Upward Bound Staff

The Upward Bound staff is dedicated to helping first generation and low income students to participate in higher education. Many of the Upward Bound staff were the first in their family to attend college.

Felix Braffith - Director of TRiO Programs

Email Felix Braffith

Office: (360) 867-6028

Juana Vaughan, Program Assistant

Office: (360) 867-6012

Fax:     (360) 867-5349

Juana coordinates the Upward Bound program. Juana is the liaison between Upward Bound and other offices at The Evergreen State College. She provides event coordination support, clerical support, and mentoring to the Upward Bound program.  She has obtained her A.A. Degree in Business Administration from South Puget Sound Community College.  She is currently working on her B.A. at the Evergreen State College.

Joshua Simpson, Educational Specialist

Joshua is currently the Upward Bound educational specialist at Lincoln High School in Tacoma.  Josh grew up in Ohio and joined the US Army after graduating from high school.  While in the Army Josh was stationed and Joint Base Lewis McCord and spent a year in Iraq.  After five years, Josh left the military at the rank of Sargent. 

 After his time in the military, Josh attended the Evergreen State College in Olympia.  While an undergraduate at Evergreen, Josh became involved in anti-war and immigrants’ rights work and later founded the veterans’ resource center, Coffee Strong as a college project in 2008.  The center is still in existence just celebrated its 6th anniversary and Josh is currently on its board of directors.  Josh is also a former member of the board of directors of the Olympia Food Co-Op.  Josh graduated from Evergreen in 2009 earning a bachelor’s of arts with an emphasis on political economy and history.  Josh then joined the Masters in Teaching Program at Evergreen and earned his master’s degree in 2011 with endorsements in social studies and middle level humanities. 

 Before becoming an Educational Specialist for Upward Bound, Josh spent time as an RA in the Upward Bound Program and spent a year at Chief Leschi as a long-term substitute teacher. 

Office: (253) 571-6772

Mobile: (360) 584-5105


Marisa Sanchez, Educational Specialist

Marisa Sanchez is an Educational Specialist at Clover Park High School in Lakewood, Washington.  She grew up in South Central Texas, and graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Economics from St. Edward’s University in Austin.  After working in the banking industry, she earned her teaching certificate in multiple content areas including ESL, Special Education, and Generalist.  Marisa taught in schools serving culturally diverse populations in Houston and Austin for several years, and she has collaborated with various organizations such as United Way, Playworks, and Communities in Schools.  In 2014 Marisa moved to Olympia, Washington in order to pursue opportunities in the field of education.

Office: 253-583-5500 Ext. 6421

Riva Roller, Educational Specialist

Riva is the educational specialist for Foss High School and Clover Park High School.