- Sonya Sharififard
Welcome New Board Members!
2021 brings us new opportunities to better serve our community, including welcoming two new board members to Step Up Ventura.
Read about our our new members below and how their skills and experience adds to our team.
Cathi Nye has always been involved in early education programs and also served as a school principal for 17 years. Her impact has been centered around being vocal about the issues that exist in today's world and using the impact to raise awareness on the development of children and homelessness.
While attending a fundraiser, Cathi first became introduced to Step Up Ventura and immediately decided to get involved with the organization. Cathi plans to get all the school districts on board with having a realistic view of how children are affected by homelessness in Ventura County, and further understanding how children have been served since their inception and how they can get back on their feet.
As a new member of the Step Up Ventura Board of Directors, Cathi expresses the importance of financial contributions: "They are always important. You can give monthly, or you can choose to give for just one-time; but if you pick up the coffee for $10 you could also be giving $120 a year--and that has an impact."
In her own words on leadership and service, "Leadership means you are working with a team of people proficiently and collaboratively. Everybody is a leader, it's just what aspects of collaboration they tend to take charge of. A leader has to also take responsibility. The COVID-19 pandemic has brought so many ways in which people could help. It has affected a lot of people who have lost their jobs, or lost their homes; but for those of us who have not experienced that loss, it's now time for us to step up and help those in need."
In addition to serving on the Step Up Board of Directors, Cathi currently works as a Homeless Education Coordinator in Ventura County where she provides technical assistance and resources to school districts regarding the rights of students living in homelessness.
Dolores Mata Gonzalez
"I have worked in education for the past 13 years. Helping children succeed has become my passion. Seeing children/families that live in difficult situations thrive is rewarding. My biggest contribution will be my passion for serving others. A close friend of mine introduced me to the organization when this was only an idea. I fell in love with the idea of serving the homeless children. Bettering the lives of the children that we serve will be my priority.
Besides that, I want to be an active member, a team player and I want to influence children in a positive way. I would like for people to get to know the organization and what it is about. I strongly believe every child has the right of living a good life where they have all their needs covered. Also, investing in education at an early age will give children a brighter future. Step Up services can make a huge impact in children’s lives.
People can contribute to Step Up by donating and by volunteering. A combination of working as a team, communicating, listening to others, motivating, knowing how to resolve a conflict, collaborating with other members, and more than anything else, having empathy with those in disadvantaged situations. is important in leadership.
As unemployment continues to be a problem, people do not have the finances to support non-profit organizations. Volunteering means to be exposed, so people won’t risk their health to go out and help others in need. Among many other things, the pandemic has changed the way nonprofits work. As I start this new journey, I’m nervous yet excited. I know I have skills that I can apply and develop with the help of the rest of the members. I believe in this amazing organization. I look forward to learning and growing along with the rest of the members in the next three years. Being part of Step Up is an absolute honor."