Karen Zinkofsky (Miss Z)
Senior Artist/Art Director
Miss Z is an artist, designer, teacher, and creative entrepreneur. She joined the YSA Team because of their collective vision and commitment to empower youth that are homeless and/or underserved. Their mantra “Art Saves Lives”, is practiced by teaching youth about the arts, providing wellness support, academic aid, and job training skills. As a Senior Artist her goal is to support the personal growth of youth in creative social impacted projects that are both restorative and healing for themselves and the community. As an Art Director her goal is to support YSA in cultivating the growth of the Studio Program that provides youth with enriching workshops that focus on the healing qualities of creating, gaining technical skills, practicing life skills, building an entrepreneurial mindset, and analyzing the world through critical thinking. In addition to intertwining the Studio Program into YSA’s other enrichment programs by collaborating with the team to create opportunities for youth to contribute their talents to the Gallery/Storefront, Street Spirit newspaper, Tiny House Empowerment Village, and the community at large.
Her experiences living in the Bay Area, Los Angeles, and traveling abroad have enriched her growth as an artist and educator by creating meaningful relationships and gathering tools to build her creative community. While attending San Francisco State University, she explored working in various settings at museums, galleries, non-profits, and schools leading to receiving a teaching credential and BA in Arts Education. She’s been an Arts Educator for 8 years teaching in low-income communities of San Francisco and Oakland focusing on engaging and inspiring youth about the arts, art therapy, restorative action, and exploring creative careers.
Her artwork weaves her love for creating and educating, by combining art research, art therapy, and social justice to fuel her creative process. She works in various mediums of drawing, painting, printmaking, textiles, ceramics, and mixed media. In addition she enjoys repurposing materials and scraps to creatively lower her carbon footprint. Overall she creates to learn, explore, and give back to the communities she serves and connects with.
Her small business Reggio Emilia Design, is where she sells her creations to help fund her larger passion projects of redesigning classrooms in low-income schools.
Sally Hindman has thirty years of management and other experience working with non-profit organizations serving homeless people. She previously directed Berkeley California’s interfaith Chaplaincy to the Homeless and set up its Telegraph Avenue drop in center for homeless youth. Sally is the co-founder of Street Spirit, the San Francisco East Bay homeless newspaper. Sally received her M.A. in Theology and Art and her M. Div. from Pacific School of Religion. She holds an undergraduate degree in Natural Resources (Environmental Conservation) from Cornell University. Sally is an adjunct faculty member at the Graduate Theological Union Center for Art, Religion, and Education and Starr King School for the Ministry teaching “Liberation Art.” In 1998 she received KPFA radio’s Alice Hamburg Community Service Award for her outstanding leadership in serving homeless people in the East Bay. Sally has been a member of the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers) since 1984 and is a member of Strawberry Creek Friends Meeting.
You can reach Sally at email@example.com.
YSA TAY Mental Health Social Worker
Maria Epstein joined Youth Spirit Artworks as Transition Age Youth Mental Health Social Worker in 2020. As part of the YSA team, she strives to help youth recognize their resilience, develop their skills and creativity, and achieve the future they deserve. Her mission is to connect youth with the community resources and supports they need to develop their own identity, meet the goals they set for themselves, and thrive.
Maria holds a B.A. in Fine Arts from Mills College and a Master’s in Social Work from Boston College. She is in the process of becoming a licensed as an LCSW in California. Maria lives in Oakland and enjoys hiking, baking, spending time with her nephews, and playing with her French bulldog, Eevee.
Jimi Evins is an Artist, Art Educator, and Cultural Arts Activist. Jimi has been Art Director for many years in the Oakland community. As a graduate of CCA (California College of the Arts), Evins has worked with many arts organizations to bring quality art programming to Oakland, and especially East Oakland. Evins was lead Artist for the initial “100 Families Oakland: Art and Social Change” project in 2005. Jimi has exhibited at the High Museum in Atlanta, GA., San Francisco Art Commission Gallery, the Sargent Johnson Gallery, Berkeley Art Center, Oliver Hyde Gallery, the Richmond Art Center, Slate Contemporary Gallery, Joyce Gordon Gallery, Gallery 555, and the Solano Gallery, among others. He has received awards from the Ebony Museum of Arts, Inc. for Artistic Excellence and Pioneering Spirit in the Preservation of African Heritage, the Community Arts & Education Award from the California College of the Arts, the Jan-Schuyers Artistic Achievement Award from the Richmond Art Center and The Art of Living Black, and honored by the EOYDC for dedicated service as a Champion for Youth. In 2010 he received the Alameda County Arts Leadership Award.
