BOOST CONFERENCE LEADERSHIP TEAM
The BOOST Leadership Team is critically important to the success of our event. This amazing Team is guided by the National BOOST Conference Advisory Board and provides big ideas, new connections, practical strategies and adds credibility to the planning process. This comprehensive Leadership Team represents the diversity of after school and out-of-school time programs and includes representatives serving at all levels of the field. We are a quality conference truly planned by after school professionals, adding voice and value to the needs of the field.
Karen Cantrell, Independent Consultant
Karen Cantrell, MA, has more than 25 years of professional experience in designing, directing and supporting district-led, community-based and faith-based afterschool programs and is a recognized leader in the field. As a consultant for the Los Angeles County Office of Education, the Center for Collaborative Solutions and several school districts, she has closely worked with leadership teams, staff members and district administrators at all levels and has made a difference in the lives of thousands of children and their families and communities. She has 10 years of experience conducting formative evaluations that have had a positive impact on program quality. Karen graduated from National University with a Bachelor’s degree in Behavioral Science, earned a Master’s Degree in Education from Concordia University and holds a certificate in Nonprofit Management from Duke University.
Top 5 Strengths: Positivity | Woo | Includer | Developer | Belief
Annie Dunlop, Executive Coordinator
BOOST Collaborative, San Diego, CA
Before joining the BOOST Team Annie worked at NAMI (The National Alliance on Mental Illness) San Diego planning and developing events and fundraising activities that promoted mental health awareness and stigma reduction. Annie has managed the San Diego County NAMI Walk since 2010 coordinating over 40 volunteers, 100 exhibitors and welcoming several thousand community partners each year. In her free time she enjoys volunteering for Throw Down for a Cause, an event that raises money for homeless youth here in San Diego. Local causes are important investment tools for the San Diego community. Annie loves seeing people come together to share hope whether it be around a kitchen table about a mental health challenge or at an event promoting equal rights.
She completed her bachelor’s degree in International Relations at San Francisco State University in 2005 and loved living in the city. She is currently enrolled at the University of San Diego and earning her Master’s Degree from the Nonprofit Leadership and Management Program. Annie is a San Diego native, she loves taking pictures and cooking paleo meals, especially desserts!
Top 5 Strengths: Activator, Individualization, Connectedness, Learner, Discipline
Eddie Garcia, Director of After School Programs
Lennox School District, Lennox, CA
Eddie Garcia has been the Director of the After School Program in the Lennox School District for the last 5 years, working to provide a safe environment for students to participate in a quality after school program that has a strong Youth Development focus. Prior to the after school program, Eddie was the coordinator of the "El Espejo" Mentoring program. El Espejo is a reputable program in the district that has been in existence for over 15 years. It matches middle school student with Loyola Marymount University students to provide academic mentoring and college awareness.
Eddie graduated from California State University, Dominguez Hills in 1999, where he received his degree in Liberal Arts. After raising his teenage nephew and niece because of the passing of his beloved sister, Eddie pursued a Masters Degree in Public Administration from California State University, Long Beach. He strongly believes that higher education is the key to success and continuously reinforces it with the students of Lennox. He is a Site Reviewer with the Los Angeles County Office of Education After School Division, a Youth Development Trainer with WestEd, and a member of the LACOE Work-Plan Advisory Group, which serves as the executive committee for after school programs in Los Angeles County. One of the experiences that he enjoys most is being a Site Reviewer because it allows him time to connect with other after school programs in the county to enhance the after school experience for student in the Southern California area.
Top 5 Strengths: Adaptability | Relator | Deliberative | Ideation | Belief
Edward Gardiner, Associate Program Director
YMCA of Greater Long Beach, Long Beach, CA
Eddie currently holds the title of Associate Program Director where he oversees two after school programs. In addition to supervising the two after school programs, he is also the training director for the ASES Department and is part of After School University a national training team who trains after school professionals in best practices in the field. Eddie holds a Bachelors Degree in Liberal Studies from California State University, Long Beach and a Master Degree in Public Organization specializing in Organizational Leadership. Eddie lives in Whittier California with his Wife Dana and their son Lucas. In his free time he like to go hiking, cycling and go exploring with his family.
