Board of Directors

Having spent a good portion of our first 29 years working to establish Strive, we now move forward on the solid foundation that created.  Fully renovated; debt free; 100% equity in our facility; 150 + students daily with a perpetual wait list.

As we reach toward our 30th anniversary in 2020, we are reaching out to add new blood, ideas, energy and funding to Strive’s Board.  We seek those who have a heart for the social and community landmines our little miracles navigate every day and the willingness (through Board service) to help us impart to them that they can overcome these challenges, break the cycle & grasp the opportunities offered them in this great country.

We are also reaching beyond the non-profit mindset in order to help us achieve our non-profit goals – developing and launching an edu-commercial profit venture that is popping it’s buttons with revenue potential as well as ‘empowerment’ potential for the child-student public to whom we will introduce it (see VocabuWord). For more information, please email Jim at

Please consider your circle of family, friends and associates who may have an interest in helping take Strive into our next chapter… and forward this to them or have them contact me directly.  

If interested in scheduling a visit to Strive to discuss involvement, please call Jim at 323.779.1064 or email   We look forward to hearing from you.  Thank you.

Board Member Criteria - 2018


Donald Anderson Jr.

Co-Founder & Program Director. Don is an artist.


Kenneth Busiere

Kenneth was born in Springfield, MA to Kenneth and Linda Busiere. He was raised in West Springfield, MA where he attended public school and graduated from West Springfield High School. He wrestled in high school and was and remains an avid reader. He graduated magna cum laude from Westfield State University in 2001 with a Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice. He taught English as a second language in the Republic of South Korea after graduation.

Kenneth became a sworn police officer with the Los Angeles Police Department in 2002. He promoted to the rank of sergeant in 2015 and is currently assigned to Southeast Area which handles the areas of South Los Angeles and Watts. He has spent approximately ten of his sixteen year career in law enforcement in that area and has worked a variety of assignments while there such as patrol, gang enforcement, special problems units and administration.

Kenneth married his wife, Evelyn, in 2014 and together they are raising three daughters: Claire, Lindsey and Isabel. Their household also consists of two Saint Bernards and two rabbits. He is a mentor with the Operation Progress mentorship program in Watts and mentors three wonderful children who attend St. Lawrence of Brindisi School: Alex, Cristina and Brejonae. He is also a cradle Catholic who attends Mass at Saints Peter and Paul Catholic Church in Wilmington, CA.

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Austin Dragon

Austin Dragon has been a dynamic Fortune 100 corporate recruiter and manager in such diverse industries as healthcare, banking & finance, IT, manufacturing, sales & marketing, and HR for nearly 20 years. A native New Yorker, Mr. Dragon also served in the U.S. Army and received a degree from the L’universite Sorbonne in Paris, France. Politically, he sought election to the Los Angeles Board of Education in 1999 and served as the Chief Deputy to the President of the Los Angeles Unified School District (1999-2000). For the last 15 years, he has served on the board of Strive, a mini campus for inner city children in Watts offering after-school academic programs, tutoring, and computer workshops.

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Craig Filson

Craig Filson is Senior Vice President and Southern California Area Sales Manager for First Bank.  Craig has been in the financial services industry for over 25 years.  Craig developed an interest and passion for education at an early age, initially brought on by his own experiences with great teachers and mentors.  Craig was introduced to Strive in 2010 and has been on the board ever since.  Strive’s goal of stressing healthy behavior, willing attitude and then academics are what truly resonate with Craig. 

 Craig was born and raised in Southern California and is a graduate of Loyola Marymount University.


Chris Jackson

Chris Jackson is the founder of the fee-only financial planning firm Lionshare Partners, whose mission to teach men and women the art of managing their money, risks, and financial future draws on a decade of multidisciplinary experience helping clients solve their financial challenges. Prior to founding Lionshare, Chris help managed over 300 million dollars of individual and institutional assets, held senior roles at multiple globally recognized investment firms.

Chris has become an established financial expert and a go-to resource for personal finance topics. He has been quoted in over a dozen media outlets (Wall Street Journal, CNN, HuffPost, iHeart Radio, AP, US News, etc), and has spoken on personal finance strategies at TD Ameritrade, Charles Schwab, & JPL Nasa. Chris graduated from UCLA, studied Investment Theory & Financial Accounting at Harvard University and has an MBA in Financial Planning at Cal Lutheran.


Jana Merical

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Mark Sonnenklar

Mark is a corporate lawyer with a broad-based practice that includes mergers & acquisitions, equity financings, fund formation, strategic partnerships, licensing, and almost any other kind of commercial transaction.  He acts as outsourced general counsel for many of his clients.  

Integrity and service are Mark’s highest values.  

He lives with his wife and three children in their Colonial Revival home in the historic West Adams neighborhood. In his free time, Mark enjoys yoga, travel, reading, and personal growth.  


Jim Tetreau

Founder & Project Director. Jim is a writer.


Paul White

Retired Investment Professional, Capital Group Companies


John Wood, Jr.

John Wood, Jr. is a writer, community advocate and a former nominee for congress in South Los Angeles whose work has focused on creating collaborative relationships between polarized groups. His written work can be found at numerous publications, including Quillette and Areo Magazine. John serves as Director of Media Development at Better Angels, a nationwide nonprofit organization dedicating to healing American civic culture. He lives in Los Angeles with his wife and three children.