CALSAC

Staff

The CalSAC Team

ALEAH ROSARIO, Director of Capacity Building Programs

CHARNELLE RUFF, Program Coordinator

CHERYL SMITH, Administrative Specialist

GEOFFREY LEE, Development & Communications Coordinator

HANNAH DAVIDMAN, Program Assistant

LUPINE REPPERT, Director of Development

MARYANNE SHIH, Director of Finance & Operations

NGUYEN DAO, Program Intern

RUTH OBEL-JORGENSEN, Executive Director

SELENA LEVY, Program Manager, Training

TAM NGUYEN, Development & Communications Intern

ZAKIR PARPIA, Director of Program Development & Operations

STAFF 

RUTH OBEL-JORGENSEN, Executive Director

(510) 444-4622 x101, ruthoj@calsac.org

Born and raised (mostly) in rural Central California, Ruth Obel-Jorgensen migrated from numerous dairy farms where child care, afterschool and summer programs consisted of feeding calves, jumping off hay bales, playing hide and seek in the tule fog, burying siblings in the mud and practicing clarinet for the school marching band. From a working poor, bi-racial and multi-cultural family, Ruth experienced the inequities of class and racial discrimination through her own experiences and those of her family. The only in her family to graduate from college and with lighter skin, Ruth also benefited from privileges that come with access to higher education and whiteness that others in her family didn’t experience. From rural, high poverty farm working communities with limited access and opportunity to a solid career and a wealth of resources in the San Francisco Bay Area, Ruth continues to straddle two different worlds – leveraging the rich dichotomy and complexity of all aspects of her identity to fuel her passion to empower communities and influence change.

Ruth studied psychology, social work and nonprofit management and leadership at California State University, Fresno (CSUF). Influenced by serving as a peer counselor and HIV/AIDS educator in high school, Ruth sought out to be a therapist only to have that direction shifted dramatically by Humanics– a nonprofit leadership and management program at CSUF. She switched gears from micro to macro and ultimately graduated with a Master of Social Work degree (MSW) and Humanics Certificate with an emphasis in community organizing and advocacy – all while leading civil liberties and anti-war campaigns, facilitating prejudice reduction training, interning at the National Association of Social Workers, Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom and the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, and working a full-time job to make ends meet.  Since relocating to Oakland in 2005, Ruth has ran statewide programs and campaigns for higher education access and voter education and turnout with the UC Student Association, and has also supported national programs for LGBTQ+ equality and youth empowerment with the Gay Straight Alliance Network and Maven Youth.

Ruth joined CalSAC in 2008 intrigued by the possibility of creating systems change from within through values-driven leadership and practices that advance educational, economic and racial equity. She held the position of program coordinator and program director before becoming the executive director in 2011. Ruth prides herself in fostering a strong organizational culture that leads with values, acts with integrity, and strives to be and cultivate equity-driven leaders – recognizing that the work we do in the out-of-school time field is part of a larger social justice movement. Ruth is the co-chair of the CA Department of Education Expanded Learning Division Workforce Advisory, co-chair of the CA Afterschool Network Leadership Team, and a member of the ASAPconnect Advisory. She also serves as the CA State Affilitate Leader of the National Afterschool Association, and is an alum of the LeaderSpring ED Fellowship and the CompassPoint Bright Spots Program.

Ruth calls the farmlands of the Central Valley home, where majority of her family still resides, while enjoying her current community in Oakland with her spouse and three dogs. In her spare time she contributes to Maven Youth, a nonprofit empowering queer youth through career exploration and technology.

“Me...We.”

- Unknown

Ruth's Top 5 Strengths:  Empathy │ Developer │ Harmony │ Positivity │ Achiever

 

MARYANNE SHIH, Director of Finance & Operations

(510) 444-4622 x106, mshih@calsac.org

MaryAnne Shih became involved in the out-of-school time field when she began volunteering at the United Boys and Girls Club of Santa Barbara County in 2008 after graduating from college.  It was there where she witnessed how the children in the program connected with staff and how even she, as a volunteer, made an impact on their lives.

Growing up as an only child and in a single parent household, afterschool programs and activities were MaryAnne’s only outlet.  To her mother, it was a place for her to know where MaryAnne was, but for MaryAnne, it was a place to find herself and her interests and to grow as an individual.  Now as a mother of two, MaryAnne knows that soon her children will be attending out-of-school time programs, and that these programs will be an important influence on her children’s character and values.

