We are grateful to the following community champions for their service on our Advisory Board. Each and every one of them care deeply about our mission, and work to support the daily goals and long-term trajectory of the program.
Over the past 11 years, Mario has overseen a successful expansion of Good Samaritan’s geographic reach to include the Bayview and Potrero neighborhoods as well as its long-standing presence in the Mission District. Mario has worked as an organizer, counselor, director, consultant, policy advisor and foundation program officer. A member of numerous boards of directors, he currently serves on San Francisco’s Immigrant Rights Commission, the Mission Council, the Athletic Scholars Advancement Program, and the San Francisco Interfaith Council. Mario is the Executive Director of Good Samaritan Family Resource Center, the non-profit that provides the Vision Academy program.
Dr. Joseph Bryant Jr.
Dr. Bryant has been the Senior Pastor of Calvary Hill Church of SF since 1996, as well as Chief Executive Officer of Calvary Hill Social Services. KQED recognized Dr. Bryant for his community work in 2015, naming him a Local Hero. Dr. Bryant is the National Sports Director for Rev. Jesse Jackson and the Rainbow PUSH Coalition, and is also co-director of the Silicon Valley Technology & Diversity Project, assisting in the strategic planning, organization and implementation and expansion of opportunities in technology through community based organizations, educational institutions and the faith community.
Laura is committed to youth services and education within the context of social justice. She has spent the last 20+ years working in out-of-school programs in an effort to increase access and opportunities for low income youth of color. From 1999 to 2015, Laura worked at the Tenderloin Neighborhood Development Corporation’s Tenderloin After-School Program, first as Program Coordinator, then as Manager. Here she focused on supporting school success, creating and implementing programming to engage and stimulate young minds, nurturing a cohesive and high performing staff, and developing deep ties to the Tenderloin community. After leaving TASP, Laura transitioned to the field of philanthropy at the East Bay Community Foundation in Oakland where she is the Grants & Scholarship Manager.
Mark Slee is the Founder of Heron Arts, a San Francisco arts organization and gallery space in SOMA, operating across the intersection of contemporary art, community, and culture. He previously worked at Facebook in engineering and product development roles from 2006 thru 2012. Mark also actively engages with the music and arts communities in San Francisco via his own creative work, producing electronic music and DJing in San Francisco's house music scene, as well as developing LED light art installations for both private installation and festivals. He has been a significant supporter of large art projects, including 2014's Art City Project, and the forthcoming Envelop 3-D sound space.
Kian is the Senior Director of Youth Services at Good Samaritan Family Resource Center and Founder of Vision Academy; Lead Organizer of the 415 Youth Framework, a social-justice training platform and quarterly learning summit for youth service workers; Member of the Bicis del Pueblo Action Team, a community bike-sharing and transportation justice collective; and serves as the Community Representative for District 9 (Mission, Bernal, Portola neighborhoods) on the Transportation Authority's Citizens Advisory Committee. In 2018, the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts named Kian to their YBCA 100, a list of global activists and thought leaders who create change and move society forward. Kian is a first-generation Iranian-American, born in San Francisco to parents who migrated from Tehran in 1964. He is graduate of the University of California, Santa Barbara, where he received a B.A. in Business Economics in 2002.
Honorary Members of VA
Over the years, we are thankful to have had support from the following individuals:
All the MYEEP kids, Amanda Lee, Andrea Nieto, Ashley Rhodes, Ashot Petrosian, Bonita Smith, Caela Wright, Chris Tholen, David Banks, David Parrish, Dr. Hollis Pierce-Jenkins, Edgar Molina, Elsa Lassoux, Jenny LLewellyn-Jones, Jia Mei Fung, Kisura Nyoto, Lady Kelly Bryant, Linda Sanders, Mehdi Alavi, Neil Souza, Nick Moberg, Peter Green, Rev. Timothy Dews, Roy Schwab, Savanah Maya, Sean Tempesta, Shawn Vales, Spencer Mandzik, Tegan Schwab, Thais Schwab, Vivian Yiu, William Delgadillo, Xavier Serrato, and Yosh Hariguchi.