Liz Huizar grew up in Southern California and is the daughter of Mexican immigrants. As a first-generation college graduate, Liz knew she wanted to make a difference and thus pursued a career in education. In 2018, Liz moved to the Pacific Northwest starting as a direct service staff and eventually leading and directing youth programs throughout the county. Her areas of passion align in developing leadership capacities and integrating culture into educational spaces. Whenever not working, Liz enjoys traveling to Mexico with her husband, four-year-old daughter and corgi puppy.
Michael Flor joined SESEC with a wealth of nonprofit experience. His extensive career includes working as an executive director, corporate grants maker, development director and non-profit management consultant. At SESEC he is responsible for fundraising, building relationships with funders, strategic planning and managing SESEC’s operations. He is a lifelong Seattle resident having been raised in Seattle’s Central Area and Rainier Valley before making his current home in West Seattle. He is a graduate of the University of Washington and a proud Husky.
Director of Community Advocacy Programs
Mindy was born and raised in Beacon Hill on stolen Duwamish land. She left the state for college but returned home after graduation. Throughout her college career, she found herself constantly drawn to work in community-based organizations. Prior to joining SESEC, her experience ranged from community organizing in Seattle politics, public health in Uganda, and conservation in Indonesia. Outside of work she can be found hiking, jigsaw puzzling, making jewelry, and planning her next international trek/trip.
Vivian van Gelder
Director of Policy and Research
Vivian van Gelder has worked in schools and in the legal field. She has also served on several school PTAs in Seattle and on Seattle Council PTSA. Vivian’s work at SESEC focuses on identifying opportunities for the Southeast Seattle community to be involved in the educational policy process for greater equity. Originally from Australia, Vivian came to Seattle via the East Coast. When not working or thinking about school funding, Vivian can be found taking black and white photographs, cooking, cycling, and traveling with her family.
Meghan Bedell has an expansive background in small- to mid-sized business growth with a focus in private wealth. Meghan is using her passion for community building by serving as Treasurer for a local Parent Teacher Organization, Finance Chair for SE Seattle Fundraising Alliance, and sits on the executive board for Seattle Council PTSA. When she is not running after her three kids, you will find her crunching numbers or marking things off her to-do list. If she can catch a nap she is in heaven. Meghan grew-up in White Center and now calls Rainier Beach home.
Marketing and Communications Coordinator
I was born and raised in South Seattle, and come from a journalism background. I was most recently a TV news producer. I graduated from the University of Puget Sound with degrees in Politics and Government and Spanish Literature. I am also a founding member of Take on College, a nonprofit that provides college app mentorship to low-income and first-generation students. In my free time, I like to work on my food blog (@hungryhong on Tiktok)!
I am a first-generation college student at the University of Washington majoring in Sociology and Education, Communities,& Organizations. I also work with Jumpstart UW, an early childhood education program that serves low-income preschools in the Seattle area, as their Community Engagement Coordinator. I am passionate about advocating for a culturally sustaining education system that acknowledges ethnic and linguistic differences as strengths and decenters White norms in school so BIPOC students and communities can thrive.