Name: Yadira Dardon

Position Title: Finance/Administrative Assistant

Phone: 415-274-1970

Email: dardon (at)


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

Email: benton (at)

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

Email: samayoa (at)

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: Sheena Castrejon
Position Title: Bilingual Health Educator

Email: castrejon (at)

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 (at)

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: Alexander Cotton

Position Title: Health Educator/Program Coordinator

Email: Cotton (at) 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: Keisha Turner

Position Title: Health Educator/Trainer

Email: Turner (at) 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: Marc Wheeler

Position Title: Health Educator Inter


Phone: 415-274-1970


Credentials: Marc is currently getting a BSN in Health Education graduating May 2015. He has a year of experience in San Francisco State Univertity's P.E.A.C.H. Program.

P.E.A.C.H., Peer Educators Advocating Campus Health, focuses on promoting prevention and positive health choices; training in peer education and behavior changes through outreach, planning/implementing/evaluating, workshop and presentation facilitation, and peer education and counseling. Marc also worked for Americorps: Jumpsstart, teaching english language and reading skill to children ages 4 to 6 years.


Hobbies: Rollerskating, going to music events, cooking, extreme sports and shopping.


Why is he here: Marc wishes to gain more experience in the health educaiton field by advocating to various ages of youth. Also to become better equipped with the tools to successfully advocate health wellness to better the lives of those around him.


Name: Maria L. Morrell

Position Title: Volunteer


Phone: 415-274-1970


Credentials: Maria has worked with at risk youth teaching them how to meditate, keep journals, make music and write poetry. She is currently studying at City College of San Francisco to attain a certificate in Peer Education and a certificate as Youth Worker.


Hobbies: Playing guitar and writing songs, reading, boogie boarding, rollerskating, dancing, road trips, board games, and meditating.


Why is she here: Maria has a passion for working with youth and giving back the communal support that was given to her when she was young and struggling. She is interested in learning and growing with her community and earning the skills and knowledge that it takes to be a Youth Leader..


Name: Barbara Ochoa

Position Title:




Credentials: Barbara Ochoa is a kuir Guatemalan Maya boi haling from LA where their passion for queer/trans youth justice first sparked. For 6 years, they supported movements and organizations throughout the Los Angeles, Salt Lake City, and Bay Area addressing issues such as homelessness, immigration, and education. Barbara is a recent alumnus of the University of Utah having received two Bachelor's degrees in Communication and Writing & Rethoric. During their time as an undergrad, they collaborated closely with the LGBT Resource Center and the Queer Students of Color group by facilitating workshops and participating in panels surrounding the intersections of gender, race, sexuality, and class. Before joining HIFY, Barbara worked in the Salt Lake City School District with middle school youth through the Dreamkeepers Project, a program that utilized performance as a medium to catalyze identity empowerment and creative expression. Their continuous commitment to work with and within communities that fight against oppresive regimes can be demonstrated throughout their work. And they hope that by cultivating intentional spaces where queer youth, people of color, and gender variant folx can find community with heighten solidarity and love for one another.


Hobbies: Discovering self care processes, playing roller derby, performing poetry and prose, supporting community, and getting lost in music.


Why they are here: Barbara aspires to work with organizations that seek to support and respect the autonomous power of youth. As a result, joining the HIFY family has garnered them the ability to facilitate programmingthat encourages leadership, discussion, and resilency among youth.




Name: Shawn Simon

Position Title: Health Educator / Queer Trans Youth Center Coordinator


Phone: (510) 472-6160


Credentials: Shawn usesall pronouns except for "it" and has been involved with the queer community since the age of 16. His first involvement in the queer community was as a GSA member in junior year. By senior year, they were the GSA president and a member of a student health group called "Youth Educating and Advocating for Health" (Y.E.A.H.). From there, she became a member and later president of the Housing Council "Queers and Allies" and the club "Queer Student Union" at Humboldt State University. She was also the Fiscal Coordinator for Humboldt State's "Eric Rofes Multicultural Queer Resource Center", "Women's Resource Center", and a volunteer for Humboldt Pride. While living on campus at Humboldt State, Shawn was a Living Learning Community Advisor to the Gender-Neutral Community and later became a Community Advocate for that floor, as well as two others. He has a B.A. in Political Science with an emphasis in Advocacy and Institutions and a minor in Psychology.


Hobbies: They enjoy playing video games, roleplaying games, running, going to the gym, hiking, singing, dancing, poetry, and theatre.


Why is they are here: Shawn is here to help assist the youth in their growth and to give themknowledge that they can apply to themselves and their communities. She is also here to learn and unlearn from both their coworkers and the youth.




Name: Kaniya Samm

Position Title: Health Educator


Phone: (925) 864-6766


Credentials: Kaniya is currently pursuing a Bachelor's of Arts at Mills College in Ethnic Studies and a minor in Sociology. Kaniya will be gradutating in May of 2016 and looks forward to pursuing a Master's in Public Health. Her educational background has provided her with a strong foundations in multi-level social justice paradigms and overall cultural awareness of diverse communities of color who experience multiple marginalized intersecting identities. As a student activist Kaniya has had experience with mobilizing her community to bring about change and safe space for queer students of color on her campus.


Hobbies: Painting, poetry, visual arts, teaching science, and spending time with friends and family friends.


Why is she here: Kaniya is here because she believes in providing support and resources for young students of color who fall into intersecting queer identities. Kaniya uses her position as a Health Educator at HIFY to ensure the academic and personal success of young students with multiple intersecting identities like herself.



Contact Information

1540 Market Street, Suite 300,
San Francisco, CA94102
Phone: 1(415) 274 1970
Fax: 1(415) 274 1976