GEAR UP Front Office 

Luis Portobanco

Office Manager

I joined the Office of Pre-College Programs in November 2015 and work for the GEAR UP program.  As the Program Administrative Coordinator, I am responsible for day-to-day office tasks, supplies and services, student databases and documentation, travel arrangements, and special events support.

Student Assistant Julio

Julio Cadena

Student Assistant

My name is Julio Cadena, and I am an Office Assistant for the GEAR UP Program.  I am currently starting my fourth year at CSUSB with a major in Biology, and I plan to pursue an M.D. after completing my undergraduate studies.  I also volunteer at a Free Health Clinic to help better my community.

Student Assistant Alejandra

Alejandra Esquivel-Casillas

Student Assistant

My name is Alejandra Esquivel-Casillas. I was born and raised in San Bernardino, California.  I’m the first in my family to attend college, and a Trio Alumni so I understand the challenges a first generation student has to go through. I am in my Second year of College majoring in Sociology. My educational goal is to become a School Counselor one day and be able to support children with their dreams.

Student Assistant Juan

Juanfernando Maytorena

Student Assistant

My name is Juanfernando Maytorena, I am one of the current student assistants for GEAR UP. I am a third year pursuing a major in Business Administration with a concentration in International Business. Constantly working to improve as an individual. I plan to start my own import/export corporation after my undergraduate studies. Being a first generation student and knowing the struggle makes me value what we do here at GEAR UP. I hope to be of great influence the kids and remind them we are here to support them.


Kathleen Gutierrez

Student Assistant

My name is Kathleen Gutierrez and I am currently attending CSUSB, as a third year and I am working on completing bachelors and majoring in Spanish with a concentration of business. My goal once I graduate, is to get my M.D. I recently joined and work for GEAR UP  as a student assistant. Some of my favorite things to do is travel and hanging out with my family and friends.


David Lopez

Student Assistant

I am a first generation college student and an Upward Bound Alumni, who is dual majoring in Criminal Justice and Accounting. In the near future, I want to purse a master's in Criminal Justice and using my Accounting degree to work as an accountant to get some funding to pay for the CJ master's program. After graduating from the master's program, I will purse and strive to work for a Law Enforcement Agency. I hope through my experience in studying criminal law and Accounting, that I can share my experience with the students and help them find an interest in those two field of study. Overall, working for GEAR UP  is a great and awesome opportunity, I hope that I can motivate students through my experience to never give and to pursue their dreams.


Razan Qaqish

Student Assistant

My name is Razan Qaqish, I am currently a student assistant for GEAR UP . I am at the start of my sophomore year and pursuing a Health Science  major. After my bachelors I plan on getting a Masters of Nursing degree in hopes to work in a trauma unit where I can help change lives.