Outreach Team 

Lora LarsonLora M. Larson, MSW, Director

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Lora M. Larson is the Director of Stockton’s Office of Violence Prevention. Lora has served her community and country for over 25 years. As a combat veteran, Lora served in the United State Navy for ten years. Lora then returned to her hometown of Stockton, where she raised five children while pursuing a bachelor’s degree in child development and a Master of Social Work (MSW). Before joining the Stockton team, Lora spent 15 years serving families and children within child welfare and adult protective services. Lora specializes in harmonizing agency objectives with community interests to achieve new levels of growth and opportunities for the public.

Lora's leadership is driven by the belief that everyone can grow and change when given the opportunity. The success of any organization begins with its people, and Lora strives daily to build relationships and foster leadership at all levels.


Gerardo Ponce, Program Manager II

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Gerardo, a native of Compton, California, spent his formative years in that community. At the age of 17, he relocated to Stockton in 2002, where he played a significant role alongside his father in the construction of what is now recognized as HD Supply. Throughout his life, Gerardo has earned a reputation for his unwavering dedication to helping others, leaving a lasting impact on everyone he encounters. His extensive experience of living and working in diverse environments has equipped him with the knowledge and ability to connect with individuals on a personal level, regardless of their background.

In 2021, Gerardo joined the Office of Violence Prevention, bringing with him more than two decades of experience working with people from all walks of life. His unparalleled aptitude for aiding others is unmatched, as he assumes the position of Assistant to the Director of the Office of Violence Prevention while overseeing all fiscal activities within OVP.


Lindsay Brown, Management Assistant

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Lindsay Brown grew up in Visalia, California. She graduated from Golden West High School where she met and married her high school sweetheart. They share two children.  After High School, Lindsay attended Reedley College and played softball while achieving her A.A. degree in Psychology. She then transferred to California State University, Sacramento where she earned her B.A. in Psychology and went on to obtain her M.A. in Industrial/Organizational Psychology. Since her childhood, Lindsay always knew she wanted to pursue a career in helping those in need and the most vulnerable in our community. Through her experience at the Office of Violence Prevention, San Joaquin Delta Community College, Tulare County Child Welfare Services, and EMQ Families First, she has analyzed, interpreted, and evaluated program performance to ultimately show the impact of meaningful work. As the analyst for the Office of Violence Prevention, she is truly inspired and honored by the innovative work of the Peacekeepers and the impactful gun violence prevention model developed in the City of Stockton. Lindsay is committed to working collaboratively city-wide to empower the highest-risk population to ascertain they are alive, free, and successful.


Jose Gomez, Peacekeeper Outreach CoordinatorJose Gomez, Outreach Supervisor

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Jose Gomez migrated to Stockton from Mexico in 1978 at age 10; by the age of 12, he joined a gang for protection. During his teen years, he was incarcerated, stabbed near his heart by rival gang members, and shot during a drive-by shooting. With the help of a high school teacher and gang detective Dale Wagner, Jose graduated from Edison High School with honors and served four years in the U.S. Marines. Jose earned his A.A. in Sociology from San Joaquin Delta College. From 1991 to 1998, Jose worked as a Probation Aide in the San Joaquin County Juvenile Probation Gang Unit, Intensive Supervision Unit, and Project 654 Unit. In April of 1998, he was hired by the City of Stockton Peacekeepers as a Youth Outreach Worker in charge of the Latino gangs. Jose is also a Leadership Stockton Alumni, Class of 2012. In 1994, Jose received a $50,000 fellowship award from the California Wellness Foundation for his efforts to reduce gang violence.


Andrew Lucero Andrew Lucero, Outreach Supervisor

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Andrew Pedro Lucero was born and raised in the city of Stockton. Andrew attributes his current successes to working with the most vulnerable population from past trials and tribulations. Andrew, at a young age, lost his father and had to witness his older brother sentenced to life in prison for a gun-related crime. With the loss of the two most important male role models in Andrews's life, Andrew took to the streets to deal with his trauma. This led Andrew to a life of pain, suffering, and incarceration. Upon Andrew's release, he began working with a mentor who helped him obtain employment with a community-based probation reentry program. Andrew worked for five years in the AB-109 probation re-entry program and then two years with the AB109 probation Warrant reduction advocacy program until he found his calling with the city of Stockton office of violence prevention in 2019. Andrew started as a Peacekeeper outreach worker and is now an outreach supervisor.


AntoniaAntonia Gilson, Administrative Aide

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Antonia Bernal Gilson was born and raised in East Stockton. She is the youngest of four siblings to attend Edison High School, graduating in 1989. During her years at Edison High, she participated in various sports such as Tennis and Softball.

Shortly after, she obtained her Cosmetology and Barber License and has continued working in a salon for over 29 years.  After that, she participated as a traveling Artistic Director for many years all the while volunteering to better the Stockton community. Antonia has volunteered for her community through the Stockton Homeless Shelter, CASA Program, Oak Park Senior Center, and the Sexual Assault Response Team. She helped create OVP’s Career Closet. You can find her in various news articles about how she benefits her community at home. She also participated as an event coordinator for various campaigns.

In between working at the salon and volunteering with her community, Antonia decided to work on and earn her AA Degree in Interdisciplinary Studies at Delta College. Wanting to continue her work supporting and helping the community, Antonia took the opportunity to join the City of Stockton’s Office of Violence Prevention as a Peacekeeper Outreach Worker.

