top of page

Board of Directors

We are all volunteers!

DSC03485.jpg

RJ Bergman,

Board Chair

RJ Bergman has called Tucson his home since 2003 and has spent his entire career with the YMCA of Southern Arizona and at the Ott Family YMCA. 

In 2004, he started working at the front desk and quickly moved into the position of Program Director.  In 2019 he became the Executive Director of the Ott and loves the impact he and his staff have on the community every day.  He and his wife, Taylor, met at the YMCA, and they have a son who loves to look up at the stars! RJ is also active in the community. He is a member of the Foothills Club of Tucson a group of local professionals that help raise funds and support local nonprofits all while having fun! As a non-profit professional, RJ has a passion for making the community a better place for the kids! In his free time, RJ enjoys playing basketball, golf, and poker with his friends! He joined the board in 2022. 

Katie Update Final.jpg

Katie Wright,

Secretary & Events

Katie is a Southern California girl. She attended SDSU while working at an Aerospace Engineering firm. That is where she honed her eye for detail and her training in “Continuous Improvement”. She then became a military wife that took her across the US. Katie has 3 adult daughters and one granddaughter. She was always involved in her kids from making costumes, PTO activities, fundraisers galore to coaching cheer, and being a Girl Scout Leader. Katie was a AZCPC Girl Scout leader for 10 years with extensive training as the neighborhood leader, events coordinator and camp counselor. She has given countless volunteer hours to nonprofits to include Blue Star Moms CAZ, Catholic Daughters AZ, and the National Medical Center Hispanic Awareness Committee. Katie has worked as a Private investigator, Process Server, Drug testing technician and Nanny. Katie loves sports, beaches, dancing, crafts, organizing events, cooking and spending quality time with her family. Her reason for wanting to help Reach For The Stars mission comes from her own kids struggle with bullies and mental issues in school dealing with everyday battles with life.

DSC03520.jpg

Shauntel Pinnick,

Marketing & Events

Shauntel Pinnick is a native of Tucson Arizona. She is married to her best friend and share 7 wonderful kids together. Shauntel’s passion is to help people in need and use her history of trauma and experience to improve the quality of lives of those in-need. Shauntel was a single mom for 10 years with many life struggles herself and those experiences provide her many different aspects of life’s journey. She was a waitress for 15 years and loves to talk with people, while also lending a listening ear. She is a true believer in being non-judgmental, and instead having compassion and love for one another! Shauntel says, “I feel blessed to be a part of Reach For The Stars journey.” She joined the board in 2022. Her favorite quote: 

“Let all that you do Be done in Love” 1 Corinthians 16:14 

Jennifer Hagar,

Networking, Marketing & Events

Jenn Hagar is an accomplished professional in the insurance industry with a passion for community engagement. She joined Sandbrook group in January of 2022 with the goal of supporting small businesses in protecting their most important assets; personal and financial health. Jenn is the highlight of any social gathering. She is a well-connected and influential women in the local community. She is a trusted connector.  

Jenn has over twenty years in the insurance, training, and consulting fields and is dedicated to supporting local businesses. She lives in Vail with her husband Jason, son Aiden, and dog Tango. In her free time, she enjoys hiking, water sports, and camping. She joined the board in 2022. 

Amanda Barras

Amanda Barras

Marketing & Networking

Amanda Barras is an Arizona native, originally from Prescott. While still residing in her hometown, Amanda completed her Associate's Degree in Graphic Design, and met her Husband, Daniel. Since then she has spent the last 15 years following Daniel wherever the Army, or government contracts took him. Being a Freelance Graphic Designer allowed Amanda the flexibility to take her work with her wherever needed, while also opening up opportunities. She has worked as a designer and production assistant for print shops, done laser engraving, and vinyl-graphics. Working Freelance has allowed Amanda to remain a stay-at-home Mom for the last 10 years, taking care of their Son, Stone. In 2017, they were able to move back home to Arizona where they landed in Corona de Tucson. Stumbling across a Facebook post of Reach for the Stars, Amanda reached out and has participated in some of the organization's various programs over the last few years.

She is always happy and eager to volunteer for a good cause. Amanda has been lending her time since Middle School, as a member of NJHS, Kiwanis Key Club, then to a “Room-Parent” for her Son's classrooms (Pre-K - 2nd), and now RFTStars Networking and Marketing Committee!

