Leilani Alo, Advisory Board President
Leilani is a Senior Philanthropic Advisor for the Marin Community Foundation. Leilani was formerly the Senior Program Officer with the San Francisco-based Goldman Environmental Prize, the world’s largest prize program for grassroots environmental leaders. She also previously worked at the San Francisco Foundation where she was fellow in the foundation’s Multicultural Fellowship Program. At the foundation Lani focused on grant making in support of Bay Area youth, and environmental education and justice programs. She studied international relations in graduate school. Lani has served on the Advisory Board of KIDS for the BAY for 10 years and is currently the President of the Board.
“Like most adults, whenever I think of the most carefree times of my childhood, I recall being outdoors. Simply climbing a tree or playing with friends on the beach. There is something fundamental that links childhood and the outdoors. It wasn’t until I moved to a big city that I realized what a privilege it was to be able to grow up among clean air and trees. Without the opportunity to be around nature, a childhood is robbed of something wondrous and necessary. KIDS for the BAY is not only providing such outdoor experiences for thousands of children who otherwise would not have them, but by doing so is stating emphatically that it is every child’s right to such experiences. That hands-on learning that KIDS for the BAY gives students, in their own communities, is matched by a strong science education in the classroom. By giving children these opportunities together, KIDS for the BAY is doing nothing short of sparking a revolution—creating the true environmental stewards of tomorrow who will make a huge difference.”
Kimberly Aguilar is a second grade Spanish bilingual teacher at New Highland Academy in East Oakland. Kimberly previously worked at KIDS for the BAY as a Program Coordinator and Program Manager for three years. She graduated from University of California at Santa Cruz with a Bachelor’s of Science Degree in Biology and was excited to join KIDS for the BAY soon after. Kimberly fell in love with teaching at KIDS for the BAY, which is why she pursued a teaching credential. She is now happy to be a part of the KIDS for the BAY team again as an Advisory Board Member.
“KIDS for the BAY has been a life changer for me as I’m sure it has been for many inspired school students. Learning science in a meaningful way that connects students back to their local environment creates a community of environmental advocates for a safer and healthier place to live. Like the students, I too learned a lot during my time with KIDS for the BAY and enjoyed sharing my learning experience with the teachers and students I worked with. The experiences offered by KIDS for the BAY are so valuable, not only for the children, but for the adults involved in the programs as well. It takes a community to make change and I’m glad to be part of an organization that plays a pivotal role in a better tomorrow for all.”
Elaine Miyamori, SPHR
Elaine Miyamori is a Human Resources Consultant with AAA Northern California, Nevada, and Utah where she provides consultation and support on HR business strategy and change management, HR analytics and solutions implementation, HR business project execution and management, and performance management. Elaine has held national and regional human resources manager positions in the financial services industry. She served on the advisory board for the Contra Costa County Private Industry Council and chaired the Finance Committee during her second term. She was a contributor in developing the first financial services “school to work program” in Sacramento through Linking Education and Economic Development (LEED); a collaborative effort with business, education and economic development focused on aligning educational resources with regional workforce needs. Elaine was past president of the Asian Pacific Personnel Association and Vice President of the Tri-Valley Human Resources Association. Elaine has a degree in Social Welfare from UC, Berkeley.
“While attending a field trip with my daughter’s class, I was able to observe one of the KIDS for the BAY programs at the Berkeley Marina. The interactive learning allowed for exploration and discovery. The students were engaged and gained an appreciation of nature. The experience created awareness about how some human behaviors can threaten nature and our ecosystem. I am excited about being associated with an organization that delivers quality programs that provide new experiences for many participants, raises environmental concerns, and educates our children about their responsibility to protect and preserve their natural habitat. I appreciate the opportunity to work with an exceptional executive director and staff that have created a thriving organization.”
Jessica Nusbaum is a communications professional with 15 years of nonprofit, social change and environmental communications experience. She currently leads communications and marketing for the UC Davis Library. Most recently, Jessica was a freelance consultant and strategist with the communications network, Wonder: Strategies for Good. She has also served as communications officer for the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation’s Environmental Conservation Program. Previously, as director of the San Francisco Social Impact Practice for global PR agency Allison+Partners, and at Fenton, the nation’s leading public interest communications firm, she advised nonprofit, foundation and government clients on communications strategy and message development. Jessica holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Science, Technology and Society from Stanford University.
“I have always cared deeply about our environment, but the importance of connecting with nature has hit me in new ways since becoming a mom. Whenever my young daughter is upset, nothing calms her down like being outside—even if it’s just watching the crows or looking at the flowers in our backyard. At the park, she can be happy simply playing with the grass and leaves, which she investigates intently. Watching her, it is clearer than ever that we are born with a connection to the natural world—that this is where we belong—and every child is a little scientist. We need programs like KIDS for the BAY to nurture that connection and curiosity, by not only teaching environmental science, but encouraging students to touch, experience and explore it. I am impressed by the creativity of the hands-on environmental science experiments developed by KIDS for the BAY, as well as this organization’s deep commitment to being good partners to classroom teachers. It is an honor to volunteer my time to support this work.”
Shefali Shah is an educator of multicultural and environmental justice education with over 12 years experience. Shefali holds a Spanish Bilingual Teaching Credential and a Masters Degree in Education with a focus on Critical Environmental and Global Literacy. Her research, practice, educational curriculum and teacher training focus on environmental justice and best practices for equitable educational opportunities for multicultural youth. For five years, Shefali worked as an Instructor in the Teacher Credential and Masters Degree Programs at New College of California and for nine years she served as Program Director and later Education Director for KIDS for the BAY. Shefali’s work promotes environmental justice through action and cultural awareness and connections through musical and dance traditions. Her consulting work includes curriculum support and environmental justice education trainings.
“KIDS for the BAY provides a critically unique opportunity for youth from all walks of life to access the world around them. KIDS for the BAY programs increase children’s self-confidence by allowing them to explore their local world as true scientists. I am honored to volunteer for an organization that prioritizes environmental justice education and education through action.”
Sheela Shankar is a non-profit fundraising and events consultant in the San Francisco Bay Area. Sheela was a staff member at KIDS for the BAY for fourteen years, including working closely with Executive Director Mandi Billinge as Associate Director for seven years. She has a Master’s Degree in Education with a focus on Environmental Education and Curriculum Development, and a Bachelor’s Degree in Environmental Studies. Sheela has twenty years of experience in the environmental education field within the San Francisco Bay Area. She also brings expertise and experience in non-profit management, fundraising, event planning, and communications. Sheela is grateful to continue contributing to KIDS for the BAY as an Advisory Board member.
Advisory Board President
Jonathan Sorof is a physician and the Senior Vice President of Global Blood Therapeutics. He was previously a pediatrician who spent 10 years on the faculty of a medical school and the hospital staff taking care of children with kidney disease. During this time, he also focused on educating medical students and medical trainees, and on conducting research on heart health and obesity in children. After moving back to the Bay Area in 2009 to join Genentech, he worked for several years on developing new medicines to treat a variety of diseases that affect people of all ages, with an emphasis on children. Jonathan’s career journey has allowed him to live in many places in the United States, including the Northeast, New England, Washington DC, Texas, and Northern California. He has most recently returned to Burlingame after living for two years in Switzerland with his family, which includes his wife of 17 years who is also working in healthcare, his two children aged 15 and 12 years, and his favorite hiking companion, his 10 year old goldendoodle.