Brian Becker is an international educator at Point Loma Nazarene University in San Diego where he directs both International Ministry and Study Abroad programs. He earned the MA Nonprofit Management and Leadership degree at USD School of Leadership and Education Sciences. Brian has also lived and worked in microfinance in Kisangani, Democratic Republic of the Congo with HOPE International.
Brian and his family reside in City Heights and have been shaped by close relationships with families from the DR Congo and East African countries.
Robert Lee has been a part of San Diego Refugee Tutoring since 2009. His heart for justice is rooted in his faith and refined through professional and non-profit work in inner-city Chicago and abroad. He is a family doctor in San Diego and works with students and trainees at the University of California, San Diego.
Prior to attending law school, Art Shingler taught English at Castle Park and Southwest High Schools in the Sweetwater Union High School District. Today, Art is an attorney who has practiced law in San Diego for over 26 years, with a principal focus on shareholder rights, consumer, and antitrust litigation. He also serves as a mediator, and regularly lectures on the subjects of conflict management and mediator skills with the National Conflict Resolution Center.
Art has been volunteering consistently with SDRT since 2019. He is also an avid bodysurfer and has three grown children.
Christine Friedman has practiced law in California since 1996. Currently, she is a Deputy Attorney General in the Appeals, Writs & Trials section of the California Attorney General’s Office. Previously, she practiced employment law and commercial litigation, and served as a law clerk for Hon. Barry Ted Moskowitz, United States District Court Judge, and Hon. David R. Thompson, Senior Circuit Judge for the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.
Christine has been a volunteer with SDRT since 2018. As an immigrant herself, she appreciates the difficulties of adapting to a new culture and wholeheartedly believes in SDRT’s mission of achieving social justice through educational access.
Masooma Esmaelzada is currently a community health worker at La Maestra Community Health Centers at City Height, San Diego where she assists and connects people to the county to get the benefit they are eligible for. She earned a Master of Economic Sciences with Specialization in Management at the Kazakh-American Free University of Kazakhstan, a BA in English Literature at Herat University in Afghanistan, and a Diploma in Leadership at the Institute for Leadership Development in Afghanistan. Masooma has also worked as an English Instructor, Teacher, and Master Trainer with international organizations in Afghanistan such as Jesuit Refugee Services, Herat University U.S Fully Funded Project, and Swedish Committee for Afghanistan.
When the democratic regime collapsed by Taliban in August 2021, like most Afghan evacuees, Masooma and her family left their homeland, Afghanistan, and after a long challenging journey in different refugee camps, finally resettled in San Diego in February 2022. Currently, she lives in the Mira Mesa area and does her best to make a new stable life.
Masooma loves volunteering to make a positive influence on people’s life, especially helping those who have been through the same traumas, and difficulties and are struggling to adapt to their new life.
David has a strong conviction of the value of education and the benefits it brings to one’s life. He is a graduate of the University of California, Davis with a BS degree in mechanical engineering. He also earned an MBA at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology where his studies concentrated in finance, economics, and organizational behavior. Before his graduate work at MIT, he completed a two-year mission for his church in Seoul, South Korea.
David is currently retired after a 35-year career with Royal Dutch Shell. He held leadership positions in strategic planning, mergers and acquisitions and as a head of various petrochemical businesses. In his last position he served as Shell’s shareholder representative for its 35% interest in Showa Shell Petroleum in Japan. His 4-year tenure in Tokyo concluded with the successful sale of Shell’s interest in the company to Idemitsu Corporation.
After living nearly 25 years near Houston, Texas, he and his wife moved London to continue his career with Shell. He was directly responsible for the restructuring Shell’s refining and marketing assets in Europe, including its sale of 4 key assets and overseeing 12 other European M&A deals. Before London he served as the Vice President of Shell’s $1.5bn revenue Global Detergent and Higher Olefins business. He was the Vice President of Mergers, Acquisitions and Projects for Shell Chemicals’ major restructure ($4bln) of its global chemical portfolio in 1998-2000. He held a wide range of management positions in the Chemicals businesses including Ethylene and Propylene, Kraton Thermoplastic Elastomers, Business Development and Marketing.
David has been married to his wife, Carolann, since 1978. They have two adult children, a daughter living in Utah and a son living in Vancouver, BC. David and Carolann both enjoy working as SDRT volunteers. They also work with an organization called Pathway Connect that provides low-cost access to university degrees to students around the world. In his retired life David enjoys trying to conquer golf, biking, traveling and volunteering. If it is the wintertime, he will be found skiing somewhere in the world.
Rohit Ahuja is a UCSD graduate with a degree in Human Biology. He joined SDRT in 2021 during the midst of COVID and has had a wonderful time helping students learn and grow.
Rohit aims to pursue a career in medicine through a social justice lens. During undergrad, he engaged in various community service initiatives including a homeless organization that connects individuals to services and programs that combat barriers to housing and unemployment. He worked as a mentor at the International Center of UCSD and as a teaching assistant for over a year. His mission and philosophy is committed to helping students of all backgrounds thrive and succeed.
Laura Requena has worked in the biotechnology life sciences field for over 20 years. Laura focuses on developing and commercializing technologies, which scientists use to understand diseases and develop new therapies.
Laura was a refugee from Chile, gaining asylum in the UK as a child. Laura and her family initially struggled with the English language and culture—she was often seated at the remedial table in primary school. After overcoming these difficulties, Laura completed her Ph.D. and emigrated to the US in 2001. Her career has led to secondments in Japan and China.
When at home in San Diego, Laura enjoys live music events, and tending to her unruly backyard chickens.
Patrick Goddard is a public high school teacher working within the San Diego Unified School District. Prior to being an educator, he spent almost twenty years in the entrepreneurial start-up industry, scaling and growing businesses. He holds his MBA and educational administrative credential from San Diego State University and a BA in history from Boston College.
A San Diego native, Patrick enjoys time with his spouse and two boys. He was introduced to San Diego Refugee tutoring through his older son, who was a tutor for several years while in high school.