MEET THE BREAKFAST CLUB
Chelsea Aiken received her B.A. in Psychology with a concentration in Early Childhood Development from Georgetown University. Originally from Hudson, Ohio, she moved to Los Angeles in August of 2010. Ms. Aiken has over 7 years of experience working with youth from all over the world, from Washington, D.C. to Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. Prior to joining EduCare in October of 2013, Ms. Aiken worked for a negotiation consulting firm and two Los Angeles-based non-profits supporting children with autism and their families. She now coordinates EduCare’s Communications Department and plays an integral role in the Foundation’s marketing and fund development efforts.
Santa Ana, CA
Steven Amick is the Director of Policy and Partnerships for THINK Together. He has served youth for over 20 years in various direct service and administrative positions. He played an integral role implementing the work of the San Diego Afterschool Consortium, and has been active in the expanded learning policy field since 2005, having served on several state and national advisory committees. He lives in Irvine with his wife Jan, and son Oliver.
San Jose, CA
Diego Arancibia has worked in the field of After-School for over 15 years. His experience ranges from working with elementary, middle school and high school students at the various programmatic and administrative levels. His innovative methods in marketing and programming has produced some of the most successful programs in the nation. Also, he has traveled across the nation training youth program advocates in consensus building, action planning, programming. Currently, Diego is the Director with ASAPConnect and lives in the Bay Area with his beautiful wife and his amazing son and daughter.
Co-Founder & CEO
Mike Ashcraft, M.A. is the Co-Founder & CEO of Children's Choice in Albuquerque NM. He is a doctoral of education candidate with NSU. He has more than 20 years of experience in the profession. He is a former trainer & professional writing contractor for the NM Department of Education, adjunct professor at Concordia University (teaching courses in afterschool programming), Accreditation Endorser for NAA, & President of both NMSACA & NMAEYC. He is the author of Best Practices: Guidelines for School-Age Programs published by Sparrow Media Group.
As Executive Director of the Community Division, Jenna oversees community education and recreational programs for youth and adults, student wellness policy and programming; local business partnerships and global education partnerships.
Prior to AAPS, Jenna served as a health educator, program planner and manager in the Washtenaw County government. She has 20 years of experience in program development, implementation and evaluation; grant writing and management; supervision and budget management. She holds a Master of Public Health and a Master of Social Work from the University of Michigan and is licensed in Macro Social Work.
Follow her on Twitter: @A2RecDirect.
Katherine E. Bihr, Ed.D.
Vice President, Programs & Education
Tiger Woods Foundation
Dr. Bihr is the Vice President of Programs and Education for the Tiger Woods Foundation, an educational nonprofit that has brought interactive STEM programs and curriculum to over 150,000 underserved students across the country. She has served in this role for over 12 years. Her responsibilities include providing direction to the personnel, programs and operations of both the TGR Learning Lab and the Earl Woods Scholar Program.
Dr. Bihr serves on the board of directors for Project Tomorrow which supports the innovative uses of science, math and technology resources in K-12 schools and communities. She also serves on the National STEM Funders Network Executive Committee, focusing on the development of communities of practice around the country.
Dr. Bihr is currently an adjunct faculty member at the University of Southern California's Rossier School of Education, providing instruction for doctoral candidates in creativity, innovation and entrepreneurship in education. She has been recognized for her work on the Board of Councilors for the Rossier School of Education at USC as well as the USC Alumni Board of Governors.
In addition, she sits on the Department of Education Leadership Council for the University of California, Irvine and California State University, Fullerton. In Washington, DC, she is Immediate Past-Chairman of the Board of Trustees for the Cesar Chavez Charter Schools for Public Policy. Dr. Bihr has presented at the United States Department of Education and was an invited panelist in an International Education Forum at the United States Department of Education in November of 2008, focused on Fostering Global Responsibility and Leadership. She is the recent recipient of the Daughters of the American Revolution's Women in History Award, presented by the John Greenleaf Whittier Chapter.
Prior to joining the Tiger Woods Foundation, she was the Principal of Vista View Middle School in Fountain Valley, CA. While there the school received recognition as a California Distinguished School, and Dr. Bihr was recognized for her leadership by the Council for Special Education. Additionally, she served on the Superintendent's Cabinet in the Ocean View School District providing guidance in the areas of physical education and the visual/performing arts.
Her undergraduate degree in kinesiology was completed at Long Beach State University and she holds a Masters of Educational Administration from Azusa Pacific University. Dr. Bihr received a doctorate in Educational Leadership from the University of Southern California, Rossier School of Education.
Senior Director, Expanded Learning Time Opportunities
Partnership for Children and Youth
Katie joined the Bay Area Partnership in 2004, and directs the Expanded Learning Initiatives. She has helped hundreds of school and community-based after school programs develop sustainability plans; plan and submit 21st CCLC and Prop.49/ASES grants; access additional funding sources; and improve their program practices. Katie also supports the Partnership’s work to develop and improve policies that make out-of-school time programming more accessible and effective. Katie has been teaching, managing and providing technical assistance to after school programs since 1990.
