Meet the Staff

Raúl Aguilera

Program Director (he/him/él)

Raúl Aguilera brings years of experience working with youth in Santa Barbara County. Originally born in Jalisco, Mexico, Raúl migrated to Santa Barbara at the age of eight with his family and has since lived here, enjoying the wonderful weather, mountains, and beaches that Santa Barbara offers. He started his professional career as a Relationship Banker at Bank of America but joined the Scholarship Foundation of Santa Barbara when he rediscovered his passion for working with students. Like many of the students that REACH serves, he was a first-generation student who did not have equitable access to resources like his peers, but he did not let that stop him from achieving his education. He earned three associate degrees from Santa Barbara City College, his bachelor’s degree in Spanish with emphasis in Language and Culture from CSU Northridge, and his master’s in Educational Leadership and Administration from Cal Poly. He sees education as a privilege that everyone should have access to and should not be limited due to the circumstances that one is brought in. Raúl is extremely ecstatic to work with REACH students, helping them beyond their academic endeavors as they find their way through life, shaping their own experiences.

Angelica Hernandez

Program Manager (she/her)

Angelica is a tenacious leader with deep passion for educational equity and social justice. She was born and raised in Santa Barbara, California. She is an advocate for first-generation college-bound students. After graduating from Northeastern Illinois University, with her Masters in Educational Leadership, she joined the Santa Barbara Unified School District Program for Effective Access to College as an educational consultant. She joined REACH in 2018 and her goal is to empower and equipped current and future REACH Fellows to be successful in college.

Rob Balloch

Program Manager (he/him)

Rob first joined REACH in January 2022 as the Program Manager. Rob has come to REACH with years of experience working in Wilderness Therapy, Outdoor Education, and Technical Mountain Guiding. Prior to REACH Rob worked at Open Sky Wilderness therapy as a Senior III Field guide. This experience inspired Rob’s passion for helping young people through outdoor experiences and community building. Rob has led peers and young adults on countless outdoor expeditions in the wilderness, including but not limited to teaching rock-climbing, white-water kayaking/ rafting, skiing, and mountaineering for a variety of programs and as an independent instructor. Rob is excited to work for REACH because he believes he can help expand the types and number of outdoor experiences they offer to students.