OUR TEAM

We believe that building a brighter future for youth requires meaningful collaboration and a diverse range of perspectives.

MEET THE TEAM

LEADERSHIP AND ADMINSTRATION

YOUTH DIVERSION

YOUTH DEVELOPMENT

YOUTH REENTRY

COORDINATION AND INNOVATION

Learn more about our team whose diverse perspectives and expertise allow us to address complex challenges, adapt to evolving needs, and foster a thriving environment where youth can flourish. Among us, you will find survivors of violence and crime, individuals who have taken accountability for harm they caused through restorative and legal practices, and passionate professionals from fields such as social work, public health, public policy, law enforcement, education, direct services, and community organizing.

Leadership and Administration

David Carroll

Director       

David Carroll is the Director of the Los Angeles County Department of Youth Development. Mr. Carroll brings 15 years of experience in youth development through his work with community-based organizations in Los Angeles County and across the United States. He holds a deep personal commitment to creating opportunities for youth to thrive, having benefitted from such opportunities himself. 

Danielle Butler Vappie

Chief Deputy Director

Vincent Holmes

Special Advisor to the Department

DeJuan Belton

Administrative Services Director

Mr. Belton’s background is in business administration. He has a strong passion for helping others obtain opportunities to be successful in hopes that success will compliment them in their pursuit of happiness.

Mirian Gomez

Executive Assistant

Zachery Román

Executive Assistant

Mr. Román started his career as a Social Worker, then progressed into administrative work. As a second-generation County employee, his family has a long history of helping to make the lives of LA County citizen’s lives better.

Leland Schultz

Administrative Services Manager

Emily Wei

Administrative Services Manager

Youth Diversion

Refugio Valle

Diversion Program
Director

Mr. Valle’s background is in Social Work, with a focus on youth development in government and non-profit sectors. He is inspired by the growth he has seen people make in their lives when given culturally relevant opportunities and support.

Eden Aberra

Diversion Program
Manager

Ms. Aberra’s background is in non-profit project management. She is inspired by the young people and community members that advocated for youth-centered and intentional development priorities and the vision of a more equitable future.

Jacob Albert

Diversion Program
Manager

Mr. Albert’s background is in service provision, program development, education and training, and research for youth diversion, gang desistance, and reentry. He is inspired by equity and empowerment for youth, their families and communities.

Shinmeka Clark

Diversion Program
Manager

Ms. Clark’s background is in Law Enforcement with a specialty in juvenile justice system involvement. She believes every youth has the potential to be great and is inspired to help youth reach their highest potential in life.

Mia Foreman

Diversion Program
Manager

Ms. Foreman’s background is in international reproductive health, community engagement, and systems change. She is inspired by the vision that all youth in LA County deserve the same opportunities to thrive, grow, and be loved.

Marjan Goudarzi

Diversion Program
Manager

Ms. Goudarzi’s background is in transformative justice, challenging the cycle of harmful systems, and empowerment and service for young people impacted by policing and incarceration. She is inspired by powerful demonstrations of creativity, love, and kinship by young people and their expertise in their own lives.

Terry Robinson

Diversion Program
Manager

Mr. Robinson’s background is in psychology and project management, with a focus on motivational strategies and creative frameworks for system change. He is inspired by creative contributions in the fields of psychology, art, and philosophy.

Christian Zurita

Diversion Program
Manager

Youth Development

Vanessa Petti

Development Program
Director

Ms. Petti’s background is in facilitating restorative justice interventions, skills-building trainings and harm prevention practices. She is inspired by the belief that when we co-create sustainable opportunities to address harm, we create healthy, healed and whole communities.

Alexia Cina

Development Program
Analyst

Ms. Cina’s background is in policy and community organizing. She is inspired by the youth leaders she has gotten the chance to work alongside and her resilient peers who are using their stories, knowledge, and voice to make an impact.

Gloria Gonzalez

Development Program
Manager

Ms. Gonzalez’s background is in community and youth organizing, transformative justice, and alternatives to youth justice. She is inspired by knowing that when youth and youth development are at the center, they bring creativity, care, safety, and intergenerational transformation.

Jerry Henry

Development Program
Manager

Mr. Henry’s background is in education, workforce, and youth development. He is inspired by the amazing people in this field that are trying to change systems to provide more opportunities for young people to succeed.

