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What is the MIX Academy?

What is the MIX Academy?

The MIX Academy is an incubated project under Charitable Ventures serving the local Santa Ana community. Our Mission is to provide a safe place to be seen, known, and empowered through learning experiences and community development; to preserve the dignity of everyone by welcoming and embracing each other’s life histories and culture; and to build a more just community, a multicultural and multigenerational family.

Our Vision is to build a new woven society that sees, cares, and gives.

The MIX Academy is an incubated project under Charitable Ventures serving the local Santa Ana community. Our Mission is to provide a safe place to be seen, known, and empowered through learning experiences and community development; to preserve the dignity of everyone by welcoming and embracing each other’s life histories and culture; and to build a more just community, a multicultural and multigenerational family.

Our Vision is to build a new woven society that sees, cares, and gives.

Our History

Our History

We opened our doors in 2014 after our founders Maribel Toan and Lambert Lo saw the need for a safe place for families to eat and play together in the evening.

After surveying the local community and getting input of what they would like to see, we have served hundreds of families, students, and those experiencing homelessness with free personal enrichment classes such as Visual Arts, Tutoring, Music, Martial Arts, Zumba and Chess, taught by volunteer instructors.

Additionally, as a way to facilitate the inclusion of the whole family and the connection among all attendees, we began offering a weekly community dinner. For the last 6 years, we have fed over 116,000 people.

The program further aims to foster leadership development within participants; over 50% have returned to serve the community.

Outside of and during weekly programs, the MIX Academy is in partnership with Scholarship Prep, the charter school on campus, to provide supplemental support to students and their families.

We opened our doors in 2014 after our founders Maribel Toan and Lambert Lo saw the need for a safe place for families to eat and play together in the evening.

After surveying the local community and getting input of what they would like to see, we have served hundreds of families, students, and those experiencing homelessness with free personal enrichment classes such as Visual Arts, Tutoring, Music, Martial Arts, Zumba and Chess, taught by volunteer instructors.

Additionally, as a way to facilitate the inclusion of the whole family and the connection among all attendees, we began offering a weekly community dinner. For the last 6 years, we have fed over 116,000 people.

The program further aims to foster leadership development within participants; over 50% have returned to serve the community.

Outside of and during weekly programs, the MIX Academy is in partnership with Scholarship Prep, the charter school on campus, to provide supplemental support to students and their families.


MIX team

We have a MIX Team and an Advisory Board both directed by Maribel Toan,
consisting of a group of neighbors coming from diverse journeys 
who have a heart for the immigrant and the misfit.

We believe in the value of sharing our stories
while connecting with the joy of life
as a way to build a loving community for all people.

MIX team

We have a MIX Team and an Advisory Board both directed by Maribel Toan, consisting of a group of neighbors coming from diverse journeys who have a heart for the immigrant and the misfit.

We believe in the value of sharing our stories while connecting with the joy of life as a way to build a loving community for all people.

Maribel Toan

Maribel Toan

Maribel Toan

executive director/co-founder

executive director/co-founder

Artist, Founder of Bohemian Rose. Mommy to Rhiannon, Tyler, Ethan and Joshua, wife to Jack Toan. When not dreaming of flowers and poetry, living out a passion for community as Executive Director of the MIX Academy.
Artist, Founder of Bohemian Rose. Mommy to Rhiannon, Tyler, Ethan and Joshua, wife to Jack Toan. When not dreaming of flowers and poetry, living out a passion for community as Executive Director of the MIX Academy.
Katie Kim-Park

Katie Kim-Park

Katie Kim-Park

project director

project director

Wanderlust/ninja mama of two vibrant boys, a loving husband, and two furbabies. When shes is not cleaning up or caring for her family, she is always looking for ways to get involved in her community. She loves giving to others. 
Wanderlust/ninja mama of two vibrant boys, a loving husband, and two furbabies. When shes is not cleaning up or caring for her family, she is always looking for ways to get involved in her community. She loves giving to others. 
Ben Juarez

Ben Juarez

Ben Juarez

Community Relations & Mobilizer

Community Relations & Mobilizer

Benjamin has mentored at-risk youth. Networking and connecting to likeminded people are some of his passions. It is his hope that residents would have access to the resources need to live a full thriving life.
Benjamin has mentored at-risk youth. Networking and connecting to likeminded people are some of his passions. It is his hope that residents would have access to the resources need to live a full thriving life.
Ritchie Kong

Ritchie Kong

Ritchie Kong

Social Media Manager/Designer

Social Media Manager/Designer

He is a Graffiti Artist living in the city of Long Beach. Ritchie shares his knowledge with children and the youth as the instructor of Drawing, Mindcraft and Basketball.
He is a Graffiti Artist living in the city of Long Beach. Ritchie shares his knowledge with children and the youth as the instructor of Drawing, Mindcraft and Basketball.
Johnny Barry

