Anita Maldonado of Santa Rosa’s SAY wins a North Bay Business Journal Nonprofit Management Award

Specialist qualifications: I have labored in the social services industry since 1997, such as govt

Specialist qualifications: I have labored in the social services industry since 1997, such as govt roles at California Human Development, Affect Local community Motion, Girl Scouts of North East Ohio, and Akron Summit Neighborhood Action.

I also served as an adjunct college in the Pan African Section at Kent State College and am at this time an adjunct college member in the MPA plan at Franklin College in Columbus, Ohio.

Instruction: Ph.D. in increased instruction administration from Kent Condition University master’s degree in public administration from the College of Akron.

Number of workers: 99

Describe your organization: Social Advocates for Youth is Sonoma County’s leader in serving community homeless and disconnected youth. For just about fifty years, SAY has furnished supportive services to 1000’s of youth and their families, meeting them wherever they are and when they will need us the most. We concentrate on four foundational pillars of service: Youth Disaster Providers (YCS), housing, careers, and counseling.

A couple of the plans that SAY operates include things like: the only devoted teen shelter and young adult (ages 18-25) shelter concerning San Francisco and the Oregon border the only youth crisis hotline in the county, staffed year-round 24/7 and the only affordable tattoo removing software (Clean Slate) in the county.

We present psychological health expert services (at the moment by using telehealth) each in our Medi-Cal Clinic and in 8 middle and large educational facilities in Santa Rosa, as perfectly as supplying wellness teams for youth.

Our Occupation Expert services crew can help youth create do the job and everyday living readiness capabilities. And we also work a number of housing versions that consist of economical housing, local community-primarily based housing, and housing for expecting and parenting youth.

These wraparound companies are out there throughout Sonoma County.

Explain to us a tiny little bit about you: I am a lady, Latina, mom, daughter, sister, grandmother, mentor, trainer, professional and friend…

I was born in Lorain, Ohio to dad and mom who migrated from Puerto Rico. I am one of 3 young children and come from a shut knit household wherever we acquired the worth of difficult perform, education and learning, honesty and compassion. I am a very pleased member of Alpha Kappa Alpha (AKA) Sorority, Inc., an global assistance corporation that is launched on the mission to cultivate and inspire large scholastics and moral standards amid higher education women of all ages.

My lifetime has been enormously enriched by my upbringing, friends, family members and the kindness and encouragement from my internal circle. All of these ordeals and values have formed how I select to are living my lifestyle these days.

What is your function in the firm?

I joined SAY in March of 2020, exactly where I am very pleased to provide oversight to SAY packages, expert services, and functions as properly as assist to SAY’s volunteer Board of Directors.

How has your business been afflicted by the COVID-19 pandemic?

Like each individual nonprofit organization in the county, our systems had to make some huge pivots in reaction to the COVID pandemic.

The will need to shelter-in-area amplifies lots of of the difficulties that our youthful persons currently face. Youth who are going through homelessness are at a larger threat for wellness problems and for youth dwelling in households with harmful family dynamics, the incapacity to access risk-free spaces these kinds of as schools and libraries creates even far more pressure and nervousness.

SAY is an important enterprise, and we under no circumstances stopped delivering products and services to our younger people today. Lots of of our plans pivoted to online and digital solutions, this sort of as telehealth appointments for our counseling department and virtual work aid for our professions staff.

We also helped youth navigate through the approach of making use of for unemployment and critical task alternatives. Our shelter and housing products and services ongoing to residence young people, and our Street Outreach Team ongoing providing fall-in hrs and supplying cleanliness kits (now outfitted with masks and sanitizer!) to people with little access to these very important objects.

What are the ways your corporation responded to elevated requires for providers, and fiscally, in what has your business been pressured to alter?

In addition to changing our services to youthful folks (as outlined above), SAY also has pivoted its fundraising program: in-person fundraising events—that so quite a few companies count on for funding—are not probable throughout a worldwide pandemic.

Instead, we have reimagined our technique to connecting with investors a single-on-1. Our current 3-40 Campaign highlights how we are applying virtual tools, sponsorships, and peer-to-peer fundraising in reaction to the switching setting.

What achievement are you most happy of?

I am most proud of how the men and women of Sonoma County, the community, and the SAY Board of Directors and the business have appear alongside one another and welcomed me. This, coupled with primary a team of specialists who are respected and recognized experts in serving youth and family members, helps make me most proud of the decision I created to make Sonoma County my home.