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.
MENTAL HEALTH PROJECT COORDINATOR
Joy is the Mental Health Project Coordinator after first working with CYC as Policy Coordinator. Prior to that, Joy spent 7+ years as a member of both CYC and YTP.
Marie Ary is a former foster youth and was an active member of the Sacramento County Chapter for over six years.
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.
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.”
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.
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.
FAR NORTHERN REGIONAL COORDINATOR
Makayla is a former member of the Butte Chapter, which she became involved in during her time as a college student. She was drawn to California Youth Connection due to her interest in policy and her passion for creating change within the foster care system.
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.
NORTHERN REGIONAL COORDINATOR
As a staff member since 2011, Christi has been instrumental in supporting the leadership development of members, interns, and working collaboratively with supporters and community partners.
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.
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 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.
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.
COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT MANAGER
Kate has been with CYC since 2006, first as the Bay Area/Central Valley Outreach Coordinator, then the Bay Area Regional Coordinator, and now the Community Engagement Manager. 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.