Top 5 Strengths: Communication | Ideation | Strategic | Self-Assurance | Command
Mary Jo Ginty, Region 11 Lead
Los Angeles County Office of Education, Downey, CA
Mary Jo Ginty is the Regional Lead/Program Coordinator overseeing the Los Angeles County Office of Education (LACOE) After School Technical Assistance Unit. This Unit provides staff training and development, consultation and technical assistance services to the 1300+ school sites providing after school programs funded through the After School Education and Safety Program (ASES) and/or 21st Century Community Learning Center grants. Over 130,000 students participate in these programs which also provide over 10,000 employment opportunities in the county. Ms. Ginty directed and oversaw after school programs at the elementary, middle and high school level; she has experienced the power of change these programs bring to students and their families. Her professional experiences over the past years include: Owner of a successful consulting firm, highschool teacher, high school principal, college professor, lobbyist and community organizer. She holds a Masters in Business Administration (MBA) from UCLA and a Bachelors Degree in Business and Social Welfare Administration from Ursuline College. Her spare time is spent enjoying her family, leading a Junior Girl Scout troop, music and cooking in all forms and sitting on the Board of Directors of her 10 year old daughter’s school.
Mary Jo Ginty believes that after school programs have the potential to assist youth to gain the skill sets, tools and knowledge and have the experiences necessary to Make A Life for themselves and their families.
Suzanne Hill, Program Manager
OC STEM Initiative, Corona Del Mar, CA
Suzanne Hill has been working in out-of-school time programs for the last 13 years. She started working in the field as a front line staff. After college she continued working in the expanded learning field as a Site Coordinator. She later accepted a promotion to the Program Manager position overseeing 10 ASES funded program sites. Suzanne co-facilitated a Local Learning Community, a program within the Los Angeles County Office of Education during the 2014-2015 program year. She is currently the Program Manager for OC STEM Initiative, continuing her love of working within the expanded learning field.
Suzanne received her Bachelor’s degree in Global Studies with a minor in Sociology in 2006. During her time as an undergraduate, she interned with two community based, out-of-school time programs based in Los Angeles, CA and Philadelphia, PA. She also spent three months interning with two group homes and a local elementary school in Northern Thailand. She has continued to find her passion for others by working with communities through building educational possibilities through out-of-school time programs.
When Suzanne is not a work; she enjoys photography, the beach, traveling, and spending time with family and friends. Her one-year-old son keeps her rather busy these days!
Top 5 Strengths: Developer | Realtor
| Connectedness | Positivity | Learner
Bobby Klein, Regional Marketing Director
Central Region of YMCA of San Diego County, San Diego, CA
Bobby Klein is a Regional Marketing Director for the YMCA of San Diego County. He specializes in new media marketing via social networks, video, web and design. Before moving to his current position he was the Operations Director for the Youth Institute, a nationally recognized youth program based in Long Beach, CA. He has also trained and authored trainings for Afterschool University, a national training organization that promotes best practices in after school programming. Bobby holds a Master's Degree from Azusa Pacific University in Educational Counseling and does graphic and web design on the side. Bobby enjoys quality design, snowboarding, cycling and fishing from his kayak.
Top 5 Strengths: Woo | Ideation | Strategic | Communication | Includer
Marisol Moreno-Villegas, Education Coordinator
Options for Learning, Covina CA
Marisol Moreno is an Education Coordinator for the Options for Learning Enrichment Program, she loves working with the youth and inspiring her students and teachers. She has worked in the after school field for over 10 years now and has loved every minute of it. Her passion for this field came from her experience growing up in East L.A, where she was lucky to have both encouraging and empowering educators as well as educators on the other end of the spectrum; uninspired and indifferent, an experience she has taken to heart and learned from. She graduated from CSUN in 2009 with a degree in Chicana/o Studies, a major she chose because of her roots as well as for her passion and love for her community and the history of its people. She has been described as quirky and energetic, which are two things that come in handy when working in the after school field.
Top 5 Strengths: Restorative | Achiever | Developer | Responsibility | Input
Darlene Mosher, Program Administrator
The Learning Connection, Pomona Unified School District, Pomona, CA
Darlene Mosher has been working in the educational field for the past 15 years. She currently oversees the afterschool program for Pomona Unified School District supporting 21 school sites, approximately 150 staff members and about 2,000 students daily. Darlene began her educational career working as a classroom teacher in 2nd, 3rd and 5th grades. After running various District categorical programs for 5 years, Darlene began her work with afterschool programs in 2009.
Darlene truly cherishes the impact that expanded learning programs have on student success and well-being. She loves being an advocate for children and is excited about the future these programs hold in the educational field.
