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All of the CARS consultants have years of experience in the mentoring field including program implementation and management.

Please click on any of the names listed as CARS consultants to read their professional biography.

Current List of Consultants
Elsy Arévalo
Christina J. Borbely, Ph.D.
Becky Cooper
Dana Goodrow
Stephanie Inyama
Lorey Keele
Sarah E. Kremer
Dustianne North, M.S.W.
Jerry Sherk, M.A.
Judy Taylor
Erika Urbani, M.S.
Lynne West

Elsy Arévalo is an experienced trainer with firsthand knowledge of mentoring and effective mentoring practices. She has held key leadership positions in the mentoring field including Director for the Friends for Youth Mentoring Institute, Mentoring Project Director at Center for Applied Research Solutions (CARS), Technical Assistance Manager for the EMT Group, and Board Member for the Silicon Valley Mentoring Coalition. Ms. Arévalo has also worked directly worked with mentors and mentees through Friends for Youth Mentoring Services, a Bay Area program that has over two decades of successful mentoring experience. As a Program Coordinator and Recruitment Coordinator, Ms. Arévalo recruited, screened, trained, matched, and counseled mentors and mentees through the challenges of building a lifelong friendship. Ms. Arevalo is the author of key mentoring publications such as "Running a Safe and Effective Mentoring Program," "Mentoring Document Kit," "SAFE: Screening Applicants for Effectiveness," "Designing and Implementing a Mentor Training" and "Developing and Implementing a Recruitment Plan."
Currently, she works as an independent consultant serving as a presenter at key mentoring conferences and forums, conducts mentoring research, and develops mentoring curricula and training materials. On a personal level, Ms. Arévalo is committed to volunteerism and is actively involved in her community. She has served as a mentor, worked with youth of all ages, assisted the elderly, supported terminally ill patients, and committed a year to the Jesuit Volunteer Corp.

Christina J. Borbely, Ph.D., presently is a research consultant at the Center for Applied Research Solutions (CARS) providing technical assistance to California's Safe and Drug Free Schools & Communities grantees, California's Mentoring Programs, and other state and federal grant programs. Also a member of the Evaluation, Management, & Training Inc (EMT) team, Christina coordinates youth program evaluations for El Dorado County Office of Education and San Francisco Big Brothers Big Sisters. Prior to joining EMT/CARS, Christina was a member of the research staff at Columbia University's National Center for Children and Families. Her work in the field of youth development and prevention programs has been presented at national conferences and published in academic journals. Specifically, Christina has extensive knowledge and experience in program evaluation, logic model design and implementing developmentally relevant strategies into programming that impact today's young people. She is also a volunteer providing mentoring and developmental support to youth in underserved populations. Christina received her doctoral degree in developmental psychology, with a focus on children and adolescents, from Columbia University (2004).

Becky Cooper has a B.A. in Psychology and an M.A in Education from Stanford University. Becky is currently Executive Director of Friends for Youth, Inc. She has been with the organization since it was created in 1979. Under her direction, Friends for Youth has been recognized with many local, statewide, and national awards, including the Bay Area Award for Management Excellence, the State of California Spirit of Mentoring Award, and a President 's Volunteer Action Award citation. Ms. Cooper was inducted into the San Mateo County Women 's Hall of Fame for her dedication to promoting mentoring for children and youth in the community. She was a guest at the White House at a Mentoring Ceremony hosted by First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton. Ms. Cooper has chaired the Silicon Valley Mentoring Coalition, served on the California Governor 's Mentoring Partnership Quality Assurance Standards Committee, and contributed to the book, Mentoring Works. Becky is co-author of Running a Safe and Effective Mentoring Program and SAFE (Screening Applicants for Effectiveness): Guidelines to Prevent Child Molestation in Mentoring and Youth-Serving Organizations.

Dana Goodrow is the Director of the San Diego BRIGHT Families Project, a one-to-one mentoring program for teenagers. In addition, she is the co-chair of the Mentoring Coalition of San Diego County, an organization that provides training, technical assistance and networking opportunities to mentoring programs and community members interested in youth issues. Dana has authored a research paper called "The Effect of Attachment on the Success of a Mentoring Program to Reduce Unintended Pregnancy and STDs," and became a consultant with the Center for Applied Research Solutions in 2004. She is currently the president of the California Alliance Concerned with School Age Parenting and Pregnancy Prevention (CACSAP), and has Masters degrees in social work and public health from San Diego State University.

