Staff 2018-10-18T19:11:45+00:00

Meet the AMPLIFY Team

Marissa Martinez

Program Coordinator

Marissa is a creative writer, born and raised in East San Jose, who started writing when she was 12 years old. With a B.A. in English and Theatre Arts, Marissa is committed to sharing stories with and creating an inclusive community for the AMPLIFY youth.  She values the arts and education and believes that creativity is needed for everybody.

Primarily focused on playwriting, Marissa also enjoys writing spoken word poetry because both of these forms of storytelling showcase her values and experiences in an authentic, honest way. She has had the pleasure of working with Bay Area theatre companies like Bindlestiff Studio, the Playwrights’ Foundation, and TheatreWorks. In her free time, she loves going out for ice cream and petting dogs. Marissa hopes to develop storytelling and performance skills with the youth in AMPLIFY so that they may take their new skills wherever life takes them.

Tina Lu

Program Specialist

Having grown up in eastside San Jose, Tina is driven to always work with compassion and a purpose. Tina earned her B.S. from the University of California, Berkeley, where she also served as a camp counselor, youth mentor, and literacy tutor for different youth programs. As one of the first participants in the AACI Betting On Our Future (BOOF) project in 2011, Tina is humbled by the opportunity to work directly with the youth in her own community.

With over six years of experience in this field, Tina is passionate about youth development and youth empowerment. Tina is determined to building a safe space for youth to thrive creatively and confidently at AMPLIFY and beyond. Tina enjoys event planning, creative lettering, and painting – which she finds to be very therapeutic. Through AMPLIFY, she hopes that the youth will learn to enjoy the process of creating art and appreciate their original artwork.

Jessica Nguyen

Program Assistant

Jessica is currently a student at De Anza College and began working with AMPLIFY in December 2017. Prior to joining the team, she participated in the BOOF project throughout all 4 years of high school. Growing up, she always had a passion to be around people and create a positive impact on those around her. In the past, Jessica has volunteered throughout high school to teach at her local temple’s Vietnamese school and tutored for an after-school support program. In her free time, she enjoys trying new food places, biking, hiking, playing and listening to music, and watching Netflix. Jessica aspires for the AMPLIFY youth to freely express themselves inside and outside of the program, explore their interests, and hopefully even discover their passion.

Lauren Locquiao

Program Assistant

Lauren grew up in East Side San Jose and is currently a student at De Anza. She was a BOOF participant for the last two years of high school and started working under AMPLIFY in the summer of 2018.  When Lauren isn’t at AMPLIFY, you can find her starting multiple personal projects, but never really finishing them, or just taking pictures and doodling. Lauren hopes that the youth create anything with a purpose and question everything.

Tommy Nguyen

Program Assistant

Tommy is a current student attending San Jose State University. Having been with AACI since he was 15, he was a former BOOF student for three years before joining the staff. In high school, Tommy was class historian during his junior and senior years and he has also worked as a freelance videographer.  Being from East Side San Jose, Tommy noticed that there weren’t a lot of outlets to express creativity. However, the BOOF project allowed him to express himself. By the time he graduated high school, he expressed the desire to keep learning from AMPLIFY and to give back to the project that helped him grow. When Tommy isn’t at AMPLIFY, he enjoys going out and getting boba with friends. He hopes that the youth will become more aware of the current situations in our community and to not be tempted by harmful activities. He would rather have them at AMPLIFY to express themselves and bring their friends.


Youth can apply and join AMPLIFY at any time by filling out the online application below or by picking up a paper-copy at our office.

For more information, please contact us at (408) 975-2730 or send us an email at For specific enrollment questions, please contact Tina Lu at

Get involved in AMPLIFY by joining one of our programs, attending our next workshop, or leave us a message!

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