Meet Our Camp Staff

KIDS for the BAY Environmental Educators LOVE leading our Summer Camp!

Our Summer Camp staff are year-round KIDS for the BAY Environmental Educators who teach our school-based programs in local elementary schools, lead nature-based field trips and provide professional development in environmental science education for classroom teachers during the school year. Additional Camp Leaders also join us each summer. KIDS for the BAY Camp Leaders are college students and/or college graduates with science backgrounds and experience teaching environmental education in various settings. We also hire several high school Junior Summer Camp Leaders each summer, and middle and high school students volunteer to help out in our camp as Youth Leaders. Please click here for current positions open.

The summer months provide the opportunity for KIDS for the BAY staff to do one of the things they love the most — be in the outdoors with children! Please read below to learn about each of our amazing Summer Camp Staff members for summer 2024, and to find out why they love what they do.

“Your staff is wonderful. I truly have never experienced such a dynamic group. They were always so kind and excited to let me know how our kids did that day.”

Dev Heyrana, Camp Parent

“Thank you to your wonderful staff for keeping our children safe and providing them with fun and educational activities!”

Nereida Bravo, Camp Parent

“I think it is well organized and the counselors are wonderful! My daughter talks about what she has learned and remembers it throughout the year.”

Isabel’s Mom

“Great! I loved that it was all outdoor/nature based. The counselors were warm, friendly and caring. I appreciated the information was shared with us ahead of time through email and website. Communication was great and the camp as a whole seemed very organized.”

Maria Nakae, Camp Parent

Camp Staff 2024

MANDI BILLINGE
KIDS for the BAY Executive Director/Founder

“I am very excited for our KIDS for the BAY Summer Camp and for some new themes, activities and locations this summer! We have a wonderful camp team of experienced and capable staff who are passionate about teaching environmental education to children and having fun in nature with our campers. I can’t wait to see our campers and our staff learning, playing, exploring and becoming even more inspired Environmentalists this summer!”

Mandi founded KIDS for the BAY and has directed program and organization development for the past thirty-two years. Mandi was originally a classroom teacher in an inner-city London school and a Summer Camp Counselor at Camp Mendocino with the San Francisco Boys and Girls Club. She founded KIDS for the BAY to bring environmental education to all children, especially those who would not otherwise have this opportunity. 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 nature with her family. She also enjoys dancing, reading, cooking and going on camping and hiking adventures.


COREY CHAN
KIDS for the BAY Education and Outreach Manager/Summer Camp Manager

“As a lover of all things nature, I look forward to helping facilitate deep nature connections to the natural wonders of the Bay Area in our campers, while also instilling a lasting sense of stewardship for the environment we all share.”

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. Corey worked as a Summer Camp Leader with KIDS for the BAY in 2018, and is excited to now be 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
KIDS for the BAY Program Manager/Environmental Educator

“I am so excited to lead our Summer Camp again this year! We have so many fun activities and field trips planned for our campers. I cannot wait to continue learning about all the different types of environments we have here in the Bay Area with our staff and campers!”

Yvette loves working with KIDS for the BAY and sharing her love for environmental education 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 is passionate about environmental education and 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, she loves to play with her dogs, paint, and bake desserts.


ANAIS WILSON
KIDS for the BAY Program Coordinator/Environmental Educator

“As a kid, I would spend most of my time outdoors with my sister and cousins playing in nature. From making soups out of grass and dirt to building homes out of sticks, we could never get enough. I can’t wait to encourage kids to do the same in Summer Camp and enjoy and admire all of nature’s beauty and gifts together. Hopefully one day campers will look back and say they had some of their best childhood memories with KIDS for the BAY out in nature!”

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.


MAEVE GALLAGHER
Summer Camp Leader/Environmental Educator

“I’m so excited to spend my summer bringing kids outside and teaching them about our environment! I’m looking forward to sharing my knowledge of and love for the natural world with our campers, and meeting some young environmental scientists along the way!” 

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 their 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.


JAVIERA QUEZADA
Summer Camp Leader/Environmental Educator

“Getting to explore the outdoors with loved ones are some of my most memorable childhood experiences, and I am so excited to be able to keep exploring the place I love so much this summer. I feel so grateful to have the opportunity to join such a passionate team of educators and Environmentalists!”

Javi is incredibly excited to join the KIDS for the BAY team this summer as an Environmental Educator. Javi recently graduated from UC Berkeley with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Conservation and Resource Studies, with a concentration in Conservation Biology and Natural Resource Management. They also graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Social Welfare. They grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area and love to explore all the beautiful habitats surrounding us. Since childhood, Javi has felt a deep connection to the ecosystems nearby and all over, and is excited to explore them with KIDS for the BAY Summer Camp! Javi is passionate about the intersection of climate justice and environmental education, and is eager to continue to grow as an educator. Javi loves to explore nature, farm and care for the land as it cares for us.