Stephanie Inyama- began her mentoring career with the Gay and Lesbian Adolescent Social Services (GLASS) organization and started the GLASS Mentoring Project (GMP). While developing a program that can be offered to any youth in foster care, the GMP currently focuses on relationship and academic based mentoring for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender clients. Working from the ground up, Ms. Inyama has been responsible for developing the program, policies, and procedures for GMP. Currently, she is focusing on the development, implementation, and monitoring of a transitions framework curriculum that incorporates independent living. This transitions framework prepares youth for the change from the group-home life to another living situation. The change could be from returning home to their original caretakers, to moving to a foster care home, to living independently. A recent MBA graduate from American Intercontinental University, Ms. Inyama is also a single mother of a very active 11-year-old son.

Lorey Keele- As Special Projects Manager I am responsible for the overall program management, operations, budgeting, development, training, recruiting, fund sustainability, data collection, monitoring and evaluation of special projects including the Mentoring and Vista programs.
I coordinate the Northcoast Mentor Program, which enlists and trains mentors for service in local mentor programs. I also serve as facilitator of the Northcoast Mentor Council, and as such, facilitate countywide council meetings giving direct service providers the opportunity to share their program's activities, discuss common needs and problems while looking at ways to resolve them. I monitor and provide technical assistance to the mentor service programs funded through the Northcoast Mentor Program.
In addition to being the Northcoast Mentor Program Coordinator I am also the AmeriCorps*VISTA Project Manager. Again, we recruit and train members who serve in 10 different programs housed throughout Humboldt County. It is my job to bring members and supervisors together and help to surface issues of concern and highlight program successes. We collaborate on grants and fundraising opportunities. I assist program sites in building proposals including work plans which identify goals and objectives members will be assigned to fulfill during their year of service.

Sarah E. Kremer is a graduate of University of California San Diego, receiving a B.A. in Visual Arts, and the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, where she received a Master of Arts in Art Therapy. For the past 15 years, she has worked with youth in settings as various as psychiatric units for adolescents, community mental health centers, day treatment programs, alternative school settings, and a summer dance camp for youth in Chicago and New York. She is a Board Certified Registered Art Therapist with the national Art Therapy Credentials Board and is also President of the Northern California Art Therapy Association. She served as a mentor, co-director, and consultant to First Exposures, a photography-based mentoring program in San Francisco and Program Coordinator/Alumni Services Specialist and Program Manager for Friends for Youth, a community-based mentoring program in San Mateo County for Four years. She currently is Program Manager for the Mentoring Institute, Friends for Youth's consulting program.

Dustianne North, M.S.W., has been working in the field of youth mentoring since 1995, when she began building a mentor and volunteer program for the foster care in residence at the Florence Crittenton Center in Los Angeles in 1995. After creating the first mentoring program in Los Angeles County serving youth in foster care to receive official approval from LA County Department of Children and Family Services, the Los Angeles Probation Department, and Community Care Licensing, Ms. North began providing training and technical assistance throughout the state for EMT/CARS.
She specializes in assisting programs that serve special needs populations such as court-involved youth and foster youth. Ms. North has now completed her M.S.W. at UCLA, and she continues to work toward her Ph.D. in Social Welfare (also at UCLA). She draws upon her experiences with mentoring, her clinical training as a social worker, and her administrative expertise in designing curricula and facilitating trainings. This diverse scope of knowledge allows her to work with direct practice issues such as communicating with youth, as well as macro-level issues, such as designing mentor programs for foster youth.

