Steering Committee Bios


The Youth Development Peer Network would like to introduce you to our Steering Committee...

Yas(min) Ahmed is a queer Arab girl who has been working with young people since she was sixteen.  The fact is, she's pretty sure she'll still be doing it when she's sixty.  That work has taken her to the worlds of philanthropy, community organizing, health advocacy, and recently, local policy work.  When she's not causing a ruckus, chances are she's holed up somewhere writing, playing records or catching an episode of "Nip/Tuck".  Extra shiny: in 2006, she was selected as one of the real hot 100  (, a national contest flipping the script on what "hotness" really means. 

Jora Atienza-Washington is currently the Director of School-Based Programs at OASES in Oakland, where she’s worked since 2005. Jora brings a wealth of experience in the areas of after-school programming, youth development, program management and community collaborations. Prior to joining OASES, Jora worked for several years as an After School Site Coordinator in the Mission District of San Francisco. She also served as an AmeriCorps member for two years, working with San Francisco public school teachers to implement cycles of inquiry and action research projects in their classrooms through a cognitive coaching model.

Jora is a graduate of University of California, Los Angeles where she majored in Italian Studies and Linguistic Anthropology. She is conversant in Tagalog, Spanish and Italian and hopes to learn more languages in the future. She was born in the Philippines and immigrated to Southern California at the age of 11.

Stacey Daraio has been working with the Community Network for Youth Development for the last ten years, first as the Director for Youth Development Capacity Building and Partner Developmer, and now as Deputy Director. Her work has brought her into contact with multiple community initiatives, community based organizations, and public agencies.

She has extensive experience in the areas of direct youth programming, program development and implementation, instructional design, course development, needs assessment and project management.  Working with a diverse group of researchers, evaluators, funders and youth serving organizations, Stacey has developed technical assistance systems to support youth workers and youth serving organizations to improve their work with young people.

Stacey has worked extensively throughout the Bay Area, the state of California and nationally, demonstrating her commitment to creating universal quality youth programming.

Tristen Fredrickson discovered youth development many moons ago in the Pacific Northwest and has been stationed in the Bay Area for the past 3 years.  Her enthusiasm for working with youth, specifically girls, led her down here after leaving an unsatisfying career in the tech field.  Her latest venture as the Girl & Teen Program Director at Girls Inc. of the Island City combines her passions for math and science, outdoor sports, working with and empowering girls, and having fun while making a difference.  In her spare time, she can be found out and about in nature (hiking, biking, camping, windsurfing, etc), cozied up with a good book, relaxing at Dolores Park and traveling as much as her busy schedule will allow.   

Kica Gazmuri, Project Director of CalSAC and Next Generation Youth Work Coalition member, has over ten years of experience directing programs at Community Bridges Beacon in Mission District of San Francisco and at the Girl Scouts. She brings extensive experience in youth development and after school program management, staff and volunteer support, and training. She is also involved in workforce development for youth workers locally and nationally. She is an enthusiastic student and teacher of meditation, and finds inspiration in supporting non-profit professionals, helping them develop skills for stress reduction and self-care.

Rebecca Goldberg has been involved with the YDPN since the spring of 2004. In her role working for a statewide intermediary that supports youth workers (California School-Age Consortium), Rebecca understands the needs of both youth serving agencies as well as individual youth workers. In her role at CalSAC, she has led projects helping youth serving agencies create professional development plans for their staff, create new pipelines of youth workers to enter the field by recruiting and training recent high school graduates and college students to work in local youth programs, and has planned several statewide and regional conferences for youth workers. Rebecca’s expertise in professional development, workforce development, and event coordination offer the YDPN much needed resources to ensure that our work is relevant.

Marquez Gray is a 21-year old person of color and a proud father of a 13-month old baby girl. Heis the Senior Outreach Coordinator of a program called CHALK (Communities in Harmony Advocating Learning and Kids). CHALK’s focused mission is transformative youth development and employment. CHALK hires high-risk youth in San Franciscoand puts them in positions that will help develop and sustain their working skills. As the Senior Outreach Coordinator he provides mentoring and professional support to the youth that he has the privilege to work with. He can personally attest to how imperative youth workers are by being a former client it was youth workers who helped guide him from a 16-year old boy with no goals for life to a surviver who will live to see age 25 to now having a full-time career as a youth worker.

William Paris III is an Educator and Community Activist.  He has spent the last eight years empowering himself and his community to change. A native of Detroit, MI., Mr. Paris began his career in community advocacy in 1999 at the tender age of 17. Serving as youth spokesman and community intern for Detroit Branch NAACP director of health education, and human services, Mr. Paris’s poetic voice and articulate vision resonated the perspective of striving Detroit Public School students.  A diligent disciple of Dr. King’s belief that “all labor that uplifts humanity… has dignity and must be undertaken with painstaking excellence.”  Mr. Paris has dedicated countless professional and personal hours to organizations such as the Boy Scouts of America, Ameri-Corp, Kaplan Inc., Buffalo Public Schools,  University at Buffalo GEAR-UP (Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programming) New York State NAACP Youth Advisory Board, the Coalition to Defend Civil Rights By Any Means Necessary ( BAMN)  and the Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc.  Having observed the power of a people to make change evident within a community, Mr. Paris has committed himself to the pursuit of social equality and communal empowerment. Mr. Paris holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Urban Issues in Education from the State University of New York at Buffalo (UB) . Mr. Paris relocated to San Francisco in 2005 and has since joined the bay area’s championed youth development movement.  Working with the YMCA of San Francisco, and the Ella Hill Hutch Community Center, Mr. Paris was influential in the creation and development of the Cross Bay Youth Alliance (CBYA), a youth run collaborative of cross community advocates and conflict mediators aimed at curtailing the pandemic of youth on youth violence . Currently Mr. Paris works for the San Francisco Unified School District managing the Expanded Collaborative of After-School Student Services (ExCEL) program at the Tenderloin Community School. An activist of the youth development movement, Mr. Paris is a firm believer that every positive contributing member of society must in some effort work to support the healthy development of youth.

Sheyna Rivera,

Vicky Valentine, Trainer/Health Educator at HIFY, facilitates youth health workshops and adult provider trainings all over the Bay Area in English and in Spanish, which ensures that she has a pulse on not only youth worker issues, but on the issues that affect the youth that we all work on behalf of. She has lived in Oakland for a quarter century, and feels very pasionate about working with other youth of color, and queer youth.