Julia Crawford is a dance educator and restorative movement artist based in Beaver Falls, PA. She has a Master of Arts Degree from Eastern University in Urban Studies: Community Arts where she received an Outstanding Thesis award. She graduated cum laude from Temple University with a BFA in dance where she received the BFA outstanding dance performance award. She is a teaching artist and trainer for BuildaBridge International, working with Bhutanese refugee children in South Philadelphia, as well as refugee women who have survived torture from all over the world. Also with BuildaBridge, she has had the opportunity to work with survivors of sexual violence in Bukavu, Democratic Republic of Congo and Bangkok, Thailand using dance and creative movement to foster hope and healing. She has worked in an arts-integrated early-childhood program using dance to support academic learning, she has worked with older adults using dance to support and build community, and she continues to hold healing movement workshops for several community organizations seeking to use the arts to nurture young people.
Elizabeth is a dedicated youth services professional with two decades of government and nonprofit experience. She is also a trained speaker with a passion for facilitating conversations around career exploration, building social capital, engaging corporate partners and empowering youth workers. Elizabeth holds Bachelor’s Degree from Knox College and both a Graduate Certificate in Nonprofit Management and a Master's of Public Affairs from the School of Public and Environmental Affairs at Indiana University-IUPUI. She founded ECD Strategies in 2016 to works with nonprofits to develop their connections, focus, people and resources to support sustainable impact. In her spare time, she an avid urban gardener, cook/baker and local sports fanatic (Go Pacers!).
More recently, Jeff has implemented a school-year long pilot effort (JumpStarting STEM) impacting over 280 after school program sites, and training over 500 after school staff to offer 30-60 hours of STEM learning opportunities for the youth in their programs. He continues this work directing the Power of Discovery: STEM2 initiative in collaboration with the California STEM Learning Network. In this role, he has also served on Superintendent Tom Torlakson’s STEM Task force, a 50-member team charged with creating a blueprint for STEM education in California, as well as the CDE STEM Symposium planning group. Most recently, he was honored to serve the California Department of Education After School Programs Division Strategic Implementation and Planning team. He also collaborated closely with statewide leaders to design the recently released Quality Standards for Expanded Learning in California.
Tara Donahue, Ph.D., managing evaluator, performs a variety of functions at McREL. She conceptualizes, manages, and conducts research and evaluation projects on several different education-related programs. Examples of her work at McREL include managing the external evaluation of an Investing in Innovation (i3) grant focused on improving college and career readiness in six high schools in Jefferson County Public Schools (Louisville, KY), overseeing two Teacher Quality Partnership evaluation projects in Kentucky and Virginia, and leading the evaluation of two Trade Adjustment Assistance Community College and Career Training grants in Missouri and Tennessee. Management of these projects includes designing, conducting and analyzing interviews and surveys with a variety of stakeholders, analyzing and reporting on student achievement measures, and submitting annual reports. Additionally, Tara leads proposal writing teams on content development, evaluation design, and budgets for submission to a wide variety of clients and funding sources, such as the U.S. Department of Education, the U.S. Department of Labor, and the National Science Foundation.
Prior to joining McREL, Tara’s work focused on out-of-school time and extended learning evaluation, professional development, and technical assistance. She has worked extensively with the federally-funded 21st Century Community Learning Centers program on the local, state, and national level. She has provided workshops and seminars to adult learners on a variety of education topics related to extended learning, including how to use program evaluation data for sustainability. She has presented at several national out-of-school time conferences, including the National Aftershool Association, the Best of Out School Time (BOOST), and Foundations, Inc.. Tara has also had papers accepted and has presented at the American Evaluation Association and American Education Research Association, where her team won a Publication Award from Division H in 2014. Dr. Donahue holds a B.A. in English and psychology from Vanderbilt University and a Ph.D. in educational policy from Michigan State University.
Director of After School Programs
Visalia Unified School District
Frank currently serves as the Manager of After School Programs at Visalia Unified School District in Visalia, CA. as well as speaker, trainer and consultant for the after school and youth development fields.
A popular speaker and trainer at school assemblies, youth and after school conferences, Frank has spoken to thousands of middle and high school youth and trained hundreds of educators and youth program workers across the country.
A former collegiate and professional football player, Frank realized his passion for working with youth during his high school years mentoring younger
athletes. Knowing one day he'd be hanging up his football cleats for a more practical profession, Frank obtained his degree in Health Education from Austin Peay State University in Clarksville, TN.
With almost 20 years of service in his community, Frank is a popular conference emcee, having hosted events such as the Tulare County Step Up Youth Challenge Awards, Tulare County Hispanic Leadership Network Awards, Tulare County Hispanic Heritage Awards, Tulare County Red Ribbon Week event, just to name a few.
Having founded a business and launched a non-profit, Frank is actively involved in various after school and education boards, including the Central Valley Afterschool Foundation, ASAP Connect, the California AfterSchool Network and the Tulare County Hispanic Leadership Network in which he co-coordinated in 2009. Frank has also participated in a number of state-wide committees and community initiatives, including member of the California Department of Education's After School Division Strategic Planning Team, Co-chair for the California AfterSchool Network, Advisory Member for After School Assistance Provider Connect (ASAP Connect), member of the California Older Youth Committee, member of the California Afterschool Quality Standards Workgroup, member of the Tulare County Step Up Executive Committee and member of the Visalia Multi-agency Gang Taskforce.
Frank brings years of experience, knowledge and know-how, but most of all a passion for serving and working with community and people like you and I who serve today's children and youth.
