Team PLUS ME
Richard Reyes | Founder & Executive Director
Richard Reyes was born and raised in Los Angeles and proudly became the first in his family to earn a college degree. He has shared his story to inspire over 100,000 students from across the country over the past decade. His passion for education and social justice is what sparked his desire to launch PLUS ME in 2013. He is a proud alum of Occidental College with a bachelor’s degree in Critical Theory/Social Justice and California State University, Los Angeles where he earned his master’s degree in Educational Foundations.
Bethanee Epifani | Facilitator & Program Associate
Los Angeles native and motivational speaker, Bethanee Epifani, serves as a PLUS ME Facilitator and Program Associate. Bethanee’s desire to work with and motivate students stems from having overcome her own past mental and emotional struggles. She is passionate about helping youth to prevail despite their hardships and is a proud graduate of Loyola Marymount University with a bachelor’s degree in Sociology.
Marlene Lopez | Facilitator & Creative Associate
Marlene Nancy Lopez was born and raised in Los Angeles during the LA gang wars in the early 1990s. Her struggle as a youth through the LAUSD system exemplifies what at-risk students are currently up against in schools and their neighborhoods. Marlene went on to graduate from Belmont High School, then Cal State Los Angeles as a Political Science major, and culminated her education with her master’s degree in Human Rights from the Paris School of International Affairs, SCIENCESPO.
Morgan Chitty | Facilitator & PARTNERSHIP Associate
As a Facilitator and Partnership Associate for PLUS ME Project, Morgan Chitty believes that every person has a story that matters. Fueled by a desire to connect and uplift youth, Morgan has motivated over 80,000 students in LA area high schools with powerful presentations and lends her voice to host galas, fundraisers and conferences. She is a graduate of Pomona College where she graduated with a BA in Politics and a minor in Black Studies.
ALDO MACIAS ARELLANO | Facilitator & DEVELOPMENT Associate
Aldo was born in Guadalajara, Mexico and migrated to the U.S. at a young age. He attended all public schools in East Los Angeles including Garfield High School and obtained his B.A. from Kalamazoo College in 2013. At K College, Aldo gained a deep commitment to civic engagement and public policy. Since graduating, Aldo has based his work in building up communities through his involvement with non-profit organizations, government, and public schools. As Facilitator & Development Associate, Aldo hopes to serve as a strong role model to students across Los Angeles in their professional and personal aspirations.