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We are so glad you’ve found us! Since our humble beginnings in San Francisco in 1994, our small team has grown from our founder to a small but mighty staff stretching from coast to coast.

Our Staff

Reed Connell
Executive Director
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Reed Connell
Executive Director

Across 25 years working in foster care, mental health, housing, and special education settings, Reed Connell has developed a sophisticated knowledge of childrenʼs programs and policy development. Reed has worked with statewide and national coalitions to design, pass, and implement a range of important children’s legislation, and has worked with a range of nonprofit organizations and government agencies on resource, program, and capacity development. From 2009 to 2013, Reed served as the Executive Director of the Alameda County Foster Youth Alliance, an effective and highly visible local advocacy agency. In 2014, Reed co-founded Social Change Partners, LLC to support nonprofits and government agencies in meeting the needs of children and families. Reed also works with a range of mental health systems change efforts, including The California Children’s Trust and Public Works Alliance. Reed holds an MSW degree from UC Berkeley with a concentration in Management and Planning.

Candice Simonds
Chief Program Officer
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Candice Simonds
Chief Program Officer

Candice Simonds received a Master in Sociology and utilized her academic training to manage and direct programs designed to serve the most vulnerable youth, children, adults, and seniors at Seneca Family of Agencies, Collabria Care (formerly Napa Valley Hospice), and Kaiser Permanente Home Health, respectively. After more than a decade of developing and managing intensive community based mental health services throughout California, Candice returned to school to receive a Master of Social Work. As a Licensed Clinical Social Worker in the states of California and Ohio, her practice is concerned with compassionately discovering new possibilities and modalities to respond to psychosocial stress related to multiethnic cultural identity.

Grace Manger
National Program Director
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Grace Manger
National Program Director

Grace Manger received her Masters in Social Work with a concentration in Child, Youth, and Family Studies from Portland State University. As an Associate working towards her LCSW, she works with teens and young adults on issues around trauma, gender and sexuality, disordered eating, and living under systems of oppression. Grace is deeply committed to trauma-informed care, social justice, and understanding the impacts of trauma on our brains, bodies, and sense of self. She lives in Portland, Oregon and has been with A Home Within since 2020.

Edith Vargas
Director of Finance
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Edith Vargas
Director of Finance

Edith Vargas has a Bachelor of Arts in Business Administration with a concentration in Management from San Francisco State University. As the Director of Finance, she is responsible for overseeing the financial activities of the organization, including accounting, annual auditing, and fiscal reporting. In addition, she is responsible for administrative activities, such as payroll and day-to-day operations. She lives in San Francisco and she is passionate about helping others through her work. She is inspired to support mission-driven organizations like A Home Within.

Mia Lewis
Director of Communications
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Mia Lewis
Director of Communications

Mia Lewis was born and raised in Los Angeles, and received her B.A. in World Arts and Cultures from UCLA in 2017. She has a wide range of experience in arts organizations and administration and is excited to bring those skills to the team at A Home Within. She currently lives in San Diego, CA.

Chrissy Arlen
Volunteer Engagement Manager
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Chrissy Arlen
Volunteer Engagement Manager

Chrissy Arlen was born and raised in San Luis Obispo, California, and currently resides in the Pacific Northwest as Volunteer Engagement Manager for A Home Within. She received her B.A. in Political Science from the University of California, Berkeley, during which time she discovered the transformative and empowering tool of psychotherapy through her own process of healing. She is delighted to be expanding access to therapy to many others through her work at A Home Within.

Jules Welch
Program Coordinator
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Jules Welch
Program Coordinator

Juliana (Jules) Welch was born and raised in San Diego County, and currently resides in San Luis Obispo as Program Coordinator for A Home Within. Her Bachelor’s degree and background are in environmental design and studio art, with a focus and interest in humanitarian issues that eventually led to her passion for mental health and wellness. She’s an experienced administrator and creative thinker who can wear many hats, and is thrilled to apply those skills to A Home Within. Her own experience of therapy during a time of grief grew her interest in the field of psychology, and she is excited to facilitate the healing of others.