Although Antonia maintains a busy schedule of volunteer and outreach work. She spends her free time with family, playing softball, building up her family tree, and connecting with families through Ancestry.com.


SokhaSokha Kaz Lek, Outreach Supervisor

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Sokha Kaz Lek is a Peacekeeper for the Office of Violence Prevention who provides education, Life coaching, and support service for our most high-risk population and work to significantly reduce gang/group gun violence within the city of Stockton. Sokha was born in Cambodia and raised straddling old and new cultures in a struggling immigrant household in Stockton. Sokha brings a unique worldview to the work he does to improve his community of Stockton. Sokha has been working in his community for over 17 years and has years of experience working with the highest-risk/ reentry population in the city of Stockton.


Noreak Mao, Outreach Worker

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Noreak is an outreach worker/peacekeeper for the Office of Violence Prevention. He works to significantly reduce gang/group gun violence within the City of Stockton using data-driven partnership programs and strategies to provide education, vital, life coach, and support services for our most high-risk population. Noreak was born in a Cambodian refugee camp in Thailand. Raised in Stockton, CA proud husband and father of 4 boys. Noreak brings with him a versatile vision to the field, and he strives to improve his community in Stockton.


Daniel Bass, Outreach Worker

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Daniel Bass, a Stockton native, has an inspiring story of triumph over adversity. Born into a challenging situation, he became a ward of the state at a young age due to his parents' struggles with drug addiction. After finding stability and love with his foster mother, he was exposed to a dangerous environment upon returning to his father's home, leading to early involvement with gangs and drugs.

At just 13 years old, Daniel had his first encounter with the juvenile justice system, setting off a cycle of repeated incarcerations. Despite intermittent periods of freedom, he remained trapped in his troubled surroundings. After spending three years in the California Youth Authority, he faced another prison term lasting five and a half years following his involvement in criminal activities.

Daniel firmly believes in the power of second chances and is dedicated to helping others discover their own identity and purpose. With nearly two decades of marriage and three children, Daniel is grateful for the opportunity to contribute to the Office of Violence Prevention team, working tirelessly to create safer streets in Stockton. Daniel is a shining example of resilience, hope, and the transformative power of personal growth.


Stanley Thomas, Outreach WorkerStanley Thomas

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Stanly Thomas is an experienced Peacekeeper dedicated to fostering peace and guiding the Stockton community. With over seventeen years of service, he is a trusted figure in creating safer neighborhoods.

Originally from Los Angeles County, Stanly has made San Joaquin County his home for the past two decades. His true purpose lies in empowering at-risk youth, helping them break free from violence and build brighter futures.

As a Peacekeeper and local football coach, Stanly actively supports young individuals, recognizing the transformative power of sports and mentorship. He creates a positive environment that instills respect, discipline, and teamwork. Stanly advocates for active community engagement with at-risk youth susceptible to gang and gun violence. He believes in the power of action to bring about real change, urging individuals to invest their time and energy in guiding, mentoring, and supporting those in need. A Stockton community role model, Stanly exemplifies dedicated individuals' transformative impact on at-risk youth. Through his unwavering dedication, he drives efforts toward Stockton’s safer communities.


 Mario Ware, Outreach Worker 

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Mario Ware was born and raised in East Palo Alto, CA, where he was raised by a single mother who passed away when he was just 15 years old. From that point on, he had to navigate life on his own. He eventually moved to Stockton, where he became a troubled youth, even experiencing the tragic loss of a brother to gun violence. Today, Mario is a devoted husband and father of three and takes pride in his newborn grandson.

For 20 years, Mario served as a barber in the community, catering to individuals who were considered high-risk. Some of his clients were living on the edge, so he invested considerable time and effort in encouraging them to recognize their potential for change. He firmly believes anyone can turn their life around with dedication and commitment.

Having personally walked in the shoes of those facing similar challenges, he understands the impact of trauma on one's life. While he has encountered significant adversity, he firmly believes that our past traumas do not define us but shape the individuals we aspire to become. His journey has led him to a deep commitment to helping others overcome their traumas and move toward a more positive future.

Through his work as a Peacekeeper, Mario is dedicated to making a difference in the lives of those affected by violence and trauma, fostering a community where everyone can find their path to healing and growth.


 Anthony Valdez, Outreach Worker 

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 Antonio Hernandez, Outreach Worker

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Antonio Hernandez Jr., a devoted husband and proud father of three daughters, was born in Stockton, CA, to first-generation Latino parents. His early life was filled with challenges, including gang involvement and substance abuse struggles. However, twelve years ago, a transformative encounter with God profoundly changed his life, redirecting his path toward embracing love, community service, and personal growth.

Motivated by his own experiences, Antonio strives to prevent others from falling into the grips of gangs and violence. He emphasizes opportunities for those willing to persevere and go the extra mile through his work.

With a bachelor’s degree in theology and leadership, Antonio’s life journey is to inspire others, empowering them to believe in themselves and embrace hope for a brighter tomorrow. Antonio's unwavering commitment to making a difference and his dedication to loving people and his community exemplify his profound impact as a catalyst for positive change.


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This City of Stockton web page last reviewed on --- 7/16/2023