Darlene has a bachelor's degree in accounting from Cal State Fullerton, and holds a current CPA license for the state of California. She returned to school in 2000 and receive her single subject math and multiple subject teaching credentials from University of La Verne, as well as a Master's degree in Education. In 2005 she received her Administrative Credential from Cal Poly Pomona. Darlene lives in La Verne with her husband of 33 years, Mike and enjoys spending time with her two grown daughters, son-in-law and two grandsons, ages 1 and 3.
Top 5 Strengths: Analytical | Responsibility | Learner | Restorative | Focus
Ana Perez, Program Coordinator
Ana has dedicated her career to social justice, advocacy, and change. Whether through efforts to raise money for worthy nonprofits, advocating for foster children in court, or teaching English to newcomer communities, Ana's career and personal passion has focused on uplifting young people in local communities.
Ana gained invaluable experience working at Voices for Children, Inc. as an Advocacy Supervisor. She supervised a team of Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASAs) who advocated for foster youth throughout San Diego County. In addition, Ana is an accomplished trainer, working with incoming CASAs and staff in the area of Special Education Advocacy and Special Education Law.
Prior to Voices for Children, Ana spent time during and after law school working at the San Diego County Public Defender's Office, both in the Adult and Juvenile Delinquency Divisions. Her experience representing children in Juvenile Court solidified her commitment to children's issues.
No stranger to the BOOST Collaborative and the after-school profession, Ana had the pleasure of serving on the BOOST Leadership Team in 2010 and again in 2012 as the Volunteer Coordinator. While living in Washington, DC, Ana taught English to youth and young adults in newcomer communities. In addition, Ana volunteers with the Princess Project and the YMCA.
Ana received her Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from The George Washington University, in Washington, DC, and her Juris Doctor from Thomas Jefferson School of Law, in San Diego, CA.
Ana considers her best accomplishment to be her family. She and her husband, Siddhartha Vivek, are quick to share the latest quip from their four-year old son, Joaquin; or a video of their one-year old daughter, Carina, taking her first steps or waving hello! Ana and her family enjoy dance parties, good cheese, and picnics in the park.
Top 5 Strenghts: Intellection | Learner | Input | Achiever | Includer
Michelle R. Perrenoud, Project Coordinator
Los Angeles County Office of Education, Downey, CA
Michelle R. Perrenoud has worked in the fields of youth development, organizational leadership, and after school for the past twenty years. She currently works with the Los Angeles County Office of Education (LACOE) in the Curriculum and Instructional Services (CIS) Division. She is the Region 11 Project Coordinator for the After School Technical Assistance Unit. Michelle serves as the Regional Facilitator for the 21st CCLC ASSETs Learning Community and provides technical assistance and capacity building for more than 120 21st CCLC ASSETs funded programs throughout Los Angeles County. She is a member of the California Department of Education statewide high school ASSETs Planning Group. Michelle is also the founder and principle of Mindset Solutions: A Leadership Training, Development, and Coaching Firm.
Michelle’s wide-ranging experience and her ability to bring together individuals from different communities to create common solutions together make her a powerful, effective voice. She leads by example, by inspiring a shared vision and demonstrating a commitment to civic engagement and to the goal of making a positive impact in community. Her experience in developing youth and leading after school programs began while working with the YMCA. One of her areas of specialization includes teaching youth leadership and working with older youth to become leaders in their community. Additionally, she is passionate about teaching youth development and building the leadership capacity of after school program leaders. Michelle is recognized for her ability as a leader to empower others around her to cultivate their best self and lead from their current position.
Dennis was born and raised in Honolulu, Hawaii. He moved to California in 2006, and brought the relaxed Islander vibe along with him! Dennis loves musicianship, live performance, and he plays a range of instruments. He is also athletic and enjoys any outdoor activity and sport that allows him to soak up the sun.
Dennis recently graduated from Humboldt State University with a degree in Communications. He is currently applying to graduate school to further his education. Dennis thrives in collective cultures that bring people together in efforts to accomplish a goal. He hopes to continue working in event planning with the goal of creating atmospheres where people can dwell with positive and spirited energy. Dennis hopes to be a bombastic BOOST Ambassador and gain experience in promotions and event planning during his internship. BOOST Collaborative is his first step toward creating his event planning career!
Top 5 Strengths: Ideation | Input | Activator | Positivity | Futuristic
ElizaBeth Parker Phillips, Program Development Director
Child Development, Inc.Sacramento, CA
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 special projects like enrichments, camp, 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, being outside, singing loudly & off key, and attempting projects she finds on Pinterest.
