Board of Directors

MiguelAlmovadar

Miguel Almodovar-Weinstein

Miguel is a junior at CSU East Bay who first joined CYC in 2010 and has since taken on various leadership roles within the organization. His foster care experience in Monterey County brought him down the path of advocacy and youth leadership development, having been a part of both Monterey and Alameda Chapters of CYC during his years as a member. In his free time he enjoys rollerblading, reading, traveling, and dancing. Through CYC’s Bay Area Leadership Academy (BAYLA), Miguel conducted a research project where he surveyed transition aged system-involved youth around the state about their financial stability and literacy as they transitioned out of the system to better understand the current support services being offered to them. In his role on the Board of Directors, he hopes to be a supportive liaison between the members and the rest of the Board to ensure that youth voice is involved in every conversation.

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Hazel Belasco

(bio coming soon)

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Jason Bryant

BOARD PRESIDENT

Some might call Jason a pathological entrepreneur, “he just can’t help himself”. Jason has founded more than 10 new start-ups in his career, a number which have had successful exits and others that were great learning experiences (Of course there are no failures 🙂 ). Currently Jason is the CEO of Nor1, the leader in hospitality merchandising technology and has learned with this experience that the greatest opportunity for any business over the next couple of years is to finally (after years of hype) realize tangible, repeatable results from analytics efforts.

So much has been sold, regarding “big data” and “predictive analytics” yet not delivered, however that is going to change dramatically and rapidly, because the tools and approaches have evolved and continue to evolve at an unprecedented pace.

Jason earned a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Michigan. In addition to serving as President on the CYC board, Jason is on the board of Impact As One, an organization devoted to leveraging the vast array of Silicon Valley resources to create positive social impact.

SaradeYoung

Sara deYoung

BOARD SECRETARY

Sarah joined the CYC Board of Directors in the spring of 2015. She also served as Treasurer from June 2015 to September 2017 when she transitioned to the role of Board Secretary. Sarah has been a CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocate) volunteer for over 11 years. She has supported three foster youth in Contra Costa County, and currently is a CASA for a teen from San Luis Obispo county.

Since September, 2004, Sarah has been employed as President and Executive Director of a non-profit trade association that advocates for competitive carriers at the California Public Utilities Commission, the FCC and the California state legislature. She assumed this role following a 22-year career at AT&T. Sarah grew up in Southern California, attended Carleton College in Northfield, Minnesota, and graduated with a BA in English Literature and Journalism from the University of Michigan. She later received an MBA from the Kellogg School of Business.

In 2014, Sarah and her husband Rich moved from their home in the San Francisco Bay Area to a new home on the California Central Coast. They have two sons. Paul, 40, is married and works as a consultant in Washington D.C. Peter, 28, recently graduated from law school at Duke University.

JohnElliott

John Elliott

John is currently a Management Consultant at Accenture LLP, a global management consulting and professional services company that provides a strategy, consulting, digital, technology and operations services. As part of the Customer and Channel practices, he is currently leading transformation programs for customer and partner experiences for global technology companies.

John earned his Bachelor of Arts degree at the University of California, Irvine.

EricaHickey

Erica Hickey

One could describe Erica as a determined young woman with the actions to match her drive. She has been a foster youth advocate with California Youth Connection (CYC) since entering the system at 16 years old. Throughout her time with CYC, Erica has developed professional skills and connections that have taken her far in her role as an advocate in her community and in shaping the person she has come to be.  

Currently, Erica is a student at Diablo Valley College (DVC) and looking to transfer in the fall with a major in Sociology and a minor in Political Science. With countless memories to look back on at DVC, one of her most memorable is working for the new START program for foster youth on campus by helping expand its efforts and presence. This was easily achieved by using the resources and knowledge allotted to her by her time with CYC.

Though Erica’s role has changed within the organization, her passion to support foster youth in California has not. Being on the Board of Directors will give Erica an opportunity to gain further knowledge and professionalism, as well as bring her own expertise to the table.

SeanHughes

SEAN HUGHES

Sean got involved with foster care issues when working on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., where he served as a Congressional staffer for 10 years. Working for then-Rep. Jim McDermott (D-WA), Sean helped organize investigative hearings on a range of challenges facing the child welfare system and helped devise policy solutions. This work culminated in helping to author and pass the Fostering Connections to Success and Increasing Adoptions Act of 2008, which provided federal support for youth in foster care past age 18 and paved the way for AB 12 here in California.

