Mandi Billinge, Executive Director/Founder
Mandi founded KIDS for the BAY and has directed program and organization development for the past twenty-nine years. Mandi was originally a classroom teacher in an inner-city London school. She founded KIDS for the BAY to bring the same exciting, hands-on environmental science projects that she taught in her own classroom into schools in the San Francisco Bay Area. Mandi’s first-hand knowledge of the type of support that teachers and their students need to develop their literacy in environmental science education in the classroom and in the outdoors has ensured that KIDS for the BAY effectively meets the needs of teachers and students and that our programs are very successful. Mandi has a Bachelor of Science Honors Degree in Biology from Hull University, England, specializing in freshwater and estuarine ecology, a Multiple Subject Teaching Credential from Leeds University, England and the Development Director’s Certificate from the University of San Francisco. Mandi loves being a Mom to her three children, and exploring in nature with her family. She also enjoys dancing, and going on hiking adventures.
Click here to read Executive Director Mandi Billinge’s “Voices” Article in the Earth Island Journal Magazine
Mikayla Martin, Communications and Office Manager
Mikayla is a Berkeley native and thrilled to join KIDS for the BAY as the Communications and Office Manager. She received her Bachelor of Arts Degree in Geography, Environment, and Planning from Sonoma State University. Mikayla developed a passion for sustainability, environmental stewardship, and food security during her time in college, and she hopes to use her skills to improve the community around her. With a background in environmental education, Mikayla is excited to grow in her new position. Understanding the importance of storytelling, she uses pictures to capture moments and events that are significant and showcase our need to connect with nature in a personal and communal way. Outside of the office, Mikayla enjoys checking out local farmer’s markets, trying new vegan restaurants, and starting art projects!
Shay Hart, Lead Program Manager
Shay is excited to share her passion for environmental education with the KIDS for the BAY community, to lead our program staff team and to deliver the Watershed Action Program to our partner school communities. Before joining KIDS for the BAY, Shay lived and taught environmental education in many places, including Florida, Nevada, and Indiana. She recently obtained a Masters Degree in Environmental Education, and has an undergraduate degree in Biology. Some of Shay’s favorite projects involve bringing students into nature and guiding them as they explore the beautiful places the outdoors has to offer. She also loves being able to bring the best practices of environmental education into the classroom. Shay grew up exploring the natural world on vacations with her family, and this is where her passion for the environment began. Shay’s other interests include nature photography and bird watching!
Corey Chan, Program Manager
Corey was born and raised in and around the San Francisco Bay Area, and is passionate about sharing its natural wonders, and helping others develop a deeper connection with the environment around them. Having worked as a Summer Camp Leader with KIDS for the BAY in 2018, Corey is excited to return as a Program Manager. Her start in environmental education began over 15 years ago in Santa Cruz while working towards her Bachelor of Arts Degree in Environmental Studies. She has since worked throughout California teaching hands-on experiential science to young learners in various ecosystems. Corey also has a Single-Subject Teaching Credential and has taught Life Science, Biology, and Marine Biology at the high school level. She is a Certified California Naturalist and Nature and Forest Therapy Guide. In her spare time, Corey enjoys wandering local trails, cooking and eating delicious plant-based meals, nature journaling, and playing with her furry family members!
Yvette Diaz Samayoa, Program Manager
Yvette is so happy to join KIDS for the BAY and share her love for environmental outreach with students and the community. Yvette was born and raised in the East San Francisco Bay Area and is thrilled to do her part to give back to her community. Yvette has a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Environmental Studies from California State University Monterey Bay. She believes that the most profound change can happen in schools, and is excited to visit so many in her new Educator role! Yvette is passionate about taking care of her community, which is why KIDS for the BAY is the perfect fit for her. Yvette is bilingual in English and Spanish. In her free time, Yvette loves to play with her dogs, paint, and bake desserts.
Long Term Consultants to KIDS for the BAY
Shefali Shah is an educator of multicultural and environmental education with over twenty years of 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 best practices for equitable educational opportunities for multicultural youth. For five years, Shefali was 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 education through action and cultural awareness. Shefali’s consulting work for KIDS for the BAY includes: culturally responsive classroom management, diversity and environmental justice workshops, teaching observations and modeling best practices in teaching environmental education.
Since 2005, Kari Gim has owned Slimgim Designs, LLC, a full-service graphic design business based in the San Francisco Bay Area. Her projects include logo design, branding strategies, design for print and web, and website development. Kari graduated from California State Hayward University with a Bachelors Degree in Mass Communications and started her career in publishing at San Francisco-based Mother Jones magazine and Jossey-Bass Publishers. Kari then became the marketing design manager for Avalon Travel Publishers in 2000. For five years she developed print and web designs for the marketing department and several authors: a redesign of the Moon Travel Handbooks line, and a redesign of the Rick Steves travel guidebooks. Kari lives in the East Bay Area with her husband, son, and feisty cat Wasabi.