Matthew Farber, Ed.D. is a social studies teacher at Valleyview Middle School in Denville, New Jersey. He is also an adjunct instructor at New Jersey City University, a part-time lecturer at Rutgers University, an Edutopia blogger, and cohost on Ed Got Game on the BAM Radio Network. Dr. Farber was a recipient of a Geraldine R. Dodge Teacher Fellowship, a Woodrow Wilson HistoryQuest Fellowship, and is a Certified BrainPOP Educator and a PBS Local Digital Innovator. He lives in New Jersey with his wife, Laura, son, Spencer, and playful Weimaraner dog, Lizzie.
Dr. Andi Fletcher
Center for Collaborative Solutions
Dr. Andi Fletcher is a nationally recognized leader in afterschool program and policy development. In additional to designing, directing and developing one of the most outstanding programs in the country, she initiated California’s first afterschool legislation, which has resulted in $550 million in funding for programs serving close to a million children and young people. As a consultant, coach and mentor, she has worked closely with 180 programs and led six national, statewide and regional learning communities. Over 20,000 people have attended her workshops and keynote speeches at more than 150 conferences. Her books and articles are among the most widely used in the United States. A Guide to Developing Exemplary Practices in Afterschool Programs, Lessons in Leadership and Expand and Excel: Taking your Program to the Next Level can be purchased at Amazon.com or AfterschoolSolutions.org. Her most recent book, Changing Lives, Saving Lives, is available at AfterschoolSolutions.org.
Founder and President
San Diego, CA
When Chad was in high school he was forced to endure what he calls, "lame school assemblies." Because of that, he decided to develop a program that would inspire students to dream big with their life and overcome obstacles with culturally relevant methods. He's spoken to over 500,000 students through the years. Chad, his wife Nicole, and two daughters live in San Diego, CA.
Recently, Julia was awarded the Women Making a Difference by U.S. Senator of California Lou Correa for her contributions in youth programming in Orange County, CA. In, 2013 Julia received the OSTI award from BOOST for her contribution to out-of-school time individuals by providing innovative approaches to support students, families and communities.
As the Director of Education at WRiTE BRAiN WOLRD Julia is expanding and introducing WRiTE BRAiN BOOKS curriculum into education communities who will inspire creativity with their students while applying project- based learning, 21st Century skills and build self-esteem. In only one year, WRiTE BRAiN BOOKS is being implemented in 35 states with 33,000 student becoming published authors of their own children’s book.
While at the Tiger Woods Foundation, Julia launched a college internship program for sports management, hospitality, event planning and marketing majors from universities across the country. Julia develops specialized programs ranging from activity based curriculum in a variety of different educational areas to creating a colligate mentor program. Starting in 2006, Julia managed a national character education program called- Tiger's Action Plan, a free youth development curriculum that focuses on leadership, goal setting, service learning and career exploration. Prior to joining TWF, Julia was a Coordinator for the After School All Stars in Los Angeles, where she taught a range of middle school enrichment classes- from personal leadership to sports, to performance and visual art classes.
Julia currently trains and facilitates workshops for educators, mentor professionals and students. She develops implementation strategies across the nation for several types of educational programs in order to enhance student success towards a productive future.
Julia has been teaching/leading groups since she was a teenager working alongside her mother, who is an acting teacher and coach in the USA and Europe. Julia has served as a trainer/facilitator in disguised learning and cultural diversity throughout California. In 2009, Julia received the Honored Educator Award from California State Fullerton University for dedication to education in Orange County, CA. Miss Gabor is a graduate of the State University of New York, Fredonia receiving her bachelor's degree in the Fine Arts. She received her Master’s in Educational Leadership from Antioch University in 2012.
Dr. Annemarie M. Grassi has served as the Chief Executive Officer of Open Doors Academy (ODA) for the past twelve years. She is a dynamic and caring individual who works passionately and tirelessly to build this successful organization, which was once earmarked for closure. At 23-years-old, she started the non-profit ODA and grew it from 20 kids to over 500 kids annually. Today, ODA is thriving and she has an exceptional relationship with inner city students in providing friendship, caring and directing programs, which help them believe in themselves to graduate high school and go on to college. To say that Dr. Gassi has made a difference in hundreds of challenged students' lives... is an understatement.
Dr. Grassi holds a Bachelor of Arts with Honors in Psychology from Ohio University, Upon completion of her degree, Dr. Grassi attended the University of Pennsylvania, where she received her Masters of Science in Education in Child and Adolescent Psychology. In addition to her master's degree, Dr. Grassi holds a Certificate in Non Profit Management from Case Western Reserve University and a Ph.D. in Urban Education from Cleveland State University. Dr. Grassi currently serves as the Funding and Policy Chair for the Ohio Afterschool Network, serves on the executive committee and steering committee of the Slavic Village P-16 Council, is the recipient of the Treumart Foundation and Mandel Center for Nonprofit Organization's Youth Resiliency Fellowship and is a trained facilitator in the Youth Resiliency Model. Dr. Grassi is the recipient of the 2014 Crain's Cleveland 40 under 40, the 2012 Athena Young Professional Leadership Award, a two-time recipient of the Cleveland Young Professionals 20/30 Club Movers and Shakers Award, was selected as a 2013 "One to Watch" by Crain's Cleveland. Dr. Grassi speaks locally, regionally, and nationally on the importance of creating a safe culture for our youth, promoting education, and building strong nonprofits.
