Robin created Straight Up Abilities in 2016 as a continuation program to Zina Bethune's Infinite Dreams program. She started working with Zina in 2008. Her 40 plus years of dance training and over 24 years of teaching dance has helped her work in this very specific field. She is a philanthropist and believes in bridging gaps, especially to those that are our most vulnerable.
OSCAR THOMAS GARCIA
CO VICE CHAIR
I always had a dream for my son JT to be accepted by society . He has been , I’m the proud mother of John Tucker, one of the stars of the Emmy award winning show Born This Way, I was an accounting agent for 15 years and then became a ticket agent for a airline , retired after 23 years Spent time helping John enhance his career and fulfill his dreams , dancing with straight up abilities is a joy in his life I am a every day mom , totally fulfilled
CO VICE CHAIR
Thomas is a Data Scientist with a successful history of developing Information Systems and technology used for data collection, research and analytics. Thomas is a graduate of The University of Redlands School of Business and Management and Golden Gate University’s School of Network Engineering. Thomas is on the board of two non-profits, Hands Across the Planet, an education and environmental group working with rural communities in Ethiopia Africa, and Red Suspenders, a film and media arts group created by students attending Chapman University’s Dodge College Film and Media Arts. Thomas advises on technology and project management methods. Thomas is a strong believer in the power of the human spirit. He mentors first generation college students and men in need of spiritual support. Thomas enjoys performing with his band, Nyte Lhyte, playing 70s, 80s and 90s R&B, and being a Straight Up Abilities parent.
Zendrea Mitchell, a Deaf performer, who signs songs in American Sign Language(ASL) has been privileged to be a part of StraightUp Abilities as an instructor teaching the dancers songs in ASL as well as conversational ASL. When learning a new song in Sign, the students are engaged and enthused as they work to prepare for an upcoming performance. During their performances, as the dancers weave ASL with music and movement, something dynamic occurs—the dancers create a truly lived experience as they connect with the audience and each other. This connection is what is at the heart of the group. Their embrace of the spirit of dance, Sign, and life is what has led Zendrea to StraightUp Abilities.
My sister, Janet Dang, has been with her Straight Up Abilities dance team for over 12 years. Through this experience, I have witnessed her accomplish more than I could have ever imagined including auditioning for America’s Got Talent and performing at the LA Fair and other local events. I have watched her and her peers build up so much confidence in themselves and unite people of all backgrounds through their love for dance with the opportunities that SUA provides. Having witnessed the life-changing impact this organization has had on my sister, her teammates and every single audience member I feel very passionate about continuing to spread awareness for this amazing organization
Pauline has been a significant contributor for startups and rapid growth companies in Silicon beach and Silicon valley. Adjoined with Robin, together they have fueled the production for well-known artists and major music stages in North America. As a cirque performer and production manager, Pauline has represented premier entertainment companies and large festivals, all while heading tech growth for The RealReal, San Francisco. She's a flame thrower, stilt walker, and computer programmer.