PunkHire: Director/Background

Danny A. Zepeda (Chair/Founder)

Danny provides and keeps PunkHire's vision strong and alive. He is responsible for the overall direction of the non-profit organization, as he encourages creative thinking which appeals to today's youth. He oversees board meetings and motivates the executive team. Danny is responsible for incorporation and non-profit paper work and status, and is the liaison to government overseers. He established and maintains the current PunkHire website to keep the community informed as he seeks and establishes support with the community.


Danny Zepeda

Danny is currently an electrical engineer for the Valero Refinery located in Benicia, California. Although this young professional finds himself busy most days of the week including extracurricular activities, he understands the importance of giving his time to help today's youth excel towards a career path they are passionate about.

Danny's journey to establish himself and get him to where he is today was a long one. Danny attend Palomar Community College close to home, then went on to transfer to Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, majoring in Electrical Engineering. He graduated with a Bachelors of Science in the spring of 2011, becoming the first college graduate in his family.

Danny has always been a self-starter and considers himself fortunate to have known what his career passion was at an early age, thus allowing him to start preparing early. As a young child Danny would build forts, skate ramps, and take apart electronics. In high school Danny interned at the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station Power Plant where he was first introduced to various engineering and technician occupations. At Palomar College, Danny founded and led the Palomar Engineering Physics Student Organization (PEPSO). At Cal Poly San Luis Obispo Danny quickly involved himself with the Electrical Engineering Department Power Program where he would become the president of the Power Energy Society (PES) club. With the help of his board and his Vice President Jameson Thornton, they were the first Cal Poly club to participate in a solar installation with GRID Alternative, the first to start an annual Cal Poly Power & Energy Society Conference, which ultimately attracted more student interest to the club. While in college, Danny earn himself a summer intern position with San Diego Gas & Electric by going beyond the traditional format of a resume, which included photos and film documentation of projects and experience he had been involved with. He used this same technique to apply for jobs where he received full-time job offers from SDG&E and Valero, upon graduation from college.

Danny knows the struggle of rejection first-hand, as it took him multiple attempts to become president of PES, to receive his SDG&E internship, and acceptance from Cal Poly SLO. However, he had a burning passion to succeed, and never took no for an answer. Ultimately, he wants to share his experiences and skills he has learned to help today's youth be successful in professions that interest them.


Jameson Thornton (Co-Chair/CFO):

Jameson was recruited by Danny Zepeda as his Co-Chair, as he had a deep passion to help others and a strong work ethic working as Danny's vice president in a successful engineering club, Power Energy Society. Jameson is responsible for program/company branding and helps plan expansions and coordinates with other officers and directors. He oversees and maintains by-laws and other internal company documents pertaining to structure of major department heads.


Jameson Thornton

Jameson comes from a modest family background where he was the first to attend and finish college. While his talents and desires led him to this path, his family was not able to support him with the knowledge and guidance that he would later discover on his own and with the help of professors and career guidance counselors.

Jameson was taught as a youth that merely getting good grades would enable a person to get a good job; but he learned that in reality this was not that simple. After a couple of years in college he discovered that to be competitive with other students grades would not be enough. He realized that taking on leadership positions in clubs, and having work experience in related fields through summer internships would give him a much better chance at achieving the jobs he desired.

While at Santa Rosa Junior College, Jameson became the Secretary/Treasurer of "The Engineering Club" and helped to resurrect the long dormant club. He helped bring excitement and enthusiasm among the students and yielded a modest nine foot clock tower donated to the Engineering department, which stands outside of Shuhaw Hall at the Santa Rosa campus. After transferring to Cal Poly SLO, Jameson continued his academic success and eventually became highly involved with the Power and Energy Society student branch. He eventually became the Vice President of the club (along with Danny Zepeda) and increased membership and influence of the club dramatically, from the once unknown club that met for pizza once a month, to a club that held career informational sessions attended by sixty plus students. The club also held industry tours, and helped over twenty students get internships and full-time jobs related to the power industry. While doing all of this Jameson also taught a freshman lab course and managed to complete his Master's thesis early. He was awarded "Outstanding Graduate Student" in the Electrical Engineering Department at Cal Poly.

Jameson is currently working full-time for PG&E, and is excited about his next opportunity to educate and inspire young adults to achieve great things.


PunkHire Officers Needed:

PunkHire seeks local leaders to help young individuals find their career passion before they graduate from high school. If you have a strong passion for helping and mentoring students, have experience in non-profit organizations and community involvement, and would like to be part of a new innovative organization, you may want to consider volunteering for an open officer position. Be part of the solution in directing young adults to a career that they love!

Available Officer Positions:

Secretary Wanted


- Responsible for sending out meeting notices and agendas;
- Keeps track of and sends out meeting minutes to Board of Directors and other officers;
- Keeps records of address and contact information for Board of Directors and other officers;
- Keeps contact information of partners and donors to PunkHire.

Treasurer Wanted


- Creates budgets to present to board of directors;
- Maintains company bank account;
- Maintains non-profit status, update on laws and IRS measures regarding use of funds and contributions;
- Seeks additional corporate donors, support, and contributions and coordination with P2P Program Director.

Program Coordinator Wanted


- Responsible to run P2P programs, Summer Mosh Program and Pro-Development Program;
- Delegate and assign volunteers to establish successful programs;
- Supervise and make sure all programs are running efficiently;
- Keep good communication with the board of directors.

PunkHire Programs


PunkHire: 2014-2015

Punks 2 Professionals program, a ten-month rotational internship program where high school seniors will be selected to rotate through various temporary occupations to expose them to different professional fields.

Summer Mosh Program

Summer of 2014

Summer week program where students will learn about various professions and engage in activities that will teach them about various career opportunities.


Summer of 2014

Once a month, PunkHire provides tutorials showing young adults techniques and various other methods and tips to increase student's professionalism.