ERICA BAEZA
Summer Camp Leader/Environmental Educator

“I am beyond excited to join KIDS for the BAY, and extremely fortunate to spend my summer working with young campers as we learn how to become Environmentalists together! I look forward to sharing all the tools I’ve gathered from previous teaching experiences with young students to create a safe and inclusive space. In this space, I hope to share all of my science background and learn more not only from my fellow camp staff but also my campers.” 

Erica is from the San Francisco Bay Area and spent a lot of her childhood years exploring many of the beautiful parks the area has to offer. From a very young age, she has always been fascinated by exploring and constantly looks for new parks to visit. She took that fascination to the University of California Santa Cruz, where she is pursuing a double major in Marine Biology and Education, Democracy, and Justice. In Santa Cruz, she has actively taken advantage of the beautiful campus by exploring new trails, attempting scuba diving, and observing local organisms. In addition to her deep fascination for exploring the outdoors, Erica also has an equal passion for educational equity. She has previously taught kindergarten classes focusing on metacognition, or the understanding of one’s own thought processes, and she has also assisted in teaching high school level biology. Erica is currently taking new biology and education courses at University of California, Santa Cruz, and is excited to bring what she has learned to KIDS for the BAY as a Summer Camp Leader/Environmental Educator. In her free time, Erica enjoys any activity that brings her outside! She is always excited to try something new as long as it’s outdoors!


ONIE LEVERETTE
Summer Camp Leader/Environmental Educator

“I am thrilled to be embarking on this adventure and beginning my career as an environmental educator with KIDS for the BAY. Since I was a child myself, I’ve been a lover of nature and wildlife, and look forward to helping foster that same joy and curiosity in our campers.”

Onie is thrilled to join KIDS for the BAY this summer as an Environmental Educator. Growing up in Atlanta, Georgia, the “city in a forest,” Onie could always be found outdoors in nature. Now, having just relocated to the Bay Area, she looks forward to exploring the abundance of trails and parks that Northern California has to offer. She is an experienced educator, and just recently taught a curious class of second graders. With school out for the summer, Onie looks forward to embarking on this exciting new journey and can’t wait to engage and explore with campers. In the fall, Onie will continue her career in environmental education as a Garden Teacher in Daly City. 


JESSICA CORTES-PEREZ
Summer Camp Leader/Environmental Educator

“I can’t wait to form core memories outdoors with the KIDS for the BAY campers this summer and explore the beauty the Bay Area has to offer!”

Jessica grew up surrounded by the beauty of the El Dorado National Forest and is now a kindergarten teacher in Richmond excited to extend her classroom beyond four walls and into the open air. She envisions the camp as a vibrant space where children can engage in hands-on activities, discover the wonders of nature, and learn about the importance of protecting our environment. Her goal is to inspire the next generation to become thoughtful and proactive advocates for our planet. In her free time, Jessica enjoys nature walks, exploring, and trying new foods!


GILLIAN REYNOLDS
Summer Camp Leader/Environmental Educator

“I am so excited to be a part of KIDS for the BAY and work to teach kids about our surrounding environment, as well as to learn together about nature! I hope to help contribute to creating a space that gets kids excited about learning and I am so grateful to have this amazing opportunity. Looking forward to a fantastic summer!

Gillian is thrilled to join the KIDS for the BAY! She grew up in the Bay Area and spent a lot of time outside in her childhood. Her parents are both scientists and incorporating nature and the outdoors into her daily routine was something that became a large part of her life. She has always loved the outdoors and spends time climbing, hiking, skiing, running, and just getting outside as much as she possibly can. She is pursuing a communications degree as well as hoping to minor in public policy at the University of Michigan. Gillian is so excited to spend the summer outdoors with KIDS for the BAY! 


LUZ DE LA CRUZ
Junior Camp Leader/Environmental Educator

“I’m really excited that I have a chance to join such an amazing organization that involves youth. Being in a program that motivates kids to explore nature is something I really love doing.”

Luz is thrilled to join the KIDS for the BAY team this summer as a Junior Camp Leader/Environmental Educator. Luz was born and raised in Richmond. As a child, they always loved helping the community. Growing up, they found a passion in health and plan on pursuing this as a career. During their free time, they like to teach Aztec dance, listen to K-pop and have fun with their loved ones.


ELSA DIETZ
Junior Camp Leader/Environmental Educator

“I am excited to explore with the campers and learn more about the beautiful Bay Area this summer!”

Elsa is an upcoming junior at Berkeley High School and she is looking forward to spending part of her summer with KIDS for the BAY! She loves working with kids and has enjoyed being a youth soccer coach and counselor at an outdoor school at Lawrence Hall of Science. As an athlete in cross country, track and field, and soccer, she gets to spend a lot of her time outside! She has always enjoyed visiting the mountains and going on rainy day walks.