After receiving a B.A. in Business Economics with an emphasis on Accounting in 2007, MaryAnne began her career in the nonprofit accounting field as the Financial Accountant for the UC Santa Barbara Alumni Association.  She enjoyed the nonprofit accounting field, but after her involvement with the Boys and Girls Club, she wanted to work with an organization that focused on youth development.  In 2013, MaryAnne returned home to the Bay Area and began working at CuriOdyssey, a science and wildlife center for children and joined CalSAC as the Director of Finance and Operations in 2016.  MaryAnne is ecstatic and inspired to be part of an organization that provides tools and resources to enhance skills and strengthen capacity for those in the out-of-school time field because she believes it’s essential to provide positive role models for children. When MaryAnne is not working, you will find her spending quality time with her husband, two kids, and dog.

“You must be the change you wish to see in the world.”

- Ghandi

 MaryAnne's Top 5 Strengths:  Developer │ Harmony │ Maximizer │ Arranger │ Empathy

 

LUPINE REPPERT, Director of Development

(510) 444-4622 x109, lreppert@calsac.org

Lupine Reppert has been working in the out-of-school time field for nearly twenty years.  She started as a summer camp counselor at Tumbleweed Day Camp while in college – it seemed like a “fun and easy” summer gig.  She quickly discovered that the work was not at all easy - and that she was hooked!  As a young person, camp had been the only place where Lupine felt accepted for who she was and where she truly belonged – it was incredibly rewarding as an adult to create this same environment for youth and staff.  Lupine went on to serve in many roles in a range of youth development organizations including LA’s BEST After School Enrichment and the American Camp Association.

Growing up in Wasco, a small town in California’s Central Valley, significantly shaped Lupine’s life and perspective.  She holds a deep love and affinity for the small town experience – walking barefoot around town, seeing the entire community at Friday night football games and meeting up with friends in the almond fields.  Lupine also walked away with a deep commitment to equity and to disrupting prejudice, because it had been so prevalent in her hometown.

Lupine got involved with fundraising when she took on the position of Vice President of Client Services for Arrowhead Management Company, a fundraising consulting firm.  Now, as the Director of Development for CalSAC, she is enamored by fundraising and the power-building, community organizing approach taken by CalSAC.  Lupine has a Bachelor of Arts in English and Music from UCLA and a Master of Public Administration from USC. In her free time, you'll find Lupine outdoors - running, hiking, camping and kayaking or indoors - swing dancing.

 “Hope will never be silent.” 

- Harvey Milk

Lupine's Top 5 Strengths Restorative │ Responsibility │ Individualization │ Achiever │ Futuristic

 

ZAKIR PARPIA, Director of Program Development & Operations

(510) 444-4622 x103, zparpia@calsac.org

Zak Parpia landed at CalSAC in 2010 after 5 years supporting youth athletics programs, leagues and coaches in the Bay Area. It all started with a part-time job at the Jewish Community Center of San Francisco coaching t-ball and boys’ lacrosse. Through teaching Pee-Wee Sports and Movement to preschoolers, his first assignment on the job, Zak realized his love and talent for putting youth development theory into practice.  Zak’s passion for youth development grew into a passion for developing high quality coaches and programming, which led to positions overseeing city-wide youth athletics leagues and eventually a position with Coaching Corps – a Bay Area intermediary organization focused on strengthening communities through the power of service and sports. At Coaching Corps, he began to deepen his competencies as a technical assistance provider to Bay Area afterschool programs working to develop youth sports programming infused with strong youth development practices and values.

Zak grew up outside of Seattle, Washington playing sports and biking endlessly around his neighborhood. Play has always been a big part of how he engages with the world, thus, afterschool programs have been a natural home for his youthful energy. Through his studies of Sociology at the University of San Francisco, and his intersecting identities as a transman of color, Zak brings a strong equity analysis to his work with CalSAC.

In his spare time you can find him at the gym, watching a Seahawks game, cooking for loved ones or cozied up on the couch with a good book.

The only way to deal with an unfree world is to become so absolutely free that your very existence is an act of rebellion.”

