The California School-Age Consortium is proud to highlight the Fellows from our Leadership Development Institute (LDI). These Fellows are leaders of color who demonstrate unrivaled commitment to the field and strive for advanced leadership in afterschool, school-age child care, summer enrichment or preschool. All Fellows undergo a rigorous selection process and participate in an intensive year long cohort-based program.
This month we are honored to highlight LDI Fellows Julpha Maniquis-Dormitorio and Chris Tsukida. Please join us in congratulating them for the accomplishments they have already made at the local level, for being selected as one of only 13 LDI Fellows statewide, and for their commitment to advancing their communities and our field through continuous professional development and capacity building.
Chris Tsukida is an Elementary School After School Site Manager for the Richmond District After School Collaborative with the Richmond District Neighborhood Center in San Francisco. Chris joined the Richmond District Neighborhood Center (RDNC) in 2009, after working as a site manager for an after school program in the District of Columbia Public School system. Currently, Chris manages a program for 85 youth with a staff of 10 dedicated youth workers. Chris believes that RDNC's mission in providing a safe, arts enriched, academically supportive, and culturally relevant after school program, is critical to the success and well-being of many families in the Richmond District.
As a site manager Chris is tasked with overseeing all planning, organizing and teaching of all after school activities, including the resident artist program, the Youth Program Assistant high school youth worker program, as well as a range of enrichment classes, including nutrition and cooking, sports, visual arts, and service learning. In addition, Chris also serves as the Editor in Chief for The Avenues, a monthly newsletter for all Richmond District Neighborhood Center programs.
While most of Chris's professional experience has been spent working directly with youth and youth workers, he sees youth work as just part of the ever growing professional field of youth development, which also encompasses advocacy, research, and organizing. As such, Chris has worked in after school research with the National Council on Crime and Delinquency, conducting research and evaluation of youth development programs, as well as community organizing of local youth development programs to better respond to community violence.
Throughout his career he has remained an active member in the community in a range of capacities, and has volunteered as an Advisory Board member for the South East Asian Young Leaders, in Richmond California, as well as a Mentorship Coordinator with Kid Power, D.C. With his diverse range of experience working with schools, research and advocacy, and service-oriented community-based organizations, Chris continues to be inspired by the passion and commitment of youth workers and is excited to be part of what he sees as a bright future for youth development.
Julpha Maniquis-Dormitorio has been the Teacher on Special Assignment (TOSA) for the Newport-Mesa Unified School District’s ASES program, known as Project Success, since April 2007. She currently oversees 9 elementary school after school programs in her district. Julpha coordinates partnerships with local city, county, private and non-profit agencies; trains and manages a staff of over 50 instructional assistants; and acts as the program liaison for parents and school administrators. She has devoted a great deal of time and energy, and has been fortunate enough in finding the right people to provide guidance and support for the development and structure of Project Success.
Since its inception, Project Success has grown into a dynamic, academically challenging program. It operates exclusively in Title 1 schools, with a large majority of students from low-income backgrounds. Many of these students struggle during the regular day, most are English learners and/or academically at-risk. The program provides a wealth of learning opportunities students do not normally receive during the regular school day. Enrichment classes such as Marine Science, Chess, Photography, and Art are offered alongside reading and math support and homework help. In addition, students are offered scholarships through Total Golf Adventures and South Coast Repertory Theater. These types of opportunities are what have kept the interest of the children, many of them citing the “fun, creative classes” and “great teachers” as the reasons they enjoy Project Success.
Julpha is especially proud of the investment the program has made in “growing” its people through meaningful and robust training for instructional staff and an ongoing support structure that ensures a high standard is maintained and leadership opportunities are encouraged. The District recently supported Julpha in applying for additional funding through the 21st Century Community Learning Centers (21st CCLC) grant. Julpha was instrumental in crafting the grant, working with various stakeholders in program design and budget. If funded, this program would operate at the 9 schools funded by the ASES grant and provide summer classes for up to 690 students district-wide in partnership with the City of Costa Mesa’s Recreation Department. This is especially crucial at a time when summer school funding has all but disappeared in elementary schools.
Julpha has vastly enjoyed working in the field of after school. She believes in the value of a good education, and strives to offer access to top-quality experiences for all students. This philosophy of equal access has been the driving force in all of her decisions regarding the after school program