Gino was born and raised in Oakland, California, a city that has provided profound life lessons on culture and social justice. The powerful connection between the former and the latter was illuminated throughout his childhood at La Pena Cultural Center in Berkeley. His formal education took place at UC Santa Cruz, where walks through the forest cultivated a passion for environmental awareness, and a summer abroad in Barcelona inspired an insatiable appetite for travel. After completing a B.A. in psychology, Gino spent two years in South America and Asia, teaching English, learning Spanish and Portuguese, attempting to learn Mandarin, and photographing everything in between.
Back in his hometown, he supported the launch of a new elementary school in East Oakland and educated thousands of California voters about environmental action before finding his calling in youth social entrepreneurship. Based on the belief that the people most impacted by the problems are the ones best equipped to create innovative and sustainable solutions, he has spent most of the last 4 years supporting Bay Area youth to launch their own social enterprises. As co-director of Youth SEED, he continues to unite his passions for social justice, environmental awareness and youth development to inspire the next generation.