Leadership Team

Bishop Howard

Program Director

Bishop Howard, the Health and Wellness Program Manager,  is a Black Queer Non-Binary Femme born and raised in Detroit Michigan. After receiving a B.A in Psychology with a minor in LGBT Studies in 2014 from Michigan State University, Bishop began working with youth in an all boys residential facility, providing clinical and various supportive services. In 2015 Bishop moved to Chicago to start a graduate program in Social Work, where they continued their clinical work with youth while also interning in Queer and Trans youth settings providing one on one case management/therapy services and educational programming in the areas of housing instability and sexual health. A recent transfer to the Bay area and the west coast, Bishop was drawn to LYRIC because of its long history of serving the community and it’s commitment towards social justice and supporting young leaders, their families and allies. When not working Bishop enjoys movies, music, video games, meeting new folks to chat with about queer theory and sexual education, while also staying active and turning a sickening lewk.

Bishop can be contacted at 415.703.6150 x140 or bishop@lyric.org.

Denny David

Deputy Director

Denny David is the Deputy Director here at LYRIC. He grew up in Seattle, WA and became involved in social justice issues at a young age, learning about labor issues, urban poverty, economic globalization, and U.S.-Mexico border policy. He attended Grinnell College, where he earned a B.A. in Religious Studies, continued to do work around globalization issues, and became involved in anti-sexual assault work. In 2002, he interned with LYRIC’s Health and Wellness Team and was hired as a Program Coordinator shortly after graduating from college in 2003. He was promoted to Program Director in 2006, and to his current position in 2009. He is passionate about anti-oppression issues and seeks to support young leaders who work for social justice.

Denny (he/him/his) can be contacted at 415.703.6150 x128 or denny@lyric.org.

Jess Bender

Talent Development Manager

As a mixed, queer, trans San Franciscan with an academic background in Critical Theory, Jess has brought creativity, nuance, and structural critique into their work with a number of organizations. Passionate about drawing the best out of others, they have specialized in holistic, human-focused support for a wide range of teams. At LYRIC, they are excited to focus their passion and skill in the areas of recruitment, diversity and inclusion, career development, and staff training, directly back into their community.

Jess (they/them/their) can be contacted at 415.703.6150 x132 or jessb@lyric.org.

Jodi L. Schwartz

Executive Director

Jodi_LYRIC_Prof PhotoJodi L. Schwartz had the honor of becoming LYRIC’s Executive Director in 2005. She has over 30 years of experience in nonprofit work and an ardent commitment to social justice. During Ms. Schwartz’s tenure at LYRIC, she developed San Francisco’s first LGBTQQ youth-specific case management program and facilitated the formation of the Community Partnership for LGBTQQ Youth – a seven-agency continuum of services for LGBTQQ transition age youth (ages 16-24). Additionally, she led the launch of capacity building initiatives to promote LGBTQQ youth inclusion in San Francisco’s behavioral health and workforce development systems, in San Francisco’s public schools, and in youth organizations citywide. Ms. Schwartz is an invited participant in the prestigious Gap Inc. Leadership Initiative and Bank of America’s Neighborhood Builder’s Leadership Program and was named a 2013 LGBT Local Hero by KQED/Union Bank. Before joining LYRIC, Ms. Schwartz was the Managing Director of Resource Development Associates – a consulting firm working to strengthen public and nonprofit efforts to promote social and economic justice for vulnerable populations, and the Executive Director of the Center on Juvenile and Criminal Justice – a private, nonprofit criminal justice organization she co-founded to reduce society’s reliance on incarceration as a solution to social problems. Throughout her career, Ms. Schwartz has worked with youth and their families in their struggle to disengage from the juvenile justice system, has been an advocate for youth to succeed in and out of school, and has supported youth in serving their peers and the broader community through civic activism and youth philanthropy. Ms. Schwartz began working for social justice as a teenager, during which time she was fortunate to have mentors of all ages. These relationships solidified her belief that for true social justice to exist, every generation’s contributions must be seen as invaluable. Stemming from her life experience and personal values, Ms. Schwartz believes that sustained achievement of positive social change must be a collective community effort, where everyone shares in leadership and visionary roles. She works to ensure that youth, in particular, are afforded opportunities to give voice to their stories and are supported as community leaders, now and in the future.

