Anita Galeana & Juan Jaen
The Bella Charitable Foundation was founded by husband and wife team Juan Jaen and Anita Galeana. Juan was the oldest of four children and was born in a small port town in Southern Spain. His family relocated to Madrid when he was a young boy, so that he and his siblings could get a better education and attend college.
He graduated from high school at age 16 and earned a scholarship with AFS to attend one year of high school in Livonia, Michigan. That year, while attending a new school in a foreign country, he learned how to speak English and he met his future wife, Anita.
After spending one year of high school in the U.S., he returned home to Madrid and was the first in his family to receive a college degree from the Universidad Complutense in 1980. Juan returned to Michigan to attend graduate school at the University of Michigan, where he received a Ph.D. in Organic Chemistry 10 years after first arriving in the U.S.
Juan and Anita married in 1981 after Anita finished her Bachelor of Science in Nursing. The couple settled in Ann Arbor, Michigan, so that Juan could finish his degree while Anita worked as an Intensive Care Nurse in Cardiology at the University of Michigan Medical Center. A few years later, Juan began his medicinal chemistry career at Warner-Lambert Parke-Davis, also located in Ann Arbor.
Eventually the couple moved to the San Francisco Bay Area so that Juan could pursue a career in biotechnology. Anita retired from her nursing career to stay at home to raise their four children, while pursuing piano studies through the Adult Extension Division at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music.
Juan has been engaged in all aspects of drug discovery and development for more than 30 years. Since 2015, he has been leading Research & Development (R&D) in the area of cancer immunotherapies at Arcus Biosciences, a start-up company he co-founded in 2015. Prior to that, he was co-founder and President/Head of R&D at Flexus Biosciences.
Throughout the years, Anita worked with several non-profit organizations in her community, dedicated to education. Anita and Juan now run the Bella C. Foundation with help from their four grown children. Their greatest joy in life is their family and helping a new generation of youth attend and succeed in school, college and life.
Grace Jaen is the Director of Education for the Colorado programs. Her educational background is in non-profit business management, with a Master's in Education.
Her goal when developing curriculum is to provide hands-on, experiential learning opportunities that expose children to different ways of thinking and understanding the world. She strives to create educational spaces that address critical social topics that are often left out of the traditional educational system.
Her belief is education should be centered on the social emotional skill sets that children need not only to succeed in the world, but skills that are critical to their mental health and to the future of our planet.
She has lived in Denver, Colorado since 2016 and embraces all that the outdoors has to offer, including: hiking, paddle boarding, camping and snowshoeing. In her spare time, Grace can be found playing with her five nieces and nephews.