The full cast

Our Team.

A team filled with adventurous people.

Taylor (Lead Coach)

(she/her/hers)

Hello! My name is Taylor (she/her). I was born and raised in East Oakland, CA and I attended all OUSD public schools growing up. I always knew I wanted to work with youth and help keep them engaged and connected to their communities. I’m currently in a Masters Program at CSU East Bay for Social Work. I’ve worked with foster youth for 2 years now and I want to keep supporting as much as I can while earning my degree. I really enjoy food, eating and cooking it. I love to spend time with family and friends and chatting about new music.
Criminology and Criminal Justice student at California State University of Long Beach with a love for helping others and wanting to spark change

Favorite Quote

If you look at what you have in life, you’ll always have more. If you look at what you don’t have in life, you’ll never have enough.

-Oprah Winfrey

Gaby Medellin (Administrative Assistant)

(she/hers)

Jeanette Chow (Enrichment Coach)

(she/her/hers)

Hi, my name is Jeanette! I was born and raised in the Bay Area, and have been working with youth impacted by the foster system for the last four years. I am currently attending UC Berkeley for a master’s in social welfare. In my free time, I love to bake, read, be outside, and spend quality time with friends. My favorite place to be in the East Bay is the Little Farm in Tilden Nature Area, where there are several cows to feed and pet!

Favorite Quote

It’s not the weight you carry but how you carry it- books, bricks, grief- it’s all in the way you embrace it, balance it, carry it. When you cannot, and would not, put it down.

-Mary Oliver

Hi, my name is Sarrah I was born and raised in the east bay. I studied sociology at SF State and have over 7 years working in the non profit world. I love working with youth from all backgrounds, especially in creative settings. In my free time I I like to rollerblade, have game nights, and explore new places to eat.

Sarrah Bagadi (Outreach Coordinator)

(she/her/hers)

Anjeliqueca Bajita (Enrichment Coach)

(she/her/hers)

Hi! I’m a Pilipina-America, born in Alaska and raised in the East Bay since third grade. I love creating (writing, drawing, painting, etc.), gardening, and building Legos, especially with my family, friends, and community. My personal mission is to be the person I needed to someone else, so they can be well, pursue their dreams, and thrive.

Favorite Quote

No matter how difficult the past, you can always begin again today.

– Jack Kornfield

Jenny (She/Her/Hers/Ella) is from East Oakland, CA. Growing up she participated in multiple after-school programs/activities which inspired her to become a 6-8 grade after-school instructor in 2018. In hopes to be a supporting factor to a student’s education, similar to her relationships with own mentors. Passionate about working with youth within Oakland/Bay Area as she believes investing back with our communities can benefit our local education and students the most.

She received her B.A in Sociology and a minor in Latino Studies from SFSU. For fun, she enjoys watching anime and reading manga/webtoons. When possible she always enjoys good nature scenery.

Favorite Quote

Cuando me vean volar, recuerden que ustedes me pintaron las alas. (When you see me flying, remember that you painted my wings.)

-Unknown

Jenny Sanchez (Summer Program Director)

(she/her/hers/ella)

Doris Flores (Learning Guide/Coach)

(she/her/)

Doris (she/her) is a graduate student at Columbia University School of Social Work. She is pursuing a concentration on Advanced Clinical with the field of practice in health care, mental health, and disabilities. She interned at Community Health Resource Center in San Francisco where she primary assisted patients in a specialty outpatient clinic and provided individual psychotherapy services as well. She emphasizes advocacy as a core value to supporting individuals and families in navigating social barriers from health care accessibility to social services programs.

Doris aspires to empower and motivate all age groups who seek to strengthen their emotional well-being. Doris currently is volunteering for CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocate) in Sonoma County to offer community support and court recommendations to the courts for foster children. She loves to read, hike, bowl, spend time with her many nieces and nephews, and enjoy the occasional stroll on the beach with her dog, Bella.

Favorite Quote

The world changes according to the way people see it, and if you alter, even by a millimeter, the way a person looks or people look at reality, then you can change it.

– James Baldwin

As an educator with a passion for lifelong learning and an appreciation for knowledge acquired through lived experiences, I could not be more excited to join the team at Seen52 this summer. I am currently pursuing a doctorate in clinical psychology with the goal of providing comprehensive mental and behavioral health services in community settings. Originally from Long Island, NY, I spent several years living and working abroad as an English teacher before relocating to the West Coast. I am a certified yoga instructor dedicated to encouraging authentic, creative movement that liberates and uplifts. In my free time, I also enjoy reading books, listening to music, and playing with my cat!

Favorite Quote

I slept and dreamt that life was joy. I awoke and saw that life was service. I acted and behold, service was joy.

– Rabindranath Tagore

Jen Emmett (Learning Guide/Coach)

(she/her/)

Anna volunteer

Anna (Volunteer)

(she/her/hers)
Adrianna works full-time as a Speech-Language Pathologist at the Spectrum Center. In her free time she enjoys rock-climbing, traveling, and staying warm.

Darin Volunteer

Darin (Volunteer)

Bio coming soon!

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.

Junia Kim

Founder, Executive Director

Aatash Parikh

Finance

Aatash (he/him/his) is currently the founder of Inkwire, an educational technology platform that helps students build portfolios that showcase their strengths. He was formerly a teacher in Oakland Unified School District, teaching middle school computer science. Before making the leap into working in schools, Aatash was a software engineer, with experience at companies such as Google and Khan Academy.

In his free time, Aatash can be found watching basketball (Go Warriors!) and trying to keep up a yoga practice. Aatash graduated from UC Berkeley with a B.S. in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, and from the High Tech High Graduate School of Education with an M.Ed. in Educational Leadership.

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.

CJ Connolly

Governance

Tina Diazdeleon

Outreach

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.

Youth Advisory Squad.

We're inviting you to join our team.