Jake Schoneker

Executive Director

Jake Schoneker has been serving Oakland youth with MEA since it launched in 2010. He has been MEA’s lead instructor and producer, acting as Program Director since 2012. In 2016 he assumed the role of Executive Director after the retirement of MEA’s founder Jeff Key. He coordinates all aspects of the Media Enterprise Alliance program including school partnerships and accreditation, managing the staff and curriculum, establishing and maintaining internships and university/corporate partnerships, and acquiring and maintaining funding for the program.

Jake brings a wide range of journalism and media production skills to MEA. His video work has appeared on the PBS NewsHour, the AFP and the Washington Post.  Jake also has extensive experience working in inner-city schools, having served as a full-time tutor and mentor for students while coordinating several after school programs in Philadelphia and Oakland. He holds a BA from Villanova University and a masters degree in Journalism from UC Berkeley, where his work concentrated on youth media, multimedia journalism, and international reporting.

 Sarah Givens

Development Director



Sarah joined MEA in 2016 as Development Director, overseeing MEA’s fundraising operation and donor relations. She brings over 10 years of nonprofit development and marketing experience , having previously worked in development for the Teaching Channel, Marine Applied Research & Exploration, and KIDS for the BAY.


Maggie Simpson Adams

Communications Director, MEA
Video Production Mentor/Teacher, MEA 

Maggie Simpson Adams is an independent filmmaker and multi-media installation artist. In addition to her work with MEA, she is the Manager of Media Services at the California College of the Arts where she also teaches Summer high school Pre-College and Studio Practice Units in the MFA program.
Simpson Adams was the director, cinematographer and editor for Catalyst for Change, a documentary for the Alameda County Arts Commission about the public art program for the new Juvenile Justice Center in San Leandro, Ca. Maggie’s films have been shown in various venues in the United States, and internationally in Germany and England.

Simpson Adams graduated with a MFA in from the California College of the Arts in Oakland, Ca.  Maggie is currently in post-production for her documentary Rituals of Remembrance, the Art of Mourning.

CB Smith-Dahl

Communications Co-Director, MEA
Video Production Mentor/Teacher, MEA Satellite Program—Oakland International High School

CB Photo2CB Smith-Dahl has been working with cameras (still, motion, film, video, and digital) for over 25 years.  After completing an MFA at USC, she worked as a grip and electrician for 2 years, eventually transitioning to entertainment news and documentary work. She was one of a team of camera operators on 900 Women and Angola Prison Rodeo, which was nominated for an Academy Award. She founded Community Bridge Video in 1997 where she directs and shoots short videos for online distribution.

Over the years, CB has taught at a wide range of programs–Her specialty is working with at-risk youth, using visual arts as a tool for intervention, reflection, and community building.

She is a consultant who has written and co-written curriculum for several organizations including the MO Project/California Adolescent Nutrition and Fitness (CANFIT), the Youth Action Institute, LA’s BEST and presents workshops on how to use media to bridge the digital divide and to teach multiple literacies.

Heather Charles

Video Production Mentor/Teacher, MEA

heather charles head shot-2

Heather Charles is a multi-media journalist. Raised in Baltimore, Maryland, she graduated from Ohio University with a Bachelor of Science in Visual Communications degree and a minor in Telecommunications.

Her first full-time photojournalism position was on the staff of The Democrat and Chronicle in Rochester, NY. followed by multimedia photojournalism positions at the Indianapolis Star and The Chicago Tribune.

Heather was an Adjunct Professor at Columbia College in Chicago, and since 2006, a member of the National Association of Black Journalists where she served as Communications Chair. She has received multiple awards as Illinois Best Multimedia Journalist of the Year, and in 2013 received the Best of Photojournalism Award of Excellence from the National Press Photographers Assoc.

Heather now lives in Oakland, and is looking to deepen her work with underserved youth through photography and video.

