Our Values

Our values guide us to achieve our mission. Each value applies not only to our youth, Friends, and program teams, but also applies to all Friends of the Children employees, volunteers, and partners. We use our values to make informed decisions; to hire, coach, and manage; and most importantly, we use our values to change the way the world treats and views our most vulnerable youth.

Put Children First

We intentionally serve youth who are facing the greatest obstacles. To help our youth discover their limitless potential, we foster their internal resiliency. We listen to our youth and base decisions on each youth’s needs and dreams. We prioritize self-care so that we bring our best selves to our work and focus on our youth.

Build Relationships on Love

We nurture long-term relationships from a foundation of love, acceptance, and culturally-informed practice. We don’t give up easily, and take a no matter what approach to our work. We commit for the long-term. We intentionally develop collaborative relationships over time with trust, empathy, and healthy communication. We believe that we build community through one-on-one connections that are authentic, respectful, and meaningful.

Commit to Empowerment

We leverage personal strengths to take ownership of our futures. We build relationships within the communities of our youth and families to strengthen social networks and provide bridges to new opportunities. We consistently inspire possibility through empathy, hard work, and fun. We model all of this for our youth, families and each other.

Pursue Goals Relentlessly

We celebrate all achievements, big and small. We are disciplined in our commitment to goals, while innovative in how we reach them. We believe that the definition of success requires intentional reflection and adjustment over time. We work together and hold ourselves accountable with data to achieve short and long-term outcomes.

Demand Equity

We acknowledge the historical and present injustices impacting marginalized communities. We demand equity from ourselves and from our community. We insist that all people have the necessary support to achieve all of their hopes and dreams. We amplify the voices of our children, families, and communities. We bring together different experiences, skills, and backgrounds to provide opportunities to overcome personal, systemic, and institutional barriers.


Thomas Lee

Executive Director

Jorie Das

Chief of Staff

Alan Arce

Program Director Antelope Valley

Chessa Latifi Donaldson

Director of Development

Lora Cofield

Caregiver Engagement Specialist Antelope Valley

Mary Beth Lattimore

Operations Manager

Joaquin Canizales

Professional Mentor, Antelope Valley

Ever Yael Ceballos

Professional Mentor, Antelope Valley

James Clark

Professional Mentor, Antelope Valley

Janie Escalle

Professional Mentor

ReAndra Francis

Professional Mentor

Angel Garcia

Professional Mentor, Antelope Valley

Kimberly Garner

Professional Mentor, Antelope Valley

Victor Pinzon Gonzalez

Professional Mentor

Ashakia Morgan

Professional Mentor, Antelope Valley

Jorge Pimentel

Professional Mentor

Grisel Vasquez

Professional Mentor

Marquis Williams

Professional Mentor

Elizabeth Wolf

Professional Mentor

Jose Zelada

Professional Mentor


Peter Lizotte

Board Chair

Managing Principal, Executive Financial, Inc.

Los Angeles, CA

Annie Campbell

Founder, Annie Campbell Catering, LLC

Los Angeles, CA

Courtney Carter

Founder & CEO, The Carter Media Group

Camilo Echavarria

Board Secretary

Partner-in-Charge, Davis Wright Tremaine, LLP

Los Angeles, CA

Benjamin Evans

Co-Founder & National Fellowship Director, BMe Foundation

Los Angeles, CA

Mary Jo Johnson

Board Vice Chair

Adjunct Professor, Pepperdine University School of Law

Los Angeles, CA

Raoul Ortega

Board Treasurer

Director of Finance, First 5 LA

Los Angeles, CA

Ilissa Samplin

Partner, Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP

Los Angeles, CA

Terri Sorensen

National President, Friends of the Children

Seattle, WA

Stephanie Wiggins

CEO, Metrolink

Los Angeles, CA

Robyn Young

Partner, Ernst & Young

Los Angeles, CA

Ambassador Board

Shalonda Baldwin

LA Metro, Deputy Executive Director

Mark Burchell

VP, Senior Private Wealth Advisor, US Bank

Annie Chang Long

Associate Director, Nonprofit Finance Fund

Anairis Chavez

Subcontracts Manager, Lockheed Martin

Melissa Costello

Area Manager, Umpqua Bank

Kaya Day

Brand Director, Copycat Copywriters

Robert Drewery

Senior Leasing Agent, Douglas Emmett Management, LLC

Moe Elias

Investment Management Specialist, Wells Fargo

Derrick Harris

Director of Corporate Relations, USC Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences

Marquisha Henderson

Linkage to Care Research Specialist, St. John's Well Child & Family Center

Michael Li

Associate, Monogram Capital Partners

Qiana Patterson

Vice President, Strategic Development, HopSkipDrive

Jasmin Schonherr

Project Manager, Learn4Life Network

Lisa Small

Senior Manager, Youth Justice, Liberty Hill Foundation

Tenise Taylor

Assistant Director, USC Black Alumni Association

Leonisha Stephan Tolbert

Realtor, Trust Properties USA

Megan Terilli

Senior Associate, PwC

Sixto Villacorta

Community Manager, Umpqua Bank


Friends of the Children is committed to the communities we serve, to equal employment opportunity, and to diversity in our workplace.

Employment Opportunities

We are currently hiring for an Executive Assistant/Office Manager and Program Director (Los Angeles).

Please contact us for questions about upcoming opportunities.

Thank you for your interest in Friends of the Children.