Board of Directors

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.

Jason Bryant

RECENT PAST 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.

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.

Marissa Guerrero

BOARD PRESIDENT

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.

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.

Nora Kim

Nora is the Development & Communications Officer at Safe & Sound, a children's advocacy organization working to prevent and end child abuse in San Francisco. Before that, she worked in communications at the World Bank, and in the private sector with a financial services firm. Since her undergraduate days, Nora has been passionate about volunteering with youth-serving and mentoring organizations, including working with two foster youth through SFCASA. Serving on the Board of CYC is a continuation of her commitment to young people and helping them shape their communities. Nora received her BA in international politics and history at the George Washington University, and a Master of Public Health from Boston University. When she isn't working, you'll likely find her running around Lake Merritt or fostering dogs with the SPCA - her other passion.

Sherry Lachman

Sherry Lachman is the Founder and Executive Director of Foster America. She has devoted her career to improving government systems that serve vulnerable children and families. She was previously a domestic policy advisor to Vice President Biden, a senior policy advisor at the U.S. Department of Education, a senior education counsel to Senator Al Franken, and an attorney at the Juvenile Law Center. Since founding Foster America, she has been recognized as a GLG Fellow, a Halcyon fellow, and a Draper Richards Kaplan Entrepreneur. Sherry earned a master’s in philosophy from Cambridge, a J.D. from Columbia and master’s in public policy from Harvard. Her commitment to child welfare stems from her experience in foster care as a child.

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.

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.

REBEKAH TAYEBI

Rebekah is a clinical social worker, specializing in work with teens, young adults, and families. She attended Columbia University’s School of Social Work, with a focus on clinical work with children and families. After that, she worked in residential treatment in Utah, working with complicated issues, spanning from personality disorders, depression, anxiety, and adoption, to trauma, eating disorders, and recovery from addiction.

In addition to her clinical practice, Rebekah founded Satya Family Coaching, a transitional coaching service, supporting teens and young adults in the return home from treatment. She’s written curriculum for various teen and young adult programs, published parenting articles, and co-authored The Wanderlust Warrior Project, a self-help book for young women. She’s a 500-hour RTY certified yoga teacher, teaches mindfulness, and leads Yoga for Trauma Recovery workshops.

Throughout her career, Rebekah has worked with youth in foster care. She has been able to witness the deeply personal experience of being a part of the foster care system, and the importance of child advocacy. She is honored to be a part of CYC’s board.

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.

Hazel Belasco

(bio coming soon)