After leaving Capitol Hill, Sean continued his focus on the child welfare system as Director of Congressional Affairs at the Child Welfare League of America (CWLA) for several years.  Since moving to California, he has continued his policy and advocacy work as a consultant, working with public and private agencies and organizations to better serve children, youth and families. This work included serving for two years on CYC’s staff, filling in temporarily as Policy Director.

Sean lives in Napa, California and enjoys traveling, being active, spending time with family and friends, and laughing at the antics of his English bulldog.

MarissaGuerrero

Marissa Guerrero

Marissa Guerrero is a director at Arabella Advisors, a philanthropic consulting firm, where she advises foundations and their grantees as they develop, implement, and evaluate their strategies. She is passionate about research and facilitating engaging and productive discussions.

Prior to joining Arabella, Marissa was the resource development manager at the California Court Appointed Special Advocate Association (CalCASA). She wore many hats at CalCASA, but is most proud of her work training CASA staff members and volunteers to support LGBTQ+ youth in care. In addition to serving as a CYC board member, Marissa currently volunteers with CYC’s Bay Area Youth Leadership Academy (BAYLA) as a research coach. She is also on the leadership team of Horizons Young Professionals for Equality (HYPE), a volunteer-run giving circle of LGBTQ+ young professionals in the Bay Area.

Marissa has a BA in political science and women’s studies from the University of California, Los Angeles. She also holds a PhD in political science from the University of Chicago.

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Myesha Jackson

Myesha Jackson is the policy director for State Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon, overseeing the Speaker’s policy unit staff and assisting with policy development within the Assembly. Prior to this post, she was the chief consultant for the Assembly Human Services Committee, where she was responsible for analyzing legislation for the public record, including bills pertaining to developmental services, foster care, aging services, and welfare and nutrition programs. She also worked closely with state departments and county agencies to help guide the implementation of human services legislation and to improve and preserve safety net programs for vulnerable populations.

Preceding her time in the Assembly, Myesha was the principal consultant for human services and veterans affairs for Senate President pro Tempore, Darrell Steinberg. This followed serving as Senator Steinberg’s legislative director for two years before he became pro Tem.

Myesha was born and raised in San Francisco, CA, and she earned a Bachelor’s degree in Romance Languages from Dartmouth College. In addition to serving on the Board of Directors for California Youth Connection, she serves on the UC Davis MIND Institute National Council of Visitors.

CarrollSchroeder

Carroll Schroeder

BOARD TREASURER

Carroll Schroeder is Executive Director of the California Alliance of Child and Family Services, a statewide association of accredited, private, non-profit organizations serving California’s most vulnerable children, youth and families.

Having worked in the field of child and family services for over 40 years, Mr. Schroeder began his career as a Children’s Protective Services worker in Baltimore in the early 1970s. He moved to California in 1973 to attend graduate school then for eighteen years helped establish and build FamiliesFirst (now part of Uplift Family Services). From 1995-2001, Mr. Schroeder served as Executive Director of Stanford Home for Children, now Stanford Youth Solutions.

Mr. Schroeder received his MS in Child Development from the University of California, Davis. In addition to serving as Treasurer on the CYC board, he holds a governor-appointed seat on the California Child Welfare Council, where he co-chairs its Permanency Committee.

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JOY WARREN SINGLETON

Joy Warren Singleton received her degree from Berkeley, where she was on the Dean’s list and was a California Alumni Scholar Athlete, among other honors. She graduated from Yale Law School in 2001. Joy worked as an advocate for foster children at the Youth Law Center and at California Youth Connection.

During law school, she was invited by the First Lady to intern with the Children and Family Team of the White House Domestic Policy Council where she worked on issues related to foster care. In recent years, Joy served as a managing partner at Singleton Law Firm, where she worked to help fire victims recover from their losses. She has sat on the Board of Directors of the North American Council on Adoptable Children and currently sits on the Boards of Healthy Day Partners and California Youth Connection.

GailYen

GAIL YEN

Gail Yen is a Health Policy Associate at Children Now, an advocacy research and policy development organization dedicated to promoting children’s health and education in California. She helps to provide research, analytic and legislative support to the organization’s health policy team. Prior to joining Children Now, Gail served as an Assembly Fellow in the California State Legislature, where she worked in the office of Assemblyman Richard Gordon to staff legislation, implement policies, and analyze a wide-range of issues in health, education and child welfare policies.

Gail is a former foster youth who grew up in the Los Angeles foster care system, holds a Master of Education Policy from the University of Washington and a BA in Sociology from Union College.