Staff

Your favorite nonprofit professionals.

 

Our Team

 
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Pilar Alvarez

she / her / hers

Education Director

Pilar began her career in the arts as an actress but decided to commit herself full time to education after teaching theatre and seeing, first hand, the positive effects of arts education on her students.

Before joining Young Storytellers, Pilar was After School Program Arts Coordinator at LA’s BEST where she helped create successful partnerships between teaching artists and various LA’s BEST sites at LAUSD Elementary schools. Pilar was the Education Director of the Ovation Award winning Open Fist Theatre Company and coordinated California Shakespeare Theatre’s Summer Conservatory Program. Before supporting teaching artists as an administrator, Pilar taught theatre arts with Leap Arts in Education (San Francisco), The Theatre of All Possibilities (Santa Cruz), Big Up Kidz (Compton), STAR Education (Los Angeles and Culver City) and The Southwest Arts Center (Atlanta). Under Pilar’s guidance, her students have created their own commercials, monologues, short plays, theatre masks and puppets. Pilar holds a B.F.A. in Theatre Performance from The College of Santa Fe and a M.A. in Theatre for Youth from C.S.U. San Bernardino.

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Curtis Baxter

he / him / his

Day of Story Specialist

Curtis first volunteered with Young Storytellers in 2014 as part of the Script to Stage program at UCLA. He fell in love with the organization after witnessing first-hand the positive impact the program has on our youth.

He’s a two-time graduate of UCLA (Bachelors/African American Studies and MFA/Film). As a writer, he’s written for the Pretty Little Liar’s mobile gaming app. As an actor, he has been in several commercials, had a few television appearances, and created his own web-series. He loves traveling the world, learning about other cultures, and eating all the food.

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Jaylene Chung

she / her / hers

Development & Engagement Director

Jaylene is a Bay Area native turned Angeleno, which initially felt weird to say, but LA’s food scene is slowly winning her over.

After completing a long educational career – a BA in Biology, a Master of Theological Studies, and a MBA with a Nonprofit Management emphasis – Jaylene worked for several years for Canvasback Missions, a healthcare nonprofit. She is an avid rock climber, and in addition to dirtbaggin’ it on every free weekend, she founded a group called Climb the Gap, dedicated to increasing diversity in the rock climbing and outdoor community.

She occasionally moonlights as a session musician and a writer, but her true crowning achievement in life was winning a Reading Rainbow contest as an 8-year-old, and has spent most of her time trying to live up to that.

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Kristin Lorey

she / her / hers

Community & Culture Director

Though Kristin hails from a state that people often confuse with Idaho and Ohio, she’s been in California long enough to consider herself a local.

In her more than 10 years in Los Angeles, Kristin has spent all of them working in education and nonprofit spaces. Before joining Young Storytellers, Kristin worked at Invisible Children, 826LA, and Every Monday Matters, establishing various educational programs, providing professional development and growth opportunities, and building systems to support educators and staff members. In her spare time, Kristin loves to travel, lounge with her dog and cat, co-lead her womxn’s book club, and tend to her many (maybe too many) houseplants.

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Netta Most

she / her / hers

Community Relations Strategist

Netta joined Young Storytellers as an actor in a Big Show in 2005. Enamored by the magic of the program, Netta quickly became a mentor and later a Head Mentor.

After receiving her BA from UCLA’s Department of World Arts and Cultures, Netta joined the Young Storytellers staff. Netta shares a great passion for children’s self-expression and learning through the arts. She believes in the power of sharing, collaborating and daring as an access point to individual and social growth. A graduate of Circle in the Square Theatre School in New York, Netta has worked as an actress and producer. Netta values the power of community and is grateful to be part of the Young Storytellers family in LA, bringing together so many like-minded, creative, passionate people for a great cause.

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Bill Thompson

he / him / his

Executive Director

Bill began his work with Young Storytellers as a volunteer in 2006. His time as a mentor quickly became the best hour of his week and he is proud to be the organization’s third Executive Director.