Jill Gordon is the Program Director for the Youth Philanthropy Initiative of Indiana (YPII). Locally based in Indianapolis, Indiana and nationally connected, YPII is a signature program of the Indiana Philanthropy Alliance. Jill oversees YPII's role in providing trainings, resources, technical assistance and best practices to nonprofits and foundations promoting and supporting youth philanthropy efforts. Jill brings over 15 years of experience in the nonprofit arena, with a strong focus on program and curriculum development, training and evaluation, grant proposal development and management, and general nonprofit management. Previously she served as the Public and Youth Program Coordinator at The Children's Museum of Indianapolis where she developed and implemented events for diverse community audiences and managed the Museum Apprentice Program, a hands-on, project-based program for teenagers.
Daniel W. Hatcher
National Healthy Out-of-School Time Advisor
Alliance for a Healthier Generation
Daniel W. Hatcher serves as National Healthy Out-of-School Time Advisor for the Alliance for a Healthier Generation. At the Alliance, Daniel supports community based organizations to ensure out-of-school time settings promote healthy development of all young people. Daniel joined the Alliance from Youth Service American where he served as Director of Outreach. Daniel holds a B.A. in International Relations and a Master of Public Health with a concentration in Health Education, both from Western Kentucky University. Daniel is a skilled facilitator for both adults and youth with extensive experience speaking at local, regional and national conferences, including state-level afterschool association meetings, and numerous youth-serving organization national conferences.
Eric has worked in education for over 25 years, in different kinds of organizations and positions. At Start Engineering, he writes a blog looking at the "E" in STEM from all kinds of angles, including teaching and learning, diversity, policy, and its generally underappreciated relevance to our daily lives. He also speaks widely on the topic at meetings, manages the company's social media profile, and conducts independent and collaborative research on the place of engineering in formal and informal K-12 learning environments. With only two-and-a-half staff members, Start Engineering offers many learning opportunities in and of itself.
He has launched and led varied learning enterprises, including both online and in-person activities. These programs have included everything from integrated, cross-platform, Internet-based education programs to projects involving contributors from multiple organizations to classroom-style education and outreach activities. He taught college-level English for seven years, including both literature and writing courses.
He has a partially concealed past in lobbying at state and federal levels for educational organizations, too, but he's waiting for the right time to talk more about that.
Sue Jin Kim
ASES Prep, Norwalk-La Mirada Unified School District
Sue Jin Kim is an educator, writer, and performing artist. Sue Jin is a Program Director for ASES Prep, the After School Education and Safety Prepartory for the Norwalk La-Mirada Unified School District, which won the Golden Bell Award in 2012 in the category of Closing the Achievement Gap. She is working on her Doctorate of Education at the University of Southern California and serves as a Board Member for Alta Public Schools. Her life's work is to infuse social justice education into K-12 curriculum while enhancing the quality of after school intervention programs.
Jeffrey L. Jordan
CEO Sportika, Founder Kid-Grit, Founder, Nourished Life Design
Jeffrey L. Jordan is a passionate social entrepreneur who has spent the last 15 years building a holistic health, wellness, and life-coaching practice. He specializes in holistic youth development, mentoring, and kinetic life coaching. His mission is dedicated to a Mind, Body, Spirit approach to personal empowerment and life balance. In 2005, Mr. Jordan established The Goodworx Foundation, a non-profit organization that provided mentoring and educational services to children and young adults. Under his direction, Goodworx developed the MTC Program (Mentoring, Tutoring, and Life-Skills Coaching services) and partnered with the Board of Education in New Jersey to provide unique life-skills curriculum to over 750 children annually and an additional 500 student-athletes on the University level over a period of 6 years.
In 2011, Mr. Jordan founded Nourished Life Design, a holistic health, wellness, and life coaching practice with a focus on the development and balance of the Mind, Body, and Spirit. NLD currently provides personal and group health, wellness, and life coaching services to clients ranging from the age of 11-73 years young. His online training program, The Mind, Body, Spirit MasterClass was launched in 2015, and his Podcast "A Nourished Life; Transformational Tales from across the World" will launch later this year. He has a passion, dedication, and specialty for youth mentoring and is currently serving as an executive member of The MENtour, an organization currently mentoring 500 middle school boys in South Central Los Angeles. The MENtour is a global movement of men dedicated to providing experimental and social-emotional workshops for boys across the world.
In addition to his health, wellness, life coaching, and mentoring work, Mr. Jordan provides consulting and brand development services for wellness organizations, facilitates Corporate Wellness Workshops focused on the Mind, Body, and Spirit, and travels the nation speaking to educators and program staff about a platform he calls "Nutritional Empowerment; Integrating the Mind, Body, and Spirit to Elevate Student Performance." Currently he is working on a project designing a curriculum to bring the Mind, Body, and Spirit approach to youth development, to after-school and expanded learning providers across the country.
Co-founder and CEO
San Diego, CA
Brett Klika is the co-founder and CEO of San Diego based SPIDERfit Kids. For over 20 years, Brett has been committed to creating and facilitating individual and group physical activity programs for ALL kids. He is a motivational speaker, author, and award winning international presenter in the fitness industry. He has worked with many PE, Dance, and Fitness organizations to create DVD's and other resources on youth fitness. In 2014, he co-founded SPIDERfit Kids to help educate "exercise mentors" from a variety of vocations as to how to make fitness fun and effective for all levels of physical ability. With SPIDERfit co-founder Craig Valency, they now create online resources and perform life trainings around the world.
