Staff

Alan Guttirez, Program Manager, is a queer hombre who grew up in Hollister, California. He traveled to the Bay Area as a teen and was subsequently lured to San Francisco as a Sociology major at San Francisco State University. His curriculum in sexuality studies and women and gender studies fueled his desire to participate in humanizing community based health that is rooted in harm reduction. Upon graduating SFSU, Alan enriched his said interests in community health and wellness through his work at Tenderloin Health, The Trevor Project, Instituto Familiar de la Raza and the St. James Infirmary. In his free time, you’ll find Alan working in a printmaking studio, cooking, and planning theatrical actions with fellow AIDS activists in San Francisco. Alan can be contacted at 415.703.6150 x125 or alan@lyric.org.

lyric pic breeBriseida Solis, Case Manager, was born and raised in East Menlo Park and East Palo Alto, CA. She currently lives in the East Bay. She has many years of experience working with youth that struggle with poverty from some of the roughest neighborhoods in the South Side of Chicago, Santa Cruz, East LA/South Central, and East Oakland. Her work has involved case managing, facilitating workshops on Social Justice, Restorative Justice, and Educational Justice. Bri graduated from UC Santa Cruz with a BA in Community Studies with a focus on Youth/Social Justice and a minor in Education. During her college experience, she volunteered at the Santa Cruz Juvenile Hall as well as the local public schools as a TA during class and as a tutor after school. After graduating from UCSC, she was part of Public Allies in Los Angeles where she was introduced to grass-roots organizing. Bri strongly believes in seeing our youth and not watching them. Bri often encounters with many adults and many systems that work with youth waiting to see when they are going to fail or stir up trouble. Because of this, she’s committed to being a supportive asset to the youth she works with. Bri is known to be the child whisperer and meets youth where they are at. Some of the things Bri likes to do for fun and for self care are fishing, hiking or drawing. She loves walking through the forest, being one with nature and to be in the out doors. Bri can be reached at 415.703.6150 x118or briseida@lyric.org

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 can be contacted at 415.703.6150 x128 or denny@lyric.org.

a9ce1520-baaf-4325-b95c-1b08eea71fbdJess Allen, Case Manager, is a Queer, Mother, Black and Xicana femme from Moreno Valley CA. She moved to the Bay Area at the age of 8, and currently resides in the Excelsior neighborhood of San Francisco. As a former foster care youth and young parent she has now became an fierce advocate and youth philanthropist on behalf her communities. Jess is joining LYRIC team with 9 years of experience in providing community advocacy, and developing tools to support youth in overcoming injustice and oppression. As an advocate and educator in the community, she is diligently developing and growing resources to the unmet needs transitional age youth. In addition, she is a Doula and Birth Worker supporting mother’s holistically by providing coaching and support to mother’s during labor and birth. She enjoys creative writing, painting, poetry, dancing, and karaoke. Her favorite food to eat is Ethiopian and Japanese food. As a student of life, she is naturally has an adventurous wanderlust spirit, and loves to explore and have new experiences. Jess can be contacted at 415.703.6150 x120 or jess@lyric.org.

Jodi 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. Ms. Schwartz resides in San Francisco with her partner of 21 years. Jodi can be contacted at 415.703.6150 x119 or jodi@lyric.org.

Kim SmithKim Smith is the Finance Manager at LYRIC. She grew up in Jamaica and immigrated to the US at the age of 19. She has seen many issues in her country that no one addresses and has always been a proponent for change, love and education. She is outspoken, direct, and believes knowledge is power. She attended the University of Houston; where she earned a M.S. in Accounting and went on to earn her CPA. After working with Goodwill for 5 years, she felt a sense of self-worth being able to see the change that they made in their community to enrich the lives of many. When the opportunity to work with more youth at LYRIC and the ability to see the fascinating city of San Francisco presented itself, she knew that is where she wanted to be. She believes that the youth are the future and they are the change to come. Kim can be contacted at 415.703.6150 x117 or kim@lyric.org.

Christopher Loma SotoChristopher Soto (aka Loma) is a queer latin@ punk poet and prison abolitionist.  They have poems, essays, interviews and book reviews published in print and online. They edit Nepantla: A Journal Dedicated to Queer Poets of Color with the Lambda Literary Foundation. They co-founded the Undocupoets Campaign (with Javier Zamora and Marcelo Hernandez Castillo) to protest discriminatory guidelines which many publishers used, barring undocumented people from applying to first book contests. They have taught and mentored youth in various capacities across the country (from New York University to Los Padrinos Juvenile Detention Center). Their first poetry chapbook Sad Girl Poems is forthcoming from Sibling Rivalry Press. Loma can be contacted at 415.703.6150 x or loma@lyric.org.

pic for websiteKristina Armenakis, Program Manager, comes to LYRIC most recently from Seattle, WA and originally hails from rural South Carolina. She has over a decade of experience working with queer and trans young people in a variety of contexts, including drop-in centers, high schools, youth leadership programs, domestic and sexual violence advocacy, hate crime policy, and higher education. Kristina obtained Master of Social Work and Master of Public Administration degrees from the University of Washington, focusing on social justice non-profit management and public policy. Kristina teaches a college course on intersecting oppressions and Social Work practice rooted in racial, gender, and economic justice movements. She is passionate about supporting young people to be the leaders and visionaries of social justice movements and working at the intersections of identities and systems. In her free time, Kristina enjoys playing soccer, completing jigsaw puzzles, and hanging out with her dog. Kristina can be contacted at 415.703.6150 x121  or kristina@lyric.org


NVphotoNatalia M. Vigil, Communications and Development Coordinator, grew up in San Francisco and is the oldest of 6 in a family of Chicano artists and community organizers. She is excited to brings her expertise as a  coordinator, writer and curator to her work at LYRIC. As a San Francisco youth, she was a youth leader through Peer Resources and has continued to work with youth in social justice non-profits. Before joining LYRIC she worked for Coleman Advocates for Children and Youth and with a range of other work experiences including working with religious communities, running a women’s center, and assisting in organizing the first DREAM act lobby day and national conference in DC.  In her work and art, Natalia strives to create moments of cross-racial/cultural/class collaboration. She is the co-founder of Still Here, a performance and community dialogue project that explores the experiences of Queer/LGBTQI individuals raised in S.F.Outside of work Natalia can be found dreaming and scheming with other artists, watching movies, and playing soccer with her little brother. Natalia can be contacted at 415.703.6150 x124 or natalia@lyric.org.

Narcisa Huerta, Program Coordinator, is a Fierce Chicana Queer, that is overjoyed to be apart of the amazing LYRIC community. Narcisa has been happily working, teaching, and learning from LGBTQQ youth in San Francisco since 2009. She has been a volunteer at Bay Area Young Positives in San Francisco, a Senior Research Assistant at SOQI-Q, and a Peer Educator for Project SURVIVE at City College. Narcisa obtained a B.A. in Liberal Studies from SFSU, as well as, a Sexual Health Educator Certificate from CCSF. She believes that knowledge is power, and through knowledge we not only understand and find ourselves, but we also create socially conscious, impactful, and just change. Narcisa can be contacted at 415-703-6150 x115 or narcisa@lyric.org.

VanessaVanessa Li, Program Coordinator, joined the Sequoia Leadership Institute team in 2011. As a former LYRIC youth intern, she enjoys supporting youth in their own leadership journeys and exploring social justice issues. Vanessa is studying Asian American Studies at San Francisco State University and recently completed a semester abroad in Hong Kong. She can be reached at (415)703.6150 x111 or vanessa@lyric.org.