Our Team

Meet our team, tutors, and partners.


Steve Hagler, Executive Director

Steve is a life-long educator and nonprofit manager. Steve began his career as a classroom educator in the San Francisco Unified School District. As a teacher, he created outdoor and experiential programs for students at-risk of dropping out of school. Steve served as executive director of the Foundation for Youth Investment (now called Youth Outside), where he guided over $13 million in funding to get youth connected to the outdoors, help reduce the barriers that keep kids from going into nature and worked to change the face of outdoor instruction.  

Steve holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of California, Berkeley, and a secondary education credential and masters degree in Education from San Francisco State University.

Pascal and Virginie Rigo, Lead Founders & Funders

Their son struggled for years to learn how to read until he met Steve Tattum. The Rigos saw the change in their son, and wanted others, especially kids in low-income communities, to overcome their reading struggles.

Steve Tattum, Reading Director

Steve has been teaching kids to read for over 40 years. He developed the Tattum Reading Program (also known as F.A.S.T.) and is sharing that proven curriculum with LearnUp to scale his success with more students and schools in the Bay Area.


Zoe Velez, Psychology, Class of 2019

I really love going to the park, specifically Golden Gate, and laying in the grass with a good book. I have been with LearnUp for almost a year and I would say my favorite thing about teaching is speaking with the student about how their day was or what they did over the weekend. I have had parents tell me that their non-readers eventually become excited to read and pick up books on their own. For me, there is no greater accomplishment than hearing that my students want to read.

Colleen Mercado, Biology and Chemistry, Class of 2019

When I am not studying, working, or volunteering, I use my precious free time to explore different nature spots and also experience all the amazing restaurants that San Francisco has to offer. I love teaching reading because I truly believe that literacy is crucial for a strong educational foundation. Reading broadens the world as we know it, stimulating the imagination while still leaving room for creativity. As I see my students progress, I also see an increase in their confidence–something that is incomparable. By teaching reading, I know that I am making a difference in the lives of others and that type of satisfaction is something I strive for.

Sophie Luu, Masters of Education Graduate Student

During my free time, I love to travel, hike, cook, go on food adventures in the Bay Area, and going to the beach. My goals are to become an elementary school teacher and later on a reading specialist. I believe that a love for reading is the greatest gift an educator can give a student. Once the student learns to read, they become an independent learner, which opens their world to limitless possibilities. I enjoy working 1-on-1 with students, using games and love seeing my students get excited to apply their reading skills during our sessions. It allows me to build a deeper connection with my student, which lets me see another side to them.

Savannah Miller, BA Psychology, University of San Francisco

As a recent undergraduate with my eyes set on Clinical Psychology Doctorate Programs, I am aware of, and passionate about, closing achievement gaps and facilitating strong educational outcomes. As a reading tutor, I am able to do my part to help this cause. Instilling literacy in my students is the most rewarding thing I have ever done. Outside of work, I enjoy exercising, spending time with my wonderful friends either eating or exploring, cooking, and taking road trips to oyster farms, flower fields, and the like.

Tara Giddings, Psychology major, English minor, University of San Francisco class of 2020

I’m a native of the East Bay and currently a student at the University of San Francisco. During my free time, I like to be outdoors in the sun, going to the park and the beach and I love practicing yoga! I love spending time with friends cooking, going to art events, or just visiting and listening to music. When I have along time, I spend it reading!


As a nonprofit, we get significant support from our pro-bono partners. They treat us like paying clients and deliver top-notch products. Check them out.

The Imagineering Company, a strategic writing firm that provides everything from content strategy and creation to naming and positioning.

Learn more at www.imagineeringsf.com.

La Boulangerie Bakeries

Alyssa Warnock Design Studio, specializing in brand identity, packaging and signage.

Learn more at www.alyssawarnock.com.

Navarra Design is a high-end interior design firm located in San Francisco California.

Learn more at www.navarradesign.com.

Randle Design is dedicated to deliver solutions that are relevant, exceptionally creative and successful.

Learn more at www.randledesign.com


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