Christy is the founder and executive director of Claremont Canopy. Christy graduated from Gustavus Adolphus College in 1998. She is a Minnesota native and began her career in the non-profit sector. Christy began working with the local refugee population in 2016 and after a few months, she saw the need for a broader organization to act as a Canopy for the smaller organizations that work with refugees. She used her network and social media to spread the mission of Canopy, which is to network on behalf of the Canopy families to connect them with organizations and resources that will create opportunities to go from surviving to thriving in their new country. Her efforts started with one family and an amazon wish list on her personal Facebook page to today, Canopy serves over 35 families and is 501c3 non profit organization. Christy feels strongly it is our duty to welcome our new arrival neighbors and help them thrive in their new home. Christy has received recognization from both local and district government offices, as well as local groups for her work with Clarmeont Canopy. She also serves as the Director of the New Arrival Supper Club with Miry’s List in Los Angeles. This program brings the community and refugee families together through a social impact culinary experience. Christy has been a resident of Claremont, CA since 2014. She and her husband are active in the community raising their four children.
Jennifer’s commitment to serving the community of Claremont is rooted in her appreciation for those who have served before her. Jennifer was born and raised in Claremont and went to Pitzer College, and she and her husband have raised their three children here. Jennifer was one of the original Canopy team members and serves as the head of Canopy’s fundraising efforts.
In 2018 Jennifer was elected as a Claremont City Council member. Councilmember Stark has served as a Traffic and Transportation Commissioner and as a member of the boards of Claremont Heritage and Friends of the Claremont Library. She volunteers for Sustainable Claremont as a Certified Tree Steward and is a proud member of the League of Women Voters, the Democratic Club of Claremont, Kiwanis Club, and the University Club. Councilmember Stark serves as the City Council representative to the Six Basins Water Master Board and the Three Valleys Water Board. She also serves as an alternate on the Chamber of Commerce Government Relations and Economic Development Committee, Clean Power Alliance Authority Board, and the San Gabriel Valley Council of Governments JPA Governing Board. Her involvement in the community and local government brings the needs of Claremont Canopy families to the attention of our local officials.
Jessica joined the Canopy team in 2018 and serves as the head of the Community Outreach team. Jessica has a long history of serving the refugee populations of Southern California. She serves on multiple interfaith boards throughout both Los Angeles and Orange County. She believes strongly that there is deep community benefit when we embrace our neighbors of different faith and find paths to peace and unity.
Jessica is an adjunct professor of Sociology at Mt. San Antonio College. And is currently getting her Master’s Degree at Claremont Graduate University. She resides in Diamond Bar with her husband and two small boys.
Dr. Anne Bennett is an anthropologist with research experience in Syria. She speaks Arabic and after the crisis and war in Syria she felt called to help the local Arabic speaking refugee populations. Anne serves as the head of Claremont Canopy’s employment team, which networks on behalf of our families to connect them withe employers. She feels passionate about learning about each family member to see what trades and skills they bring to our community and connecting them with potential employers. Anne is a professor at California State University San Bernardino in their Anthropology department. She resides in Claremont with her geographer husband and 13-year-old son.
Brenda Barham Hill
Brenda has been a Claremont resident for over 40 years. She is retired from a lengthy career at The Claremont Colleges, last serving as CEO of Claremont University Consortium. She also assists husband John with their non-profit Amigos de Chocola that provides educational support for Maya children in an impoverished Guatemalan village. Brenda has been a refugee volunteer and advocate for several related Syrian refugee families for the past three years, assisting with navigating the health care system and public schools and applying for Green Cards. She is an active volunteer with Claremont Canopy. Mostly, Brenda seeks to be a friend and supporter of refugee families