Our Board of Directors

James thompson

MA Counseling psychology, amft

James is an Oakland native with a Masters in Counseling Psychology, and has several years of experience working as an Associate Marriage and Family Therapist providing clinical services for youth impacted by trauma. He’s worked within the juvenile justice system, the school system, and in group home settings. He also participated in the development of the trauma awareness group (TAG) model in schools, which included consultation and coaching for other clinicians. He prides himself as an urban community leader and is very passionate in serving families and underserved and mis-served youth in the Bay Area. James also worked as the Regional Care Coordinator for T2 (Trauma Transformed); a regional trauma center that supports the Bay Area Region in healing their Children’s Systems of Care. T2 is also where he founded and co-developed the ELOC-LP (Emerging Leaders of Color Leadership Program) to address racial inequities in leadership throughout Bay Area organizations. Currently, James is the Admissions Coordinator at the Hanna Boys Center where he works with youth and families who are at risk as the young men seek a safe, caring experience in a residential setting that provides, education, treatment, and spiritual growth. He believes everyone has their own unique gift, and is capable of healing.


Adam shaening-pokrasso

Adam Shaening Pokrasso is an artist and creative entrepreneur based in Santa Fe, NM. His company, 12FPS, is a creative agency that works with visual storytelling to promote revolutionary ideas, causes and people. He and his team are known nationally for their work with Fortune 100 tech companies and his collaborations with non-profits and government agencies which continue to create economic and creative opportunities for young storytellers. Adam has always been driven to explore how these intersections of creativity, expression and entrepreneurship come together. His work with youth and enterprise has paid off as many emerging musicians, filmmakers, and artists under his mentorship and apprenticeship have become confident and successful leaders in their lives and work.


w.a. manuel arredondo

lcsw, mph

W.A. Manuel Arredondo, LCSW, MPH, is a clinical social worker and public health advocate. Manuel received his Masters in Social Work from San Jose State University in 2006; since then he has worked in a wide variety of settings on behalf of the bay area’s most at-risk community members–in particular the homeless, undocumented immigrants, and those with severe behavioral health issues. In 2016, Manuel received his Masters in Public Health from the University of San Francisco, where he was awarded the Kia James Award for founding The Alero Project, a pro-bono behavioral health program for unaccompanied minors immigrating to the bay area from Central America. Manuel is currently clinical supervisor of Integrated Behavioral Health at La Clinica de la Raza, a safety-net clinic with sites in Oakland, Vallejo, and other communities. In 2019 Manuel accepted a seat on the Contra Costa County Council on Homelessness. Manuel lives with his wife and two kids in El Cerrito, CA. Also a musician and emcee since his teenage years, he credits the likes of KRS-1 and Public Enemy as a key source of professional and personal inspiration throughout his life.