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 2023, 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 2023

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 that we will introduce and/or bring back to camp 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 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 in nature with her family. She also enjoys dancing, reading, cooking and going on hiking adventures.

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!

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.

KIDS for the BAY Program Coordinator/Environmental Educator

“I am really looking forward to exploring and learning alongside our campers this summer. It’s remarkable to witness their endless curiosity and contagious energy. I am also thrilled by the opportunity to collaborate with our Summer Camp staff team. Together, we will work to create an enriching experience for our campers, and make some unforgettable memories along the way!”

Sakshi is so excited to partner with students, school communities and families in her role with KIDS for the BAY, and to work towards education and awareness around environmental justice and protection. Sakshi 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 she focused 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!

KIDS for the BAY Program Coordinator/Environmental Educator

“I feel so lucky to be able to share my love for this special environment with our campers this summer! I am proud to work alongside such an amazing staff team. I am looking forward to appreciating the natural world and enjoying the wonders of nature with our campers all summer long.”

Grace is thrilled to work with KIDS for the BAY as an Educator in local schools, and with our Summer Camp families. 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!

KIDS for the BAY Program Coordinator/Environmental Educator

“I am absolutely thrilled to spend my summer outdoors, immersed in nature and sharing my deep passion for aquatic environments, geology, and birds with our campers! Just like the summer camps I adored during my own childhood, I am eagerly looking forward to the opportunity to explore and marvel at the wonders of nature in our vibrant camp community.”

Nicole is a California native and grew up in Antioch. She is very excited to work at KIDS for the BAY with children in the East Bay community, and help them develop a deep passion for environmental conservation. Nicole holds an Associate of Science degree in Biology and Chemistry from Los Medanos College, and a Bachelor of Science degree in Environmental Science and Management from the University of California, Davis. During her time at Davis, Nicole specialized in conservation, restoration and freshwater ecosystems. Nicole worked as an interpretive Student Aide at Black Diamond Mines Regional Preserve from 2019-2023 with the East Bay Regional Park District. In this role she educated and entertained visitors with captivating presentations on the region’s mining and natural history, focusing on the Mount Diablo foothills. She also collaborated with naturalists to develop and present programs on some of her favorite topics including bats, birds, snakes, and wildflowers. Nicole’s filming expertise also contributed to the production of educational videos that enhanced the park district’s outreach efforts. Nicole enjoys video games, hiking to waterfalls, and wheel-throwing ceramics as well as taking care of her rabbits, fish, and plants.

Summer Camp Leader/Environmental Educator

“I am super excited to join the KIDS for the BAY Summer Camp to work for environmental education, promote equal access to engaging education opportunities for our communities, and empower new generations of inspired environmentalists! With a strong science background, I look forward to bringing meaningful and unforgettable natural experiences to our wonderful campers during a beautiful, sunlit summer!”

Charity was born in a beautiful coastal city in Southern China. She was interested in Earth Science and Biology from childhood, and she spent her undergraduate years in the Molecular Bioscience and Environmental Science fields at Duke Kunshan University. During her experience in lab work, field study, and volunteer activities, she is deepening her understanding of global challenges, and accumulating knowledge from social sciences and humanities. Charity is very passionate about sustainable development and hopes to promote wildlife protection and ecosystem conservation. She is currently studying a Masters Degree in Development Engineering at the University of California at Berkeley, including sustainability and climate change mitigation. In her spare time, Charity loves to do sports, watch animation, practice painting, and appreciate outdoor beauty. She loves to work with children, and she designs colorful and attractive methods to convey scientific knowledge and discoveries to the public.

Summer Camp Leader/Environmental Educator

“I spent the majority of my childhood summers attending outdoor camps, so getting the chance to pass on to others something that brought me so much joy is very exciting! I’m looking forward to sharing lessons I have learned in nature, and to learning from our campers’ perspectives about how to be curious and kind stewards of our local environment.”