Informal Education Specialist
NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory
Los Angeles, CA
Leslie Lowes has more than 15 years of leadership positions for NASA education projects, working with regional, state, and national afterschool organizations to infuse fun and real-world STEM activities into afterschool. She firmly believes in the power of person discovery in afterschool - Leslie oversees a NASA afterschool time solar system exploration curriculum project, and provides STEM professional development for OST leaders to build their interest and capacity for bringing NASA STEM to their programs. Leslie has presented at numerous local, regional, and state conferences. She participated in the California statewide STEM strategic planning effort and serves on the California Afterschool Network STEM committee.
Co-Founder and Co-President
Brad Lupien holds a Bachelor's in Social Work from the University of Vermont and a Master's in Teaching from Simmons College in Boston, MA . While teaching in the inner-cities of the Boston Public School system, he developed the Outdoor Education Club. His extensive athletic and outdoor experience includes guiding month-long wilderness excursions through the Rocky Mountains and National Parks. Brad left teaching in the classroom to teach in the outdoors. In 2001 Brad met Gary Lipsky, a Los Angeles based entrepreneur, and they began Good Sports Plus, which incorporated later as arc: Adventure, After School and Sports Programs. At arc, Brad currently oversees 32 after school sites, 4 PE sites, and Outdoor Adventure Clubs at over 70 youth organizations. arc's older youth model has won city, state and national accolades in the past 3 years. Additionally, Brad is a board member for multiple CBOs including CORE Educational Services, Interfaith Family, SOS Classroom, and the Take Action Campaign.
Healthy Behaviors Initiative
Bruno has recently been appointed as the Project Manager for the Healthy Behaviors Initiative. For the past four years, Bruno has served as the Program Director for the California AfterSchool Network at the UC Davis School of Education. He has more than 15 years of after school experience at all levels including frontline staff, Site Coordinator, Program Manager, and Director. Bruno's education includes Bachelor and Master's degrees in Spanish/Latin American Literature and is a Fellow of the University of Southern California (USC) and Sierra Health Foundation Health Leadership Program. Bruno's passion and drive come from his own core values of humility, integrity, and service.
Napa County Office of Education
Napa & Santa Rosa, CA
Julie McClure has administered after school and other community-based programs in Napa and Sonoma counties for 15 years. Julie and her staff provide training and coaching on a range of after school topics supporting both line staff and program administrators. The focus of CalSERVES is sharing promising practices in incorporating service, partnering with schools to improve student achievement, and promoting healthy behaviors through quality after school programming. Julie convenes the Sonoma County After School Network and is a Member of Region 1 Advisory Board for After School. She has a BA in Psychology from UC Berkeley and Masters in Public Administration from Sonoma State University.
Adventure Education Coordinator and Adjunct Faculty at The University of Saint Joseph in West Hartford, CT
and Co-author of "Focus Your Locus: Activities That Focus the Power of Individuals and Groups"
Justin McGlamery has been facilitating Adventure Therapy and Teambuilding groups and teaching Experiential Education and Leadership & Group Dynamics classes at Saint Joseph College for nine years, working primarily with college-aged groups, adolescents and special-needs populations. In addition to presenting at many regional, national and international conferences about using experiential activities to engage learners and to enhance teaching, Justin has co-authored his first book, Focus Your Locus: Activities that Focus the Power of Individuals and Groups, published by Wood ‘N’ Barnes.
Corey Newhouse is the Founder and Principal of Public Profit. Corey is responsible for the overall design of all of Public Profit’s evaluation studies, including developing logic models or theories of change, data collection tools, and analysis and reporting plans. She's worked with young people since Kriss Kross wore their jeans backwards, and is dedicated to improving the quality of after-school programs for all kids.
Ms. Newhouse has a wide range of experience in evaluating programs that serve children and families, including multi-site evaluations of educational and youth development programs. Prior to founding Public Profit, Corey served as a Senior Policy Associate at Children Now, and as a Senior Consultant at Hatchuel Tabernik and Associates. She earned her bachelor’s degree at Columbia College, and her Master’s in Public Policy at UC Berkeley.
Mt. Diablo CARES After School Program
Rosa Palomino has worked with youth in the after school field for over 20 years and has been with Mt. Diablo CARES After School Program for the last 14 years. Beginning as a line staff and eventually moving up as a site coordinator. Rosa is currently the Nutrition Coordinator for CARES working closely with 16 program sites, which provide services to over 2500 students throughout the year, ensuring that they continue to have quality nutrition education and resources to support nutrition and physical activity goals.
Senior Vice President of Leadership Development
The Leadership Program
Currently a speaker, educator, blogger, and mother, Erika Petrelli has been in the field of education for more than 15 years, and she currently exercises her dynamic education experience as The Leadership Program’s Vice President of Leadership Development. In that role she is responsible for overseeing and supporting the development of over 200 employees, the creation of new and evolving content and curriculum, and the implementation of services throughout the country. Erika also travels to educational conferences across the country, presenting workshops on leadership, management, training, and motivation. While The Leadership Program is centrally housed in New York City, Erika lives in Indiana with her husband and two children. She holds her Masters degree in Secondary Education from Indiana University. Erika blogs regularly at http://theleadershipprogram.com/tag/wings-whimsy/.
Training and Development Manager
San Antonio, TX
Shawn C. Petty joins Westat as the Training and Development Manager to oversee the development of educational training courses, coordinate the efforts of consultants, and to monitor the progress of support to the Texas Education Agency for the Texas ACE / 21st Century Community Learning Centers Program. In addition, he assists the Executive Vice President for Emerging Practices in monitoring educational trends and highlighting innovative practices that are transforming the industry.
