Dr. Mayra Padilla
Director/High School Mentor

I grew up in the Richmond-San Pablo area. Living in this area I attended local elementary and junior high schools, and graduated from Richmond High School. As a teenager, I participated in the Metas program. The support and mentorship I received through Metas motivated me to attend Contra Costa College (CCC) and study physics. After successfully completing my lower division work, I transferred to the University of California, Davis where I completed my undergraduate degree in applied physics. I went on to do my graduate training at the University of California, Berkeley, and earned my doctorate in behavioral neuroscience. As a neuroscientist I have studied the effects of brain trauma, stroke, normal aging, degenerative disease, alcohol abuse, and adolescent development and published the results of these studies in peer-reviewed journals. I held positions as a staff neuroscientist at the San Francisco Brain Institute/SAM Technology and SRI International, and as a senior neuroscientist at Sands Research, Inc. Throughout my academic career, I have maintained a consistent commitment to the Metas program and has for the last nine years taken on the role of director on a volunteer basis. My passion is helping students achieve academic and personal success. Thus, I have recently stepped down from her senior neuroscientist position to direct the Hispanic Serving Institution (HSI) Science Technology Engineering Math (STEM) grant at CCC. In this capacity, I will be able to offer Metas students additional opportunities for success.

Amanda Eicher
5th and 6th Grade Mentor

Is an artist and educator living and working in the Bay Area, with projects in El Salvador, Rwanda, and Kyrgyzstan. She completed her MFA at UC Berkeley in 2010 and now teaches in the UC Berkeley Art Practice Department. Her graduate thesis project, MetaPuentes, facilitated mentoring relationships between Metas high school students and teens in Colima, El Salvador; words from the conversations around success, security, and personal strength were laser etched into doors for ten houses, the first gesture in a series of public art exchanges between Colima and Richmond. Amanda is a member of the artist collaboratives OPENrestaurant and The Citizens Laboratory.Is an artist and educator living and working in the Bay Area, with projects in El Salvador, Rwanda, and Kyrgyzstan. She completed her MFA at UC Berkeley in 2010 and now teaches in the UC Berkeley Art Practice Department. Her graduate thesis project, MetaPuentes, facilitated mentoring relationships between Metas high school students and teens in Colima, El Salvador; words from the conversations around success, security, and personal strength were laser etched into doors for ten houses, the first gesture in a series of public art exchanges between Colima and Richmond. Amanda is a member of the artist collaboratives OPENrestaurant and The Citizens Laboratory.