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THE BAKARI PROGRAM ADVISORY BOARD MEMBERS

The following individuals volunteer their time to advise and govern the

Bakari Mentoring Program: 

 

Bernadette Bernardi is a graduate of the University of California, Irvine.  Her degree is in Theatre Arts with a minor in Italian.  She has lived in San Luis Obispo since 1977 and has been actively involved in the community.  She was a founding board member for the Foundation for the Performing Arts Center.   She was the co-founder of Artemis-A Theatre Company and the Central Coast Shakespeare Festival.  In 1998, she discovered the Literacy Council through the need to help someone who needed a new career and could not read or write well.   A short time later, she was hired to be the Executive Director of the Literacy Council.   Bernadette serves on the San Luis Obispo de Tolosa Rotary Club, the San Luis Obispo's Chamber of Commerce Diversity Committee, and the San Luis Obispo County Library Foundation.

 

Roslyn M. Caldwell, Ph.D., is a tenured Associate Professor in the Department of Psychology and Child Development, California State University, San Luis Obispo. Dr. Caldwell’s research is designed to inform legal decision-making about the importance of evidence based mental health programming that is culturally sensitive and relevant, and gender specific. She works closely with local law enforcement, school officials, and community agencies. She is also involved in the implementation and evaluation of mental health programming for juvenile and adults intersecting with the criminal justice systems, and examining culturally relevant risk and protective factors related to juvenile delinquency and violence with an emphasis on mental health issues.

 

Dr. Caldwell received her doctorate in Clinical/Counseling/School Psychology with an emphasis in clinical and forensic psychology from the University of California, Santa Barbara. She completed her pre-doctoral residency/internship at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, Texas where she specialized in school evaluations for adolescents, child custody evaluations, mental health treatment of adolescents, and forensic psychology.  Dr. Caldwell also completed a post-doctoral forensic psychology fellowship at the University of Missouri, Kansas City School of Medicine and the Missouri Department of Mental Health where she specialized in criminal competencies, civil commitment of sexual offenders, and the evaluation and treatment of mentally ill offenders. 

 

Kevin Drabinski, M.P.A., M.S., has worked in communications and administration since arriving in San Luis Obispo in 1987. He has specialized in innovative nonprofit leadership, newspaper editing, crisis communications, social media, and speechwriting. As a state assembly senior field representative he works with officials at every level of local government as well as leaders in the nonprofit, education, business, and agriculture communities. He holds a bachelor’s in Spanish from UC Berkeley and a master’s in Public Administration from University of San Francisco as well as a master’s in Pastoral Studies from University of Loyola New Orleans. As a Bakari board member he is honored to serve the just and necessary efforts at intervention and prevention work for at-risk youth in our communities.

 

Mark Corella graduated from Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo’s School of Agriculture in 1981 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Recreation Administration. Mr. Corella has been in the field of Banking Management on the Central Coast for 25 years and is currently the Vice President and District Manager of the Central Coast for Wells Fargo. Current Community involvement includes Board Member for the YMCA of San Luis Obispo County, Committee Member for the Five Cities YMCA Advisory Committee, Advisory Board Member for the Children’s Resource Network of the Central Coast, and Advisory Board Member for the Lucia Mar Foundation for Innovation.  Mark is the past Chair of the Latino Outreach Council and past Board Member for the Workforce Investment Board (WIB), also serving on the Youth Council. Mr. Corella has a passion for sports and youth and has been a youth basketball volunteer for over 20 years and continues to assist the 5 Cities Youth Basketball Program.

 

John Elfers, M.A., is a licensed Marriage Family Therapist, educator, and school administrator in California. As a program coordinator for the San Luis Obispo County Office of Education he coordinates programs for homeless and foster youth and is the director of an adolescent drug treatment program built around community-building. His work in mental health, education, and public health, includes focusing on people living with HIV/AIDS, adolescent sexuality, and gender issues. John has published curriculum and training manuals in the area of reproductive health and is a consultant to several California public health and education agencies. 

 

Richard Enfield, M.A., is formally the 4-H Youth Development Advisor with the University of California Cooperative Extension (UCCE), San Luis Obispo County, since 1980.  For many years, he has focused his research and educational efforts on the complimentary concepts of resiliency and developmental assets.  He is the PI of a nationwide research project on 4-H and the development of social capital. He is also the UCCE County Director in San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara Counties.  He received his B.S. in Agricultural Sciences from Cal Poly State University, San Luis Obispo, and his M.A. in Educational Psychology from the University of California, Riverside.

