Ms. Demetra Jones, Alive & Free’s Math and Financial literacy instructor, has worked with at-risk youth for 22 years in schools and community-based organizations. She develops curriculum for and teaches the Leadership Academy’s Math and Financial Literacy classes. She has collaborated with an Alive & Free board member to develop the “Financially Alive & Free Prescription,” a financial literacy method modeled on the “Alive & Free Prescription” violence prevention method. Ms. Jones brings to her classes – and brings her classes to – her career as an Equity Trader at WHV Investment Management.
Ms. Jones holds a Bachelor of Science in Mathematics from Spelman College and she is currently pursuing her Masters in Business Administration at the University of California, Davis.
Ann Bassette has worked as a multimedia journalist since she was 18 years old documenting issues affecting young adults in the San Francisco Bay Area and beyond. She earned a B.A. in Journalism from San Francisco State and has taught multimedia skills to at-risk-youth as well as seasoned journalists for 14 years. She encouraged and taught young people how to share their stories to create awareness and positive change. She currently films and livestreams Street Soldiers Radio, which can be seen online as well as on Channel 29 (San Francisco) and KTOP-10 (Oakland). She continues to freelance as a photographer/videographer for local non-profits and companies, understanding the need to tell stories through the visual medium.
Ms. Debra Patterson is responsible for the day-to-day operation and management of the Alive & Free Headquarters in San Francisco including financial management, staff management,space and facilities management, and communication management. She is also responsible for providing administrative leadership for the office and acting as liaison between the students, vendors, board members and staff.
Ms. Patterson has more than 30 years of corporate experience in office management with an emphasis on process improvement, event planning, human resources, employee relations, recruiting, personnel development, and team building. Her incredible organization skills keep our team running smoothly.
Prior to Alive & Free Deb hailed from the corporate sector, working at Fortune 500 companies such as – AT&T, Levi Strauss, and Kaiser Permanente where she was responsible for sales staff company wide training events in the U.S. focusing on improving processes and maintaining customer service levels. It is her love of process improvement and organization that has inspired her to seek a career where she could immerse herself in it. Hers is the friendly voice that our students have grown accustomed to hearing when calling into our office, and she takes great pleasure in making sure they are each taken care of.
Ms. Deborah Estell has over 20 years of experience as an educator. She has served the San Francisco School District as classroom teacher and school counselor as well as administrator during summer sessions. As Coordinator for the Leadership Academy, she develops,instructs, and coordinates curriculum, directs and instructs the college prep class, counsels students and provides collegian support. She assists with the School Adoption Program, Street Soldiers National Consortium, Omega Training Institute, and co-hosts Street Soldiers Radio.
As a counselor at John Muir Elementary School in San Francisco, Ms. Estell works with professionals in a variety of sectors providing support, protection and assistance for students and families; performs individual and group therapy; coordinates and supervises a mental health program, coordinates implementation of the school wide Behavior Management Plan; and coordinates the ‘Omega Kid’ violence prevention program.
She has been on the faculty of San Francisco State University in the Department of Elementary Education, preparing graduate students to teach in the classroom and in the School Psychology Department training graduate students in the art of non-directive play therapy.
Ms. Estell is a licensed Marriage & Family therapist, and holds a Master of Arts degree in Education Administration and a Master of Science in Counseling from San Francisco State University.
Formerly a math teacher and Assistant Principal at both Frick Middle and Madison Middle School in East Oakland, Mr. Andre Aikins manages the day-to-day operations for Alive & Free and teaches the Alive & Free prescription in the community. He has 20-plus years of experience with youth from all walks of life as well as those who are at–risk.
He has received numerous awards that include the 2015 Man of Merit from The Delta Project, 2011 Community Service Award from the Sociology Department at Grambling State University, 2008 American Education Week Certificate of Appreciation from the Department of Education at Grambling State University along with a Certificate of Appreciation from The McCullum Youth Court for the 2006-2007 school year, to name a few.
Mr. Aikins leads workshops, presentations, and trainings, as well as works closely with our community partners advocating for youth and promoting a healthy lifestyle through out the Bay Area and the rest of the country.
He holds a B.S. in Mathematics Education and Minor in Sociology from Grambling State University and an Administrative and Teaching Credential from the State of California.
