Origin Stories

Tina Orduno Calderon

Tina Orduno Calderon is of Gabrielino Tongva, Chumash and Yoeme decent. She is a wife, mother, grandmother, sister, and auntie to many. She is a singer who also enjoys creative writing and composing poems and songs. Additionally, Tina is a culture bearer, traditional dancer, and storyteller who strongly believes in honoring her ancestors by sharing their history, educating others about Indigenous truths, and inspiring others to respect the lands, water, sacred elements, and environment. After retiring from a career as an Operations Manager in the Manufacturing Industry, Tina began Home Schooling her Grandson and really focusing on her culture and traditional languages. Tina is a member of the Tongva Language Committee and is also a student learning the Šmuwič dialog of Chumash.  To date, she has composed over a dozen songs in her ancestral languages.

Angelina Leaños

Angelina Leaños is the Ventura County Youth Poet Laureate of 2020-2021. Angelina Leaños is an AmeriCorps Fellow and second-year English major at California Lutheran University. Angelina has created platforms for others poets by organizing a monthly online poetry open mic with the Ventura County Arts Council in partnership with the Oxnard public library system. She also hosts a quarterly statewide online reading and open mic. In high school, Angelina won the Poetry Out Loud competition at both school and county levels and has since returned as a recitation coach for Ventura County. Angelina has been widely published. “I’ll Take This Word and Make it Mine," was included in and selected as the title for the 2018-2019 California Poets in the Schools statewide anthology.

Community Members 

Julie Mortine

Julie Mortine is a French teacher in the Simi Valley Unified School District of Vietnamese and French descent. 

Alejandra Bonvehi

Known to her students as Professora Bonvehi, Alejandra Bonvehi is a Spanish teacher with the Simi Valley Unified School District.