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The Sunshine Therapy Animals organization could not run without our team's hard work and dedication.

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Jackie Vasquez-Lapan

Jackie Vasquez-Lapan believes that every child given the opportunity has the opportunity to be anything they want to be. As a first-generation college graduate, she personally believes in the mission of the Lapan College & Career Club. A Tucson native and daughter of a Wakefield graduate, she has a huge heart for her hometown. Jackie attended Arizona State University on a softball scholarship and was a member of the 2008 National Championship Softball Team. At ASU, she was an all-American, academic all-American and the Pac-12 scholar-athlete of the year. Her time on the field taught her valuable skills like teamwork, leadership and work ethic. Jackie continued her academic career as a graduate assistant at Missouri Western University, where she received a Master's Degree in Education with an emphasis in autism. While in the Midwest, she owned her own softball academy and coached high school girls preparing them for the collegiate softball experience. Before Jackie left Missouri, she registered her first therapy dog, Reba, and began volunteering with her at the Kansas City Ronald McDonald House. Jackie always knew she would return to Tucson and her family. Jackie worked as a special education teacher in TUSD for 6 years before entering the nonprofit world. Jackie was the Executive Director for Gabriel’s Angels of Southern Arizona, a Tucson nonprofit that provided healing pet therapy for at-risk youth. Most recently, Jackie was the National Director of Field Relations for Pet Partners, a national nonprofit that registered therapy animals. It was through Jackie’s work with therapy animals and the creation of the Lapan College & Career Club’s first-ever therapy animal program that she learned about the clubhouse and met the love of her life. Jackie is currently the CEO of the Lapan Sunshine Foundation, Inc. In her role, she works closely with the Director of Strategy and Development to help grow the presence of the foundation throughout the community. Jackie is married to David, and together they share 6 kids. The Lapan’s have 2 dogs who are certified and work in the therapy animal program, Sunny and Dolly. In her spare time, she loves running, eating, traveling and attending country concerts with her husband.

Volunteer Coordinator

Drake Espinosa

As an advocate with a heart devoted to children, Drake enjoys positively impacting young lives. From specializing in special education to running enriching summer programs, he finds immense joy in serving students and helping them achieve their goals. Drakes manages Sunshine Therapy Animals, a sub-organization within the Lapan Sunshine Foundation committed to brightening lives in the Tucson community. Through this role, he can bring the incredible power of dog therapy & provide comfort and healing to those who need it most. Beyond his professional life, Drake is an adventurer at heart. He thrives on exploring new places, immersing himself in diverse musical experiences and sharing memorable moments with cherished friends. Drake is an avid music festival lover, fitness enthusiast and self-proclaimed foodie. He is always on the hunt for the next culinary adventure.



Angelina Contreras

My name is Angelina Contreras, but I am commonly known as Gigi. Currently, I am studying Veterinary Science with a minor in gender and women's studies at the University of Arizona. My goal in life was always to become a veterinarian, specifically in domestics, but with some interest in exotics. Only recently have I discovered my passion to become a veterinarian working with low-income families. Animals have always been my favorite topic to discuss, and I am honored to be able to work for such a wonderful organization that makes a difference in so many lives.

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