Name: Yadira Dardon

Position Title: Finance/Administrative Assistant

Phone: 415-274-1970



Credentials: Yadira joined HIFY in early 2014. She has over 9 years of administrative experience working in multiple health and non-profit settings. With background in finance and administration as well as being a Certified Medical Assistant. She is working towards her Bachelor's Degree of Business Administration.


Hobbies: Spending time with family, enjoys the outdoors and she is a huge sports fan.


Why is she/he here: Yadira believes in HIFY's mission and contributes by supporting the staff both administratively and by facilitating at middle schools.


Name: Cassandra Benton
Position Title: Health Educator/ Trainer


Phone: 415-274-1970 x0045

Credentials: Cassie has been working with HIFY since 2005, and since then has presented over 133 workshops, reaching over 1,550 youth. She received over 70 hours of intensive training on Health and Youth Development, Latin@s Health and Youth Development, Positive Sexuality, Working with LGBT youth, Substance Use and Youth, and Harm Reduction.

Hobbies: Reading romance novels, blowing bubbles, and catching up with friends in her spare time.

Why is she here?: Cassie enjoys the works she does with youth, believing that she's building up her community, learning new skills and making friends along the way.

  Name: Elizabeth Samayoa
Position Title: Executive Director


Phone: 415-274-1970 x0021

Credentials: Elizabeth came to HIFY initially as Director of Finance and Administration in 2008. When HIFY’s Executive Director left the organization for health reasons, Ms. Samayoa ably stepped in and continues to lead the organization.  Ms. Samayoa has over 21 years of Non-Profit Program Management and Finance experience at health & social services organizations.
She has held various positions including Finance and Personnel Director, Program Manager, Fiscal Officer, Director of Finance and Administration among others. She has a Master’s degree in Public Administration from California State University at Hayward, a certificate of Non-Profit Management and a Bachelors Degree in Business Administration.  


Name: Gladys Reyes

Position Title: Bilingual Health Educator

Phone: 415-274-1970 x0028


Credentials: She holds a bachelor's degree in Biological Sciences, with a concentration in Neurobiology and Behavior from Cornell University. She is bilingual in Spanish and English. She has been involved in safer sex advocacy groups for more than 5 years.


Hobbies: reading fiction, playing soccer, walking to new places, going to the theater, and watching action/rom-com/sci-fi.


Why is she here: To help youth learn about positive sexuality, safer sex practices, anatomy and physiology, and to promote social justice in and outside the classroom.


Name: Aldo Gallardo
Position Title: Safe Space Coordinator


Phone: 415-274-1970 x

Credentials: Aldo graduated from Northwestern University with a bachelor's degree in Sociology with Minors in Latina/o Studies and Spanish Language and Literature, and also studied at the Pontificia Universidad Catolica de Chile. A bilingual community organizer, he has advocated for communities of color, immigrants, and LGBTQ individuals for the past ten years.

Hobbies: Reading, playing saxophone, and following pop culture.

Why is He here? Aldo joined HIFY because he is passionate about social justice and anti-oppression work, asset-based community development, and youth empowerment. He hopes to build coalitions in the Bay Area and make QTY an inclusive, safe space for queer and trans* youth in Oakland.


Name: Sheena Castrejon
Position Title: Bilingual Health Educator


Phone: 415-274-1970 x0020

Credentials:Sheena Joined HIFY as a Peer Health Educator in 2006. She was a Peer Health Educator at HIFY for 2 years. In 2007 she also got the opportunity to hop on board with WORLD (Women Organized to Respond to Life threatening Diseases) as one of their peer health educators. Sheena then took a maternity leave for a year, and had the opportunity to come back to HIFY as the Bilingual Health Educator. She has been here for almost 5 years.
As she returned to HIFY after her 1st child she became very interested in teen pregnancy. Sheena now is working on a curriculum for youth on pregnancy options and parenting. She is very passionate in the work that she is currently doing. She feels there is a strong need in the Latina/o community on sexual health, as well as in the young community on teen pregnancy. Sheena is also very interested in working with kids with mental, and some physical disabilities, and hopes to work with both populations at some point.

Why is she at HIFY? Sheena is at HIFY because she believes in empowering youth to make better choices than the ones she has made. She believes that adults could help youth by communicating with them in their own language, and by being open on important health topics.


Name: Anna Fagergren
Position Title: Evaluator

Email: Anna Fagergren

Phone: 415-274-1970


Credentials: Anna earned her MA in organizational psychology and program evaluation at Claremont Graduate University. She loves helping health and youth-serving organizations tell their stories and build their strenghts using data.

Hobbies: Playing outdoors, writing and reading short stories, meditating.


Why is she at HIFY? She is here because she wants to help HIFY leverage data strenghten programs outcomes and advance HIFY's mission.