Jenny Chu

Video Production Producer/Mentor, MEA

Jenny Chu is a freelance video journalist, videographer and photographer.  She was born in England and is of Chinese/Malaysian descent. She obtained her undergraduate degree in documentary photography at U.C. Berkeley and has photographed extensively in China, Africa and Latin America.  In 2009, she received a master’s degree from U.C. Berkeley’s Journalism School where she focused on documentary film and long form television.  During that time, she produced stories about the underserved minority population in the Bay Area, California, as well as a master’s thesis project in W. Africa — a women’s health story from Sierra Leone.  She hopes to give voice to the impoverished and less fortunate people both at home and in the developing world.  Her clients include Frontline World,, NY, California Watch, Oakland Local, Asian Art Museum and KQED.

Ramasses T. Head

Video Production Mentor/Teacher, MEA

Ram-Headshot2Born and raised in East Oakland California Ramasses Head’s career in video and television production started when he was a high school student at the Fremont High School Media Academy where he was awarded most outstanding contribution to television production upon graduating in 1995. While in High School he started working at KDOL TV where he became Lead Director and Production Manager. Ramasses studied motion pictures and video at Academy of Art University in San Francisco, CA.

During his time at KDOL he directed over 2,000 live on the air programs ranging from a live homework help line, community outreach and sports. Ramasses founded History in The Making Entertainment (Production Company) and has a produced a successful reality DVD series, 4 Independent Feature Films over 40 music videos along with many corporate productions. He regularly produces entertainment, health and community based television programming in the San Francisco bay area. For the last 6 year’s Ramasses has been a partner in Where Media Meet’s Video Production Studio in San Leandro CA fulfilling his dream to have his own production facility.

Jasmene Miranda

Lead Video Production Mentor/Teacher, MEA Satellite Program—Fremont High School


Jasmene began her career in video production as a Fremont high school Media Academy student and a KDOL student employee. She spent 8 years working for the City of Oakland’s Government channel, KTOP where she created programs and public service announcement’s that focused on education, public safety and social equity.

As an independent filmmaker and freelancer, Jasmene has produced music videos for local and national hip hop artists and recently co produced “Til Infinity” a retrospective look at the making of the Souls of Mischief’s classic debut album.

She currently works as a media/mentor at her beloved Media Academy located on the campus of Fremont High School.

Miguel Astudillo

Video Production Mentor/Teacher, MEA

Miguelfull2Miguel Angel is a filmmaker, photographer and community organizer from Santiago, Chile. He moved to San Francisco in 2007 after receiving his B.A. in Political Science from the University of California, Davis. While working as a community organizer and tenant rights advocate at a non-profit in San Francisco, he discovered his passion in photography and filmmaking. Since then, he has worked for news media outlets like El Tecolote and Mission Local,  along with the television channel Link TV. As a filmmaker, he is the associate producer of the feature documentaryVoices of Chile, director of A Family’s Sanctuary, and director of We’re Meant to be Reinas, which won the award for Best Documentary at the 2012 Providencia International Film Festival in Santiago, Chile. He recently graduated from UC Santa Cruz with a Masters in Social Documentation.

Damari Lawrence

Teaching Assistant, MEA

Damari Lawrence-LaneyDamari, a 2012 graduate Skyline High in Oakland, is currently a Sophomore in Media Studies at Laney College and Berkeley City College.  He is in his fourth year in the Media Enterprise Alliance at KDOL-TV Video Production Program, and his second year as a MEA Teaching Assistant.

Damari has worked on MEA award-winning films including: The Track, a PBS/Adobe Award winning documentary, and the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences Regional Student Television Award for Excellence: for Turf for Life. Damari has also worked on numerous “paid internship” jobs as part of MEA’s Enterprise Division, OWorks. When not making films, Damari enjoys making music and skateboarding.

Nancy Tafoya

Teaching Assistant, MEA

NancyAwardNancy, a 2014 graduate at Envision Academy in Oakland, is currently a Freshman in Media Studies at Laney College. She is in her fifth year in the Media Enterprise Alliance at KDOL-TV Video Production Program, and her second year as an MEA Teaching Assistant.

Nancy has worked on MEA award-winning films including Turf for Life, the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences Regional Student Television Award for Excellence.