Ms. Tamara Drossart has over 8 years of experience in the nonprofit and social enterprise sectors in roles ranging from data management and analytics to marketing, outreach and grassroots campaign management. Previously employed as a Marketing & Business Development Consultant, she is passionate about using effective storytelling to challenge perspectives and inspire new ways of thinking. She has a B.S. in Sociology and Conservation Biology from the University of Wisconsin – Madison and has completed graduate coursework at the UW School of Business. In addition, Ms. Drossart has lived and worked internationally. She tutored youth in the townships of South Africa for one year while studying abroad at the University of Cape Town. She also spent a year volunteering abroad in Nairobi, Kenya, where she ran after-school youth empowerment groups, interned for a microfinance bank, and engaged in research and strategic planning for a social enterprise.
Mr. Jack Jacqua, a former school teacher, counselor, and coach with the San Francisco Unified School District is the peer counselor coordinator for and co-founder of Alive & Free.
Mr. Jacqua is a community activist on children’s behalf and has been for 40 years. He was drawn to community work starting with labor groups before shifting his focus to children who needed help. Mr. Jacqua is an advocate for young men and women at the Youth Guidance Center in San Francisco. He spends his time at Juvenile Hall and a number of youth and adult prisons such as 850 Bryant Street, Log Cabin Ranch, San Bruno, San Quentin and on the street corners of San Francisco neighborhoods. Mr. Jacqua holds a degree in Business Administration from UCLA.
Mr. Don Strand joined the Alive & Free board in 2001. He serves on the Resource Development Committee and is the board liaison to the Advisory Council. He is an investment professional committed to providing hands-on mentoring and support to Alive & Free youth. Mr. Strand collaborated with the organization’s Financial Literacy instructor to develop the “Financially Alive & Free Prescription, ” a financial literacy method modeled on the Alive & Free Prescription violence prevention method.
San Francisco, CA
Ms. Jacqueline E. Neesam has served as an Alive & Free board member since 2007 and serves on the Resource Development Committee. She is Corporate Secretary and Executive Assistant to the President of the University of San Francisco (USF). She is an officer of the USF Board of Trustees and was elected Corporate Secretary in 1997. Prior to her employment at USF, she worked for seven years in the Wisconsin Legislature. Ms. Neesam has an MPA from the University of San Francisco and a B.A. from the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire.
Dr. Joseph E. Marshall, Jr. PhD is the executive director of Alive & Free and serves on the Executive and Strategic Directions Committees. He is a social entrepreneur recognized for his pioneering work redefining youth violence as a disease and developing the successful Alive & Free Prescription violence prevention methodology. Before co-founding the organization in 1987, he was a math teacher and administrator with the San Francisco Unified School District
Dr. Joseph E. Marshall, Jr. is an author, lecturer, radio talk show host, and community activist. He is the founder of Alive & Free, an international violence prevention organization headquartered in San Francisco, the creator of the Alive & Free Movement, and president of the Alive & Free Consortium-an organization dedicated to eliminating violence worldwide. He is also the host of the violence prevention radio talk show Street Soldiers.
Founded in 1987 as Omega Boys Club, Alive & Free has transformed the lives of more than 10,000 young people and produced 183 college graduates, all supported by the organization’s scholarship fund. Another 60 members are currently enrolled in college, and nearly 50 have gone on to earn graduate degrees. Through its various programs—the Alive & Free Leadership Academy, the Alive & Free Training Institute, the Street Soldiers radio show, and its school adoption programs—Alive & Free communicates its violence prevention prescription to communities around the world and teaches them how to keep young people Alive (unharmed by violence) and Free (from incarceration).
Recognized as a social entrepreneur for his pioneering work redefining youth violence as a disease and developing the successful Alive & Free Prescription, Dr. Marshall is an Ashoka Fellow, part of a network of leaders in more than 60 countries who are implementing system-changing solutions for the world’s most urgent social problems. Dr. Marshall served as a planner and peer reviewer of the 2001 US Surgeon General’s Report on Youth Violence, and his method informed the Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s Best Practices of Youth Violence Prevention in 2002. His innovation has earned him the MacArthur Genius Award, the Children’s Defense Fund Leadership Award, the Essence Award, and the Use Your Life Award from Oprah Winfrey. Other awards include the 2007 African American Excellence in Business award, 2006 San Francisco Foundation Community Leadership Award, and the 2006 Jefferson Award from the American Institute for Public Service. He is the author of the 1996 best-selling book, Street Soldier: One Man’s Struggle to Save a Generation, One Life at a Time and the subject of the Street Soldiers documentary narrated by Danny Glover which aired on PBS.
Dr. Marshall earned an M.A. in Education from San Francisco State University , his Ph.D. in Psychology from Berkeley’s Wright Institute, and holds doctorates from Morehouse College and the University of San Francisco. He is the past president and current member of the San Francisco Police Commission and a trustee emeritus of the University of San Francisco.
