The full cast

Our Board.

Our Board.

Arielle Kovacs

Board Chair

Arielle (she/her/hers) is currently the Dean of Special Education at Lazear Charter Academy in Oakland California. Arielle has been working with high-need youth in the bay area since 2014, initially as a mental health counselor before moving into a teaching role and earning a masters in Urban Education Policy and Administration.

During her time in education, Arielle has developed a fierce passion for advocating for youth and families who do not easily move through systems and often struggle to access what they need.

Junia (she/her/hers) was born and raised in various regions of California, which helped her learn to understand and navigate different micro-cultures. After graduate school, she taught grades 4-8 in the East Bay, volunteered her summers in Pyongyang, piloted various ed-tech and personalized learning ventures, and helped organize and lead her org’s teacher’s union. In this next decade of education, she is excited to take this intentional step towards amplifying the voices and needs of the youth who need it most.

In her free time, Junia enjoys stories and conversations, making things, trying things, and exploring things. She graduated in 2009 with a B.A. in Comparative Literature from UC Berkeley (Go Bears!) and holds an Ed.M. in Language and Literature from Harvard Graduate School of Education and an M.Ed in Educational Leadership from High Tech High Graduate School of Education. In early 2022, she became a resource mom herself! You can follow her adventures on Tiktok. Just kidding. 

Junia Kim

Founder, Executive Director

CJ Connolly


CJ (she/her/hers) was raised in Northern California and has been passionate about youth advocacy her entire life. She has always been enthusiastic about education and mentorship opportunities, laying the foundation for a career representing foster youth in the Alameda County dependency system.

She attended UC Berkeley for undergrad where she earned a degree in Psychology with a focus on child development and social dynamics. CJ went straight from Berkeley to UC Hastings to earn her law degree, concentrating in Social Justice Lawyering and taking advantage of ever youth related initiative on campus. Following her graduation, she started working as a law fellow at East Bay Children’s Law Offices, specializing in supporting foster youth in group homes.

When she is not at work, CJ keeps busy coaching Piedmont High School Mock Trial and UC Hastings Moot Court teams, supporting her mom’s small business Fancy Nancy & Co, hosting dinner parties with friends, and, of course, watching countless hours of TikTok.

Tina (she/her/hers) was born and raised in Central California. With a passion for serving children, Tina had her mind set on going to med school. After college, she joined TFA as a means of funding her medical aspirations.

However, once she began teaching in Oakland at Lazear Charter Academy, she fell in love. She has been at Lazear for 7 years, and has taught grades TK-8.

In addition to running student council, the annual school musical, coaching multiple sports teams, and mentoring student teachers, in her free time, she plays soccer and catches up on the latest movies. She graduated in 2015 with a B.S. in Psychology from UC Davis and earned her Masters in Urban Education Literacy from LMU.

Tina Diazdeleon


Nadra Mamou

Board Member

Nadra (she/her/hers) was born and raised in the San Francisco East Bay region. Passionate about youth advocacy,
special education, and disability, she formerly worked as a Legislative Advocate in Sacramento before pursuing a legal career through UC Hastings. She volunteers her time with SF Dependency Panel attorneys and a non-profit that offers job coaching/career counseling to people with disabilities.

She has a BA in Political Science from California State University, San Bernardino. She is a part of the 2023 graduating class of UC Hastings, with a Juris Doctorate degree. In her free time, Nadra enjoys spending time with her family, naps with her cat, and daydreaming of travel.

Darin (he/him/his) is a fourth-generation Chinese American born and raised in Southern California. Currently he is getting his masters degree at UC Berkeley School of Social Welfare focusing on nonprofit development and macro-practice social work. He became involved in activism and community service work during his last year at University of Michigan through participating in and organizing various protests and community events. Since arriving in the Bay Area, he has enjoyed volunteering with multiple nonprofits working with youth and marginalized communities.
During his free time, Darin engages in volunteering and pro-bono consulting with Project by Project, volunteers with food pantries in the Fillmore and SF Chinatown, and helps with youth activities with Seen52. He is also a fan of Microsoft Excel and frequently makes pivot tables, sheets, and lists for many aspects of his life(however inconvenient it may be). Friends around him also mention that his slam poetry is deep, but his squats are deeper. In the future, he hopes 1) to front squat 405lbs and 2) to become an executive director at a nonprofit serving AANHPI communities.

Darin Wong

Board Member

Jane Hsu Southwick

Board Member

Jane’s (she/her/hers) parents immigrated to the US from Taiwan, and she was born and raised in the suburbs of Philadelphia, PA. She attained her BA in Communications from NYU and her EdM in International Education Policy from the Harvard Graduate School of Education. For over 12 years she supported diverse background college students at institutions both in the US and abroad. Most recently she directed college programs for a national nonprofit that served low-income students. This fall, she began the MA in Counseling program at SFSU and she is now interning at Chabot Community College in Hayward. Outside of work and school, she and her husband keep busy with their three kids.

We're inviting you to join our team.