Nancy has also worked on numerous “paid internship”  jobs as part of MEA’s Enterprise Division, OWorks. When not making films, Nancy enjoys photography.

Ja’Lenn Polar

Teaching Assistant, MEA

Ja'Lenn Polar

Ja’Lenn Polar was born in San Francisco, California, and is and currently living in Oakland. He graduated from MetWest high school Class Of 2014, and is currently in his sophomore year at Laney College. Ja’Lenn is studying Media Communications, working towards a major in Video Production. He has interned at MEA/KDOLTV since his Senior year of high-school. He has earned numerous student MEA awards for his student films and documentaries. He loves the work MEA/KDOL provides, and the awesome diversity of staff. Recently hired, He will be returning with us this year as a Teaching Assistant excited to work with the new industry of student filmmakers.

Giovani Garfias

Teaching Assistant, MEA

Giovani2Giovani is a full time student at San Francisco State University.  He grew up with a passion for computer science – designing and creating websites.  While a high school student at Life Academy in Oakland, he joined other students at KDOL, the Oakland Unified School District TV station.  With Media Enterprise Alliance at KDOL, he expanded his knowledge of video and design and also joined a special program to build the website – ONews – for, by and about students in Oakland public schools.  The ONews instructors, professional web designers with Pandora, were impressed with Giovani’s graphic art skills and offered him an internship at Pandora, a dream job for a senior in high school.  MEA believes this is just the first step of many big ones for Giovani.

Damaris J. Romero

Teaching Assistant, MEA

RomeroDamaris was raised in the Bay Area currently, living in Oakland, Ca. She recently graduated from Metwest High School class of 2015. She’s now studying at College of Alameda to later transfer to a university majoring in Psychology, with a minor in Media Studies. Damaris has been with KDOL/MEA as a student, learning roles such as filmmaking, reporting and TV anchor for Youth Focus and O-NEWS. As a former top student from the program, she is now joining the team as a teacher’s assistant. She is eager to help and support new students learn and grow in the program just like she did.

Melhik Hailu

Teaching Assistant, MEA


Melhik, an immigrant from Ethiopia, is now studying media communications at Laney College. A 2013 graduate of Oakland International High School, Melik has participated in the Media Enterprise Alliance/KDOL-TV Youth Media Program for two years. He loves the technical aspects of video production and wants to be an actor and a professional filmmaker.

Danielle Thompson

Teaching Assistant, MEA

ThompsonDanielle, a graduate of Metwest High School, is in her third year with Media Enterprise Alliance and her first year as a teaching assistant. She is currently a freshman at CSU East Bay. Danielle has worked on many videos with MEA, including We Will Persist which won recognition from the White House Film Festival. When she’s not creating films, she enjoys baking and watching movies.

Advisory Members

Jeff Key

Founder, Media Enterprise Alliance (MEA)

Jeff PicFounder and former Executive Director Jeff Key continues in an advisory role with MEA.  Jeff graduated from UC Berkeley with degrees in Communications and Public Policy, Fine Arts, and Education. He received his MFA from the San Francisco Art Institute in 1972. From 1974-2010 he taught Media and Fine Arts at the Head-Royce School in Oakland, California, where he served as chairman of the Fine Arts Department from 2005-2010. In 2003 Jeff helped establish the Head-Royce Summer Art and Technology Institute in conjunction with the Heads-Up program, a partnership with the Oakland public schools.  The program offers classes in academics and the arts and technology on a full scholarship basis to motivated middle school students in the OUSD. Jeff has also worked with Rebuilding Together Oakland for the past 20 years renovating community centers and homes of low income, elderly people, and for the East Bay Community Foundation on projects serving the arts and community organizations.