Petty has been a Project Director for Texas ACE serving the Klein Independent School District, a past President and Secretary of the South East Texas Afterschool Association, and an active member of the National Afterschool Association and its state affiliate. Known for his encouragement of the use of Web 2.0 tools in education, Petty is a frequent presenter on the national stage.
Petty holds a Bachelor of Science in Business Management from BYU-Hawaii and recently graduated with his Masters of Political Management from George Washington University.
Program Development Director
ElizaBeth Parker Phillips, or PEP to her camp friends, has found the perfect way to blend her backgrounds in Recreation and Youth Development. She has 20 years of experience in the field including past work in camping, inclusive recreation, school age care, ASES & 21stCCLC programs, and as a college instructor. She currently works for Child Development Inc, as a Program Development Director overseeing school age programming, camp development, and program quality assurance. Her favorite part of her job is seeing the evidence of empowered youth. She is passionate about many things, but most importantly all youth having the opportunity to be successful- however they define success. ElizaBeth is an involved community member in the Sacramento area and co-leads a Girl Scout troop. She enjoys spending time with her family, watching cartoons, singing loudly & off key, and attempting craft projects she finds on Pinterest.
Jeff M. Poulin joined Americans for the Arts as the Arts Education Program Coordinator in 2013. He works to empower local, state and federal advocates to advance policies supportive of arts education through communications, field education, and strategic partnerships.
Before arriving in D.C., Jeff worked for several nonprofit and commercial organizations in the US and abroad focused primarily in production and programming, audience development, research and policy. Notably, he was a chief advisor on the implementation of the first national Arts in Education Charter under the directions of the Ministers of Arts and Education in the Republic of Ireland. Jeff frequently speaks at a number of nonprofit organizations and universities.
Jeff hails from Portland, Maine and holds a Master of Arts degree in Arts Management and Cultural Policy from University College Dublin and a Bachelor of Science degree in Entertainment Business from Oklahoma City University.
National Vice President of Programs
Los Angeles, CA
Carlos Santini is the National Vice President of Programs for After-School All-Stars. His focus is to provide leadership and support for 17 After-School All-Stars program cities across the country in the area of program quality, professional development, and evaluation. Previously, Carlos was part of the team that helped launch the Los Angeles chapter of After-School All-Stars in 2002, spending close to 13 years working with Ana Campos and others in helping establish ASAS LA as one of the largest, leading after school programs in California. Carlos served as the Associate Director for ASAS-LA and focused on securing program partners, establishing organizational infrastructure, leading the organization’s professional development agenda, designing program quality initiatives and metrics and assisted the executive leadership in raising program revenue. Before ASAS, Carlos spent three years working for various public relations firms in the tech industry. Carlos is a graduate of UCLA where he majored in history and worked for various youth programs including UCLA UniCamp and UCLA’s Youth and Family Programs. Carlos is a native of Honduras in Central America and is married with two young girls ages 5 and 8.
Program Growth Manager
Carola Secada has over 15 years of experience in the non-profit sector. Carola is currently a Program Growth Manager at arc. Previously, she served as the Vice President of Programs of the charter management organization, Camino Nuevo Charter Academy. There she led the strategy and execution of the Camino Nuevo Way to expand impact for over 3,200 families and work towards enhancing the Continuum of Care, a comprehensive model that begins at pre-k and continues to college completion and career. The major buckets of the Continuum of Care are: early childhood, experiential learning, integrated support services, parents as partners, and an alumni program. Prior to Camino Nuevo, she served as the Executive Director of the YMCA of Greater Long Beach-Community Development Branch, where she was responsible for the strategic execution of all initiatives and programs including: ASES and 21CCLC after school programs, college readiness, family involvement and a social enterprise, Afterschool University. Afterschool University was a comprehensive training program that served thousands of youth workers across the nation.
Carola lives in Los Angeles with her partner, Malka and their 5-year old daughter, Harper Rose. They enjoy traveling, live music and laughing out loud.
Santa Clara County Office of Education
Julie Sesser has always had a passion for the Expanded Learning field. She is a product of "after school" having been raised by a single parent and spending time in both a before school and after school program throughout elementary and middle school. She's emerged as a leader in the field through the diversity of experiences she's had working as a site coordinator, direct service provider, regional lead and now as a state-wide contractor for technical assistance to the California Department of Education's System of Support for Expanded Learning Programs.
Julie has leveraged her past work as a regional lead to help develop innovative on-boarding strategies to support new System of Support Leads and provide additional strategies to develop a positive culture and collaboration within the regional System of Support teams tasked to support all regions throughout the state. Julie currently works as a Specialist for After School Assistance Providers Connect (ASAPconnect).
She has a Bachelor's Degree in Sociology from CSU Stanislaus and a Master's Degree in Organizational Leadership from National University.
Julie lives in the Bay Area, however, her heart will always be connected to her roots in California's Central Valley where she was raised, and where her family continues to reside.
Sharp Ideas Consulting
Jane worked for nine years in the Office of Early Care and Education in the New Jersey Department of Human Services where she coordinated the Map to Inclusive Child Care Team, managed afterschool contracts, developed resource materials and conducted state and national trainings. From 1985 to 2000 she was a YMCA Director responsible for afterschool, summer camp and teen employment programs for over 2000 youth annually. Currently Jane is a private consultant providing research/evaluation, strategic planning and professional development for youth programs.