Name: Elise Smith

Position Title: Health Educator/Trainer

Email: smith@hify.orga>

Phone: 415-274-1970 x0028


Credentials: Originally from Long Beach, CA, Elise holds a bachelor's degree in the Study of Women and Gender, and in Anthropology from Smith College. During Elise's time at Smith, they discovered that they have a passion for sexual health education on a class trip to El Salvador (where Elise's grandmother is from) to study HPV/cervical cancer. They soon became the co-chair of the peer sex ed group on campus and have continued conducting sex education ever since. From Western Massachusetts, to New York City, and the Bay Area, they have interned and volunteered with sexual health clinics, QTPOC organizations, with prision abolition organizations. Additionally, they have worked in the sex positive retail industry.


Hobbies: Making herbal body care products, teaching themselves skills, DIY projects and crafting in general, bike riding, volunteering, teaching Pilates, spending time with blood and chosen family/friends, dancing, yoga, reading queer memoirs, and taking their grandmother to Macy's.


Why there are here: They are particularly passionate about working with youth in a facilitator capacity and from harm reduction and sex positive perspective, as these are perspectives by which they personally live.


Name: Alexander Cotton

Position Title: Health Educator/Program Coordinator

Email: Cotton@hify.orga>

Phone: 415-274-1970 x0036


Credentials: Alexander has worked with Bay Area youth since 2006, at non-profits focusing on workforce development, youth empowerment, green jobs, sexual health, and college access. His background is in community organizing and political activism, and he strives to bring a social justice lens to all his professional and personal projects. He graduated in 2013 from San Francisco Sex Information's 60-hour sex educator training course, and holds a BA in Politica Science from the University of Michigan.


Hobbies: Designing and playing games, volunteeting and political activism, crafting, and exploring.


Why is he here: Alexander believes that regardless of the hurdles they face, young people who come to a healthy and self-reflective udnerstanding of their own bodies and sexuality will have more fulfilling lives. He is inspired to work together with young men to challenge our society's understanding of masculinity and thereby to fight rape culture, sexual assault, and homo/transphobia.


Name: Eric Flood Jr.

Position Title: Safe Space Trainer & Recruiter

Email: flood@hify.orga>

Phone: 415-274-1970


Credentials: Eric is a graduate of Fremont High School Media Pathway Academy. He was president of his school's Gay Straight Alliance for three years.


Hobbies: One of his favorite hobbies is watch very messy reality shows on VH1.


Why is he here: Eric feelsthat being a newly High School graduate he can give HIFY a first hand view of what teens in his community need. Also, he wants to make sure kids have access to resources that he didn't when he was in school.


Name: Pearl Chu

Position Title: Health Educator Intern

Email: Chu@hify.orga>

Phone: 415-274-1970


Credentials: Pearl is a graduating senior at San Francisco State University with a major in Health Education and a minor in Women's Health Issues. She also has two years of volunteer experience in the Congestive Heart Failure Clinic at Alameda County Medical Center Highland Hospital in Oakland. She was a former youth peer educator for two years and presented workshops on sexual health with the Asian Health Services Youth Program.


Hobbies: Sweets/desserts enthusiast, collecting toe socks, having hair combed by someone else, reading, hiking and bushwalking.


Why is she here: Pearl wants to gain more experience in the health education field to better serve the public. Her goal is to challenge herself to take on more responsibilities and create outcomes for youth through practice.


Name: Keisha Turner

Position Title: Health Educator/Trainer

Email: Turner@hify.orga>

Phone: 415-274-1970


Credentials: Keisha has lead embodied, arts-based, anti-oppression workshops since 2009. She strongly believes in the power of creative play to both address and begin to heal from the daily trauma of social oppression. Her work with Brooklyn, NY-based organizations Urban Bush Women and Bailey's Cafe has emphasized community organizing/engagement, LGBTQIQ solidarity and allyship, and self-empowerment for women and girls. She is extremely passionate about reproductive rights and has steps toward becoming a doula. Keisha holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Dance from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, and is pursuing a master's degree at California Institute of Integral Studies in Interdisciplinary Arts, with an emphasis in Art and Social Justice.


Hobbies: Cooking/eating gluten-and dairy-free, healthy versions of her favorite foods, traveling, learning languages, reading, finding new ways to live green, karaoke and spending quality time with loved ones.


Why is he here: Keisha is committed to serving, celebrating, and being a resource for young people, particularly those who -like she- experience the intesection of multiple, marginalized identities. She also feels that a positive approach to sex/sexuality allows youth to fully embrace their whole selves, leading to safer, healthier outcomes.


Name: Zoe Lehman

Position Title: Health Educator/Trainer

Email: Lehman@hify.orga>

Phone: 415-274-1970


Credentials: Zoe holds a BA in International Studies from the University of Chicago. She has been working in HIV care, prevention and education since 2007. A bay area native, Zoe is delighted to be working with youth towards a brighter future.


Hobbies: Storytelling, cooking and eating, harm reduction, hiking, and anything that involves glitter.


Why is he here: Zoe loves working with folks on sexual health and believes in supporting youth to become our next generation of allies, activists and leaders.



Contact Information

1550 Market Street
San Francisco, CA94102
Phone: 1(415) 274 1970
Fax: 1(415) 274 1976