2015 Authors

SunshineBilleen “Sunshine” Pruett is a Native American, advocate, activist, artist, drummer and poet. A longtime Oak Park resident, she is a leader at Wellspring Women’s Center and in her community. She has fought for social justice as a freedom rider and helped found Homeward Newspaper – part of a nationwide network of street newspapers. Her goal is to produce photojournalism that promotes compassion, peace and justice.


CoreyCorey Rodda is an Americorps VISTA member at Wellspring Women’s Center in Oak Park. She authors the blog, “Tales from the Heart of Wellspring.”  Her year with Americorps and Wellspring, where she works to alleviate poverty, illuminates her understanding of how far we must come to honor humanity. A doughnut connoisseur and writer, she cares deeply about good food and the connections we forge around it.


EugeneEugene Willis was born in Saginaw, MI. He is a Contracts and Grants Analyst at UC Davis, focusing on federal and state agreements. Eugene has worked in a variety of professional capacities as a drug counselor, educator and business administrator. He earned a law degree at Lincoln Law School in Sacramento and Bachelors at Florida State University. Eugene is a board member for the Sacramento chapter of The National Alliance on Mental illness and a member of 100 Black Men of Sacramento.


CourtnyCourtny Thomas is a student at Sacramento City College. The Los Angeles native attended elementary, middle and high school in Stockton. She became a medical office specialist, handling front-office responsibilities for several physician groups. She started a family and works for nonprofit organizations in Sacramento. She loves to read, write and keep current with news events. Her dream is to become a successful writer.


RichardRichard Abrusci is Vice President for Performance Excellence with Goodwill Industries of Sacramento Valley and Northern Nevada. He holds a Master of Business Administration degree and has dedicated his personal and professional life to making the world a better place. A family man, he volunteers with organizations focused on homelessness, women’s health, HIV/AIDS and populations whose voices have been ignored. He enjoys outdoor activities such as hiking, road cycling, skiing and laying at the beach.


sarahSarah Aboueljoud has contributed writings to 916INK, a Sacramento nonprofit that promotes literacy through creative writing workshops. She’s a senior at George Washington Carver High School of Arts and Sciences, where she organized newspaper and poetry clubs, and coordinates no-cost community events that teach novel kinetic dances. Sarah works as a child-care provider.



MariannaMarianna Sousa has been a community activist and performing artist in Sacramento for more than 15 years. A motivational speaker, organizer, events host and youth mentor, she is dedicated to “Edu-tainment” as means to serve the community. Encompassing a wide range of talents, “Miss Marianna” is a hip-hop artist, poet, singer and actress. As the owner and stylist of Nappy Star Exclusive Natural Hair Care, she takes pride in addressing issues that affect the self-esteem and personal discovery of young people.


KalaishaKalaisha Totty attends Sacramento City College, where she majors in journalism. In her first semester, she was appointed Treasurer of the Student Senate and interim Secretary of Public Relations. She is involved and dedicated to her community and outreach. This summer, she served as a Student Assistant for the SCC summer program and works as an intern for Entercom Communications.



ChristinaChristina Martinez is a “First 5” parent educator and playgroup coordinator with the Sacramento City Unified School District. She has taught elementary school in South Sacramento and is a voice for educational rights, especially among teen parents. Christina holds Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees from Sacramento State University. She enjoys running, reading, writing, social media and growing alongside her children.


FarmFarm Saephan graduated from Sacramento State University and holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Park and Recreation Management and Business Administration. She works at Asian Resources, Inc., where she provides assistance to the Executive Director. Farm looks forward to re-connecting with the Mien community in South Sacramento.



AudreyellAudreyell Anderson says when she was a kid, her dad would never tell her the answers. He’d always say, “Look it up.” She hated that line, but learned ambition and self-reliance. A South Sacramento native, she graduated from Sacramento State University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Philosophy: Ethics and Law, and McGeorge School of Law. Today she works as a government attorney. But more important, she is a poet, singer and madly in love with God.


RicardoRicardo Lopez Jr. is a student at Sacramento City College majoring in journalism. He considers his return to school “the best decision I’ve made,” noting the renewed experience of college has been remarkably humbling. He enjoys reading, music and basketball, and has always excelled at writing. Ricardo is a member of EOPS and Men of Purpose at SCC and is organizing a Hip-Hop culture club at school.