YouthBuild Project Team

Jackie GelbJackie Gelb

Jackie Gelb

Growth Planning Senior Advisor
YouthBuild USA

Jackie supports the leadership of non profits in charting their course, tailoring her approach to each organization’s unique dynamics and cultures.

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Jackie serves a Growth Planning Senior Advisor for YouthBuild USA. She was founding Executive Director of YouthBuild Boston in 1989, the first national replication site of YouthBuild. Jackie’s 30 years of experience spans a range of issues, including community health care, workforce development, youth development, education, literacy, affordable housing, job training, micro-enterprise, cultural development and the creative economy, civil rights and public policy. Her breadth of personal experience—as an executive director, board member, coalition leader, community organizer, and public policy advocate—informs her approach to consulting with non-profits. She tailors her approach to the unique dynamics and culture of each non-profit, finding the most appropriate ways to support the leadership in charting its course.

Jen LangleyJen Langley

Jen Langley

Director of Digital Communications
YouthBuild USA

Harnessing communication and mixed media, Jen illuminates the richness of social change.

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Jen Langley is the Director of Digital Communications at YouthBuild USA, where she leads efforts to use new media to tell the organization’s story and support its communications and fundraising efforts, and manages YouthBuild USA’s websites, social media, and other related technology. Jen has been with YouthBuild USA for 11 years and has led its selection, implementation, and management of CMS and CRM solutions, and a move to open source in 2011. Her previous experience includes web and marketing work at small software firms, technology start-ups, and front-line networking support at BBN Planet. She has a Bachelor’s in English from Boston University and a Master’s in Library and Information Science from Simmons College.

Noe OrgazNoe Orgaz

Noe Orgaz

National Alumni Council
YouthBuild USA

A veteran of community organizing, Noe helps youth find their voice.

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Noe Orgaz grew up in a low income, single parent home in Northeast Los Angeles — a community split by gangs. He saw the fight for territory first hand and quickly decided that he would not belong to a gang. At the age of 16 he became a father and dropped out of school to begin working full time. However, during high school, Noe was introduced to community organizing. And in 2002 he helped form the Youth Justice Coalition (YJC) where he helped bring together non-profit organizations to discuss issues affecting their community. During his tenure at YJC, he demanded alternative solutions to incarceration and justice in schools and in the streets. Noe was motivated to educate himself after struggling to find history books about his culture. He was able to visit Chiapas, México where he learned about the Zapatistas and restorative justice. This experience serves as inspiration for the change he envisions for American society. Noe is on the National Alumni Council for YouthBuild USA. He is currently working towards a business administration degree.

Emma BernsohnEmma Bernsohn

Emma Bernsohn

Tomorrow Partners

A newly minted design professional, Emma learns quickly, laughs easily, pedals daily, and creates with enthusiasm.

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Emma Bernsohn is a designer at Tomorrow where she has worked on various branding, print, and interactive projects. After leaving the Midwest to study on the East Coast she traveled throughout Central and North America farming and practicing sustainable construction. Emma settled in the Bay Area to study graphic design at California College of the Arts where she graduated with distinction. When she isn’t behind her computer she can usually be found on her bicycle.

Jeremy KayeJeremy Kaye

Jeremy Kaye

Colab Creative Strategies

From multinational brands to new models for success, Jeremy’s strategy combines creativity with experience.

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Jeremy’s professional experience lies at the intersection of business and design, leading strategic engagements with multi-disciplinary teams for global multinationals, start-ups, and organizations committed to social change. Jeremy spent the first portion of his career at J. Crew, Patagonia, the GAP and Nike, leading new initiative brand design and marketing efforts. After many years directing global brand strategy programs for clients in consumer products, healthcare, finance, education, hospitality, and retail, Jeremy formed Colab, a new model for creative strategy that operates at the intersection of brand, business and experience design. Jeremy serves on the Executive Committee of the Oregon Humanities Board and is an advisory board member for the Alabama Innovation Engine. He is a periodic guest lecturer at Parsons The New School for Design, has been featured in Fast Company, the Wall Street Journal and BusinessWeek, and has won numerous international design and business awards.

Johnathon StrubeJohnathon Strube

Johnathon Strube

Designer | Fellow
Firebelly University

Across oceans and mediums, Johnathon uses art and design to create community.

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Johnathon Strube is a collaborative designer living, thinking, feeling and working within print, UX, motion and exhibition design. He is currently a Fellow at Firebelly University, full-time designer at Tilt Shift and recent instructor in Visual Communication at Northern Illinois University. Prior to Firebelly University and Tilt Shift, he gained international experience while exhibiting work at the International Festival of Design in Poland, studied Design and Architecture in Italy, Switzerland and Spain and served as a Graduate Assistant for Moving Design. Currently, he is working on the launch of his own design studio Heart Giants, a collaborative studio focused on making art and design a viable element within small communities. A combination of design studio, art collective and education incubator, Heart Giants’ mission is to empower community, creativity and culture through design, art and education. Outside of design, he enjoys biking, sharing, family, friends, sports, stories and life.

