I enjoy being outdoors in nature, reading books and playing with my almost 4 yr old.  
  • Why Rise Up? Excited to be part of a program that provides essential job training to anyone that can benefit. Hoping that those who are under resourced utilize the program.

Ana Cristina Jones

  • Role: General Support
  • Professional Life: Emotional Freedom Coach. Mental Health Podcaster.
  • Personal Tidbits: I love to have deep conversations with people. Meditation is an essential in my life. Good food, good people, good times.
  • Why Rise Up? I am very passionate about helping others, especially those that are committed to achieving their goals and dreams

Reema Prasad

  • Role: Video Coordinator
  • Professional Life: Engineering Management in High Tech
  • Personal Tidbits: Certified Yoga Instructor who loves teaching and practicing yoga
  • Why Rise Up? Joining RUP is a meaningful way to use my corporate experiences to serve others

Ronak Parik

  • Role: Curriculum Development
  • Professional Life: Project Manager
  • Personal Tidbits: Enjoys playing Ping Pong and Board Games
  • Why Rise Up? To contribute for the good.

Ally Tan

  • Role: Outreach, Coach and Mentor
  • Professional Life: Human Resources
  • Personal Tidbits: I love film photography, true crime podcasts and hanging with my dog
  • Why Rise Up? I am a first-generation college graduate that came from a low-income family and I want to ensure that marginalized communities have access to these resources without having to worry about financial or educational limitations.

Ali Torabi

  • Role: Curriculum Development
  • Professional Life: Strategy Consulting Pricipal
  • Personal Tidbits: I enjoy reading and traveling
  • Why Rise Up? I have always enjoyed hearing about people’s stories and aspirations. This was an opportunity to give back to those that might not have access in their communities to the resources to support their career goals.

Sajal Jain

  • Role: Curriculum Development and Powerpoint Support 
  • Professional Life: Electrical Engineer
  • Personal Tidbits: Love watching movies, playing ping pong, hiking and reading about history and philosophy 
  • Why Rise Up?: To help people to find the starting point of the big race in life, so they can run, rise and fly to achieve their dreams. Also to meet like minded awesome volunteer, make friends and learn new skills.