American Institutes for Research
Jaime S. Singer is a Senior Consultant at American Institutes for Research, where she works on projects for afterschool and expanded learning programs. She designs and implements state and national learning opportunities for the field of afterschool, provides technical assistance to afterschool practitioners on systemic support, and participates in afterschool policy meetings. Singer has presented at national, regional, and statewide conferences on topics such as developing and implementing project based learning activities in afterschool programs, evaluation, and using data for continuous program improvement. She is co-author of the Beyond the Bell®,: Toolkit for Creating High Quality Afterschool and Expanded Learning Programs, a resource for afterschool program leaders and staff.
Renaye Thornborrow is the founder and CEO of Adventures in Wisdom™, author of The Adventures in Wisdom Life Coaching Program for Kids™ Curriculum, and leader of a worldwide movement to empower kids.
Her company’s WISDOM Coach™ Certification program is helping professionals on 5 continents and 14 countries use fun stories and activities to bring personal development and self-leadership skills to kids ages 6-12. Through the stories, kids learn how to handle the ups and downs of growing up, to bounce back from disappointment, to think for themselves and make good decisions, and to go for their dreams and make them happen.
Renaye is a personal development expert, certified coach, and a member of the International Coaches Federation. She is also a retired corporate marketing executive and holds a Bachelor of Science from Texas A&M University and an MBA from the University of Texas. She and her husband of 23 years are the proud parents of 12-year old boy/girl twins.
Shawnee is a 500 RYT, 500 E-RYT, RCYT (Registered Children’s Yoga Teacher), Yoga Therapist and M.Ed. Shawnee has worked with children with autism and special needs for 16 years. She has specialized in working with children who have significant cognitive and language delays, sensory processing deficits, as well as severe behavior programs. Through her study and experience teaching yoga to her students in her classroom, she quickly realized the benefits of yoga on her student’s attention and focus, reduced anxiety, body awareness and development of calming strategies. She also noticed the positive reaction from her students and the excitement they displayed each time they practiced yoga. She has experienced first hand the benefits yoga can provide to health and overall well-being. Her goal is to bring the experience of yoga to all individuals no matter their differences or challenges. Shawnee has presented workshops on Yoga to Reduce Stress and Increase Relaxation for teachers and other professions who work in education and youth programs, Yoga for Children with Autism and Special Needs and Yoga for Teens facing the challenges of mental illness. She wrote a published book, Asanas for Autism and Special Needs – Yoga to Help Children with Their Emotions, Self-Regulation and Body Awareness and started a Yoga School through Yoga Alliance in order to train others in yoga approaches to support children with autism and special needs and Shawnee is dedicated to helping support youth and the adults who work with them in developing strategies to cope with stress in order to live happier, healthier, more peaceful lives.
Erin, a recent graduate of the Campolo College of Graduate and Professional Studies, has lived and worked in small non-profits for her entire adult life. Erin's passion from her teenage years, however, has been for exploited youth or trafficked youth in Canada. Knowing the delicate nature of aftercare and the need for care of the whole person, Erin is seeking to develop a spiritual retreat home for such youth. Everyone needs a sabbath now and then -- a sanctuary to retreat from the world where there are trusting people to confide in, and a place to learn new habits and heal from old wounds. Sometimes we forget that people in recovery, especially youth, also need such sanctuaries and places of retreat. Recovery and aftercare are pieces of hard work! By developing a spiritual retreat sanctuary, Erin hopes to break chains of exploitation at all levels while developing community with all who are ushered in.
Tracy Ulibarri-Vasquez has served as the Administrative Director for Project Life Impact, Inc. for the past nine years. Previously employed with a local school district, she realized that her desire was to impact the lives of people and to truly help families and individuals meet their basic needs. Walking in complete faith, Tracy along with her brother Ryan, left the positions they held with the school district and helped their father establish Project life Impact, Inc. Since that time Tracy and Ryan have become the Co-owners and operators of Project Life Impact, Inc. Tracy oversees After School Impact (ASI) which is one of five components of Project Life Impact. She ensures that the grant requirements are fulfilled, but more importantly she also ensures that the needs of the students are met. Project Life Impact has established many other programs and partnerships to allow for consistent assistance for families that have needed it. Tracy finds great joy in knowing that the actions of today are setting up the students and families for many successful tomorrows.
Tracy has also previously served as a Youth Pastor. She is a mentor, and a motivational speaker. Tracy also volunteers as a Troop Leader for Girl Scouts and serves on the Regional Product Sales Team. She is proud to volunteer for an organization that is teaching her daughter’s life long skills. Tracy enjoys spending time with her family, listening to music, reading and traveling.
Craig Valency, MA, CSCS
San Diego, CA
Craig Valency, MA, CSCS, president and co-founder of SPIDERfit, has been a personal trainer for 14 years. Currently working at Fitness Quest 10, Craig specializes in youth fitness programs that promote physical literacy, injury prevention and optimal performance. In addition to Craig's work with elite young athletes, he has done volunteer work implementing the SPIDERfit program of sensory awareness and fundamental movement skills for a low-income school in South San Diego. Craig is a contributing author for the 2017 edition of the Certified Personal Trainer textbook for the National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM). Along with Brett Klika, Craig is the co-author of Powerful Play – The Ultimate Guide to the Foundation of Youth Fitness and Physical Literacy. Craig also worked at the YMCA for 5 years for the after school and summer camp programs with Kindergarten through 3rd grade. Craig holds a master's degree in kinesiology from San Diego State University. He is a certified strength & conditioning specialist (CSCS) through the National Strength & Conditioning Association.