- Albert Camus

 Zak's Top 5 Strengths:  Harmony │ Empathy │ Developer │ Responsibility │ Analytical

 

ALEAH ROSARIO, Director of Capacity Building Programs

(510) 444-4622 x102, arosario@calsac.org

Aleah Rosario joined the CalSAC team in 2013. Before this, she worked with the Riverbank Unified School District's afterschool programs in the rural, Central Valley community where she grew up. During this time, Aleah attended CalSAC’S CA Afterschool & Summer Challenge and experienced two important values brought to life: giving voice to the things you care about; and valuing afterschool as a critical social service for families and communities. Immediately drawn to CalSAC after this experience, Aleah jumped at every opportunity to be involved, becoming  an endorsed trainer and project leader, chapter leader and fellow of CalSAC's 2012 inaugural cohort of the Leadership Development Institute for Emerging Leaders of Color.

Aleah received her undergraduate degree in Political Science from CSU Stanislaus. In 2014, she was recognized by the National Afterschool Association as Afterschool’s Next Generation of emerging professionals. Aleah serves on the Communications and K-12 Integration Leadership Team of the California Expanded Learning Division and is a founding member of Sisters Inspiring Change, a group formed in 2015 that aims to increase opportunities in the expanded learning field for women and girls of color to realize their full potential.

Aleah is honored to now work on behalf of the organization that so significantly invested in and influenced her own development. As she continues to pursue a more equitable world, she is motivated by writers like Junot Diaz, the music of Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings, and dancers like Misty Copeland. Early memories of walking the precincts, organizing neighborhood events and boycotting grapes has imparted in Aleah a deep responsibility to honor her family’s legacy of service, community, and justice.

 "...power without love is reckless and abusive, and love without power is sentimental and anemic. Power at its best is love implementing the demands of justice, and justice at its best is power correcting everything that stands against love."

- Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Aleah's Top 5 Strengths Intellection │ Input │ Deliberative │ Relator │ Ideation

 

SELENA LEVY, Program Manager, Training

(510) 444-4622 x108, slevy@calsac.org

Selena Levy has dedicated her life to supporting the growth and development of children. She discovered this was her life’s passion at a young age when she had the unique opportunity to coach kindergarteners the game of soccer in the Bay Area. Although soccer for peewee players mostly consists of running around in a beehive towards the soccer ball, Selena could see that these little soccer players were growing as people and benefiting from positive role models.

Selena’s passion for youth development strengthened during her time in college at Willamette University. It was at Willamette that she made the commitment to spend her life creating a more just and equitable society. Education, specifically out-of-school time (OST) programs, was how she found she could make the greatest impact on youth who were most affected by societal inequities. As an AmeriCorps member with City Year and Playworks in Los Angeles, Selena witnessed the power of OST programs to provide much-needed support to youth outside the classroom. She learned that teachers cannot do it alone and it truly takes a village to help youth thrive.  In her role as Program Manager at CalSAC, Selena continues to fulfill the commitment she made to create a more just and equitable society by empowering the adults who have dedicated their lives to working with young people.

Selena enjoys staying active though playing soccer, riding her bike and hiking. She also loves to learn and tries to find new books to read in her free time.

“Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.”

– Nelson Mandela

Selena's Top 5 Strengths Learner │ Context │ Input │ Relator │ Positivity

                                                                

CHARNELLE RUFF, Program Coordinator

(510) 444-4622 x105, cruff@calsac.org

A native of Los Angeles County, Charnelle Ruff has been working at some sort of non-profit ever since she began working. Any day of the week, you can find her sharing her love of collaboration with people to benefit man-kind; that is why she has chosen a career in non-profit work.  Charnelle discovered her love for philanthropy as an undergraduate at University of California, Los Angeles (Go Bruins!). At UCLA, she volunteered for UniCamp, a summer camp program planned and implemented by UCLA students to support underserved youth in Los Angeles.  At UniCamp, Charnelle gained a ton: she found her love for being silly and bringing joy to others as well as learned how to solve life’s unique challenges, such as how to keep the bears from entering the kitchen! Charnelle’s experiences at camp helped her to develop into the adult she is today.

After graduating with a B.A. in Anthropology, Charnelle became the Educational/STEM Director at the Boys and Girls Club of Santa Monica.  This is where her eyes were opened to the social injustice that plagues our youth and communities.  It was shocking that while residing in one of the wealthiest counties in California, many of her families were struggling to feed their children dinner. This reality, as well as the challenges she faced to provide resources to her staff to respond to these complicated issues stood out to her:  it was clear that something had to be done. 