Top 5 Strengths: Self-Assurance | Command | Maximizer | Activator | Arranger
Sherri Pietanza, Executive Operations Manager
Financial Fitness Group, San Diego, CA
Sherri grew up in Colmbia, SC where she attended the University of South Carolina and received a bachelor's degree in Business Administration. She moved to San Diego in 1992 when she began a successful career in Human Resources at Sony Electronics. After several years at Sony, she made the difficult decision to leave the company to become a stay-at-home mom. While raising three amazing kids, she continued to be employed on a part-time basis in hospitality, customer service, and education as a pre-school teacher. She also became an active volunteer within the school district.
All of her work and life experiences over the years as a business woman, events coordinator, teacher and mom and her passion for childhood education/development have led her to BOOST. She has been the Volunteer Coordinator for the Annual BOOST Conference in Palm Springs for the last two years and now joins the BOOST Leadership Team as its newest member.
Top 5 Strengths: Developer | Positivity | Harmony | Individualization | Empathy
BOOST Collaborative, San Diego, CA
For more than 23 years, Tia Quinn has worked at all levels of programming in the field of after school and expanded learning, supporting out-of-school time programs throughout the nation via training, technical assistance, quality assurance, and program development.
Tia fell in love with after school programs in 1992 while working in Hartford, CT as an art teacher and later the Program Director in the Asylum Hill community. Tia spent the first part of her west coast experience working at an after school program and later as a Program Director, overseeing programming at 65 before and after school programs through Harmonium Children's Services, one of the largest after school providers in California. Tia also served for 5 years as the Co-Lead for Region 9 Technical Assistance Center, After School Programs at the San Diego County Office of Education. In this capacity, she supported over 600 after school program sites in San Diego, Orange and Imperial Counties, serving over 100,000 students annually. While in this role, Tia managed numerous regional and statewide committees and after school initiatives.
In the regional lead capacity, Tia and her team were the 2005 recipients of the California School Board Association's Golden Bell Award for Partnerships and Collaboratives as well as the Cities, Counties, and Schools (CCS) Partnership Award 2005. Additionally, Tia is the recipient of the 2001 Director of the Year, awarded by Mentor San Diego; the California School-Age Consortium's 2006 Award of Excellence, Program Administrator of the Year; the 2013 STEVIE® Bronze Award for Women In Business, Female Executive of the Year – Business Services; the 2014 STEVIE® Bronze Award for Women In Business, Maverick of the Year; the 2014 STEVIE® Bronze Award for Women In Business, Most Innovative Company under 10 Employees; Finalist for Gamechanger at the 2015 Women of Influence Awards; winner of Eternal Flame Award, San Diego County Office of Education’s Women in Prevention; winner in the Small Education Category, San Diego Business Journal’s 2015 Most Admired CEO Award. BOOST Collaborative recently won 2015 Best in Biz’s Company of the Year, International award.
She serves on the Board of Directors for ASAPconnect, Santa Clara, CA and Think Red Project in San Diego, CA. Tia is also a member of Entrepreneur's Organizations' Accelerator program and is eagerly pursuing her mission and creativity to take her ideas and company to the next level.
As an Out-of-School Time Consultant, Tia presents customized workshops and staff development seminars at numerous local, state and national conferences. Tia works closely with school district administrators, CEO's, non-profit agencies, program directors, supervisors, and line staff to increase student retention, promote academic achievement, and overall student success through quality, engaging staff development opportunities.
Tia is currently the Founder and CEO of the BOOST (Best of Out-of-School Time) Collaborative, a purpose-driven organization supporting global out-of-school time professionals through state-of-the-art professional development opportunities, program and resource development, and community partnership advancement. BOOST advocates for quality out-of-school time programming, offers opportunities to share promising practices, and provides a variety of training and consulting services.
Tia is also the founder of the annual BOOST Conference in Palm Springs, California, the largest global convening for after school, expanded learning, and out-of-school time educators, supporting all levels of key stakeholders to initiate change and inspire quality programming. The BOOST conference includes over 150 workshops, 100 Exhibitors, Film Festival, 5-mile Tour de BOOST charity walk/run, Town Hall meetings, Master Classes, networking opportunities and special events.
