Executive Team

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Sal Tinajero
Salvador Tinajero

Founder & CEO

Sal Tinajero, an educator and advocate who’s mission has always been to break low-income students out of poverty. Sal started his mission in 2001 with a small team in Fullerton. He lead many teams to State and National awards, and knew he could expand the impact of his program to reach even more students.

 

Now 19 years later, he has created multiple successful speech programs in Orange County, with over 2,000 students. His leadership inspired many others to join the cause, bringing hundreds of renowned coaches to his team, with the vision of creating future leaders, critical thinkers, and passionate speakers. 

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Finny Vuong
Finny Vuong

Vice President & District Director

  Finny began speech in middle school, for a total of 10 years competing. While competing in college, she began coaching students and has now been coaching forensics for 15 years. In that time, Finny has coaches countless state and national champions.

Her focus as the Vice President and District Director to develop strong communication skills that will translate through school, personal, and professional life. To build resiliaancy in competition and confidence in their performance and personal abilities.

Vice President and District Director

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Adriena Toghia
Adriena Toghia

District Director

Adriena competed in forensics for 7 years, and has now been coaching for 8 years. She has coached numerous national and state champions at the middle school, high school, and collegiate level of forensics.

 

Her focus as a director is to provide students with strong communication skills, to compete at the collegiate level, and receive scholarships to further their education.

District Director

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Mariela 
Garcia-Alvarado
Mariela
Garcia-Alvarado

Center Director

 

Mariela has coached numerous schools and academies in California for over 6 years, helping many students place in finalist rounds, raise their grades, and get accepted to prestigious schools. 

Her focus as the Program Director for the Advantage Center is to help students and parents find quality and personalized coaching for personal success. 

Center Director

MEET OUR STAFF

Joel Anguiano

Learn More About Joel >

Joel Anguino is an elected representative of the Phi Kappa Delta National Speech and Debate Council. Over the past few years he has helped teams, such as El Paso Community College and Wiley College, gain national recognition while simultaneously also leading theater programs such as Viva! El Paso.

Claribel Gomez

Learn More About Claribel >

After competing with Sal Tinajero's Fullerton High School team, Claribel Gomez decided to share her team's knowledge with other students. She believes that all students deserve an opportunity to explore their public speaking skills to find their voice.  

Stephanie Rodriguez

Learn More About Stephanie >

Coach Stephanie participated in Mr. Tinajero's national champion team at Fullerton High School, placing 6th place nationally for poetry. She has starred in many music videos and film projects all while coaching speech and debate.

Justyne Gutierrez

Learn More About Justyne >

Justyne Gutierrez is a Nationally Award Ranking speaker in Dramatic Interpretation, Prose Interpretation, and Duo Interpretation. She competed collegiately at East Los Angeles Community College and California State University Los Angeles. She was the California (District 1) Representative for the National Forensics Association her Senior Year. 

Mike Davis

Learn More About Mike >

After three years of earning national recognition in limited preparation events and debate for the historically recognized speech and debate program at OCC, Mike Davis has turned his attention to coaching students. He has helped SAUSD and Advantage coach multiple nationally ranked students over the past four years.

Melissa Hernandez

Learn More About Melissa >

Coach Melissa has competed in speech for 7 years both at Fullerton High School and Bradley University, two of the top programs in the country; and has been coaching for the past four years. What she loves most about speech and debate is the work ethic that students learn to cultivate to use their voice.

Sarah Sulewski

Learn More About Sarah >

Sarah Sulewski has won multiple national titles in various interpretation and platform events, leading the Tennessee State speech and debate squad as the captain in 2019-2020. She is currently hosting Activists of Today, a platform she created to shine light on activists who are committed to being the change they want to see in the world.

Lauren Cocroft

Learn More About Lauren >

Lauren Cocroft has received multiple national titles in various interpretation and platform events for two of the most competitive programs in the country: Orange Coast College and George Mason University. While competing, she coached top ranking students at SAUSD for the past three years. 

Josh Beckles

Learn More About Josh >

Coach Josh is a rising Senior on the Bradley University Speech Team. He has found himself in five National Final Rounds.  When not working on speech, Joshua writes poetry and coaches other students on his team. Josh wants to guide and help students master the skills of public speaking.

LaToya Green

Learn More About LaToya >

LaToya Green has 15 years of experience in competitive policy debate. Ms. Green experienced significant success in the five years she competed at Emporia State University. 

After competing, Ms. Green turned to coaching at Wake Forest University, and is now the Director of Debate at CSUF.

Sabas
Del Toro

Learn More About Sabas >

Sabas is from El Paso, Texas and is a recent graduate of Western Kentucky University. Sabas began collegiate speech at El Paso Community College before transferring to WKU his junior year. Coach Sabas has experience in theater and hopes to share this with his students, while helping students build confidence in their own skills.

Tanner
Ryan

Learn More About Tanner >

Tanner has been doing speech and debate for 8 years and has competed in all platform and limited preparation events.  This is Tanner's second-year coaching, and he has helped students write phenomenal speeches for competition each year. Tanner wants to encourage students to learn about themselves, and advocate fo them as well.

Brontë
England- Nelson

Learn More About Brontë >

Brontë competed in speech and debate for four intense years at Fullerton High School on Sal Tinajero’s first team. Her senior year, Fullerton High School won their first national title at the NSDA. 

Brontë England-Nelson is now an actor and teacher based out of New York City. My coaches taught me how to set goals for my life and equipped with the tools to achieve them.  I am committed to paying that forward.

Raul Ruano

Learn More About Raul >

Raul Ruano studied Philosophy and American Studies at Cal State Fullerton. He won many awards competing it a performance style form of debate, and brings this unique perspective into his role with us.

Raul has coached with Advantage since its start, and has coached many State and Nationally ranking competitors.

Salvador Tinajero Jr.

Learn More About Sal >

Sal Tinajero is a graduate of Western Kentucky University and a graduate student at University of San Francisco. He has 11 years of experience with speech and debate as a competitor, and has coached for five years. In addition to his experience in Forensics, he is a published author.

As a coach, he hopes to foster a safe space for students to develop as speakers and as people.

Haleemah Na'Allah

Learn More About Haleemah >

Haleemah Na’Allah currently serves as the president of the Bradley University speech team and is anticipating her Bachelor’s degree in both political science and philosophy this upcoming May 2021. She is passionate about making speech feel accessible and natural and is excited to help students discover their brightest potential!