Jodi (she/her/hers) can be contacted at 415.703.6150 x119 or jodi@lyric.org.

Kim Nguyen

Data and Evaluation Director

Kim’s passion for youth advocacy stems from her experience as the Office Manager for the non-profit Youth Treatment and Education Center (YTEC). During her time at YTEC, she partnered with counselors and mental health providers who shared a common goal of youth advocacy through the provisions of behavioral health and academic support to juvenile offenders. Wanting to do more, she attended graduate school and joined the Bill Wilson Center (BWC) in Santa Clara, a non-profit organization working to strengthen the community by serving homeless and marginalized youth and their families through housing, counseling, education, and advocacy. At BWC, she served as the Data and Research Analyst and was promoted to Director of Program Evaluation and Research. During her time at BWC, she implemented the agency’s first EHR system and partnered with team members to define and create the agency’s data infrastructure to align with the agency’s vision, mission, and strategic goals. Kim has devoted her professional career to advocating for homeless and marginalized youth and their families through information and research. She is excited to be a LYRIC team member partnering with like-minded advocates working toward strengthening our beloved community. Kim received her B.A. in Psychology at the University of California, Davis, and her M.A. in Research Psychology at Sacramento State University.

Kim (she/her/hers) can be contacted at 415.703.6150 or kimn@lyric.org.

Mischa Freeman

Program Manager, Violence Prevention

Mischa grew up on the Gulf coast of Florida and moved to the Bay Area about 8 years ago. She has a background in linguistics, outdoor education, youth development, and college access. After more deeply understanding the importance of mental health in her and her clients’ wellbeing, she went back to school in 2018 to obtain a Master’s in Social Work at CSU East Bay. She is grateful for the healing power of relationships, resistance, art, and movement, and believes that queerness is as much about your political stance to the status quo as it is about your gender or sexual identity. She is currently the Program Manager of the Violence Prevention Program at LYRIC, working to provide community building, education, and support to transitional-age queer youth in order to reduce the likelihood that they experience violence. She enjoys riding her motorcycle and writing her story, as well as spending time with her partner and two cats.

Mischa (she/her/hers; they/them/their) can be contacted at 510.426.6014 or mischa@lyric.org.

Nikia Poché

Program Manager, Transitional Age Youth Leadership

Bio pending.

Nikia (they/them/their; she/her/hers) can be contacted at 415.703.6150 x142 or nikia@lyric.org.

Nina Rubin

Program Manager, Youth Workforce Development

Nina Rubin is an East Coaster who migrated West a decade ago. She began working with youth by leading wilderness trips and intercultural learning trips abroad, and then turned to managing youth programs in science museum settings. She came to LYRIC to center her social justice beliefs and community experience in her work, while maintaining her focus on educational, youth-focused programs.

Nina is a proud cat parent, percussionist, art event goer, food lover, and indoor plant enthusiast.

Nina (she/her/hers; they/them/their) can be contacted at 415.703.6150 x115 or nina@lyric.org.

Tori Harris Talavera

Finance and Operations Manager

Tori brings over 14 years of management experience in nonprofit operations and programming, with a focus on practical approaches to working with youth, and a proclivity toward empowerment, suspension of judgment, and creative expression as core principles for supporting young people and adults alike in living as our authentic selves. Tori oversees LYRIC’s accounting, operations, facilities, people and data functions. With her team, Tori maintains efficient and effective administrative systems, oversees day-to-day bookkeeping, prepares organizational financial statements, manages contracts and ensures that policies, procedures, and internal controls are maintained.

Tori can be contacted at 415.703.6150 or tori@lyric.org.