Jerry Sherk, M.A. is a nationally recognized consultant for both youth and adult mentoring programs. Jerry has a master's degree in counseling psychology, and he is President and founder of Mentor Management Systems, of Encinitas, California. Over the past ten years, Jerry has provided workshops for hundreds of program staff, mentors and mentees, while helping over 200 mentoring programs to develop their operating systems. This experience has enabled Jerry to constantly improve methods for helping mentoring agencies come to scale more quickly and efficiently. Jerry is currently providing technical assistance for programs that serve gang-involved youth, foster youth, Department of Education grantees, Early Care and Education student-teachers, and adult ex-offenders. From 1970-1981, Jerry was an All Pro defensive lineman for the Cleveland Browns. For his service to his team, Jerry was recently honored as a "Cleveland Browns Legend." Jerry lives in Encinitas, California, with his wife Annie, children Michael and Hannah, and the real star of the family, a Dachshund named Charlie.

Judy Taylor, presently Project Director for the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Safe Drug-Free Schools, Mentoring Technical Assistance Contract, is a specialist in the fields of youth development, alcohol, drug abuse and delinquency prevention, juvenile justice, mentoring, and alternative health care. With more than 35 years experience, her career has ranged from providing direct service at the community level to policy development as a clinical analyst with the White House, Special Action Office for Drug Abuse Prevention. She has directed technical assistance initiatives for federal agencies including the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, the Bureau of Prisons and the Agency for International Development. Her special area of expertise is training and curriculum development. Ms. Taylor also served as Executive Vice President of the National Office for Social Responsibility, a youth advocacy organization, and senior trainer for the Southwest Regional Office of Communities in Schools, the nation's largest stay in school network. Judy recently authored a new manual "Training New Mentees" and is the creator of the Two by Two Mentoring Model. Judy helps mentoring programs throughout the country as a consultant with Northwest Regional Education Lab's, technical assistance contract, which supports the U.S. Department of Justice mentoring initiative, and in California, through CARS, formerly Evaluation, Management and Training Group, Inc. In addition, Judy is a technical assistance provider for the CARS technical assistance contract to support alcohol and drug abuse prevention efforts throughout the state. Judy is also Senior Vice President of Mentor Management Systems, a consulting group that assists in the development and operation of employee to employee mentoring initiatives as well as the more traditional youth mentoring models. Judy supports four Boys and Girls Clubs in the South Bay area of Angeles South, in their collaboration to address the academic, social and recreational needs of over 2000 elementary and middle school youth everyday. She was contracted to assist in state wide training efforts for the States of Texas and Colorado. Judy is also Dominique's and Cassandra's mentor.

Erika Urbani, M.S. is the Project Director of the Mentoring Technical Assistance at the Center of Applied Research Solutions (CARS). Ms. Urbani has had over ten years of mentoring experience, both as a mentor and a program director and is familiar with the issues mentoring programs face. She is also very familiar with all facets of prevention. Her previous position was the Director of the Research and Knowledge Development at People Reaching Out, a community-based youth substance abuse and violence prevention agency in Sacramento, California. Her major initiatives at People Reaching Out included managing the nationally recognized Technical Assistance Coalition and providing research and evaluation support to the agency's mentoring, family strengthening and peer education programs. Ms. Urbani has also had over five years of hands-on experience in youth development, coalition building and substance abuse and violence prevention and has developed a rich expertise in the areas of effective prevention strategy development, implementation and evaluation. She was also recently awarded her Master's Degree in Criminal Justice at California State University, Sacramento.

Lynne West is the Executive Director of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Ventura County and is also the current President of the California Association of Big Brother Big Sister agencies. West has been a presenter for regional and national trainings for EMT/Cars in additional to conducting workshops at the California Governor's Conference on Mentoring, Regional Conferences for BBBS, and individualized technical training and assistance for local mentoring agencies in Ventura, Los Angeles, San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara counties. She has served as the Vice-President of the United Way Council of Executive Directors, and Chair of the Ventura County Mentoring Collaborative, Her background includes over 25 years in the mentoring field. In addition to her years in the Big Brothers Big Sisters federation, she also directed several programs including the Ventura County CASA program, the Independent Living Skills program for foster teens, court-ordered parenting training, court-ordered supervised visitation for non-custodial parents, and McAvoy house, a group emancipation home for teenage boys. She is a graduate of Long Island University with a Masters of Science in Counseling.


CARS mentoring consultants provide free assistance to youth mentoring programs in Northern, Central and Southern California. They provide assistance to program staff in program development, program refinement, training development, partnership development, sustainability, marketing and evaluation. The assistance is customized to meet the needs of your program.

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