4-H CAPITAL is shaped by all the experience, knowledge, and interests of our staff and AmeriCorps instructors. We take pride in working together to achieve our program’s mission and to foster a culture of learning, both in our science clubs and in our office environment.
|Alicia Espinoza Ford
4-H CAPITAL Program Director
Travis County Extension Agent of Urban Youth Development
As the agent for 4-H Urban Youth Development, Alicia manages the 4-H CAPITAL Program. Alicia has a Bachelor’s degree in English and Creative Writing from the University of Northern Iowa. She started at the Boys & Girls Clubs of San Antonio and transferred to the Boys & Girls Clubs of the Austin Area, where she worked for 7 years in afterschool programming. She was first introduced to afterschool programming during her time at University and has been dedicated to it ever since. Now, as the Program Director, she participates in grant writing, program development, staff management, and strategic planning.
AmeriCorps Project Manager
Animal Science & Natural Resource Project Manager
AmeriCorps Project Coordinator
Lawrence graduated from the University of Houston with a degree in Hotel and Restaurant Management. After several years in the hospitality industry, Lawrence focused on community engagement through the nonprofit sector. Lawrence started working with HCDE in a nonprofit organization called CASE, Children’s Afterschool Enrichment. As an Americorps Member, Lawrence facilitated programming to students during the summer program. Lawrence then transitioned to Playworks, a national nonprofit organization focused on safe and healthy play through recess. Lawrence was a recess coach as a 2nd year Americorps Member. Through 8 years with Playworks, Lawrence held positions as a trainer, manager and director. Lawrence moved to Austin, TX and worked with Austin Sunshine Camps before transitioning to 4H CAPITAL.
Lawrence is excited to be supporting the Americorps Program and aid members in their year of service. In his free time, Lawrence likes to spend time with his family and explore all that Austin has to offer.
Administration and Finance Coordinator
Annabel Almeida has been with Travis County for 8 years. She is very passionate about working with youth and families to provide services for a better living. In December 2015 joined 4-H Capital as the Administration and Finance Coordinator where she is responsible for budget keeping.
Garden Science Specialist
Katelyn grew up in Pennsylvania, growing fruits and vegetables at home. After graduating from the College of Charleston, she became interim internship coordinator of the Office of Sustainability, where she had served as an intern herself. In this capacity she had the opportunity to empower young people to become leaders in their fields and agents of change. Later, she served in various roles educating youth on agriculture, nutrition, and applying science to their understanding of the natural world, including as school garden coordinator of Hartford Public Schools. Looking to deepen her understanding of sustainable agriculture, she pursued her Permaculture Design Certificate in 2018 and became a Master Gardener in 2019.
In her current capacity, Katelyn is excited to return to mentoring young people in their professional development journey, as well as equipping members with best practices in agriculture, nutrition, and STEM education. When she is not visiting school gardens, you can find her cooking, dancing, or exploring Austin.
Natural Resources Specialist
Katie grew up in New England, hiking through forests and kayaking across lakes. After studying Biology at UMass Amherst, she stumbled into a job teaching children at a community garden. There, Katie realized her passion for connecting youth to natural spaces, scientific inquiry, and community building. She moved to Austin in 2017 to serve an AmeriCorps term with 4-H CAPITAL, teaching urban youth about gardening, fishing, robotics, and more. She loved working with her students to create connections across scientific disciplines, which prompted her to join the 4-H CAPITAL staff in 2019 as the Natural Resources Specialist. Katie is passionate about connecting urban youth to natural spaces around them. When she’s not at work, you’ll find Katie hiking and looking for cool insects.
Engineering & Tinkering Specialist
Nick grew up in San Francisco and started working with kids in afterschool programs during his college years in central California. He and his wife moved to Austin after graduating where he continued to work with kids teaching science, technology, engineering and math. Nick is here because he wants kids of Travis County to be able to see a future for themselves in technology. He enjoys equipping the 4-H AmeriCorp members to help young people see a future for themselves in the tech industry by increasing their love for STEM. Through increasing their powers of collaboration, communication, creativity, and critical thinking, we can help the young people of Austin build a better future for themselves and their communities.
Animal Science Specialist
Kayla worked part-time for an afterschool program her senior year of high school, where her passion for working with children began. After graduating from Texas State University with a degree in Communication Studies and a minor in Recreational Administration, Kayla became an AmeriCorps Member here at 4-H CAPITAL teaching animal science. Teaching the children to care for and exhibit the goats fueled her love of livestock and children; which promoted her to join the 4-H CAPITAL staff this year as an Animal Science Specialist. When Kayla isn’t wrangling goats, you will find her hiking and loving on her three dogs, Rae, Mac and Ellie.
Our AmeriCorps Members
Our AmeriCorps members are a vital part of the 4-H CAPITAL family. AmeriCorps members come from across the country, sharing their enthusiasm and love of learning with youth. Their diverse experiences and knowledge keep our program growing and adapting every year!