Staff

Mandi Billinge, Executive Director/Founder

Mandi founded KIDS for the BAY and has directed program and organization development for the past thirty 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 under-resourced 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, swimming, reading and going on hiking adventures.

Click here to read Executive Director Mandi Billinge’s “Voices” Article in the Earth Island Journal Magazine

Interviews

Email: mandi@kidsforthebay.org


Corey Chan, Education and Outreach 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, and as a Program Manager from 2021 – 2022, Corey is excited to now lead the program staff team as Education and Outreach Manager. Corey’s start in environmental education began over 16 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!

Amy Asmussen, Communications and Grants Coordinator

Amy is thrilled to coordinate creative communications for KIDS for the BAY and engage audiences around the San Francisco Bay Area and beyond. Amy was born and raised in the East Bay, where she cultivated her love of nature, passion for protecting the environment, and knack for storytelling. She is honored to play a key role in developing resources to help expand the impact of KIDS for the BAY programs. Amy has a Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree in Creative Writing from Chapman University in California, where she also minored in Environmental Studies. Amy worked as a newsletter editor at Chapman for two years and as a Coasts and Watersheds Communications Intern for the Environmental Defense Fund. Amy is a published fiction writer and poet, and is currently working on her first novel. In her free time, Amy loves taking nature walks, discovering new music, and spending time with friends and family. 

Email: amy@kidsforthebay.org






Yvette Diaz Samayoa, Program Manager/Environmental Educator

Yvette is so happy to be part of the KIDS for the BAY team and share her love for environmental outreach with students and the community. She  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 gained experience teaching youth of all ages about the importance of environmental stewardship in her internships with Solano and Napa Resource Conservation Districts. Yvette believes that the most profound change can happen in schools, and she is excited to visit so many in her Educator role! Yvette is passionate about taking care of her community, which is why KIDS for the BAY is the perfect fit for her. She is bilingual in English and Spanish. In her free time, Yvette loves to play with her dogs, paint, and bake desserts.

Email: yvette@kidsforthebay.org

Sakshi Srivastava, Program Coordinator/Environmental Educator

Sakshi is so excited to partner with students and school communities in her role with KIDS for the BAY, and to work towards education and awareness around environmental justice and protection. She grew up in the South Bay and has a deep curiosity for nature. She loves learning from the young people she teaches and is always amazed by the wonderful questions they ask. Sakshi has a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Psychology from the University of California at Santa Cruz, where her focus was largely on child development. She also received her Masters Degree in Education and her Multiple Subjects Teaching Credential at University of California at Berkeley, through the Berkeley Educators for Equity and Excellence program, which focuses on anti-racist practices within the classroom. Sakshi has worked with students of all ages in elementary schools and most recently taught fourth grade in Oakland public schools. She loves connecting with students, teachers, and caregivers, and is excited to work with schools across the East Bay in KIDS for the BAY programs. In her free time, Sakshi enjoys baking, reading, spending time in her hammock, and finding delicious food spots around the Bay Area!

Email: sakshi@kidsforthebay.org

Grace Bedecarre, Program Coordinator/Environmental Educator

Grace is thrilled to work with KIDS for the BAY as an Educator in local schools. She is excited to share her love for the environment with children and the community, and to inspire watershed stewardship. Grace grew up in Los Angeles, California, and she loves the ocean! She graduated from the University of California at Davis with a Bachelors of Arts Degree in Political Science and Environmental Policy and Planning. During her time in Davis, Grace became interested in sustainable agriculture and outdoor education. She worked at the university student farm, and as an instructor with several programs including ‘Yolo Farm to Fork’ and ‘Sprout Up’, which foster environmental stewardship in children. Grace is passionate about encouraging natural curiosity and learning about the outdoor world. During her free time she loves to paint, garden, nature journal and go on long walks, stopping to look at every interesting flower!

Email: grace@kidsforthebay.org

Anaïs Wilson, Program Coordinator/Environmental Educator

Anaïs is thrilled to be a part of KIDS for the BAY and do what she is most passionate about; teaching children about the importance of protecting and caring for our environment. She believes that fostering community engagement is key to ensuring our communities are safer and more environmentally friendly. Anaïs grew up in Los Angeles and in France. She is half French and speaks French and Spanish. Anaïs has a Bachelors of Arts Degree in Environmental Science, Geography, and Planning from Sonoma State University. In her internship as a hiking guide with Sonoma Land Trust, Anaïs learned more about Sonoma’s unique environment and was inspired to live and work in Northern California. After graduating college, she spent some time in France as an English teacher, and taught both children and adults. Hiking and spending time outdoors has always been Anaïs’s favorite thing to do. She also loves to go to coffee shops,
read and cook.

Email: anais@kidsforthebay.org

Maeve Gallagher, Program Coordinator/Environmental Educator

Maeve grew up in the East San Francisco Bay Area, and went to KIDS for the BAY Summer Camp as a youth. She distinctly remembers the joy of dissecting a squid in the sunshine by the bay at camp and is so excited to do it again, this time as a KIDS for the BAY Educator! Maeve graduated from the University of Puget Sound in Washington State, with a Bachelors of Science Degree in Geology. During her college summers, Maeve worked as a multi-day whitewater rafting guide, bringing people into nature and educating them on the geology and ecology of river canyons in Oregon, Utah, Idaho, and California. She also taught ninth grade environmental science, at Gateway High School in San Francisco, where she focused on hands-on learning and anti-racist teaching practices. Maeve is incredibly excited to combine her passions for and experiences with earth science, outdoor recreation and education as a KIDS for the BAY Educator. In her free time, Maeve loves biking, climbing, sewing and cooking for her friends.

Email: maeve@kidsforthebay.org


Long Term Consultants to KIDS for the BAY

Shefali Shah

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.

Kari Gim

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 lives in the East Bay Area with her husband, son, and spirited Labradoodle, Herbie.