Our vision

We see a world where everyone has economic and social well-being.

We envision a new safety net that promotes economic equity and racial inclusion and holds itself accountable for ensuring dignity, respect, and fairness.​

About One Degree

One Degree brings life-changing social services within reach for the millions of low-income people seeking help everyday. Through easy-to-use technology and deep community partnership, we remove the formidable barriers that prevent people from getting everything from housing to healthcare and beyond. Unlike most tech companies targeting the safety net, we are a non-profit startup led by people who have both used and worked in social services. Building on our decades-long track record of change, we are committed to not only making services simpler to find, but reshaping the industry to be more equitable and dignified for the people who need it most. Because we believe that poverty is hard, but getting the right kind of help shouldn’t be.

A broken social safety net

Nationwide, people trying to build a path out of poverty are met with a fragmented social services landscape that is time consuming and difficult to navigate. At the same time, frontline nonprofit, healthcare, and government workers struggle to connect their clients with the right support. This complex problem—long untouched by innovation—contributes to devastating, intergenerational familial and community impacts.

Theory of change

We believe that if low-income and at-risk families can access and utilize high quality social service resources, they will be able to address their needs and improve their lives.

Diversity, equity, inclusion & belonging

  • One Degree is committed to centering racial, gender, and economic equity at the heart of our work.
  • We believe that achieving equity is critical to reaching our mission and vision.
  • We believe that all people—regardless of racial identity, gender identity, sexual orientation, or socio-economic background—should have equal opportunity to achieve economic and social well-being.
  • We are committed to fully integrating equity into every aspect of our work toward dismantling structural racism. And we acknowledge that inequity must be identified and addressed at the root causes, not just the manifestations.
  • Internally, One Degree is committed to actively addressing and eliminating implicit and explicit bias as it surfaces in our communications, policies, procedures, and interactions with each other, partners,
    and communities.
  • Externally, we commit to working with and challenging our communities and partners to deliver solutions and programs that address root causes and symptoms of inequity.

Meet our team

Executive team

Rey Faustino
Chief Executive Officer
Top 5 Tips for Best College Essays
Rey Faustino
Chief Executive Officer

Rey is committed to ensuring that everyone has access to the vital, life-saving resources they need to achieve social and economic mobility. Rey launched One Degree, a technology-driven nonprofit organization, that enables families to easily navigate the complex web of nonprofit and social services from the technology in the palms of their hands. Under Rey’s leadership as CEO and founder of One Degree, the organization grew from serving a few neighborhoods in San Francisco to serving hundreds of thousands of community members annually in cities nationwide.

Rey began his career as a teacher and later was the site director at BUILD, a college-access nonprofit organization that propels low-income youth of color to attain a college education. He is an alumnus of Y Combinator, a New America CA Fellow, an Echoing Green Fellow, and an Education Pioneers Fellow. Rey received Harvard’s Emerging Global Leader Award and was nominated for the San Francisco Chronicle’s inaugural Visionary of the Year Award. In his spare time, Rey practices yoga, plays with gadgets, and builds furniture from scratch.

Rea Pañares
Chief Operating Officer
Top 5 Tips for Best College Essays
Rea Pañares
Chief Operating Officer

Rea has dedicated her career to nonprofit and public service and has over two decades of experience working in diverse fields and ecosystems – ranging from social tech, philanthropy, policy advocacy, the federal government, and public health. While the settings have changed, her north star has remained constant: working to ensure all people have the opportunity to be healthy and thrive. As COO, she leads the organization’s Operations Department, which includes strategy management, impact, culture & internal communications, human resources, and finance & administration. Prior to the COO role, she was the Deputy Chief of Strategy & Impact, where she built the organization’s strategy and performance management processes, led internal culture and communications, and managed strategic partnerships, including a collaborative of partner technology nonprofits.

Prior to this, Rea was the senior advisor at Prevention Institute, a national center dedicated to building momentum for community prevention, where she led projects to advance community prevention in health reform implementation and health care settings. She served as Director of Minority Health Initiatives at Families USA in Washington, D.C., a national policy advocacy organization and a leading voice for passage of the Affordable Care Act from the consumer perspective; and has held positions at Grantmakers In Health, National Business Group on Health, and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. Rea holds a master’s degree in health policy and management from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and is a graduate of the University of California, Berkeley in molecular and cellular biology.

Steve “Spike” Spiker
Chief of Programs and Technology
Top 5 Tips for Best College Essays
Steve “Spike” Spiker
Chief of Programs and Technology

Spike is a data inspired collaborator and leader with a focus on tech for good, government transparency and public policy. Spike is currently the Chief of Programs & Technology, where he leads One Degree’s community, product, design, infrastructure and security programs. He joined Alluma in 2019 as Chief Data Officer. Previously he was the Data Evangelist for Measures for Justice, a national research and transparency nonprofit seeking to publish metrics on the entire justice system.

Prior to this, Spike was the co-founder and Executive Director of OpenOakland, a civic innovation and open government nonprofit. Through this work he was recognized by the Obama White House as a Champion of Change. He spent over a decade as the Director of Research & Technology with Urban Strategies Council, a social impact nonprofit based in Oakland. He has a chapter in the book Beyond Transparency. He is married with three daughters and has family in Australia and the USA.

