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.
Youth Voices Sound Quilt
San Francisco's Sheltering in Place order was issued on March 16, 2020. Since then our youth have been attending school online and limiting contact with friends.
In this new and isolating world, they share what this time is like for them.
“I’ve gotten to spend a lot more quality time with my grandparents and family."
"I do miss my friends a lot."
"I was sad we can't have the ... end of senior year ... like prom and stuff."
“It's tough living with my family. We're all packed in the same house 24/7."
“The lockdowns ...have been quite difficult for us... especially on unemployment."
“Once I stopped going to school my mental health got ten times better."
Our role remains one of constancy and hope: to support and encourage these young people as they weather the stress and loneliness of the pandemic, access inner resilience, and discover their place in the world.
Learn more about how we're creatively loving youth and join us by
making a donation and giving #SYSholidayhugs to sustain this vital work.