Meet the Team
Founder and Director
Vickee is an English as a Second Language professor at a community college in Sacramento. She launched Starting Point in June 2017 after being deeply touched by her refugee students' stories about their lives in their native countries and about their new lives in the U.S. Starting Point is one way she hopes to honor and remember their incredible stories and beautiful lessons about perseverance, strength, hope, and humanity.
As a child of immigrants, Vickee feels a connection with new arrivals and is passionate about helping them begin successful lives in their new country. Along with her husband and three sons, she is excited to reach out to this growing community of newcomers.
Diane has been an educator for over 25 years, serving in varied capacities including classroom teacher, intervention counselor, Drop Out Prevention coordinator, and Positive Behavior Intervention and Supports coach. Her passion is to help foster successful learning environments for all students and being a part of Starting Point is an opportunity to extend her reach and help meet the needs of refugee children.
Diane is honored to be a mother of two wonderful daughters and wife to an amazing husband.
The co-founder of Multi-Cultural Family Matters, Inc. has long been a fitness enthusiast and advocate for healthy living. Rene is a CSUS graduate with over 30 years of experience as a dance instructor, community servant, and activist. Some of her devoted contributions include Sacramento Convoy of Hope organizer of volunteers, High Heels Society board member, Elk Grove Winter Sanctuary for the Homeless board member, Elk Grove Homeless Assistance Resource Team mentor, California Disaster Relief Chaplain, and missions work to Mexico, Guinea, Nigeria, and Ghana.
Debbie has worked in the government sector Information Technology procurement field for 17 years as a buyer and as a manager. She has a long history of community service with Alpha Phi Omega, PTO, and Girl Scouts and held various leadership positions with these organizations. She is proud to help implement Starting Point's vision.
Allen's career in finance spans over two decades and includes positions such as finance analyst to assistant controller. Presently he is working as a revenue operations manager at a local utility company and serves as the finance board advisor for the Elk Grove chapter of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes.
Originally from Afghanistan, Shahpoor has been an integral part of Starting Point from the very beginning and has served as an advisor, community liaison, and interpreter. He arrived as a refugee himself in 2016 and is now making a difference in the community as he tirelessly works to support recent arrivals. He and his family live in the greater Sacramento area.