Our CCC youth workers love working with kids and our kids love our youth workers. Our leaders have varying backgrounds and experiences working in youth programs. Most staffers have degrees or are in pursuit of degrees in education and child development. All of our staff have passed a thorough background check, have current CPR and First Aid certification and meet the qualifications required by California Licensing requirements.
Maria is a Laguna Beach native and has been with CCC for the past two years. She is finishing her AA Degree in Early Childhood Education. Maria’s passion for working with children began at a young age growing up with four younger siblings allowed for her to develop a lot of the characteristics needed for working with children. She started her career and academic journey in Early Childhood Education back in 2014, working as a teacher aid, followed by being a kinder coordinator and now with CCC as the Interim Director. She has experience working with children of all ages and enjoys learning new things through the children she encounters daily. In her free time Maria enjoys spending time with her two boys and husband, going on road trips and spending her days at the beach.
Albert is a Santa Ana native. He graduated from Cal State Fullerton with a bachelor’s in philosophy. He’s been an educator for four years and has worked for schools, museums, and after school programs. In his spare time, he enjoys composing music, playing board games, and reading science fiction.
Jaed is currently a Junior in college in pursuit of obtaining a degree in Child Development with an emphasis in Elementary Education. She loves to help enrich the lives of children of all ages and abilities. Outside of CRA Jaed loves to go to the beach, check out local thrift shops and paint!
Yesenia is a mother of 3 kids under the age of 13 and a health and fitness advocate that works hard to help others stay fit and healthy. Yesenia has been a fitness instructor for 8 years and not only leads adult classes but also teaches kids dance and athletic training classes. Yesenia is passionate about helping children live a healthy and active lifestyle and when she is not at work she dedicates all her time to her family. Yesenia’s goal in life is to make a positive impact on our children and guide them to make smart and healthy choices.
Eula has been CCC’s Assistant Director and Recess Coordinator for the past year. She graduated from Cal State Fullerton with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Child and Adolescent Development. She has worked and interned with schools for nearly six years and has specialized in aftercare programs for three. In her free time she enjoys scrapbooking, playing the guitar and piano, and designing and making invitations. Overall, Eula is very happy to be a part of the CCC team and hopes her skills can contribute to CCC’s fun, educational program.
Lauren is passionate about art because it allows her to create anything with her hands. She loves to get outside and be active and also try new foods in new places. She is so thrilled to be working with CCC because of her passion for helping others and making new friends. Of course this doesn’t come without her tendency to be silly, dance around and dress up in crazy costumes for a good laugh. Let’s have a blast together while learning things too!
Culinary Specialist Iffat is a resident of Irvine and a mother of two, who always had a love for children. This passion grew as she finished her AA in Liberal Arts with a focus on child development. While completing her undergraduate in Psychology, she found out that her first born child had severe allergies to multiple food groups. This required her to learn new things and challenge traditional recipes with substitutions. In this process, Iffat found her new passion and enrolled in a culinary program. Now, Iffat is an Orange Coast College Advanced Culinary Arts graduate who works to teach kids the importance of a healthy diet at Community Roots Academy.
Aylin has been working with the Community Care Club since 2018. She is majoring in Human Services and plans to become an elementary teacher. She enjoys working with children and helping the students explore their curiosity and creativity. During her free time, Aylin enjoys going on hikes and spending time with family and friends.
Garden Specialist Khalena is very excited to be joining CCC staff for a second year. Having grown up on a small farm in Pennsylvania, she spent her childhood hiking, traveling and learning how to work hard and play hard in the outdoors which has grown into a life of hobbies and passion for being outside. For the past 12 years she has been working with children and youth of all ages at camps, schools, after-school programs and environmental education programs all across the country sharing her love of play, education, science and being outdoors to kids of all ages.
Nicole is a surfer and Dana Point native, She loves going to the beach whenever she can get the chance. She is currently a student at Cal State Fullerton obtaining a Bachelor’s Degree in Liberal Studies for Early Childhood Education. She loves working with kids because they have such great energy and are so kind hearted.
Art Specialist Roxie is a painting instructor in the evenings and weekends. She has four years of experience with an elementary art classroom and over 12 years of experience working with children. She graduated with a liberal arts degree from CSUF. She is passionate about spreading art history facts and painting tips in her classes and is happy to continue doing so here at Community Roots Academy.
Coach Parker is a lifelong resident of south Orange County. He has a plethora of experience working with children. He has worked for SVUSD as a site leader for an after school program as well as a care counselor at an adolescent treatment center in Orange. He joined the CCC staff in Spring 2017 and couldn’t be happier. Currently a student at Saddleback College, Coach Parker is working towards his teaching credential. He is an avid golfer and a Disneyland Annual Pass holder. Parker loves to go camping and is a dedicated fan of local sports teams the Angels and the Ducks.
Mary has been a member of the CCC staff since March 2015. She has been an educator for over 15 years, teaching preschool and working with elementary school children in summer programs. When not at school, Mary enjoys hiking, swimming, yoga, and reading.
Sandra Kiely has worked with children for six years. This is her third year with CRA. She truly enjoys working with children, and is also a CRA parent. When she is not at school, a few things she enjoys are trying new recipes and cooking for her family, playing wither two new kittens and long nature walks.