Marianna Hernandez

Development Program
Manager

Ms. Hernandez’s background is in Social Work, with experience serving children, youth, and families across South LA and the San Fernando Valley. She is inspired by her family and community, many of whom have been negatively impacted by justice and immigration systems.

Raven Huston

Development Program
Manager

Ms. Huston’s background is in community building with a focus on a holistic approach to youth development. She is inspired to do this work by the families in her community that she has seen adversely affected by systems that have not prioritized equality, equality, and justice for all.

Ezekiel Nishiyama

Development Program
Analyst

Marsheila Randell

Development Program
Analyst

Ms. Randell’s background is in public social services with a focus on mental health, substance use disorder, and domestic violence resources. She is inspired by helping youth feel empowered to maximize their potential.

Reentry, Housing, and Employment

Patricia Soung

Reentry, Housing, & Employment Branch Director

Sahelit Bahiru

Reentry Program Manager

Raiai Lee

Reentry Program
Manager

Ms. Lee’s background is in nonprofit and social justice program implementation, project management, policy advocacy, and funding development. Born and raised in South Los Angeles, she is inspired to improve access to resources and positive outcomes for youth coming from the same neighborhoods she came from.

Elizabeth Lopez

Reentry Program
Manager

Ms. Lopez’s background is in youth development program development, implementation, and management. She is inspired by her parents and by the creativity and energy of young people in her community and across Los Angeles.

La Tasha Matthews

Reentry Program
Director

Ms. Matthews’ background is in mental health with an emphasis on psychology and criminology, law, and society. She is also a licensed Marriage, Child, and Family Therapist who is inspired to give back to the communities that that have raised her.

Dana Mitchell

Reentry Program
Analyst

Ms. Mitchell’s background is in community engagement and communication through centering community needs and cultivating safe, healthy, positive and engaging spaces. She is inspired by the creativity, vision, and tenacity of the forthcoming generations.

Michelle Newell

Reentry Advisor       

Dre Nichols

Reentry & Credible Messenger Program Manager

Mr. Nichols’ background is in Juvenile Justice and he has served in jurisdictions leading efforts to implement transformative youth justice models across the nation. He is inspired by the truth that he is the community he serves.

Ashley Yepez

Reentry Program Analyst

Coordination and Innovation

Taylor Schooley

Coordination & Innovation
Branch Director

Ms. Schooley’s background is in public health research, with a focus on developing collaborative, evidence-informed strategies for health equity. She is inspired by the youth leaders who have taught her so much over the years and the dream of a future that is more peaceful and more just.

Chelsea Busby

Research, Policy, & Innovation
Program Manager

Ms. Busby’s background is in program and service coordination in the public sector with an emphasis in youth, adult and family services. Her passion and commitment to support and advocate for youth and families is inspired by her community and its leaders.

Kaylyn Canlione

Research, Policy, & Innovation
Program Manager

Ms. Canlione’s background includes qualitative research and policy development with a focus on youth development as well as direct services for system-involved youth. She is inspired by the many folks she has interviewed, worked with, and learned alongside.

Lemar Henry

Coordination & Innovation Staff Assistant

Angela Kim

Outreach & Engagement
Program Manager

Ms. Kim’s background is in gender-based violence prevention, with a focus on domestic violence, sexual violence, and gun violence. She is inspired by the knowledge that violence and harm are preventable and she never wants another youth to experience violence.

Eva Levingston

Research, Policy, & Innovation
Program Analyst

Ms. Levingston’s background in public health includes youth empowerment, engagement, and education. She is inspired to do this work because she believes that youth deserve the opportunity to thrive and be successful.

Sahar Moheize

Research, Policy, & Innovation
Program Manager

Ms. Moheize’s background is in public health research & adolescent development, with a focus on social determinants of health. As a Palestinian woman, she is inspired by the collective fight against injustice in the face of oppression and erasure.

Vanessa Reyes

Outreach & Engagement
Program Manager

Ms. Reyes has a background is in social welfare and providing culturally-rooted, healing-centered coordination and programming. She is inspired by her community, her culture and family, and the resilience of young people who are working towards creating a safer and equitable future.

Samantha Ruiz

Research, Policy, & Innovation
Program Manager

Ms. Ruiz’s background is in health equity research and youth development. She is motivated by her own journey as a Chicana and first-gen student who was fortunate to feel seen and heard by people invested in her growth.

Alexia Vartanian

Communications
Manager

Ms. Vartanian’s background is in public health education and communications. She is inspired by the ambition and creativity of young people in Los Angeles County.

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