Most recently, Tia founded MARS (Music, Arts, Rhythm, Social Change) Experience bringing together socially responsible organizations, artists, musicians, crafters, filmmakers, authors, and poets to inspire and create action locally and globally.
Tia is passionate about creating positive change for today's youth as well as the people, communities, and partners supporting them in the out-of-school time hours. She mentors several young women, loves driving her electric golf cart around San Diego and is always seeking new travel and food adventures with friends.
Top 5 Strengths: Responsibility | Relator | Achiever | Belief | Connectedness
Jasmine has had the pleasure to explore various programs for children ages 6 weeks to 16 years old. While earning her bachelor's degree in Child and Adolescent Development with a minor in Family Consumer Sciences, Child Care Administration at Cal State Northridge, Jasmine was able to venture out to Germany where she stayed on the Ramstein Air Force base as a Preschool Teacher Intern. Before finishing up her degree, she continued to pursue positions in after school programs and learning her true passion in the child development field. Jasmine holds a deep connection to the school-age after school program setting and has had the opportunity to expand enrichment clubs within several organizations.
Currently, Jasmine attends the University of San Diego in the MA Leadership Studies Program as a full-time student. She is proud to be a part of the BOOST Collaborative team as a Program Development Intern to gain more experience in the field and be surrounded by individuals that share a similar passion for after school programs.
Top 5 Strengths: Relator | Developer | Responsibility | Futuristic | Significance
Carola Secada, Director of Programs
arc Adventure, Los Angeles, CA
Carola Secada has over 15 years of experience in the non-profit sector. Carola is currently the Program Growth Manager at arc Adventure, where her goal is help as many youth and adults reach the best version of themselves through outdoor education activities and trips. Previously, she served as the Vice President of Programs of the charter management organization, Camino Nuevo Charter Academy. There she lead the strategy and execution of the Camino Nuevo Way to expand impact 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 a $3 million operating budget and 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.
Top 5 Strengths: Ideation | Woo | Input | Communication | Activator
Becky Shultz, Director of After School Program
Whittier City School District, Whittier, CA
Becky Shultz holds a Masters Degree and Pupil Personnel Services Credential from California State University Long Beach. She began her counseling career at Orangewood Children's Home (then called Albert Sitton Home) in 1976 and later changed her focus to Elementary School Counseling when she graduated in 1984. This continued until 1999, when approached about writing a grant to support an after school program in Whittier City School District. She has been the Director of After School Programs for Whittier City School District for 10 years. In addition, Becky is a member of the Workplan Advisory Group (WAG), a Co-Facilitator for LLC#2, BOOST Leadership Team, a Peer Reviewer, a Mentor and a board member for Helpline Youth Counseling Inc. She is married to Terry Shultz and has two wonderful daughters, Nicole and Kristen.
Top 5 Strengths: Input | Ideation | Connectedness | Learner | Belief
Jim Stephens, Director of Child Development Services
JDS California Homes LLC / Nationwide Real Estate Executives, Orange County CA
Jim Stephens has worked in the out-of-school time field since 1978. From 1990 to 2015, Jim served as the director of the Child Development Services department in Orange Unified School District. After over 34 years working in the field of education, he has "retired" and is working full-time as a Realtor in Orange County California. In addition to undergraduate degrees in Child Development and Business, Jim has a Masters in Education, which allowed him the opportunity to teach human development courses at Cal State Fullerton and several of the local community colleges in Orange County. He has been involved with the BOOST Conference for many years and loves serving on the Leadership Team. Jim has been married to Barbara since1993 and they are the extremely proud parents of their daughter Waverly, who was born in 1996, and son Spencer, born in 1999.
Top 5 Strengths: Positivity | Maximizer | Futuristic | Developer | Strategic
Lissa Tsu, Community Manager
San Diego, CA
Lissa, a native Californian has worked in the education field for nine years in Boston, Columbus and Chicago before returning to San Diego in 2011. Lissa holds a B.A. in Communications from Boston College where she volunteered with Peace Games, now Peace First, teaching young people the skills of peacemaking in the Boston Public Schools. After graduating from Boston College, Lissa took a position as an Americorps member for two years in Columbus, Ohio where she taught conflict resolution through the arts in two under-served recreation centers. Fueled by her desire to continue working in education, Lissa became a resident with the Academy for Urban School Leadership in Chicago earning her Master of Arts in Teaching from National-Louis University. Upon graduation she taught for nearly three years in the Chicago Public Schools where she realized her first love was out-of-school time. Lissa went on to manage twelve after-school programs with Rocket Learning before moving to San Diego to raise her daughter.
