Sam Piha
Founder and Principal

Sam Piha is the founder and principal of Temescal Associates, a consulting group dedicated to building the capacity of leaders and organizations in education and youth development who are serious about improving the lives of young people.  Sam began his career in 1974 as an afterschool worker, an experience that led to 10 years of classroom teaching, and later work as a child and family counselor and school social worker. Between 1989 and 2001, Sam developed and managed school-based youth programs at the regional and national levels.

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Sam Piha
Stacey Daraio
Temescal Associates Co-Director

Stacey Daraio brings 22 years of experience working in the field of youth development as a facilitator, trainer, and coach. She has experience training and coaching diverse audience groups, from afterschool practitioners and parents to funders and technical assistance providers. As a Temescal Associate, Stacey has conducted high school trainings and learning communities based on Temescal's Bedrock to Rooftop framework.

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Sam Piha

Rozel Cruz
Project and Office Management Consultant

Rozel Cruz has a long history in working with non-profits. She joined Temescal Associates in 2010 and currently serves as a consultant focusing on Project Management and Office Management. In her other life, she is a licensed hair & nail stylist and a style blogger. Rozel's work can be viewed at Her outside interests include going to music concerts and art shows, fashion, and style consulting.

Bridget McGraw
Technology and Digital Badge Consultant

Bridget McGraw studied English Literature as an undergraduate. After earning two Masters degrees from New York University—one in Fine Art Photography and the other in Interactive Telecommunications—she has worked in digital media as an artist, teacher, producer, community manager and instructional designer. She is passionate about creative and clear communication.

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Samantha Walters
Research Consultant

While getting her B.A. in Sociology from the University of Arizona, Samantha started working as a Social Media Strategist for a nonprofit organization. This experience led her to create her own Social Media Consulting firm and pursue a Master’s degree in Social Entrepreneurship and Change from Pepperdine University.

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Joshua Julian
Director of Operations and Technology

Joshua Julian brings 13 years of experience working in the field of afterschool and youth development.  Working with a wide variety of afterschool organizations and foundations, Joshua’s experience includes strategic planning, website and database design and construction, technical assistance and program analysis.

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Gloria Alday

Gloria Alday is the Workforce Readiness Program Coordinator for THINK Together, coordinating internships and career skill trainings for high school students. She also oversees ASSETs programs in the Orange County region as a Quality Assurance Coach for the extended learning non-profit. She has over ten years working with education non-profits. Her passion to work with youth and creating change in her community comes from her own experiences growing up as the youngest of 7 children to migrant parents in Santa Ana, Ca. She is a graduate of Yale University with a major in History.

Sergio Barragan

Sergio Barragan is a Quality Assurance Coach for THINK Together. He oversees ASSETS and ASES programs in the Riverside County region. He is responsible for staff training and program development. He has over ten year of experience in the field of afterschool. Prior to joining THINK Together, Sergio spent time in the BlairLearns program, Upward Bound and Migrant Education where he served as a tutor and program coordinator. Sergio graduated from California State Polytechnic University, Pomona with a degree in History.

Bob Cabeza

Mr. Cabeza has twenty-six years of youth programming, counseling, and community development experience resulting in the ability to lead unique collaboratives designed to better the lives of youth and families. Mr. Cabeza has expertise in personnel, administration, volunteer/staff recruitment and training, long range and strategic planning, grant writing, fund raising, community relations, traditional and non-traditional after-school programming, outdoor education.

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Bill Fennessy

Bill began as the PasadenaLEARNs Site Coordinator for Blair International Baccalaureate Magnet School, which has a 7th – 12th grade student body. This brand new afterschool program, BlairLEARNs, was an ASES funded program for middle school students. The program had such a strong start, district and school officials decided to apply for ASSETs funding for Blair’s high school population. Blair received one of the first “pilot” grants late in the 2004/2005 school year, and started the first full year of programming in the 2005/2006 school year.

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Lynn Johnson
Trainer and Research Associate

Lynn knew that she wanted to be an actor when she was just 5 years old and has spent her whole life centered around the study, critique, and creation of theater.  Being a "drama geek" and 1 of only a few African American students living in the town at the time, Lynn developed a strong awareness of and commitment to those who live their lives "being different."

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Brad Lupien

Brad Lupien holds a Bachelor's in Social Work from the University of Vermont and a Master's in Teaching from Simmons College in Boston, MA. While teaching in the inner-cities of the Boston Public School system, he developed the Outdoor Education Club. His extensive athletic and outdoor experience includes guiding month-long wilderness excursions through the Rocky Mountains and National Parks. Brad left teaching in the classroom to teach in the outdoors. As a Partner of CHAMPIONS, Brad brings his belief in the power of self-confidence to the mission statement of CHAMPIONS.

Candace Meehan

Candace Meehan worked five years for Long Beach City College, facilitating case and grants management before entering the afterschool program field. Candace is currently working with the Long Beach Unified School District as Program Director for Long Beach Jordan High School

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Temescal Office Dog

Luke joined Temescal Associates in 2012. He is a Golden Doodle and very kid-friendly. He is certified as a companion dog and approved to visit hospitals and other places where people are gathered. Luke is responsible for office security and keeping the work environment positive.