Mr. William D. Hobi, joined the Alive & Free board in 2001. He is a member of the Finance Committee and serves on the Executive Committee. He has been in the investment field for more than 30 years, earning an MBA from UCLA and graduating Magna Cum Laude, Phi Beta Kappa with a BA in Finance from the University of Washington. He is also the former national board chair of the Surfrider Foundation.
Mr. Murrell Green joined the Alive & Free board in 2012 and serves on the Strategic Directions Committee. He is an Alive & Free alumnus and during his undergraduate years he was the youngest Omega to attend and graduate from college. He earned a BA in psychology from Clark Atlanta University, an MS in counseling from San Francisco State University and is currently working on his doctoral degree in education from Drexel University. Professionally he serves as an academic and financial aid counselor at City College of San Francisco and also as an educational consultant for high school and college students throughout the state of California. “One of the most fulfilling things about my work is that I can lead others to Alive & Free and see them flourish there.”
Ms. Debra Gore-Mann joined the Alive & Free board in 2012 and serves on the Strategic Directions and Executive Committees. She is Chief Development Officer of the Cal Alumni Association and she was formerly Managing Director-Consultant at Tribal Solutions Group LLC and Chief Development Officer at the Stride Center. She was Executive Director of Athletics at the University of San Francisco and Senior Associate Associate Director Athletics Director at Stanford University. Ms. Gore-Mann holds an MBA in finance from Stanford, as well as a BS in Management Sciences and Engineering.
Ms. Denise Childs joined the Alive & Free board in 2014. She serves on the Resource Development Committee. Ms. Childs is currently the Chief Operating Officer for E.P. Executive Press, Inc. where she oversees the finance and human resource functions. She formerly served for 12 years as the Chief Operating Officer and Chief Financial Officer of The Contemporary Jewish Museum. She has a B.S. degree in mechanical engineering from Western Michigan University and an MBA from The Anderson School at UCLA.
Deacon Larry Chatmon joined the Alive & Free board in 2014 and serves on the Strategic Directions Committee. He has over twenty-four years’ experience in the non-profit and government sectors, now retired from the San Francisco Human Services Agency as a senior contract manager. A permanent deacon with the Archdiocese of San Francisco, Deacon Chatmon holds a BA in Sociology from Macalester College, Saint Paul, MN.
Mr. Burton F. Boltuch joined the Alive & Free board in 2015. He earned his Bachelor of Arts from Brown University and his law degree from Georgetown University Law Center. His professional career has been as a labor and employment litigator, as well as an experienced mediator and arbitrator. Over the last several decades, he has devoted his practice to fighting workplace discrimination and harassment, litigating for fair and just wages and working conditions for California employees and working for social justice. In the last fifteen years, he has been a member of several non-profits in the Bay Area. He has also served as counsel to Alive & Free with respect to business and employment issues.
Mr. Glenn David Hunter,Board Treasurer has served on the board since 1994. He serves on the Finance and Executive Committees. He is president of Domico Software in Oakland, a supplier of management and accounting software to the self-storage industry.
Ms. Monetta White, Board Secretary, joined the Alive & Free board in 2010 and serves on the Resource Development Committee. She is the co-creator of the Food For Soul concept and co-owner of 1300 on Fillmore restaurant along with her husband, Executive Chef David Lawrence. She serves on the Fillmore Community Benefit District board and is a volunteer with Mo Magic. She earned a business degree from San Francisco State University and has studied wine and food for over ten years. Ms. White was instrumental in the Fillmore District revitalization and marketing. She is recipient of the 2009 SPEEDCO Entrepreneurship Award
Dr. E. Anthony Anderson, Ed.D., Board Vice President has served on Alive & Free’s board since 2007. He chairs the Resource Development Committee and serves on the Executive Committee. He is a retired administrator with the San Francisco Unified School District. Dr. Anderson serves in the First Tee of SanFrancisco, a youth development program, as a site coordinator and golf instructor.
Ms. Adrienne Riley, Board President, has served on the Alive & Free Board of Directors since 2003. She chairs the Executive Committee and serves on the Strategic Directions Committee. She is retired from the Peralta Community College District, but continues to work part-time as a counselor at Laney College in Oakland. Ms. Riley formerly served as Director of USF’s Educational Services Center for Minority Students, president of the Board of Directors of Holy Names High School in Oakland; and Chair of USF’s Board of Trustees Academic Affairs Committee.