Mario Capitelli

Media/Communications — Station Manager, KDOL-TV

Mario is currently employed by the Oakland Unified School district as the Manager of television station KDOL, the Oakland Unified School District’s educational access television station. Before coming to KDOL Mario was the director of Verge, a non-profit organization that presents music events and program training for youth. Verge worked in collaboration with the MYC teen Center in San Rafael. The MYC is a safe place where youth ages 12-19 can gather while learning valuable life skills. Previous to Verge, Mario ran similar programs in San Rafael and San Diego, where he also worked with juveniles on probation, including facilitating juvenile visit and tours of San Quentin as part of a job training and life path exploration program. Mario graduated form the University of California at Berkeley with a degree in Political Science and a minor in Public Policy.

University of California Haas Business School Program

MEA Partnership with Young Entrepreneurs At Haas-YEAH

A unique partnership between the University of California Young Entrepreneur Program at Haas (YEAH) Business School and Media Enterprise Alliance at KDOL-TV gives Oakland high school students the opportunity to work with Haas Business School mentors to learn financial literacy and job skills/workforce preparation.

Michael Chen

Mentor—Haas Business Program

Michael C.Michael graduated from the University of California-Haas Business School in Business Administration and in fall 2014 will be attending Northwestern University for a dual Masters Program at the Kellogg School of Management majoring in Business Administration and at the McCormick School of Engineering majoring in Design Innovation. In 2013-14 Michael was a Senior Associate at Prophet, an integrated consulting firm and agency that specializes in working with clients to drive growth through the use of brandingmarketingdesign, analytics, and innovation. Michael worked on Customer Segmentation, Financial Modeling, Sales & Marketing Analytics, and Growth Strategy. Michael previously worked at PwC, a company that focuses on audit assurancetax and consulting services, and as a Marketing Analyst at Packet Design where he developed market segmentation of 80,000+ leads for customer relationship.


Josephine Kao

Itern/Mentor—Haas Business Program

Josephine is a student at the University of California Berkeley studying English and Economics. She is a member the Berkeley Group, a Non-profit Organizational Management group at UC-Haas, where she has worked on projects for multiple clients ranging from sustainable corporate sponsorship strategy to rebranding and product launch. 

 In 2012-13 Josephine was appointed by Governor Brown as a student member of the California Department of Education where she represented 6.3 million Californian students as a full voting member on educational policy issues ranging from content standards to assessment reform. She works at Student Affairs-Information Technology on campus, helping students to gain adequate technical support and resources for an optimal educational experience. 

She has worked as an intern for Roots of Success, an environmental literacy non-profit and has developed blog content for BuyVia’s “Two Cents” blog. In her spare time, she enjoys listening to music, writing, and hiking around the Bay Area. 

Christina Quinquing Yu

Itern/Mentor—Haas Business Program

Christina-headshotChristina is a senior at the Haas School of Business, originally hailing from Vancouver, Canada. She is passionate about education policy, has worked in gaming and entertainment at Microsoft, and will be joining The Boston Consulting Group upon graduation. In her spare time, she loves drawing, running, attending slam poetry readings – and of course, being an MEA instructor!


Zoe Tamaki

Itern/Mentor—Haas Business Program

ZoeZoe graduated from the University of California-Haas Business School in 2014 with a BA in Economics, and a Minor in Education. At UC-Haas she was the Vice President of Internal Affairs and Public Relations Chair for the Berkeley Group, a Non-profit Organizational Management group where she designed and coordinated organizational trainings to prepare UC student teams for consulting projects. In 2012 Zoe was a Market Research Assistant to the Director of Custom Sales at UC Berkeley Center for Executive Education at the Haas School of Business.

Zoe has been a consultant at Minds Matter in San Francisco where she conducted market segmentation to determine target schools and students for the education NPO; consulted at Imagine H2O, creating online marketing strategy to strengthen its virtual community; and was an Associate at Prophet, developing brand strategy for the $1 billion dollar technology company conducting primary customer research on consumer needs.

Zoe has also worked in education developing and teaching a hands-on anatomy and astronomy curriculum for 58 rising Aim High 7th and 8th grade students. She was a member of the YMCA Teen Task Force, surveying 700+ high school students near the Teen Center to determine ideal Center program offerings. Most recently Zoe taught a 6th grade class on Japanese American History at the Daruma No Gakko Summer Enrichment Program.