According to Jimi, “Art making has been my passion since I was a child. I am at YSA to help bring a sense of creative possibilities to Youth Spirit participants. I want to improve & instill in youth a sense that they can create, in art, and in their lives, whatever they can imagine. Introducing to youth new methods and materials in the art making process is another of my goals at YSA.”
Jimi’s art has been influenced by his travels to Africa, Europe, the Caribbean, and South America.
Jilly de la Torre
Tiny House Project Coordinator
Jilly de la Torre joined Youth Spirit Artworks as an intern in the summer of 2019, and is now back after graduating from Reed College in 2020 with a BA in English. Jilly is an aspiring social worker, and is hoping to attend a graduate program next fall for a Master’s in Social Work. As YSA’s Tiny House Project Coordinator, Jilly looks after community organizing and logistical development for the Tiny House Village, in community with our interfaith partner congregations and broad team of volunteer contractors, architects, and working group members. For years, Jilly has been involved in hands-on work in her communities, practicing trauma-informed advocacy and direct service work with underserved groups experiencing homelessness, food insecurity, worker exploitation, and other challenges throughout Portland and the Bay Area. Jilly is now thrilled to be back in the East Bay, her home, and in her free time enjoys working out, hiking, and cooking bomb Mexican food.
Gallery and Online Store Coordinator
Albie Cartagenes is an Art Practice and Art History student in their Forth year at UC Berkeley! As the Gallery and Online Store Coordinator, Albie supports YSA’s Adeline storefront and gallery space (which has taken a temporary pause due to COVID 19), coordinates youth merchandise, art sales, and works with the team to plan curriculum for YSA’s job training program. Albie formerly worked at the San Diego Art Institute as a Gallery Educator and Art Handler. Albie is passionate about arts, community, and finding ways to bring diversity and inclusion into our work environment.
You can reach Albie at firstname.lastname@example.org
Administrative Coordinator/Youth Support Specialist
Eric Campos is a senior at UC Berkeley studying Sociology and Ethnic Studies. He grew up in the East Bay Area and is deeply passionate about helping and empowering youth so that they can reach their full potentials. Growing up in the Bay, he witnessed many social disparities within his own community and those around him. After graduating from UC Berkeley, Eric wants to pursue a career in academic counseling in order to guide underrepresented youth on their educational journey.
Eric joined YSA last year as a public service intern. He has now joined the YSA staff as an Administrative Coordinator and Youth Support Specialist. As Administrative Coordinator and Youth Support Specialist, Eric serves in a primary role coordinating administrative work for our art-based core jobs readiness program. He also works supporting youth leaders at YSA in meeting their personal, academic, and vocational goals.
Editor in Chief of Street Spirit
Alastair Boone joined YSA in July 2018 as the Editor in Chief of Street Spirit, the San Francisco East Bay homeless newspaper. As Editor, she assigns and edits the stories in the paper, builds relationships with writers and vendors, and keeps her finger on the pulse of homelessness issues in the Bay Area and beyond. Boone was born in San Francisco, and earned a BA from UC Berkeley in 2016. Previously, she worked for CityLab, The Atlantic‘s website on urbanism and city life. Her writing has also appeared in California magazine and The Daily Californian. At Street Spirit, she is looking forward to combining her passion for social justice with her love for journalism, and elevating homeless voices in the media.
Tiny House Social Worker
Shy Alderman joined YSA in September 2020 as the Social Worker for the residents of the new Tiny House Youth Village. Shy was born and raised in Oakland and Berkeley, and is passionate about supporting youth in the community she grew up in. Shy has extensive history working with houseless communities, specifically as a housing coordinator, intensive case manager, and crisis residential mental health treatment counselor. As the new social worker for the Tiny House Youth Village, Shy will be providing case management support to help youth locate and apply for permanent housing, connect to social services, social security, health insurance, mental health services, establish regular medical care, and connect with local resources to enrich their daily experience. Shy is excited to join the YSA team, and to support our youth in creating a stable, functional, and fulfilling foundation to build their futures around.
Board of Directors
Lila Blanchard, Secretary
Richmond Site Manager, Rubicon Programs Inc.
Jasmine Braxton, Co-Secretary
Corporate Counsel, Hearsay Social, Inc.
Financial Manager/Consultant, MODIS
Jordan Foster, Youth Representative
Former YSA Leader, Student, Berkeley City College
Reginald Gentry, Youth Representative
YSA Social Media Leader
Jonathann Giammarco, Treasurer
Inspection Specialist, Public Company Accounting Oversight Board
Jackson Hardamon, Youth Representative, President
Senior Service Aide, So. Berkeley Senior Center
Roger Kiel, President
Doctoral Candidate, School of Education, Aspen University
Allen Ratliff, MSW, LCSW
Doctoral Candidate, School of Public Health, UC Berkeley
John Shannon, CPA
Audit Manager, KPMG LLP