Currently she is home with her almost four-year old daughter, Margot and organizes the local Boston College alumni chapter.
Top 5 Strengths: Communication | Connectedness | Activator | Belief | Harmony
Heather Williams, Strategic Initiatives Coordinator
After School Division, California Department of Education, Sacramento, CA
Heather currently serves as the Strategic Initiatives Coordinator for ASD. Since August 2012, she has managed the strategic planning process that will help reshape the division to include a strong emphasis on providing high quality expanded learning opportunities to students throughout the state. As a key component of this work, she has helped ensure strong, ongoing engagement of external stakeholders and advisors throughout this process. Prior to her work in this position, she worked at the State Treasurer's Office (STO) in several capacities. She served as a Treasury Analyst focusing on Environmental Finance at the California Alternative Energy & Advanced Transportation Financing Authority. In that role, she worked on program development and implementation for new green financial incentives within California. Before that, she served as an analyst in the Public Finance Division developing a solid foundation in the area of public bond financing. Prior to that work, Heather was selected for the Executive Fellowship Program where she was subsequently placed in the STO Executive Office (www.csus.edu/calst/executive_fellowship_program.html).
Heather received her BA in Political Science from CSU Fullerton. During that time, she was heavily involved with student advocacy work primarily with the Associated Students, Inc. including serving as President and CEO between 2006 and 2008 and as a member of the California State Student Association's Executive Committee and Board of Directors from 2006 to 2008.
Top 5 Strengths: Achiever | Self-Assurance | Ideation | Strategic | Learner
Nicole Baitx-Kennedy, Child Care Supervisor
Ocean View School District, Huntington Beach, CA
This June I will be celebrating my 30th year working with children. I worked at OUSD in the afterschool program, taught preschool and am now the supervisor of the Ocean View School District Child Care Program. I hold 2 Associate degrees one in liberal arts and one in Early Learning and a Child Care Center Director's Permit and a BA in Child Development. Currently I am working on my Masters in Education. I love the work I do and making a difference in the lives of children is my passion. I see an amazing opportunity to support the development of the total child in out of school time programing. I am a partner in the OC STEM Ecosystem in my district and am currently working with an great team developing a middle school program for OVSD. My personal goal in life is to never stop learning and to continually grow. It is a gift to spend time with my family and being outdoors centers me. I believe strongly in the work we do! Two quotes that summarize the importance of the work we do:
"Children are not a distraction from more important work, they are the MOST important work"- CS Lewis
"It is easier to build strong children, than to mend broken men"- Frederick Douglass
Caitlyn Monaco, Lead Teacher
Orange Unified School District CARES Program, Orange, CA
Caitlyn Monaco has worked for Orange Unified School District for the past 10 years and currently holds the Lead position at the largest of the 23 C.A.R.E.S (Centers for After School Recreation Enrichment & Safety) locations.
Her bubbly personality and commitment to family and children quickly moved her up the ranks and allowed her to attend BOOST Conference where she fell in love with the positive atmosphere and networking which BOOST provides.
Presently, she is working towards her Associates Degree both in Childhood Education & Biological Sciences at Rancho Santiago College. She loves exploring the world, getting messy, great movies and taking naps. Born in New York and raised in California, Caitlyn has a unique perspective to life: Enjoy it and don't sweat the small stuff, just "Fugetaboutit Dude."
Ezekiel "Zeke" Oliwa, Rec Leader and Substitute Teacher
City of Lemon Grove, Lemon Grove, CA
Zeke, a San Diego native, has been working in out of school programs since he was nineteen. He started at a local Recreation Center during his summer breaks home from college, learning pretty quickly that he has a passion for working with kids and that his high energy and his fun loving demeanor meshed well with them. He built on this at Boston College, where he graduated in 2014 with a B.A. in History, by participating in an education service trip to the Dominican Republic and picking up a minor in General Education from the Lynch School of Education. Moving back to San Diego, he continued to work part time at the same local Rec Center. Recently Zeke has decided on a teaching career and has begun substitute teaching at various schools across the county as an experience builder and a launching pad. He plans to continue with out of school programs either as a coach or with summer programs as he believes that the learning and growth done outside of the classroom can be just as important those done inside it.
Zeke is glad to be back in San Diego to enjoy the beach, the food, the local beer scene, hiking, comic book movies and being able to wear shorts year round.