Our Team | Eva's Heroes
 

CO-FOUNDERS

In 2011, Eva was appointed by President Obama to the commission on the National Museum of the American Latino, which will house historical artifacts, images, and personal stories documenting more than 500 years of Latino contributions to the U.S. She has received numerous awards for her philanthropy from the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute, the National Hispanic Leadership Institute, The National Civil Rights Museum, Variety, the Hollywood Reporter, and the Mayor of Los Angeles, among others.

Eva Longoria Baston

In 2011, Eva was appointed by President Obama to the commission on the National Museum of the American Latino, which will house historical artifacts, images, and personal stories documenting more than 500 years of Latino contributions to the U.S. She has received numerous awards for her philanthropy from the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute, the National Hispanic Leadership Institute, The National Civil Rights Museum, Variety, the Hollywood Reporter, and the Mayor of Los Angeles, among others.
  • Eva served as a national cochair for President Obama’s 2012 re-election campaign.

    Eva is an active philanthropist. She founded the Eva Longoria Foundation in 2012 to help Latinas build better futures for themselves and their families through education and entrepreneurship. In her own words, “The growing Latina population is an untapped resource in this country. If we give Latinas the tools to unlock their potential, we will see amazing results.” She also cofounded Eva’s Heroes, a San Antonio nonprofit that benefits children with intellectual special needs, and serves as a spokesperson for Padres Contra el Cancer, an organization supporting Latino families who have children with cancer. Additionally, Eva sits on the boards of the Mexican American Legal Defense Fund (MALDEF) and LA Plaza de Cultura y Artes. She has supported United Farm Workers and the Dolores Huerta Foundation, among other organizations.

    Eva Longoria is an actress best known for her role as Gabriel Solis on the hit show “Desperate Housewives.”  Her film credits include The Truth, Long Time Gone, The Sentinel, and Over Her Dead Body, among others. In addition to acting, Eva has produced the National Council of La Raza’s ALMA awards; Harvest, a documentary about the plight of child farm workers in the US, and Latinos Living the American Dream, a film documenting the contributions of Latinos in America. Eva is also co-owner of Latin Steakhouses Beso Hollywood and Beso Las Vegas, and she recently released her New York Timesbest-selling cookbook, Eva’s Kitchen, in 2011. In addition to her career, Eva is currently pursuing her master’s degree in Chicano Studies at California State University – Northridge.

In 2006, after noticing a lack of programming available for individuals with intellectual special needs, Christiane co-founded Eva's Heroes with actress Eva Longoria. Today, Christiane and the staff of Eva's Heroes strive to provide a fun and enriching environment for individuals to interact, grow, learn, and love.

Christiane Perkins-Garcia

In 2006, after noticing a lack of programming available for individuals with intellectual special needs, Christiane co-founded Eva’s Heroes with actress Eva Longoria. Today, Christiane and the staff of Eva’s Heroes strive to provide a fun and enriching environment for individuals to interact, grow, learn, and love.
  • Christiane began her career as a special education teacher in San Antonio’s Northside Independent School District, where she taught for more than 11 years. She has always believed that every individual deserves the same opportunities in life. Her desire to provide growth and opportunity for others has been a common thread throughout Christiane’s educational and professional careers.

    Christiane is the Board President of Eva’s Heroes. She serves on the SAHCC Board of Directors and is the President of the Parent-Teacher Club at St. Matthew Catholic School. She also serves many other roles within St. Matthew Catholic Church and School.

    Christiane graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from the University of Texas at San Antonio in 1994. She earned her Master of Education in Special Education from Texas State University (formerly Southwest Texas State University) in 1998. She and her husband, Rene, reside in San Antonio and have two beautiful children, Tiannah and Gavino.

BOARD OF DIRECTORS

Cory J. Basso has been working in advertising and marketing for more than 30 years.  He has worked on award winning campaigns for Toyota, Capital One, SONY, Heineken and many others both in the U.S. and Worldwide.

Cory Basso

Cory J. Basso has been working in advertising and marketing for more than 30 years. He has worked on award winning campaigns for Toyota, Capital One, SONY, Heineken and many others both in the U.S. and Worldwide.
  • He moved to San Antonio from New York and is currently Group Vice President of Marketing and Advertising for H-E-B, one of the largest, privately held retailers in the nation…and a favorite of ALL Texans.     He is responsible for all aspects of H-E-B’s advertising; including TV, Radio, Print, Online, Social Media, Digital Marketing, Promotions, Sports Sponsorships and Branding.

    After getting asked…”Why?” many times by his children over the years…he also decided to write a series of Children’s books to answer the many questions that inquisitive kids have…and do it with a mix of education and entertainment…or “edutainment.” He currently resides in Terrell Hills, with his wife Dorothy and three highly inquisitive kids Hudson, Brandt, and Anabelle…the main character featured in his award winning Children’s book “Why? Moon.”

Bernadette Peña began her career with Frost Bank working in various positions and built a successful career with more than 20 years of banking and finance experience. After much consideration she retired from the banking industry as a Vice President for the Investment Services Department.

Bernadette J. Peña

Bernadette Peña began her career with Frost Bank working in various positions and built a successful career with more than 20 years of banking and finance experience. After much consideration she retired from the banking industry as a Vice President for the Investment Services Department.
  • A natural born planner, she ventured into the national production arena as an associate producer with Unico Communications kicking off her new endeavor with the premier Latino event at the 2012 Democratic National Convention. Since then, Bernadette has co-produced countless national events alongside political leaders, celebrated athletes and famed movie figures.

