Meet Our Staff
Co-founder, Executive Director
Dawn has worked with young people in San Francisco for more than two decades, starting campus-based girls’ support groups at Lincoln High School and A.P. Giannini Middle School in the early 1990s and co-founding in 1992 the organization that would later become Sunset Youth Services. She also worked as a community organizer in the Sunset, funded by a federal grant through Neighborhoods In Transition: A Multicultural Partnership, from 1993-1996. During this period, she started the Sunset District Neighborhood Coalition, an umbrella organization that coordinates the efforts of various nonprofit groups in the Sunset, and the Sunset Community Festival, an annual neighborhood celebration that continues today. Dawn served on Nazarene Compassionate Ministries USA/Canada Task Force from 2003 to 2008, helping develop guidelines now used nationwide by organizations and funders to assess the health and development stage of nonprofit organizations. She currently sits on the San Francisco District Attorney’s Youth Advisory Task Force and consults for community groups on such issues as coalition building, board development, nonprofit management and work with high-risk populations. Dawn is accredited to teach parenting skills through Triple P, a parenting program that has helped more than 6 million children in 25 countries.
Co-founder, Senior Case Manager
Ron has been developing bonds with Sunset neighborhood youth since 1992, the year he helped co-found the organization that is now called Sunset Youth Services. He has played a key role building bridges to community groups and law enforcement bodies. He serves on the executive committee and is a former co-chairman of the Juvenile Justice Providers Association. Ron also serves on the San Francisco Police Chief’s Youth Service Provider’s Forum, the Juvenile Detention Alternative Initiative and the Know Your Rights campaign, which helps young people understand street laws. He is currently working with the District Attorney’s Office and other agencies on an initiative designed to bring the idea of restorative justice to the juvenile justice system. A professional musician who teaches bass guitar, Ron leads multimedia projects in Sunset Youth Services’ Digital Arts Program, coordinating a wide range of musical and artistic projects aimed at helping kids develop music skills, express themselves and build self-esteem. He is a minister ordained by the Church of the Nazarene.
Co-founder, Senior Case Manager
Delvin Mack, Senior Case Manager, is a co-founder and a local neighborhood resident. Delvin has over 20 years of experience working with youth and leading youth programs. His primary focus is Asian youth in the juvenile legal system. As a Chinese immigrant, he has a unique insight into the challenges immigrant youth and their families face. He speaks Mandarin, Fukien, and Tagalog. In true non-profit fashion, Delvin is also our IT Department, managing all the organization’s hardware, software and other technology needs. He has a B.S. in Computer Science and has worked in tech support and network support in a nonprofit setting since 1991. Delvin is a minister ordained by the Church of the Nazarene.
Transitional Aged Youth Case Manager
Vicky grew up in the Sunset, attended both A.P. Giannini Middle School and Lincoln High School and is a former program participant at Sunset Youth Services. She was hired as a program coordinator in 2001 and was later promoted to Case Manager for young women who are involved in or at risk of becoming involved in the juvenile legal system. Fluent in Arabic as well as English, Vicky serves as the Transitional Age Youth Case Manager, supporting young people ages 16-24.
Culinary Arts Program Coordinator
Mutasem “Mo” Dajani grew up in the Sunset and is a former Sunset Youth Services program participant. He was hired in 2002 as the food pantry coordinator and maintains that role today, overseeing the process of obtaining, sorting and distributing donated food items. Since 2009, Mo has been working with youth and managing the youth center’s café, designing activities that encourage idea exploration, creative expression, and acquisition of new techniques, knowledge, and skills. Mo leads field trips and tours of establishments that eventually seek to hire the youth he helps train.
Family Success Coach
Maria was born and raised in the Sunset District and is a former Sunset Youth Services program participant. She began working with Sunset Youth Services in June 2000 as an administrative assistant and in July 2003 became family support program coordinator, assisting families in crisis by offering regular parenting support groups, financial workshops, resume writing, job search assistance and providing access to food banks, health care and legal aid. In 2010, Maria transitioned into her current role as family case manager, working with low-income parents who face challenges in the areas of food, housing, child care, food, employment and health care. Maria also serves as the case manager for the Sunset Family Resource Collaborative, which provides resources, case management, early childhood activities, and kindergarten readiness. She also participates in the SFRC’s Early Literacy Playgroup.
Digital Arts Program Coordinator
Since 2004, Wendy Baker has served in various capacities at Sunset Youth Services, providing program management, direct service, communications and fundraising. She is certified as a facilitator by the Center for Digital Storytelling in Berkeley, California, and her work in San Francisco’s public schools and after-school programs explores the role that personal narrative, storytelling, and digital media can play in education, community arts and social change. Wendy is also a radio producer for KALW public radio.
Digital Arts Program Coordinator
Joel has been part of the Sunset Youth Services community since 2007. He’s involved in direct service as well as program design, emphasizing project-based learning for high- risk youth. A certified operator of Pro Tools digital-audio software, he leads the digital arts program, supervising and training youth working in the youth center’s state-of-the-art music studio. As an undergraduate at Philadelphia’s Eastern University, Joel studied social entrepreneurship and earned a degree in sociology and urban studies. He spent five years in San Francisco’s Mission District, working with high-risk youth to convert warehouse space into a hub for youth leadership and employment training.
Juvenile Case Manager
Natalie joined the team in 2004 as a staff member at the youth center. Three years later, she became a juvenile case manager, working with teens who are involved in or at risk of becoming a part of the juvenile legal system. Natalie helps young people mediate conflict and gain vital academic and life skills. She also advocates for youth in court hearings, forms collaborative case plans with probation officers and serves as a liaison with various institutions that affect the life of the youth. She provides program support and assists in ensuring that kids are involved in activities suited to their emotional, social and physical needs.