Sidonie is currently attending Oberlin College majoring in Environmental Studies. She is excited to bring what she has learned in her college courses to camp. Sidonie is interested in how the arts and humanities can be incorporated into learning about the environment, including through literature and film. Sidonie grew up in the Bay Area, and she is thrilled to be back home for the summer, and able to spend time with our campers in the many beautiful natural spaces the Bay Area has to offer. In her free time Sidonie enjoys cooking and baking, reading, crocheting, and hiking with her two big dogs, or pretty much anything that gives her an excuse to be outside!

Summer Camp Leader/Environmental Educator

“I am so excited to spend my summer being outdoors every day in a place I love – the East Bay ecosystems. I love sharing my passion for the environment with kids! As a Bay Area native, I am so lucky to have grown up in such a biodiverse place full of people who respect the earth and seek to protect it. I am ecstatic to teach the next generation of environmentalists about the earth and create impactful memories with our campers!”

Frances studies environmental science, systems and society at University of California Los Angeles (UCLA). She has been passionate about the earth for her entire life and has been hiking since she could walk up a hill. She is looking forward to using what she is learning at UCLA to help educate kids about environmental conservation. Frances grew up in Oakland, California, and is very knowledgeable about local flora and fauna. In her free time, she enjoys hiking in the Oakland redwoods, skiing, reading fiction, collaging, yoga, and spending time with loved ones. Frances spent last summer teaching ecology at Bishop O’Dowd High School’s Summer Academy. She is an experienced environmental educator and looks forward to bringing excitement and creativity to every lesson she teaches. Frances is so excited to become a part of KIDS for the BAY team as a Summer Camp Leader/Environmental Educator.

Summer Camp Leader/Environmental Educator

“I’m very interested in the relationships that form between humans and all other animals. I hope to not only share, but learn new ways of engaging with ecosystems from campers, and maybe even from the ecosystems themselves. I can hardly wait to get hands-on in all of the beautiful spaces the Bay Area holds.”

Elio is overjoyed to be joining KIDS for the BAY this summer as an Environmental Educator. He just graduated with a degree in Environmental Studies and Politics and is looking forward to interacting with new ecosystems and exchanging curiosities with students. Originally from Overland Park, Kansas, the habitats Elio grew up surrounded by are quite different from those in the Bay Area and he is excited to explore new environments! Having grown up scouring creek beds for crayfish and peeking into prairie dog holes, he’s always been fascinated by other creatures and the many ways they can teach us about ourselves. His love of ecosystems transcends location and he’s looking forward to growing his knowledge and care for new places. In his free time, Elio loves to explore natural spaces, exercise, daydream, write, and hang out with his cat.

Junior Camp Leader/Environmental Educator

“I’m very excited to be working with kids outside, and to share what I know about the environment, and the parts of the Bay Area that are so important to me, that I spent so much time growing up in. I’m also excited to hear our campers’ views of the natural world, and experience it through their eyes.”

Cedar is an upcoming senior at Berkeley High School. He has lived in Berkeley his whole life, and is super excited to be working with campers this summer, and teaching them about the local environment, and Bay Area ecosystems. Cedar is really interested in human relationships with the natural world, and thinking about what conservation practices can be taken to maintain a certain level of health in the ecosystems. Cedar spent the last semester in Colorado learning about the history of the land in the west, and about environmental ethics that they’re super excited to share back home. In his free time he really enjoys playing music, and soccer with their friends, and going on hikes with his dog.

Junior Camp Leader/Environmental Educator

“I am excited to spend time outdoors and help our campers explore, and share their curiosities about nature. I have always enjoyed spending time with KIDS for the BAY camp in the past, and I am looking forward to another summer!”

Neal was born and raised in Berkeley and is very excited to work for KIDS for the BAY this summer. As an upcoming senior at Berkeley High school, he enjoys learning about science and the outdoors. Over the years, Neal has discovered an interest in multiple fields relating to science including biology and astronomy. He has spent much of his time in nature, going up to Tilden Park every weekend with his family, and going on multiple backpacking trips to various national parks. Neal has participated in KIDS for the BAY Summer Camp for many years, first as a camper and then later as a Youth Leader. He is excited to share his passion for exploration and the natural world with campers.