After her experience at “The Club”, Charnelle landed at CalSAC.  She started as a Program Assistant in August 2015 and is now a Program Coordinator.  She is excited to be associated with an organization that is creating greater opportunity for California’s youth through the strengthening of out-of-school time programs and professionals.  Every time she gets into an Uber and talks about what she does for a living, her heart flutters.  She believes that children are our future and any effort that benefits that future is worthwhile.

Charnelle can be known as a little too excited about everything.  She loves being out in nature, from a weekend of camping, to a nice walk in the park, to an adventure at Disneyland.  In her free time, Charnelle also likes to go on adventures with friends and attend movies and musicals.

 “In every job that must be done, there is an element of fun. You find the fun, and - SNAP - the job's a game!”

– Mary Poppins

Charnelle's Top 5 Strengths Activator │ Achiever │ Positivity │ Context  │ Includer       

 

GEOFFREY LEE, Development & Communications Coordinator

(510) 444-4622 x112, glee@calsac.org

Geoffrey Lee was born in Los Angeles as a 1st generation Asian American with a Korean father and a Japanese mother. Due to the extremely contentious history between the two countries, Geoffrey learned at an early age how important it is to look past discrimination and embrace the differences in people. Growing up, Geoffrey’s schools were also very diverse, further developing Geoffrey’s strong affinity towards surrounding himself with culturally diverse communities and people. After graduating from UC Berkeley with B.A.s in Psychology and Political Science, Geoffrey worked at an immigration law firm where he helped clients obtain their visas and green cards. These clients were often people of color and from low-income communities. Through his experiences at the law firm, Geoffrey realized that he wanted to build a career helping the less fortunate.

With this in mind, Geoffrey decided to pursue work in the nonprofit field. Through his volunteer work at the Japan America Society (JAS), Geoffrey conducted workshops at elementary schools through LA’S BEST afterschool programs and volunteered at JAS high school quiz bowls and annual fundraisers. Most recently, Geoffrey served as the Foundation & Development Assistant at The Giving Back Fund, where he supported numerous youth-centric foundations including the Toni Kohn House project, The Charlotte & Gwenyth Gray Foundation, and Special Spartans.

At CalSAC, Geoffrey saw a perfect opportunity to not only develop his own leadership skills, but to support the professional development of those working in the out-of-school time field. Geoffrey strongly believes that by supporting those who work with youth and children, you are creating a better future for the next generation.

When he’s not watching the NBA and tennis, Geoffrey can usually be found spending time with friends, playing board games and watching movies.

"Coming together is a beginning; keeping together is progress; working together is success."

- Henry Ford

Geoffrey's Top 5 Strengths Harmony │ Restorative │ Individualization │ Analytical │ Empathy

  

HANNAH DAVIDMAN, Program Assistant

(510) 444-4622 x110, hdavidman@calsac.org

Hannah Davidman discovered her passion for out-of-school time programming the very first time she attended an overnight summer camp as a child. Starting that summer and continuing through high school, Hannah attended camps every year, from neighborhood day camps at the local park to sleep-away music camps in the California redwood forest. In order to cover the high tuition fees charged by private programs, she would supplement her scholarship awards by raising money every week during the spring playing her flute at local farmers’ markets. After attending afterschool and summer programs throughout her childhood and teenage years, Hannah worked during her college years as a summer camp organizer and counselor with the East Bay Regional Park District in Berkeley. There she worked at the Tilden Little Farm – where she had also volunteered for many years as a child – sharing her love of animals and agriculture with young campers and park visitors alike.

Hannah joined the CalSAC team in September 2016, bringing a strong background in administrative work and a passion for youth engagement and out-of-school time programs. Before joining CalSAC and returning to the OST field, she graduated from Wesleyan University with a B.A. in American Studies and worked as an office administrator for local Bay Area businesses. In her free time, Hannah can be found playing music and board games or playing at local parks with her two baby sisters. Hannah is also an avid bike commuter and Oakland Athletics fan.

“You can't use up creativity. The more you use, the more you have.” 