Sai Yallapragada
Senior Director of Solution Engineering
Top 5 Tips for Best College Essays
Sai Yallapragada
Senior Director of Solution Engineering

Sai brings a passion for social justice, equality, and empowerment of people — regardless of who they are — to his work at One Degree. He is a hands-on business and technology leader with more than two decades of experience driving and developing technology products and services.

He has worked for Fortune 500 companies like Ford, Pfizer, and also early-stage to mid-level start-ups building world-class enterprise-level software systems, and has worked in a wide variety of industries, including SEO, Web Development, Gaming, and RFID. In his downtime, Sai enjoys playing Racquetball, some golf, binge-watching the latest shows on streaming services, spending time with family, friends, and his 130 lb. Rottweiler, Zach.

Board of directors

James L. Yocum
Chair
James L. Yocum
James L. Yocum
Chair

Jim Yocum is president of Coastal Oak Systems. Previously, he was senior vice president at Connecture, where he was responsible for data management and government services, including federal contracting and operations of the software and systems supporting comparison and enrollment on behalf of the US Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) for the Part D Medicare drug benefit. He implemented the major systems to support the Part D drug benefit at the inception of the program from 2003-2006 while with DRX, Inc. which was acquired by Connecture.

Jim co-founded Korn/Ferry’s Futurestep (formerly idealab’s CareerLink.com) while serving there as vice president of business development and strategic planning. He has held positions with McKinsey and Company, Standard Chartered Bank, and First Interstate Bank Limited, in addition to roles as an automotive engineer and a design engineer. Jim holds a bachelor’s in mechanical engineering from North Carolina State University, and a master’s in business administration from the University of California, Los Angeles.

Rima Cohen
Vice Chair
Rima Cohen
Rima Cohen
Vice Chair

Rima is founder and principal at Rima Cohen Strategies LLC and was formerly the managing director for the Health Innovators Fellowship at The Aspen Institute, a program to connect, inspire, challenge, and strengthen the leadership of innovators across the US health care ecosystem to develop creative approaches to the nation’s health care challenges. Formerly, she served as counselor for health policy to the secretary at the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). At HHS, Rima advised the secretary on a range of health care matters and helped to develop and lead administration initiatives related to programs administered by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, the Agency for Health Care Quality and Research, the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology, and the Office for Civil Rights. Rima has also served as director of health and social services for New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, senior health policy advisor for Senator Tom Daschle, and director of insurance options for the uninsured. Rima has a bachelor’s degree in economics from the University of Michigan and a master’s in public affairs from Princeton University.

Karla Monterroso
Board Secretary
Karla Monterroso
Karla Monterroso
Board Secretary

Karla Monterroso, managing partner at Brava Leaders, is a leadership coach, strategist, activist, and racial equity advocate. She is the former CEO of Code2040, a nonprofit dedicated to the proportional representation of Black and Latinx people in tech at all levels of leadership. Karla joined Code2040 as Vice President of Programs in 2014 and became CEO in 2018. Over her time at Code2040, Karla worked with more than 6,000 community members and 200+ companies. Karla has dedicated her career to addressing the issue of racial opportunity and wealth gaps in America through education, healthcare, and technology. Karla was previously on the board of tech nonprofit One Degree. She is also a graduate of the University of Southern California.

Jonathan Kromm
Board Member
Jonathan Kromm
Jonathan Kromm
Board Member

Jonathan is the principal at Health Management Associates. A public health expert, Jonathan has over two decades of experience in the fields of health insurance, product and policy development, health care delivery, and program evaluation across a variety of issues areas at the federal, state, and local levels.

Previously as the Senior Vice President of Marketing, Communications and Product Development for CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield, Jonathan was responsible for customer research and market analysis, product development and lifecycle management, customer experience, advertising and brand communication. Jonathan was also the Deputy Executive Director and later Acting Executive Director of the Maryland Health Benefit Exchange, the state’s health insurance marketplace formed under the Affordable Care Act.

Rey Faustino
Board Member
Rey Faustino
Rey Faustino
Board Member

Rey is committed to ensuring that everyone has access to the vital, life-saving resources they need to achieve social and economic mobility. Rey launched One Degree, a technology-driven nonprofit organization, that enables families to easily navigate the complex web of nonprofit and social services from the technology in the palms of their hands. Under Rey’s leadership as CEO and founder of One Degree, the organization grew from serving a few neighborhoods in San Francisco to serving hundreds of thousands of community members annually in cities nationwide.

Rey began his career as a teacher and later was the site director at BUILD, a college-access nonprofit organization that propels low-income youth of color to attain a college education. He is an alumnus of Y Combinator, a New America CA Fellow, an Echoing Green Fellow, and an Education Pioneers Fellow. Rey received Harvard’s Emerging Global Leader Award and was nominated for the San Francisco Chronicle’s inaugural Visionary of the Year Award. In his spare time, Rey practices yoga, plays with gadgets, and builds furniture from scratch.