Executive Team

Ellin O’Leary, President and Chief Content Officer

Ellin is an award-winning journalist who leads the editorial and strategic direction of Youth Radio. She founded Youth Radio in 1992. She led the acquisition of our 20,000 sq. ft. media and technology center in downtown Oakland, the expansion into digital media, and the development of a national network with major media and community partnerships. Her previous experience includes starting newsrooms, channels and bureaus for Inner City Broadcasting, KQED, Pacifica and NPR, and working as a reporter, news director, and producer in radio and television.


Jabari Gray, Executive Director

Jabari joined Youth Radio in 2009 as part of the development team. A graduate from USC Annenberg, Jabari began his professional career as an educator in Los Angeles and transitioned into cause-related marketing after a unique opportunity to promote his work on commercial radio.

Since then, Jabari has combined his technical skillset with years of creative work in college radio, television voice acting, podcasting, music recording, and film production to successfully evolve his tenure at YR through roles in fundraising, classroom instruction, senior management, and executive leadership. Jabari is a 2017 Punch Sulzberger Fellow, sits on the Oakland Thrives Leadership Council, mentors with the East Bay College Fund, and is a member of both the Huguette Clark Family Fund for Protection of Elders and Rotary Club of Oakland #3. He also served on the boards of The Downtown Oakland Association and the Museum of Children’s Arts.


Ai Le, Finance Director

Ai leads the finance and accounting team. Ai has a degree in engineering and design. Prior to joining Youth Radio, she was a process engineer in the semiconductor industry, studied industrial design, and was a partner/finance controller at a creative firm in NYC.

Arts Pathway

Maeven McGovern, Director of Arts Pathway and Youth Outcomes

Maeven facilitates Youth Radio’s Remix Your Life and builds partnerships with community arts institutions. She studied community art and performance theory at UCLA’s World Arts and Cultures Department, focusing on best practices in leveraging the arts for trauma recovery and community empowerment.


Ben Frost, Music Director

Ben teaches music production, sound design classes, and manages Youth Radio Raw and AllDayPlay. He attended UC Santa Cruz and the Sorbonne and has credited works with organizations and artists such as Deuce Eclipse, Zumbi, Andre Nickatina, Destiny Arts Center and the Hip-Hop Theater Festival.


Yared “Sam” Gebru, Arts Curator & Project Manager

Yared will lead the Arts Journalism program for Youth Radio. He co-founded the Bay Area music arts and culture blog YK La Familia (formerly Youthful Kinfolk) and has led marketing and promotional efforts for a number of emerging artists. Yared has longstanding relationships with multiple music, arts and culture platforms, and is well positioned to build out Youth Radio’s arts editorial content.


Brigido Bausista, DJ Instructor

Brigido has taught DJing in different capacities for over 10 years. He has worked with The RYSE Center, Asian Health Services, and UC Berkeley’s DJ Decal class. Operating as DJ Brigidope, he holds numerous DJ residencies in Oakland and San Francisco. In addition to teaching and DJing, Brigido also works as a Shopify Developer for a clothing company and has interests in fashion, video editing, music production, blockchain technologies, and basically anything you can do with a computer or smartphone.

Development & Communications

Ashleigh Kenny, Director of Institutional Giving

Ashleigh leads Youth Radio’s development department. Before Youth Radio, she worked in fundraising and publishing for non-profit media companies in Washington, DC. She began her studies in journalism and communications at American University in Washington, DC. She studied indigenous literature in New Zealand, and earned an English degree from the University of Iowa.

Heather Buchheim, 
Director of Marketing and Communications

Heather leads Youth Radio’s Marketing and Communications department. She has been helping social justice organizations reach and grow their audiences and raise money since 2006. She holds a degree in Global Studies from the University of California, Santa Barbara, where she first caught the radio bug in the newsroom at KCSB-FM. Heather likes to write in her spare time too — her work has appeared in BUST Magazine, Refinery29, Feministing, and The Establishment.


Rahsaan McGlashan-Powell, Director of Business Development

A marketing and communications strategist with a decade and a half of experience growing revenue-generating partnerships. Rahsaan graduated from Oberlin College with a degree in Environmental Studies and a minor in African American Studies. In his spare time he enjoys being a music fanatic.


Heather Platt, Individual Giving Manager

Heather comes to Youth Radio with a background in political organizing and fundraising. Prior, she worked on environmental, consumer rights and social justice campaigns. She earned her degree in Religion and Women’s Studies from The University of the South.


Victoria Hinshaw, Institutional Giving Manager

Victoria brings several years of development experience to her role, as well as a passion for education and progressive media. Past experience includes building a development department from the ground up at one organization, and scaling development procedures through a dramatic growth period at another. She holds a BA from Reed College.


Max Walker, Development Associate

Max has experience on nonprofit Development and Programs teams supporting organizations in refugee resettlement and international grantmaking. He holds degrees in History and Anthropology from the University of California, Santa Cruz. Outside of work, he plays trombone in the Oakland Civic Orchestra and Balinese percussion in Gamelan X.


Finance & Operations

Ivan Rivera, Staff Accountant

Ivan graduated from San Francisco State University with a BA in Economics, and he has ten years of experience in the nonprofit finance sector. As the Staff Accountant, he supports the Finance Director and offers key operational support to staff and students. Ivan has also taught personal finance workshops in Youth Radio’s Pathways program.



Media Education

Elena Botkin-Levy, Director of Media Education

Elena teaches journalism and leads the Media Education team at Youth Radio. She started producing radio as a young person and has produced, trained, and collaborated with youth media groups around the country. She’s a graduate of Temple University.