He is a graduate of Yale University (MFA / Drama) and the University of the Arts (BFA). As a non-profit executive, Bill is a member of the Policy Council for the California Alliance for Arts Education and is a graduate of the Executive Service Corp Executive Directors Leadership Institute, Annenberg Foundation Executive Leadership Seminar, Hershey Cause Communications “Communicating for Results” program, Bloomberg Philanthropies Arts Innovation & Management Program, and City Scholars. He is currently participating as a Mentor Fellow with City Scholars and recently completed the Executive Education Program in Non-Profit Leadership at the Stanford University Graduate School of Business. He was a finalist for the Social Venture Partners Fast Pitch in 2016 and his pitch was the winner of the Judge’s Award for Innovation. He is the 2016 recipient of the Megan G. Cooper Leadership Award from Executive Service Corps. Outside of the office, Bill is an avid fan of the New York Yankees and is the proud father of two sons, Theo & Quinn.

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Andrea Barreto

she / her / hers

Volunteer Outreach Strategist, Americorps VISTA Volunteer Corps Member

Andrea is a Los Angeles native, having grown up in the San Gabriel Valley before moving to the Westside to attend UCLA for her bachelor’s degree in English Literature (Go Bruins!).

She recently graduated from the University of Oregon with an M.A. in Media Studies where she researched the role of Instagram in exploring Latina identity. Throughout her college years, Andrea volunteered in her community with different literacy programs as well as interning in social media for organizations such as BeVisible Latinx and The Culture Trip. Before joining Young Storytellers, Andrea served as an advisory board member and social media committee chair for Adelante Youth Alliance between 2013 and 2016. She helped with recruitment and outreach for AYA’s education and career conference held annually at Pasadena City College where she also presented workshops on the process of transferring from community college to a four-year university.

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Briélle Cruz-Vega

she / her / hers

Operations & Partners Strategist

Brielle hails from the city of Sacramento, and yes, her life is exactly like Lady Bird

When she isn’t hibernating in her Culver City sanctum, she can be found at the yoga studio where she teaches on a weekly basis to people in the Los Angeles community. If you have any conversation with her, there is a 100% chance she will try to convince you to come take her yoga class. She can also be caught petting strangers’ dogs without asking. (But really though, come take my yoga class!)

She got a bachelors degree in Business Marketing at Loyola Marymount University with a minor in Special Education, and finished her MPA degree at USC.

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Liviera “Vira” Lim

she / her / hers

Training & Curriculum Specialist

Liviera was born in Jakarta, Indonesia but immigrated to the US in 1998. She spent most of her life in the San Francisco Bay Area where she discovered a passion for music, dance, theatre, and filmmaking.

Growing up, she often worked as a tutor, mentor, and camp counselor. She was also heavily involved in Grab Bag Theater, a student-run theatre company based in the Bay Area for which she served as the Artistic Director from 2013-2014. Liviera got involved with Young Storytellers first as a Big Show actor, and then as a mentor and intern. She graduated from USC in 2018 with a Bachelor’s Degree in Theatre and a Minor in Cinematic Arts.

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Lexi Notabartolo

she / her / hers

Grants Specialist

Lexi is a writer and researcher, originally from places where there are casinos. Yes, all of them.

Currently living in London pursuing her MSc / MA in Global Communication (jointly with USC), Lexi has been with Young Storytellers since 2015. A former policy wonk and Fulbright researcher, Lexi graduated from Pitzer College in Claremont, CA, with an honors degree in Political Studies. Lexi spent several years as a federal lobbyist in Washington, D.C ., came perilously close to getting a Ph.D, and spent an unreasonable amount of time traveling as an internationally competitive debater. She’s written for the WB animated series “Wabbit” and was part of the sketch ensemble on TruTV’s “How to Be A Grownup.” Her academic writing has been published in several peer-reviewed journals and her writing for TV and film has gotten her into the top five percent of applicants to the Nicholl Fellowship and to the Second Round at the Austin Film Festival.

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Esmeralda Vásquez

she / her / hers

School Partners Specialist

Esmeralda was born in Downey, California, but bounced around from city to city throughout her childhood. She’s moved from the west coast to east coast… then back to the west coast. Her geographic identity crisis is over, and she is now officially an Angeleno!

Esmeralda attended Moorpark College and graduated from UCLA with a Bachelor’s degree in Anthropology.  This is not to be confused with paleontology, the study of dinosaurs. She was no Ross Gellar. She was Indiana Jones and dug holes in her grandma’s backyard. She is a proud alumnus of the UCLA Center for American Progress and Public Policy Quarter in Washington Program. While in D.C., she served as a Research Intern for the National Records and Archives Administration. Esmeralda was a Field Representative for the 59th California State Assembly District, which covers South Los Angeles, Walnut Park, Huntington Park, and Florence-Firestone. She served as the liaison between the community and elected official.