Zach’s story of serving youth began, summer of 1998 in the community where he was born and raised, with a life-changing experience leading and developing youth programs as a Program Director for the Associated Recreation Council (ARC) and Seattle Parks and Recreation. With a focus on ages 5-14, he led and supported programming based on: community need and input; structured curricula; and other project-based learning opportunities. He worked diligently to provide a safe, welcoming and learning-rich environment with an overall emphasis on fostering participants’ engagement.In 2003, he began a 3 year experience as an independent contractor with School’s Out Washington (SOWA). SOWA is a well-established (25+ year history) non-profit intermediary organization that provides training, leadership and advocacy opportunities for education and community leaders, across Washington State. He was able to respond to the various program needs through a customizable onsite training/coaching model, which incorporated national program accreditation/assessment models and tools. He also delivered community workshops; open to the public, across King County.He was recruited by SOWA to join their team full time in January 2006, which began an amazing 7 year experience. He started as the Education & Training Director and was later promoted to the Educational Services Director, as SOWA strengthened its impact and reach through the annual Bridge Conference. He led many projects specific to afterschool and youth development programs tied to local initiatives (e.g. Seattle Public School’s Alignment Initiative) and statewide to national efforts (e.g. 21st Century Community Learning Centers). He has worked collaboratively in teams and co-presented trainings with dozens of education and youth development specialists from across the nation.Zach decided to leave SOWA after his second child was born, to have a job that allowed him more time with his family. His next 2+ year venture, as the first-ever Marketing Director for ARC (his former employer), was to pioneer a centralized effort to support the marketing and outreach for all of the services ARC provides in partnership with Seattle Parks and Recreation. In May of 2015, Zach began his current role as the Director of Staff Development at LA’s BEST. In this role, he works to create conditions for 2,000+ staff to grow and improve their services to 25,000+ kids across 194 elementary schools in LAUSD.Zach has a B.A. in Business Administration, Marketing. Other coursework and training related to this position include: 200+ credits from WA State Training And Registry System for state-licensed school-age programs (ages 5-12); Center for Youth Program Quality (CYPQ) Endorsed (not current) Youth Methods Workshop Presenter; CYPQ Endorsed (not current) Youth Program Quality Assessor; and projects and classes including partnerships with OSPI, UW School of Education and others – with a primary target audience of education leaders (both in and out of school, grades K-12).
Alicia Wilson-Ahlstrom is a Senior Program Manager for Research and Development at the Forum for Youth Investment, a Washington, DC-based nonprofit, nonpartisan “action tank.” On staff at the Forum since 2002, her work is focused on helping local communities and state and national leaders ensure that all children and youth are ready for college, work and life. During her twelve years at the Forum, Alicia has developed expertise in the areas of out-of-school time and youth development, child welfare, and improving program quality in youth-serving programs.
Immediately prior to her work at the Forum, Alicia served as a program manager in the Adolescent Division of the High/Scope Educational Research Foundation where she was responsible for developing curriculum and launching the Trainer Certification Program, an intensive program to prepare community-level trainers in youth development. In that role, she managed several regional youth worker and teacher training initiatives in both the U.S. and the United Kingdom. Alicia has completed fellowships with the Coro Foundation for Public Affairs, the New Leaders Academy, and the Moody Exchange Fellowship for Professional Study in South Africa. Alicia holds Master of Public Policy and Master of Social Work degrees from the University of Michigan, and a Bachelor of Social Work degree from Calvin College.
Lexi is a Site Facilitator at The University of Missouri’s Adventure Club – a before and after school program that is in each of Columbia, Missouri’s 21 elementary schools. Over the last two years, she has worked at four different sites and has seen a whole range of programs and students. Currently, she is the facilitator for a program that consists of 90 of the most fun kiddos she has ever met and loves doing life alongside them and their families. In her free time, Lexi drinks way too much coffee, listens to CDs on repeat, and reads the latest in YA fiction books.
Scarsdale High School
An educator for over fifteen years, Lisa Yokana currently teaches art and architecture at Scarsdale High School, where she does extensive interdisciplinary and innovative teaching across the disciplines. She is leading a group of teachers writing STEAM curriculum for Scarsdale's Design Lab, which will open in the fall of 2017. Lisa is a Teacher Coach for IDEO's Teachers Guild and guides other teachers from around the world through the Design Thinking process in order to solve challenges in education. She is an author of curriculum for outside organizations including the U.S. History Advanced Placement course. In 2012, Lisa received a grant from Scarsdale Schools' Center for Innovation to research innovation education program and spaces. In 2014, Lisa received another grant from the CFI to integrate Maker projects across levels. Agency by Design (Harvard's Project Zero) selected Lisa as one of thirty Maker Teachers across the country to participate in their learning community. She leads Innovation Education, Design Thinking and Maker workshops for schools and teachers which encourage and enable educators to shift their practice. Lisa earned her BA in Studio Art and French Literature from Williams College, where she was elected to Phi Beta Kappa, and her Master's Degree in Art History from Columbia University. She also has a degree in building and district level administration from Stony Brook University. She is married to Blake Auchincloss, an architect, and has two daughters. An avid amateur athlete, Lisa has completed marathons, triathlons and a century.