 

Ginger Garrett, J.D., is a Judge with the Superior Court of San Luis Obispo County.  Judge Garrett has been on the bench since 2002 in a variety of assignments including Juvenile Dependency and Delinquency, Family Law and Criminal Law. Prior to taking the bench Judge Garrett practiced law with a special emphasis on representation of children in delinquency, dependency, family law, school and disability venues.

 

Dennis Palm, M.A., Juvenile Justice Commissioner:  Dennis Palm was born in New York and has been a resident of California for 42 years.  He is a United States Air Force veteran and holds a B.A. in Psychology and a Master’s degree in Marriage, Family and Child Counseling.  Having retired after 30 years as a Program Manager with the California Department of the Youth Authority, he now serves as Vice Chair of the San Luis Obispo County Juvenile Justice Commission and Delinquency Prevention Council.  He is also Vice President of Ventana Wilderness Alliance and serves on the Board of Directors of the San Antonio Valley Historical Association.  His volunteer activities have included: Docent-Pecho Coast Trail (San Luis Light Station), Site Steward-Partners in Preservation, US Forest Service, Los Padres Natl. Forest, The Marine Mammal Center (stranding dept.), San Luis Obispo County Drug and Alcohol Advisory Board, Vice President of the Santa Lucia Forest Home Improvement Association, and Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA).

 

Kayla Plourde is a long-time advocate for children in San Luis Obispo County and California. She started as a PTA mom when her first child was in kindergarten, and sat on the County-wide PTA board for many years. Eventually she sat on the California State PTA Board of Managers as the Federal Advocate, working to encourage federal legislators to make laws that were in the interest of California’s 9 million children. Since 2007 Kayla has been serving as a Juvenile Justice / Delinquency Prevention Commissioner for SLO County. In that role she sits on the Children’s Services Network and the Human Trafficking Task Force. She came to San Luis Obispo in 1982 to attend Cal Poly, earning both a Bachelors of Architecture and a Masters of Science in Architecture. Since she has also done the course work toward a teaching credential in mathematics.

 

Katherine Soule, Ph.D., is the University of California Agriculture and Natural Resources Advisor for Youth, Families, and Communities

of San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara counties. She has a diverse educational experience with a BA in English, MS in Agriculture—both from Cal Poly—and a PhD in Counseling and Human DevelopmentServices from the University of Georgia. She brings passion for education, research and collaboration. Her recent work contributes to current issues related to youth, family, and community development. Over the last two years, Dr. Soule has been serving youth and families facing challenging life situations—such as childhood obesity or cancer—in Georgia. Through this work, she coordinated with more than twenty partner organizations, local businesses, public agencies, and other non-profits, ensuring that these relationships were mutually beneficial for all involved parties and stakeholders. Further, Dr. Soule places great value on diversity and is committed to developing and delivering inclusive programming that meets the needs of underserved populations in our counties. Through this position, Dr. Soule is honored to work alongside those committed to improving the lives and well-being of our local residents.

 

Silvia Ortiz, Ph.D., is a licensed psychologist in full-time private practice. She contracts with County Behavioral Health to direct the Latino Outreach Program and is Chair of the County Behavioral Health Cultural Competency Committee. She also contracts with the San Luis Obispo County Probation Department to provide child abuse and sex offender groups to Spanish speaking offenders. Dr. Ortiz received her doctorate in 1987 from the University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB). She has previously worked at California State University, Long Beach for two years and at UCSB for 15 years.

 

Wendy Wendt, M.P.A., is an independent facilitator, evaluator and grant writer based in San Luis Obispo, CA with focus areas in education, youth development, public health, social services and arts initiatives.  Regional clients have included the San Luis Obispo County Community Foundation, Community Action Partnership, Camp Fire Central Coast Council, San Luis Obispo County Office of Education, Cuesta College, SLO County Probation Department, Santa Barbara County Dept. of Alcohol Drug and Mental Health Services, Dignity Health, First 5 (Children and Families Commission), San Luis Obispo Symphony, and PCPA Theaterfest at Allan Hancock College.  Much of her work involves coordination of multi-stakeholder initiatives, such as the creation of the SLO County Children’s Oral Health Coalition, development of a countywide blueprint for universal preschool access, crafting of the SLO County Children’s Bill of Rights, and formation of one of California’s first permanent regional P-16 Councils.  She earned a Masters in Public Administration from Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government and a Bachelors Degree in Russian Studies from Brown University.  

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