Johnny Barry

Johnny Barry

Volunteer Liaison

Volunteer Liaison

Immigrated with his family from a small village in Ireland to Orange County when he was eight years old. He married his high school sweetheart Trisha and over time became a father to four, Jude, Ezra, Kieran and Karis Barry.
Immigrated with his family from a small village in Ireland to Orange County when he was eight years old. He married his high school sweetheart Trisha and over time became a father to four, Jude, Ezra, Kieran and Karis Barry.
Lillian Chan

Lillian Chan

Lillian Chan

Resident

Resident

Lillian is the most complicated simple person. She loves stories and dying to play. She feels blessed to collaborate with our community, and to be working with family and friends, dreaming to make a better world a reality.
Lillian is the most complicated simple person. She loves stories and dying to play. She feels blessed to collaborate with our community, and to be working with family and friends, dreaming to make a better world a reality.
Valerie Stuart

Valerie Stuart

Valerie Stuart

Intern

Intern

Moved from Texas 10 years ago to pursue a bachelor’s degree at a private university where she developed a heart for caring for the community. When she isn’t dreaming of investing in communities across the globe, you can find her doing yoga at home or simply reading a book in a local coffee shop.
Moved from Texas 10 years ago to pursue a bachelor’s degree at a private university where she developed a heart for caring for the community. When she isn’t dreaming of investing in communities across the globe, you can find her doing yoga at home or simply reading a book in a local coffee shop.

Advisory Board

Advisory Board

Dave Gibbons

Dave Gibbons

Dave Gibbons

He works at the intersection of innovation, business, technology, arts and faith. Dave is a Senior Advisor at Goodwater Venture Capital, a Production Company of such movies as the Lego Movie and the Two Popes. Founder of Yohaus, as well as Newsong based in Santa Ana. He has served on the boards of Fuller Seminary and World Vision.
He works at the intersection of innovation, business, technology, arts and faith. Dave is a Senior Advisor at Goodwater Venture Capital, a Production Company of such movies as the Lego Movie and the Two Popes. Founder of Yohaus, as well as Newsong based in Santa Ana. He has served on the boards of Fuller Seminary and World Vision.
Rehana Rodriguez

Rehana Rodriguez

Rehana Rodriguez

She comes from a legacy of Indonesian leaders. Rehana was an educator for almost 20 years. She has led cross-cultural teams through philanthropy work in different countries. She is married to Tyson, together they love to step into unknown spaces to bring love and hope. Currently she is Executive Pastor at Newsong Church.
She comes from a legacy of Indonesian leaders. Rehana was an educator for almost 20 years. She has led cross-cultural teams through philanthropy work in different countries. She is married to Tyson, together they love to step into unknown spaces to bring love and hope. Currently she is Executive Pastor at Newsong Church.
Ava Steaffens

Ava Steaffens

Ava Steaffens

Native Spanish speaker, Immigration Attorney, former CEO of KidWorks CDC, and CCDA. She now serves as the World Relief Strategic Partnership Director for California.  Ava lives in Santa Ana, CA and is the proud mother of two daughters, Jessica and Katelyn, and “abuela” to Selah, Shiloh, Pilar, Lily and Sylvia.
Native Spanish speaker, Immigration Attorney, former CEO of KidWorks CDC, and CCDA. She now serves as the World Relief Strategic Partnership Director for California.  Ava lives in Santa Ana, CA and is the proud mother of two daughters, Jessica and Katelyn, and “abuela” to Selah, Shiloh, Pilar, Lily and Sylvia.
Jack Toan

Jack Toan

Jack is Vice President of Social Impact & Sustainability for Wells Fargo. He is a strategic leader with a background in reputation management, community development, and corporate philanthropy. He teaches martial arts as volunteer to underserved children for the past 21 years.
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Jack Toan

Vice President of Social Impact & Sustainability for Wells Fargo.  He is a strategic leader with a background in reputation management, community development, and corporate philanthropy. He volunteers weekly to provide free martial arts instructions to underserved children for the past 21 years.
 

Lilian "It is such a sight to see that you can not help but be amazed"
READ MORE Lillian Chan - Resident
Johnny "After the first few weeks of attending the MIX we began to see a change in Ezra" READ MORE Johnny Barry - Volunteer Liaison Maria "The MIX Academy changed me and my family's life" READ MORE Maria Piña - Volunteer Ritchie "I never thought I would see myself as a coach/teacher" READ MORE Ritchie Kong - Social Media Manager/Designer & Volunteer
TESTIMONIALS
Image

We are here to welcome you
for classes and food distribution

The MIX Academy
now and beyond your community

Lilian Lillian Chan - Resident
READ MORE "It is such a sight to see that you can not help but be amazed"
Johnny "After the first few weeks of attending the MIX we began to see a change in Ezra" READ MORE Johnny Barry - Volunteer Liaison Maria "The MIX Academy changed me and my family's life" READ MORE Maria Piña - Volunteer Ritchie "I never thought I would see myself as a coach/teacher" READ MORE Ritchie Kong - Social Media Manager/Designer & Volunteer
TESTIMONIALS
Image

We are here to welcome you
for classes and food distribution

The MIX Academy
now and beyond your community