Stacey is a founding member of Citizens Invested in Transitioning Youth (CITY), a retired manager from the Los Angeles County Department of Children and Family Services, a former Commissioner on the Los Angeles County Commission on Children and Families, a past Board Member of the Inter-Agency Council on Child Abuse and Neglect, a decades-long volunteer with the California Youth Connection, and a Consultant and Trainer in the areas of mentoring and homelessness in California and Utah.
Through her involvement with organizations, funding sources, and non-profits, she has focused, dedicated and committed her life to serving the population of youth living in the foster and probation care systems. She has now seized the opportunity to volunteer with, and on behalf of, the same groups of youth. Her fine-tuned listening skills, tenacity, humility, people and community connections, administrative and managerial lessons learned, enable her to optimize her support.
Susan graduated from USC with a Masters of Social Work and is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist. She retired from the Los Angeles County Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) after a 40- year career which included both social work and management positions as well as writing Requests for Proposals and developing Contracts. Following her retirement, she continued part-time work as a Supervisor in a DCFS program that sought to match youth with extended family members.
Stephanie Inyama brings a powerful set of unique perspectives to her colleagues and clients in both the public and private sectors. She found her passion in mentoring and was able to bring her experience, leadership and project management skills to organizations and communities. She cultivates and leverages strong and diverse relationships across a wide spectrum of community programs and initiatives. Some of her efforts focus on grassroots organizing in South Los Angeles and supporting community projects intended to outreach to disadvantaged individuals, youth and families. Stephanie brings a strong background of community engagement, planning and organizing around such diverse matters as the child welfare and homeless delivery systems.
Hector Fregoso is a former Los Angeles County DCFS child welfare administrator committed to the welfare of transition age foster youth. Prior to his retirement, Hector provided oversight in the delivery of Independent Living/Transition Resources and services for transition age youth in West Los Angeles, the Antelope Valley and the Pomona/San Gabriel Valley. He worked very closely with local colleges and community agencies in an effort to address youth needs/challenges in the following areas: housing, health, mental health, higher education and employment.
Paul L. Freese, Jr.
Paul L. Freese, Jr. has worked for more than twenty-five years as a public interest attorney developing programs to protect and engage our most isolated and vulnerable youth – those experiencing homelessness, immigration distress, foster care or involvement with juvenile justice. He was appointed the first Vice President of Public Counsel, the public interest law office of the Los Angeles County and Beverly Hills Bar Associations, and more recently served as Director of Litigation & Policy Advocacy with Neighborhood Legal Services of Los Angeles. He has devoted his career to humanizing our child welfare, health and corrections systems by applying emerging insights from neuroscience on trauma-informed care promoting emerging evidence-based best practices to integrate and apply such insights.
Otho Day retired from the Los Angeles County Department of Children and Family Services after more than 35 years of service. His passion for improving the lives of foster youth has empowered him to be the change in child welfare that he wants to see. Otho continues to be an advocate, mentor and role model for many children. Steeped in his southern upbringing are his cardinal virtues of exceptional work ethics, terrific team player and rational relationship builder. He earned a Bachelor of Science (BS) Degree from Tougaloo College and a Master of Science (MS, Ed.) in Education from Jackson State University. He also completed a 2 year course in American Sign Language (ASL) at Marlton School in Los Angeles.
Earnie has a vast experience in education and outreach for youth (Foster and Probation) with a strong emphasis on one-on-one relationships and interpersonal skills. He served as a Program Specialist for more than 20 years, supervising Outreach Specialists at 9 Community Colleges. In addition, he worked with the Los Angeles Unified School District for 18 years as a Professional Expert coaching and teaching physical education and recreational skills to middle and senior high school students. Earnie introduced a camping module program as an alternative way to bring youth together in an out-of-classroom situation and incorporate independent living skills with environmental and survival skills, combining learning with fun activities in a very structured way to better prepare our youth for the future.
Lauren is the Founder and Executive Director of The Academy Project, a 501 (c) (3) that supports foster and homeless youth in South Los Angeles through their after-school program. The Co-Op and their summer program, Camp Xavier. Lauren was initially exposed to Los Angeles County’s foster care system years ago through her work with Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA), which she continues today. She attended New York University where she graduated cum laude with degrees in Theater and Psychology. She continues to be a lifelong advocate for foster youth and continues to work to strengthen the relationships between systems and organizations that support them.