BOARD MEMBERS

Dr. Antonio Castro – President & Chief Executive Officer
Dr. Castro is an educator of 15 years, He has served in the public school system as a teacher, site administrator and district administrator. Dr. Castro has worked in higher education as graduate adjunct faculty for 10 years. He remains active in his community in the capacities of county foster parent and youth soccer referee.

Alex J. Serna – Vice President
Alex J. Serna was born and raised as a product of his loving parents in Moorpark, CA. After attending Moorpark High and Moorpark College, Alex went on to receive his baccalaureate from the University of California, Los Angeles. He thereafter received his teaching credential from California State University, Northridge. Today, he is enjoying his third year as an elementary school educator in Moorpark.

Lisandra

Lisandra Castro – Secretary
Lisandra Castro has her B.A. from California Lutheran University and holds certifications in Cognitive Therapy. Lisandra has been a private business owner, trainer and facilitator in the field of Special Education and has continued her work in education for over 20 years. Lisandra is currently employed by Moorpark Unified School District in the Adult Education Preschool Program at Mountain Meadows Elementary. She is the mother of three and former foster parent of seven. Although she still holds a valid foster care license, she is currently dedicating herself to her family after adopting one of her foster children. Lisandra grew up in Moorpark and attended Flory, Chaparral and Moorpark High School before marrying Antonio Castro and beginning their life together.

Ryan Harikul – Treasurer & Chief Financial Officer
He may not look like much, but Ryan has combined finance/accounting experience spanning almost 10 years at various business entity levels from small start-up to nationwide enterprise organizations. He brings to the table a thorough understanding of accounting principles and financial analysis. By applying this knowledge base with a hands-on approach to the operations of the charity, he hopes to maximize our positive impact within the community.

Alejandro Castro – Chairman
Alejandro is a graduate of Moorpark High School and University of San Diego. Currently, he is the Technology Program Manager, Audio Visual Services for Children’s Hospital Los Angeles. With over 15 years of continued volunteerism, Alejandro hopes to continue his grandfather’s (Ruben Castro) desire to provide for those in need.

Ana-Alicia Castro
Ana-Alicia Castro has a legal background in civil litigation as well as specializing in workers’ compensation. For ten years she worked with injured correctional officers, police officers and firefighters to ensure they received proper medical treatment and wages. She is currently employed with the County of Ventura where she fulfills her passion of working with families and connecting them to needed resources. For nearly twenty years she has volunteered for numerous community programs and she is dedicated to enriching the community through compassionate service to its families.

Becky Hayden
Becky Hayden is a lifelong resident of Moorpark having attended Moorpark schools K-12.  She is a currently a teacher at Moorpark High School and is also the business owner of a nutrition club.  Prior, she has been an Assistant Principal at two middle schools in Moorpark and with her Sports Medicine degree worked as an Athletic Trainer for various athletes that went on to careers in the NFL, NBA, as well a gold medalist in the Olympics.  She is a former Miss Moorpark as well as Miss Teen Moorpark.  Becky holds two Masters Degrees, a Bachelors Degree, and three teaching credentials from UCLA, CSU Sacramento, and the University of the Pacific.  She is also the President of the Board for Scholarships Matter, Inc contributing over $10,000 annually to local high school students so that they may pursue a higher education and further develop their talents.

Ruth Bennington
Born and raised in Dublin, Ireland, Ruth came to the United States in 1986.  She took a job at a law firm in downtown Los Angeles, and began working with the man who has been her husband for 29 years!!  Ruth moved to Moorpark in 1988 where she and her husband have raised their four sons. A qualified attorney in Ireland and California, Ruth has a Master’s in Business Administration from Woodbury University in Burbank and a Masters in Economics from California State University Los Angeles.  She has taught accounting and economics since 1996, and is currently an assistant professor of accounting at Moorpark College. Always aware of the privileged life she has had, Ruth has given back to her community through volunteering on local youth sports leagues, and more recently at the food pantry at Moorpark College.

Alondra Serna
Alondra Serna was raised in Moorpark and is a graduate of Moorpark High School and Moorpark College. She has a BA in International Politics from the University of California, San Diego and an MA in International Policy Studies from the Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey. Alondra currently works for the local non-profit organization House Farm Workers!, advocating for safe, decent, and affordable housing for farm workers in Ventura County. She has past work experience in refugee resettlement, immigration services, and with other organizations serving farm workers and other marginalized populations throughout California.

FOUNDING MEMBERS

Steven Castro
Steven Castro has 36 years of experience in education. For most of his career he taught math and Spanish at the high school level. His past experience includes teaching English as a second language to adults. He has also worked at the Ventura County Juvenile Hall and the Frank A. Colston Youth Center for juveniles. Over the years he has played a major role in the formation of several clubs and organizations whose primary focus was working with at risk youth and their families.

Dr. Nicole Vi Le
Born in Vietnam, Vi came to the United States in 1987 with her family and settled in Moorpark, CA. It was not until her trip back to Vietnam that opened her eyes to those less fortunate and ignited a passion for community service. She was able to channel that passion into many service clubs at Moorpark High School and in her community. While attending University of California, Los Angeles, she discovered her niche in mentoring and tutoring at-risk students. Today, she is a local optometrist who is eager to share her knowledge and invest her spare time into the Moorpark youth and less fortunate.

Augustine Godinez
Augustine Godinez is a life long Moorpark resident who is actively involved with the Knights of Columbus for 25 years. He served in the United States Marines and has been a Ventura County employee for 37 years. He has served the Moorpark community with compassion and love for over 40 years.

Patricia Aguirre
Patricia Aguirre, a life-long resident of Moorpark, serves as the Treasurer of Ruben Castro Charities. She is keenly aware of the plight of the underserved and at-risk youth of our community and sees education as a priority in breaking the cycle of poverty. Patricia, who is the daughter of Ruben Castro, has an extensive background in public service and financial services.  She has served our community as the chairperson of the city Parks and Recreation Commission and chairperson of the Friends of the Moorpark Pantry Plus committee, (a Program of Catholic Charities of Los Angeles, Inc.).

MEMBERS

Connie Harikul
Connie Harikul is a professional event planner who produces benefit events, board retreats, networking mixers, and educational conferences. Her background also includes extensive marketing and public relations experience. She graduated with honors from the University of California, Los Angeles with a Bachelor’s degree in communications.

Armando Aguirre
Armando is a 1985 graduate of California State University, Northridge with a bachelor of arts in Radio-Television Broadcast. Armando was assigned to the “Moorpark beat” by the Simi Valley Enterprise and was inspired to write in support of service to the poor and at-risk youngsters. After leaving journalism in 2006 – his last job as an editor for the Santa Barbara News Press – Armando wrote for WellPoint Inc., promoting its efforts to increase access to health care for the poor.