Staff

Haydée Cuza

EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
Haydée has an unwavering passion for youth-led advocacy and promoting individual and collective wellness. Her commitment to this work is steered by her lived experiences as a former homeless and foster youth, mother, grandmother, queer, multicultural womyn.

Joy Anderson

POLICY COORDINATOR
Joy has joined us as policy coordinator after spending the last 7+ years as a member of both CYC and YTP.

Marie Ary

ADMINISTRATIVE ASSISTANT
Marie Ary is a former foster youth and was an active member of the Sacramento County Chapter for over six years.

Natalie Brobst

MEMBER ENGAGEMENT ASSISTANT
Natalie started with CYC in February 2014 as a part-time Administrative Consultant.

Kenneth Brown

FAR SOUTHERN REGIONAL COORDINATOR
Kenneth first joined California Youth Connection as a member in 1989. Kenneth was inspired by the idea that youth could have influence and that he could make changes which could benefit his sister who was still in foster care.

Kevin Clark

TRAINING COORDINATOR
Due to a positive and supportive legal guardian, Kevin did not really connect with his foster youth identity until he reached community college, and began receiving foster youth supportive services.

Jamie Lee Evans

DIRECTOR OF TRAINING
Jamie was hired in 1991 by CYC to facilitate a 150-person group envisioning the future of CYC, and its work organizing foster youth in California. As a foster care survivor, she says, “the CYC project was like coming home.”

Darryn Green

TRAINING ADMINISTRATIVE COORDINATOR
Darryn Green is a former member of the Kern County Chapter and YTP Trainer who has been a child welfare advocate and training consultant since 2005.

Vanessa Hernandez

DIRECTOR OF STATEWIDE POLICY
As a child welfare advocate, Vanessa is most passionate about honoring the commitments made to underserved populations through practice, policy and legislative change.

Tiffany Johnson

DIRECTOR OF OPERATIONS
Tiffany Johnson is a former member and the current Director of Operations for CYC. Tiffany is a former foster youth who has experienced group home care, kinship care, and sibling placement.

Christi Ketchum

NORTHERN REGIONAL COORDINATOR
Christi founded the Project South Youth Council in 2001. She worked with youth leaders to facilitate political education workshops at conferences around the country. Over the years the youth created over 100 educational workshops and hosted the Youth Tent at the United States Social Forum in 2007.

Jude Koski

CONFERENCE AND TRAINING MANAGER
Jude joined the CYC staff in 2002. Previously, he served as the Field and Chapter Coordinator at COLAGE and the Education Coordinator for Ozone House in Michigan.

Zahra Martinez

CENTRAL VALLEY REGIONAL COORDINATOR
Zahra is a former member of the Fresno Chapter and has held many roles in CYC throughout the years. She has served our mission as a Chapter leader, Advisory Board Representative, Legislative Committee Representative, Y.O.U.T.H. Training Project Trainer, and has even served on the Board of Directors.

Blade Oestreich

POLICY ASSISTANT
Blade has joined the CYC team in his new role as policy assistant after being a member for the past eight years. During that time, he served as chair and Advisory Board representative for the Merced chapter as well as on the organization’s internal legislative committee.

Vincianna Reed

EXECUTIVE ADMINISTRATIVE COORDINATOR
Vincianna is joining CYC with a rich background that includes peer-led youth advocacy, curriculum and training facilitation, leadership development, and program coordination.

Elisha Reid

DIRECTOR OF MEMBER ENGAGEMENT
Elisha has served and mentored homeless and foster youth for the past several years. She joined California Youth Connection (CYC), as the Director of Member Engagement in May 2017. Prior to CYC, Elisha served as the Employment and Education Program Director at Covenant House California, a homeless shelter for transitional aged youth.

Kate Teague

BAY AREA REGIONAL COORDINATOR
Kate has been the Bay Area/Central Valley Outreach Coordinator, and now the Bay Area Regional Coordinator, at CYC since 2006. Kate first became involved with CYC as an Americorp intern at the Bill Wilson Center in Santa Clara County when her then supervisor, Deryk Clark (a former CYC board member), told her that part of her job would be to attend CYC meetings.