DeAnna Pursai has been a member of the downtown Rotary for almost 3 years now, currently serving as the Rotary PlayGarden Committee and as a member of the International House Committee. She is co-founder and Executive Director of College of Adaptive Arts as well as a .4 Intervention Reading Specialist at Los Alamitos Elementary School. DeAnna was named an Architect of Change by the Maria Shriver blog in 2015. She’s committed to creating lifelong learning opportunities for adults with special needs who want to continue to learn and become successful contributing citizens in their own right. She’s actively learning Spanish as well as the acoustic guitar and hopes to one day become a touring children’s musician with her college students promoting traditional children’s songs, bilingualism, tolerance, inclusiveness, empathy, and joy
Sonya Arriola has been a member of Rotary for 4 years but has fond memories of attending her first Rotary meeting while in high school. She is in her final year as President of Sacred Heart Nativity School, a Jesuit middle school that serves first-generation college bound, low-income students in the Washington/Gardener neighborhood near downtown San Jose. Her educational experience mirrors that of her students, as she was a first-generation college-bound student herself. She is interested in the social, emotional and academic impact of urban poverty on youth and works towards finding solutions to barriers to educational achievement. Sonya lives in Willow Glen with her husband and two children, who are active in Volleyball and Little League and quickly growing taller than she is!