Co-Founder & Executive Director
Dawn has worked with young people in San Francisco for more than two decades, starting campus-based girls’ support groups at Lincoln High School and A.P. Giannini Middle School in the early 1990s and co-founding in 1992 the organization that would later become Sunset Youth Services. In addition to providing leadership for the nonprofit, managing staff, connecting with donors, and building relationships with young people served by Sunset Youth Services, Dawn partners with numerous community coalitions and city agencies as an advisor, change agent, and voice for the disenfranchised youth of the city.
In 2018 Dawn was elected to co-chair the Juvenile Justice Providers Association (JJPA)–– a consortium of community-based organizations that she helped establish in 2004 and which plays an important role in local policy-making, youth advocacy and has a strong voice in how funds are used to meet the needs of vulnerable youth.
DIGITAL ARTS & TECHNOLOGY
In this innovative program, youth engage in creative self-expression and project-based learning through songwriting, digital recording and engineering, filmmaking, beat sequencing, DJ instruction, instrumentation, podcasting, and photography. Educated by industry professionals, youth gain marketable skills while laying the foundation for future employment. Participants help organize and perform in local festivals and arts events, developing self-efficacy while positively impacting their local communities.
Our Digital Arts & Technology program offers paid leadership opportunities at our on-site youth-led record label, Upstar Records. One of our latest Upstar projects is Upstar TV (channel 29 on SF Commons public access TV), a youth-produced show focused on arts, culture, and the lifestyles of our young people in San Francisco. Here are two of our episodes: