Founded with the mission of promoting awareness and action in support of Special Education.
We aim to create diverse and inclusive schools serving children with special needs in countries with minimal access to such educational environment.



    children with special needs, up to the age of 22


    advocacy, training & collaboration




    A group of volunteers bound by the same cause


Aida Amare

Founder and CEO
Mrs Aida Amare is the Founder and CEO of Hope for Special Education, Inc. She received her B.S. degree in Accounting and worked as a financial auditor of Housing and Urban Development. Mrs Amare received her training on Applied Behavioral Analysis at the UCLA Early Childhood Partial Hospitalization Program.
Her passion for Advocacy for Educational Programs for Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and other Developmental Disabilities stems from a very personal source. She has a 14-year-old son with ASD. Mrs Amare has 12 years of experience living with, supporting, and working collaboratively with teachers, school districts, service providers, and the community on the education and programs of her son as well as other children thereafter.
Mrs Amare serves as an Advocacy Ambassador with Autism Speaks. She served on panels at Walnut Valley Unified School District (WVUSD), which was successful in reducing the number of transitions for children with disabilities between schools and programs. Mrs Amare is a presenter during Disability Awareness Month at school districts within East San Gabriel Valley SELPA. She also works to support activities on behalf of students with exceptional needs as the Representative of WVUSD with the SELPA’s Community Advisory Committee. Over the years, Mrs Amare has received several awards for the extraordinary work she has done serving her community, her school district and SELPA.
Mrs Amare established a classroom for students with disabilities at a religious organization, where she co-develops, teaches and oversees the Sunday School Program for children with ASD.
In December 2019, Mrs Amare coordinated and took a team of professionals to Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, to provide Autism and Behavioral Management Training. She presented at Addis Ababa University and Black Lion Hospital, a parent’s point of view and personal journey of autism. She was also part of a focus group at Kotebe Metropolitan University, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, to talk about and answer questions on ASD.

Sharon Floyd

Director of Education
Ms. Floyd is the Director of Education for Hope for Special Education. She has a B.A. in Psychology and a M.Ed. Degree in Education. In addition, she holds Education Specialist teaching credential for elementary through transition, Multiple Subject, Early Childhood, and Elementary Moderate Severe. She is trained in TEACCH (Treatment and Education of Autistic and Related Communication handicapped Children), Advanced Level TEACCH, Picture Exchange Communication Systems Advanced Level, and Discrete Trial Training.
Ms. Floyd has 25 years of teaching experience in Special Education. Instructional levels included Resource Specialists, Self-contained, Inclusion setting with expertise in Autism Spectrum Disorder. As a Program Specialist for ASD, she provided training and consultation for teachers, instructional assistants, related service providers, and administrators.
Ms. Floyd was a team member in the development of Programs which were designed to meet the specific needs of the Autism Spectrum Disorder population. She served as ASD Program Coordinator for 31 classes in the East San Gabriel Valley SELPA, Los Angeles County. Ms. Floyd was a Leadership Team member for CAPTAIN (California Autism Professional Training and Information Network), which provided training in the implementation of Evidence Based Practices for ASD.
Ms. Floyd presented at the International Association of Special Education, (IASE), Biennial Conference in Windhoek, Namibia. She provided a two-day training on Autism and Behavioral Management at Addis Ababa University in Ethiopia.

Luis Jimenez

Board Member
Luis Jimenez has over twenty years of digital marketing and product management experience. He holds a B.S. in Business Administration with an emphasis in Management Information Systems from California State University, Northridge. Luis was born in Colombia, South America, and emigrated to the U.S. in the early eighties.

He has spent half his career running his own marketing agencies and the other half working for large global marketing and advertising agencies, serving clients like World Wildlife Fund, Audi, Nike, Levi’s, and others. Most recently, Luis was recruited by Google to lead the launch of the Google Assistant Smart Displays and is currently the Head of Creative Program Management for the Google Cloud brand. Luis has a passion for education and promoting diversity, equity and inclusion. He is excited to take a hands-on role to support HFSE’s mission

Samson Tilahun

Treasurer and Fundraising Coordinator
Mr. Tilahun is alumnus of California State University-Northridge, with a degree in Business Administration, International Business option. Since 2005, Mr. Tilahun has held concurrent positions with Oceanside Homehealth Inc and Enterprise Holdings LLC, as a member of the Human Resources & Payroll Department, and the Rental Sales Team, respectively, where he was responsible for generating a million dollars in annual sales for the last five years.

Marylyn Tilahun

Secretary and Special Projects Coordinator
Mrs. Tilahun has 8 years prior experience working with government agencies and non-profit organizations overseas, implementing special programs for underprivileged youth. Currently, Since 2010 she has been in the financial services industry involved with faith-based, immigrant community organizations and individual families working towards the goal of bringing financial education and world-class financial services to every home. Mrs. Tilahun is an alumna of Ohio University with a degree in International Affairs, focused on International Development Studies.

Samuel Tesfay, MD.

Board Member and Physician
Samuel Tesfay, MD, is a physician currently working in The Permanente Medical Group (TPMG) in Walnut Creek, CA. He is a board-certified gastroenterologist working as a clinician involved in active patient care servicing a large population within Central and East Contra Costa and Tri-Valley Area of Alameda County (Diablo Service Area) in Northern California. Dr. Tesfay, was born in Ethiopia and came to the United States in 1989, graduated from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) School of Medicine in 2001 and continued his medical profession in Internal Medicine and specialized in Gastroenterology. He has been practising in the field of gastroenterology since 2008 and is currently serving as a Director of Inflammatory Bowel Disease for the Diablo Service Area within TPMG.

Hagerey Mengistu

Board Member and Special Education Attorney
Miss Hagerey Mengistu has helped and continues to help clients in the areas of Special Education, SPED, and Immigration Law by representing and guiding students and parents in the Due Process Request and hearings as well as educating and empowering parents to advocate for their children. She attends IEP meetings and develops and implements SPED advocacy presentations at local community organizations. Miss Mengistu is currently the Principal Attorney at the Law Offices of Hagerey A. Mengistu since 2013 and an alumna of the San Diego State University, graduating Cum Laude, and the California Western School of Law.