    Bernadette is graduate of City South Leadership Academy of the South Chamber of Commerce and continues to be an active leader in the community by serving on various boards, commissions and organizations. Bernadette is an advocate for individuals living with disabilities and avid supporter of organizations focused on accessibility to underserved communities and inclusion for all.

    Bernadette was born in San Antonio, Texas has been married for 21 years to Joe Peña. Although they work together to serve the South San Antonio community, they are most passionate about spending time with family and their beautiful granddaughter, Ella.

STAFF

Throughout her career, she has employed diverse techniques that encourage her students to socialize and work cohesively in small groups.

Jennifer Stevenson

Throughout her career, she has employed diverse techniques that encourage her students to socialize and work cohesively in small groups.
  • Jenn was the first hired and is the longest-tenured employee at Eva’s Heroes. She has been instrumental in increasing the numbers of participants as well as enthusiasm for Eva’s Heroes programs. As Program Director, Jenn develops unique programming experiences for individuals with special needs. She also collaborates with community partners as well as manages volunteers for program services.

    Prior to Eva’s Heroes, she was a QMRP at ResCare, where she developed, planned, treated and monitored patient treatment plans. She began her career as a Special Education Teacher at Sycamore Elementary School in Simi Valley, California.  She earned her Bachelor’s degree and Education Specialist Certification from California State University-Chico.

     Jenn and her husband Gary started their family here in San Antonio. They are involved in the Girl Scouts and youth softball. 

As Director of Special Events, Lisa coordinates the organization’s signature gala, Celebrity Casino Night, the Texas Hold ‘Em Poker Tournament and Baskets

Lisa Shelley

As Director of Special Events, Lisa coordinates the organization’s signature gala, Celebrity Casino Night, the Texas Hold ‘Em Poker Tournament and Baskets & Blankets Picnic. She also plans outreach events such as Lobby Day during the Texas legislative session.
  • With almost twenty years of nonprofit experience, she has been very comfortable wearing many different hats.  As Office Manager and then Community Director at March of Dimes, she coordinated the Signature Chefs Gala and led Family Teams for March for Babies, a walk for over 12,000 people. She served as Director of Children’s Ministries at Travis Park United Methodist Church, and headed the wedding outreach and senior citizen ministries. Additionally she headed the ID Recovery Program for Corazon Ministries, the church’s homeless outreach. When Kelly USA became the refuge for Hurricanes Katrina and Ike victims, Lisa and her team were honored to be asked to bring the ID Recovery Program onsite.

    A proud sixth generation Texan, Lisa and her family are very close. They have a weekly poker night with friends and family. They also love to work together on DIY home improvement projects. Lisa proudly supports the Alzheimer’s Association, in honor of her mother.

Brittany is a full time Special Education Teacher for Northside ISD and is a Program Lead for Eva’s Heroes. Inspired by her mother, Brittany has learned to understand the importance of passion and responsibility. She has family members who are on the Autism Spectrum and helps spread awareness to anyone who will listen.

Brittany Cervantes

Brittany is a full time Special Education Teacher for Northside ISD and is a Program Lead for Eva’s Heroes. Inspired by her mother, Brittany has learned to understand the importance of passion and responsibility. She has family members who are on the Autism Spectrum and helps spread awareness to anyone who will listen.
  • Brittany studied Communications at Texas State University. Her career path changed when she discovered Eva’s Heroes and her true passion for working with these amazing individuals was revealed.

    She soon received her alternative teaching certification in Special Education and now teaches on the forefront. Being able to reach more individuals with Eva’s Heroes gives Brittany more ground to help spread her message of love and inclusion. Brittany’s next projects are to help expand the outreach of the special needs community here in San Antonio.

Gina has over 20 years of educational experience with special needs individuals; most of it 
centering around the transition into adulthood. When the opportunity to work for Eva’s Heroes was presented, the combination of working in both fields (education and social) seemed only natural and a win-win.

Gina Sincalir

Gina has over 20 years of educational experience with special needs individuals; most of it centering around the transition into adulthood. When the opportunity to work for Eva’s Heroes was presented, the combination of working in both fields (education and social) seemed only natural and a win-win.
  • Gina earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from Bradley University in Peoria, Illinois, and was certified in Texas in the field of Special Education. Along with her educational career, she also serves as a Program Lead, assisting the Program Director with all things revolving around the Community Activity and Summer Experience Programs.

    Managing a host of duties that include staff training and program implementation Gina finds time to volunteer with her husband Derek for major fundraising events.

    Gina and Derek reside in San Antonio. They enjoy spending time with their daughter Jazmin and beautiful granddaughter Zuri.

John W. Young joined Eva’s Heroes as the contract accountant/bookkeeper almost five years ago. John has served as the Financial Manager for a 501c3 in addition to serving several nonprofits in town.

John W. Young

John W. Young joined Eva’s Heroes as the contract accountant/bookkeeper almost five years ago. John has served as the Financial Manager for a 501c3 in addition to serving several nonprofits in town.
  • John has been married to his childhood sweetheart Janet since 1986. They have a daughter named Jada. John also has an older daughter named Brandy, and a granddaughter named Gabrielle.

    John enjoys golfing and fantasy football.

We rely on the invaluable work and dedication
of our teachers, interns and volunteers.

Our Team