- Maya Angelou 

Hannah's Top 5 Strengths Context │ Individualization │ Relator │ Learner │ Strategic

 

Contractors

CHERYL SMITH, Administrative Specialist

(510) 444-4622 x106, csmith@calsac.org

 

Interns

NGUYEN DAO, Program Intern

(510) 444-4622 x111, ndao@calsac.org

 

Nguyen Dao graduated from The Saigon International University, Vietnam with a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration.  Even though Nguyen’s parents created a stable path for him to work for the Vietnamese government after college, he decided instead to chase his dreams. He has the dream to use his voice and actions to inspire the next generation and to heal other’s pains. 

Nguyen grew up in a very poor village surrounded by paddy fields. He remembers every single detail of the environment, from funny childhood moments to tough challenges. He remembers the difficulties of poverty: eating nothing before taking the bulls to the grass fields or wearing the same pair of shoes his 3 older brothers had worn at his age – sometimes even mismatching shoes to make a pair.  These experiences are a big reason why Nguyen is interested in using his abilities to help others in need.

Nguyen brings experience organizing outside activities for Youth Volunteer Club, an organization serving Vietnam’s street children.  These children, who work or live on the street, do not have full knowledge of their rights and are often unaware of the various risks of uncontrolled urban life.  Because he was so committed to these young people, during his free time, Nguyen would teach English classes to his friends to make money to buy food for the children in his program.  Nguyen is excited to have the opportunity to experience the cross-cultural professional working environment at CalSAC as well as explore the state of California. At CalSAC, Nguyen is able to reach children’s hearts once again and open a new adventure in his own “life-book”.

“Life is a huge book and we probably want to tear out some pages. However, everything happens for a reason, do not spend much time to look back; use that time to keep writing the new best things till the last line of the end page.”
– Nguyen’s own philosophy, mixed from many different philosophies.

Nguyen's Top 5 Strengths Adaptability │ Input │ Ideation │ Communication │ Includer  

     

TAM NGUYEN, Development & Communications Intern

tnguyen@calsac.org

 

Tam Nguyen joined CalSAC in 2016 as the Development and Communications Intern. Originally from Vietnam, Tam is visiting the US as an intern to explore American culture and learn about non-profit management. Tam has a Bachelor’s degree in English Language Teacher Education and Accounting - Auditing. She has more than 5 years working experience in the education field with many positions such as consultant, chief accountant, education consultant manager, customer care manager, English teacher and translator. She has tried many different jobs and has finally found her passion. Tam loves working with the public and helping people. She has realized that communication is a form of deep understanding and can heal human relationships.

As a woman in an Asian country, Tam believes that education is a powerful key to open the doors of opportunity to the places you want to go and the things you want to do. She strongly believes that the young deserve the opportunity to get an education and go after their dreams. Before starting her adventure in the United States, Tam worked at a charity school in Vietnam teaching English, recruiting volunteers, and managing the English language program. Tam loves sharing her knowledge and inspiring others to make their dreams come true. “Live while you can, if you want to do something, do it right now. Time is not going to wait for you” is her compass. In that spirit, she has decided to make a free  “Learn English” series of videos on Youtube  for Vietnamese speakers. She believes that sharing is the best way to learn anything and that learning is a process, not a destination. Tam loves to give and transfer her passion to other people.

In her spare time, Tam has raised money for many charities serving disadvantaged children and the poor. She believes the giver is the winner and love is the key to making our world better. Outside of work, Tam’s favorite activities include reading, swimming, yoga and meditation. She falls in love with books and owns nearly 1000 books at home.  She is also a big fan of animals, especially cats and dogs.

“Doing what you like is freedom. Liking what you do is happiness.”

           Frank Tyger

      Tam's Top 5 Strengths Maximizer │ Positivity │ Achiever │ Futuristic │ Connectedness  

          

Interested in an internship with CalSAC? Email info@calsac.org to learn more.
 

Former Interns:

HOA VO, Program Development Intern, Intrax, 2015-2016

ANNDA YANG, Fundraising & Communications Intern, California State University, Fresno, 2014-15

TINA DOYEONG YOON, Program & Operations Intern, Intrax, 2014-15

KENTA HONDA, Program Intern, Intrax, August 2014

NORA NEGRETE, Program Intern, California State University, Fresno, 2013-14

SONG VANG, Fund Development Intern, California State University, Fresno, 2013-14

JULIAN SORIA, Program Intern, California State University, Fresno, 2013-14

ERINA KAWAHITO, Fund Development Intern, Intrax, August 2013

SARANG HAN, Program Intern, Intrax, 2013