LaToya Tooles, CORE Journalism Instructor

LaToya Tooles has written for The Brooklyn Ink, Salon.com, OhDang!Mag, The Afro American, The Golden Gate [X]Press and the Western Edition. She most recently worked as a web producer at The Center for Investigative Reporting in the San Francisco Bay Area. She has a master’s degree in digital media from Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism and a bachelor’s in print journalism from San Francisco State University. She is a longtime nerd known for her love of fantasy novels, old and new radio shows, crafting, coding and flow charts.


Dustin Garcia, Multimedia Instructor

Dustin is Youth Radio’s Multimedia Instructor for the Media Education department. He holds a degree in Digital Media with an emphasis on Animation & Illustration. He also draws, writes, and self-publishes comic books.


Rebecca Martin, Managing Editor/Director of National Network

Rebecca leads the day to day operations of Youth Radio’s award-winning newsroom, including editing and producing local and national features. She directs Youth Radio’s national network of correspondents and partners who contribute to Youth Radio’s outlets and platforms. She also works closely with the Chief Content Officer on strategic planning. Before joining the team at Youth Radio, she worked for The World (PRI/BBC), NPR and CNN.


Elisabeth Soep, Senior Editor & Founding Director Innovation Lab

Lissa (PhD, Stanford) leads Youth Radio Interactive, where youth integrate journalism and technology to produce engaging, data-rich stories. She founded the YRI, co-wrote Drop That Knowledge (UC Press), had a hand in several Youth Radio award-winning series, and lectures on digital media learning.


Denise Tejada, Reporter and Multi-media Producer

Denise works alongside newsroom interns to produce stories (in all formats) for local and national outlets. She was a reporter for Trafficked, a Peabody Award-winning investigation by Youth Radio on child sex trafficking in Oakland. Denise was part of Youth Radio’s broadcasting class of 2004.



Asha Richardson, Youth Radio Interactive Manager

Asha coordinates digital communication strategies for the newsroom. She co-founded Youth Radio’s App Lab in 2010, where young people develop web based and mobile apps that engage the community. Asha is a recent graduate of Mills College, B.A. in Economics, and has passion for marketing and tech.


Chaz Hubbard, Video Producer

Chaz works within multiple departments at Youth Radio to provide quality videos for various outlets and has over 6 years of professional video production experience. Chaz holds a B.A. in Cinema from SFSU in 2006 and has worked independently on short films and music videos.

Noah Nelson, 

Noah Nelson is a producer working with our national network and the communications team. His coverage of trends in transmedia, crowdfunding, and gaming have been featured on outlets including NPR and Marketplace. He’s a graduate of SF State and alum of Youth Radio’s first class.

Clifford Lee, 

Cliff (PhD, UCLA) researches and publishes findings and supports Youth Radio Interactive. He also collaborates on the Teach Youth Radio hub; creating, disseminating, and analyzing the curriculum. He has over 15 years of urban education experience where he was a founding English, Social Studies, and Media Arts teacher at Life Academy High School in East Oakland. Cliff is also an Assistant Professor in the Kalmanovitz School of Education at Saint Mary’s College of California, where he teaches preservice secondary teachers.

Shawn Wen, 

Shawn works with teens in Youth Radio’s newsroom to produce stories for local and national outlets. She is a writer, radio producer, and multimedia artist. Her radio work has broadcast on This American Life, Marketplace, and Freakonomics Radio.

Nancy Deville, 
Network Producer

Nancy works in Youth Radio’s newsroom and focuses on statewide collaborations and productions in California, and helps coordinate the national network. She’s an award-winning journalist who has done work for several media outlets including The Tennessean, USA Today, KQED and Latino USA. Prior to joining Youth Radio, she was a college journalism instructor.

Davey Kim, 
Senior Podcast Producer

Davey leads Youth Radio’s podcast development, creating products with teens across the country that integrate news, arts and music. Prior to Youth Radio, his stories and scores have aired on Snap Judgment, NPR, Marketplace, KPCC, KCRW, The Dinner Party Download and The World. His side hustles include bike polo and mastering his pressure cooker.


Support Services

Michael Lee, Managing Director

Michael Lee is an Oakland native with a degree in social work from San Francisco State University. As Managing Director of Youth Radio, Michael has made significant contributions to the growth of the Employment Pathways and Social Services programs since starting at the organization as a social work intern in 2011. Michael has over 10 years of experience working with youth and developing programs. He currently sits on the advisory board for the Inner City Advisors Accelerator Program and is the founder of a local charitable group called Give Oakland.

Tiff Parrish, 
Case Manager

Tiff provides Youth Radio participants with counseling on a wide range of challenges such as poverty, gentrification, mental health, and trauma. An advocate for youth, she offers resources to support YR participants with their emotional and physical wellbeing. Tiff received her Masters in Social Work from California State University, East Bay and has been working with youth for 10+ years. Dedicating herself to bridging social and cultural gaps among youth through a career in non-profit social work, Tiff has worked with diverse communities, including pregnant and parenting teens, LGBTQI youth, high-school students who have survived trauma, poverty and racial and gender discrimination, and individuals living with HIV/AIDS. 

Tiff moved to Oakland eight years ago, to pursue social justice work with young people. In her spare time, she bakes, competes in half-marathons and builds Legos with her five-year-old.


Michael Woods, 
Healthy Foods Manager

Chef Michael is a graduate of Le Cordon Bleu San Francisco 2011 and has a wealth of experience working in the Bay Area culinary scene. His speciality is French and Italian cuisine with a natural skill for Smokehouse BBQ and Southern Cuisine. Chef Michael has also spent a number of years abroad, cooking in various parts of the world.

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