Ely FloresEly Flores

Ely Flores

Outreach Manager
GRID Alternatives

Ely has dedicated his career to creating leadership opportunities for young people and making green energy accessible for communities.

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Ely Flores’ YouthBuild life started like many other stories—young, pushed out of school, a young parent, and “adjudicated.” However, after completing the YouthBuild program as one of the top students, he obtained both his High School Diploma and GED. He also embarked on a voyage to fight for social justice at The Youth Justice Coalition and Public Allies. Years of involvement in political campaigns and community organizing efforts have taken him to speak at the White House, State Assembly, and Congress.

His passion for social justice took him to Israel, Palestine, Bosnia and Herzegovina. He now works for GRID Alternatives where he has turned hundreds of families green, namely by equipping them with solar panel systems. He has worked with local elected officials and Green Jobs Now to spread the ideas of environmental justice and the importance of having people of color at its forefront. In 2010, he established Leadership Through Empowerment, Action, and Dialogue Inc. to empower young people to transform their lives and communities. He holds a BA in Organizational Management with an emphasis on Public Administration. Ely is raising two kids and continues to be a part of the YouthBuild National Alumni Council.

Tyler NakatsuTyler Nakatsu

Tyler Nakatsu

Digital Marketing & Communications Specialist
YouthBuild USA

Specializing in communication, Tyler gives young men and women a voice in the digital community.

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Tyler Nakatsu is the Digital Marketing and Communications Specialist at YouthBuild USA. He focuses on utilizing new media to elevate the YouthBuild voice of graduates and advocates and also edits, generates and manages content for Tyler has been at YouthBuild since November 2011. Prior to YouthBuild, Tyler worked in social media marketing, brand strategy and content management as a Marketing Coordinator at Palazzo Creative in Seattle, WA. He has a Bachelor’s in Applied Intercultural Communication from Washington State University.

Bea SweetBea Sweet

Bea Sweet

Re-engagement Specialist
South LA YouthBuild

Bea serves youth by sharing her success story and inviting young men and women to create their own.

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Beatrice “Bea” Sweet has served at various youth development programs; she is currently serving as a Re-engagement Specialist at South LA YouthBuild located on the college campus of Los Angeles Trade Tech. Bea was born and raised in San Fernando Valley, California. As a young African American woman growing up in a low-income urban community, she has been blessed to overcome many obstacles and barriers to be who she is today. Bea is a YouthBuild graduate of Lennox YouthBuild, California, Class of 2000.

Bea has studied at Cal State LA and Los Angeles Community College, taking courses in gang intervention and prevention, youth development, leadership development and community asset building. She has a great passion for serving young people and assisting in their personal and academic development. Bea is an elected member of the YouthBuild National Alumni Council (NAC) and represents over 80,000 YouthBuild alumni across the nation. She has touched many staff and young people’s lives in a profound way through the development and facilitation of trainings and sharing her personal life experiences.

Brooke BrewerBrooke Brewer

Brooke Brewer

BreakThru Films

A filmmaker with myriad interests, Brooke tells captivating stories about unforgettable people and experiences.

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Brooke Brewer is a producer for Break Thru films, a production company headed by Ricki Stern and Annie Sundberg. Each project at Break Thru tracks new landscape–from criminal injustice in the American South, to Darfur, to stand up comedy and the lives of professional athletes–but all are centered on unforgettable people and their singular experiences. Next up is a GE/Cinelan FocusForward film and a pilot for the National Geographic Channel.

Prior to Break Thru, Brooke worked for PopTech and Goodfocus, producing films for universities, non-profits and social enterprises with stories ranging from design for social good to gay marriage to the history of the Inuit people. Her own storied past includes stints as a weaver, farmer, shepherdess, raft guide and vegan baker.

Dr. Jabari MahiriDr. Jabari Mahiri

Dr. Jabari Mahiri

UC Berkeley

Jabari has a passion for teaching that he inspires in others through his collaboration with urban schools.

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Dr. Jabari Mahiri directs TEACH (Technology, Equity, And Culture for High-performing schools) a research/collaboration with urban schools and community partners on uses of new media for increasing achievement and educational equity, and for improving teacher professional development. He is Chair of the Language, Literacy & Culture Progam in the Graduate School of Education; Faculty Director for the Bay Area Writing Project, and Vice President of the board of REALM, Berkeley’s first charter school. He is the third recipient of UC Berkeley’s Chancellor’s Award for Advancing Institutional Excellence.

Dr. Mahiri is author of Digital Tools in Urban Schools (2011); When Scholarship Athletes become Academic Scholars (2010); and, African American and Youth Culture in New Century Schools (1998). He is editor of What They Don’t Learn in School (2004) and Virtual Lives (Forthcoming). Previously, he helped found and chaired the inaugural board of New Concept School in Chicago. He was also an English teacher in Chicago Public Schools.