The Stella’s Stars all-volunteer board formed in 2020 to ensure the Star of Hope graduates can continue their education without the prohibitively high cost of tuition and 4 hours of travel time.
We believe access to education raises the entire community.
Selah Brown, Board Chair, is one of the original members of the Star of Hope Centre board and spent ten years helping raise money to build and operate the Star of Hope Children's Centre. Along with her buddy Stella, she coordinated the ‘Boxes to Bungoma’ service-learning project working with middle school leadership students to collect books, medical, educational and art supplies to send to Kenya. Dedicated to making sure all the Star of Hope graduates continue to have affordable access to a secondary education, she switched roles and co-founded Stella’s Stars.
Together with her new team, she hopes to raise the funds to build and operate a high school campus that offers a secondary education and a vocational training program to the children of Chebukuyi. In her day job, she is a program coordinator at a community senior center. She loves to crochet stuffed animals; plan events and support people’s philanthropic side by creating opportunities for them to do good things for the world.
Ms. Julia Halsne has over 34 years of combined experience in the environmental,
water, and wastewater industry. She is responsible for the East Bay Municipal Utility District’s (EBMUD) Business Continuity Program and Emergency Preparedness Program. Ms. Halsne received her Masters in Business Administration, Masters in Environmental Science and Bachelors in Chemistry. In addition to her position with Stella’s Stars as Secretary for the Board, she has volunteered and held board officer positions for a variety of community organizations including the Contra Costa Commission for Women, the Friends of the Commission, Diablo Valley AIDs Center, and Village Oaks Homeowners Association. She lives with her family in the SF Bay Area.
Amber Landry-Miller was born and raised in Seattle, WA and received her Bachelor’s degree in American Cultural Studies from Western Washington University. She began volunteering with non-profits at an early age and joined her first Board of a non-profit at 23 years old. She started volunteering with Star of Hope fundraisers several years ago and got introduced to the wonderful students in the Chebukuyi community. Today, Amber owns her own Bookkeeping business and is excited to be able to contribute her knowledge of bookkeeping and social media fundraising as the Treasurer for Stella’s Stars.
Sarah Malerstein is an attorney with over 30 years experience practicing law in California. She is a Senior Associate at DuRard, McKenna & Borg, representing injured workers in the Workers Compensation system. Ms. Malerstein has a Bachelor's degree in International Relations from Mills College and a Juris Doctorate from Santa Clara University. Over the course of her career, Ms. Malerstein has participated and directed fundraising for several educational support organizations and has served in board level positions in professional as well as educational non-profits. She has been honored to contribute to the Star of Hope primary school and excited to devote her time and energy to the support and development of the Stella Stars organization.
Julie Paulin grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area, and earned a Bachelor’s of Arts degree from UC Irvine. She married a New Zealander and they have spent time in both countries with their three boys. She was on the board of directors for her children’s primary school in Motueka, New Zealand for nearly 4 years. She currently loves her work as a Learning Designer for Like-Minded Learning in Christchurch, NZ. Julie is grateful and happy to be a part of Stella's Stars and finds being able to contribute directly to the kids extremely rewarding.