Zane-gigapixel-art-scale-6_00x.jpg

Zane Landers

Astronomy Outreach Team Lead

Zane Landers is an amateur astronomer and telescope maker from Connecticut. He loves observing deep-sky objects through his many telescopes, but the telescopes he uses aren't just any store-bought systems. Zane actually builds his own telescopes from scratch, including the pain-staking process of grinding his own mirrors! He specifically designs dobsonian telescopes, named after the simplistic yet effective design popularized by the late John Dobson. Zane is a bright young mind with a passion for sharing astronomy with the world. You can find Zane and his home-built advanced telescopes in the heart of Tucson where he sets-upon the sidewalks of populated areas on a daily/weekly bases to share the incredible views of the night sky with city-goers completely for free.  Zane has been featured in Sky & Telescope (Sept 2018 and TBA 2019), TIME magazine (Labor Day 2018), National GeographicLa Vanguardia, and Clarin for his homemade telescopes. He has also written over 200 articles and reviews for CloudyNights.com, TelescopeWatch.com and other astronomy websites. Zane is a member of the international Dark Sky Association and promotes Nasa and other space agencies. He is a great addition to our team.

Kira Aragon,

COO

Kira Reid co-created Reach For The Stars with the vision and drive to empower the homeless and low income community through the inspiration of space and with kindness and love. Kira is a Decorated Combat Wounded Warrior Retired Veteran, a mother to 2 boys and lives with her husband and organization partner, Carlos in Vail, Arizona. Kira has gone to school for Military Intelligence Studies, Social Work and even has a CDA in Early Childhood. Starting RFTS was a simple decision after combating alcoholism, giving has always been a core value of hers. She has a love for learning, and signs up for as many courses as she can take on leadership, astronomy, organization, nonprofit structure, Board of Director structures and much more. Kira loves to read and get lost in mysteries. She gives her whole heart to her family and friends, and all of her time to the mission. She is transparent with her struggles and uses the experience gained from them to better herself. There is no-better person to direct the mission then her.

 

“Genuine Kindness is not just what we do, but how we do it and what we allow to shine from within our inner soul... if it is not pure, people will eventually know. Genuine Kindness is actually rare. It takes passion, love, and humility” -Kira Reid

IMG_3594_edited.jpg

Carlos Aragon, 

CEO

"Exploring the universe to inspire those in it"

Carlos Aragon co-created Reach for The Stars with a vision to empower the low-income community, homeless and the public through the uplifting power of astronomy, space, and simple acts of kindness.

Carlos is a Retired Veteran, a stepfather to 2 boys and lives with his girlfriend and nonprofit partner, Kira in Vail, Arizona. Carlos was a Combat Talon 2 and Combat Shadow C-130 aerospace maintenance Journeyman/Crew Chief in the Air Force allowing him to travel the world and visit many different countries during multiple missions and personal time. He obtained his Aerospace Maintenance certifications and became a strong leader while in the 352 Special Operations Group in England. He became trained in various disciplines and has expierianced real-world emergency aircraft situations, soley leading C-130 troubleshooting,and maintenance through to mission success. At the same time, he chose to learn and obtain hist SABC and traumatic first aid instructors certifications, continuing on to train thousands of Airman. While performing his duties, he suffered a severe injury and was medically and honorably retired out of his last base in Tucson AZ. He has been an administrative specialist at Zen Institute, the Program Coordinator and BOD at a Veterans Organization and is now the CEO of Reach for The Stars, Inc.

It was not always like that, however. Carlos fell on hard times soon after leaving the military as he could no longer work due to his injuries as a mechanic. After six years of feeling lost, he found himself addicted to his prescribed pain killers and in the darkest moment in his life. This quickly led him to lose everything he had. Luckily, Carlos found the VA treatment facility for veterans going through crisis, and he chose to turn his life around.

Carlos has worked hard to grasp the positive changes his life had led him to and decided to follow in the footsteps of his partner, Kira by volunteering and giving back. He was reminded of his LDS upbringing feeling as though he was back to a normalcy again. "We have to try and help people going through a crisis. Versus allow them to get to the point where they are sleeping behind Safeway, or harming themselves."

One day, Carlos bought a  small telescope for Urijah, his step-son, and just like that, astronomy became another passion. Carlos and Kira then made the decision to purchase a higher quality telescope and they began sharing their views in the local plaza parking lot. One day they both realized that the beauty of the night sky and its stunning objects took their attention away from any issues they were worrying about, and it all clicked! This was the beginning of the unique mission to use astronomy to help people going through hard times.  

bottom of page