Emily Yang
Recruitment Coordinator
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Emily Yang
Recruitment Coordinator

Emily Yang, LCSW, is a Child Therapist with over 15 years experience working with youth in foster care and adoptive families. She volunteers as a Consultation Group Leader for A Home Within and sits on the Professional Advisory Board of Miriam’s Heart, a non-profit which supports local adoptive and foster families. She is trained in Child Centered Play Therapy and in Trust Based Relational Intervention, a therapeutic model that trains caregivers to provide effective support and treatment for at-risk children. Emily very much enjoys her role recruiting and supporting our amazing volunteers at A Home Within. She lives in New Jersey with her husband and two children.

Our Board

Reed Connell
President and Executive Director

Through over 15 years working in foster care, mental health, housing, and special education settings, Reed Connell has developed a sophisticated knowledge of children’s policy development at all levels of government. For the past several years, Reed has worked with statewide and national coalitions to design, pass, and implement a range of important children’s legislation, including AB12, California’s implementation of the federal Fostering Connections to Success Act. From 2009 to 2013, Reed served as the Executive Director of the Alameda County Foster Youth Alliance, an effective and highly visible local advocacy agency. Reed has worked with advocates, providers, and coalitions around the state on issues related to local control and flexible financing in child welfare, the impacts of Realignment and Health Care Reform on child and adolescent mental health systems, and the development of accountability infrastructure. Reed holds an MSW degree from UC Berkeley with a concentration in Management and Planning.

Linda Fitzpatrick, Secretary
Chief People and Communications Officer, Sutro Biopharma, Inc.

Linda Fitzpatrick is a senior advisor to biotechnology companies in the areas of Human Resources and Corporate Communications. Equipped with a BA in Sociology and Psychology, she has graciously served on several boards benefiting youth development, including the Northern California Boys and Girls Club. Linda spent her career as a leading national figure in biotechnology while sharpening her expertise in additional areas of investor and corporate relations for several firms such as Nuvelo and Gilead Sciences.

Suha Jhaveri, Treasurer
Chief Operating Officer, OBmedical company

Suha Jhaveri is a Harvard Business School graduate who has held many leadership roles in the corporate world, including Global Marketing Director at Chiron Corporation, Director of Business Development and Strategy at KaloBios Pharmaceuticals, and Vice President at Vertical Markets Operations Pty Limited. For the past three years, she has been the Chief Operating Officer at OBmedical Company. In her free time, Suha participates in triathlons.

Anthony Pico
Consultant/Advocate; Former Client

Anthony is a longtime friend and client of A Home Within. He grew up in San Francisco and used his experiences in foster care to become a nationally recognized keynote speaker and expert in the field of child welfare. He has received Congressional recognition for his work, served on California’s Blue Ribbon Commission on Foster Care, and was profiled by NPR’s This American Life (at the tender age of 18). After aging out of foster care, Anthony obtained his GED and began working for the California State Assembly for then Majority Whip Fiona Ma (now Treasurer of the State of California). He worked full time while attending community college full time and graduated from Sacramento City College with honors and transferred to Loyola Marymount University, where he completed his Bachelor’s degree in Philosophy. He is currently participating in new depression and PTSD treatments which aim to continue the work he has done with his A Home Within Therapist. He is eager to continue his work in a helping profession after the holidays.

Barker Carlock
Senior Technical Program Manager, Tesla

Barker currently works for Tesla’s Energy Engineering team and helps lead their Energy Storage Program. He was led to his current role at Tesla because of his passion to better leverage and scale technology that improves people’s lives and prioritizes the communities that need it most. In following this passion, he’s dedicated to seeing A Home Within’s mission flourish in providing a critical anchor to the beautiful lives in foster care. When not working, you might find Barker spending quality time with friends in the great outdoors, working with his hands to create something new, or enjoying a meal with his patient, loving partner.

Karen Moon
Venture Advisor, Springboard Growth Capital, Venture Partner, Elizabeth Street Ventures

Karen is an investor and entrepreneur with a data-driven approach to analyzing consumer insights and shifts in market trends. She is a Venture Advisor at Springboard Growth Capital and Venture Partner at Elizabeth Street Ventures. She is an active advisor to mission-driven technology start ups. Previously, Karen co-founded and scaled a predictive analytics software startup with industry-leading clients, which was a Google Machine Learning Competition Finalist. She started her career at Goldman Sachs TMT investment banking. Karen holds an M.B.A. from Harvard Business School and a B.A. from UCLA.

At a Glance

16,000 hours of free therapy provided each year
Over 600,000 youth in foster care nationwide need access to mental healthcare
Over 500 therapists in 20 chapters across 10 states