After each ForWords session each student and each staff member talks about what they have “taken away” from the day’s efforts. Vicki said her take away was that “anybody has the potential to make change.”
Board of Directors
Lawrence Siegel, J.D.
Lawrence is a civil rights attorney, author, a Fulbright Scholar Specialist, has advised numerous organizations and universities in the United States and abroad, and was honored with an endowed chair at Gallaudet University. He is deeply grateful for the hard work and dedication of his fellow board members.
Since 2007 I have worked for ForWords and donated to ForWords to honor my daughter Catie and to give back to the students who are determined to have a productive life but often lack the educational resources to that end.
Gail started her career in education as an eleven year old running a neighborhood summer day camp in her Los Angeles backyard. She followed members of her family to UC Berkeley for undergraduate and graduate school. After teaching K-8th grades, Gail became a school administrator and Teacher Consultant for the renowned Bay Area Writing Project at UC Berkeley, traveling throughout the US, South America and Europe teaching fellow teachers how to teach writing. She is married and has two daughters.
Working with the ForWords staff and board on behalf of our incredible students is a daily dose of hope and inspiration for the future of our community and our country. It is a gift to be able to see the growth and progress of our students.
Rose Jennings Newhouse*
Four-decades of experience in capacity-building and furthering the missions of several Marin nonprofits, all with the focus of improving the quality of life and scope of opportunity for children and families, have resulted in the common sense approach to management that Rose is respected for today. In addition to her nonprofit advancement expertise, Rose has a robust background in Education.
BA, in Liberal Studies a K-12 Multiple-Subject Lifetime Teaching Credential, CSU, Chico Nonprofit Executive Certification, Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern Graduate of the Excellence in Executive Leadership program of the Center for Volunteers and Nonprofit Leadership, Marin.
I’m grateful to be part of an organization that prioritizes youth who otherwise would not be able to participate in the life-changing process known as ‘The ForWords Way’. By introducing students to the magic of their own words, they gain new knowledge about themselves and can begin to rewrite their future. There’s no more important work right now.
Cheryl Ruby PhD
Cheryl brings 35 years of experience in marketing and strategic development to ForWords. She has appeared before the FTC to present oral testimony on mergers, and has developed strategic plans and collateral materials for nonprofit organizations nationwide. In addition to her work on the ForWords board, she provides pro bono graphic design services.
I believe in equal opportunities for all students, regardless of their resources. So does ForWords.
Retired Attorney, President of Drawbridge – An Expressive Arts Program for Homeless and Underserved Children.
The work ForWords does is indispensable. The results from this work can be seen in the success of their students in school and will continue into their future endeavors.
Nancy S. Wasserman*
Nancy has worked in the public school sector for over 45 years as a classroom teacher (elementary and middle school), an assistant principal, and principal. She has also provided math staff development for the Equals/Family Math Program at Lawrence Hall of Science, University of California, Berkeley. Nancy trains student teachers at Dominican College, San Rafael, and provides administrative coaching through the Sonoma County Office of Education.
My commitment to ForWords is an extension of my personal educational philosophy- to strive to provide the most engaging learning experiences for all students while promoting excellence in literacy skills.
David has spent over thirty years at a Financial Institution in charge of international Real Estate. He was also a Professor of real estate at his alma mater, UC Berkeley.
I believe that ForWords changes students' lives in a direct, impactful, and positive way. It is an honor to be associated with such a noble endeavor.
Dennise has worked in the non-profit sector for more than 25 years, mainly with the immigrant community in Marin County. Dennise has been a train-a trainer for Abriendo Puertas/Opening Doors. Dennise has also led parents and providers trainings/meetings on Trauma Informed Care, and Providers and Parents Café.
I am eager to work with the ForWords’ team in any way I can contribute to help achieve ForWords’ mission, goals, and objectives.
SECRETARY, BOARD MEMBER
As a California native, Natalie is happy to be back in the Bay Area after spending over a dozen years in Washington, DC. Her professional experience includes grant and financial compliance for AmeriCorps programs and nearly 10 years of environmental advocacy. She lives with her husband and two daughters and loves to spend time outdoors.
I'm so happy to join the ForWords Board and help the organization continue with its 15+ year success of providing life-changing experiences for Bay Area youth.
COO Osher Marin Jewish Community Center
Samantha Kelman is a Bay Area native who has dedicated her career to the development of community and the betterment and engagement of young people. Prior to joining the team at the Osher Marin JCC, Samantha spent five years as the Chief Operating Officer at the JCC East Bay, 11 months of which she served as the interim CEO. Samantha’s initial entry into the Jewish Communal world came as the Director of Youth and Family at the Jewish Community Center of San Francisco.
I am excited to be a part of the inspirational and impactful experience ForWords provides for young people.
Daniel Sarna-Wojcicki, PhD*
Dan is a research scientist based at UC Berkeley and the University of Washington. He uses interdisciplinary and community-engaged participatory research approaches to support policy advocacy for social and environmental justice. He works in partnership with the Karuk Tribe’s Department of Natural Resources in the Klamath River Basin on research and advocacy related to climate resilience, food sovereignty and river restoration in the Karuk Tribe’s aboriginal territory in Northern California.
It is inspiring to see the impactful work that ForWords leads in our community, empowering the future generation of leaders to express themselves and change the world.
* Members of Interim Executive/President Committee
Our founders, Larry, Gail and Elisabeth Siegel, continue to be actively involved in ForWords each and every day!
ARTS CONSULTANT, FORMER DIRECTOR OF PUBLIC PROGRAMS FINE ARTS MUSEUMS OF SAN FRANCISCO
Mary Jane Burke
MARIN COUNTY SUPERINTENDENT OF SCHOOLS
Rabbi Stacy Friedman
RABBI, RODEF SHOLOM CONGREGATION
MARIN COUNTY, CALIFORNIA REAL ESTATE SPECIALIST
ATTORNEY AT LAW IN MARIN COUNTY SINCE 1975
CREATIVE DIRECTOR, OPERA PARALLELE
EDUCATION DIRECTOR, FINE ARTS MUSEUMS OF SAN FRANCISCO
CEO OF REDHORSE CONSTRUCTORS, CO- FOUNDED HUMAN NEEDS PROJECT
Dr. Kristina Woolsey
DISTINGUISHED SCIENTIST – APPLE COMPUTER, PROJECT DIRECTOR, SAN FRANCISCO EXPLORATORIUM
EDITOR/WRITER – BACKROADS
As we are pausing programs, to create the next iteration of ForWords, we are also in the process of hiring a new and dynamic team of staff. We look forward to introducing them to you in the coming months, as programs resume.
…In 2008 my Yucatec Mayan mom and I left our family members…..I finished middle school and high school and I am a proud Sarah Lawrence College Alum and the Director of Youth Education at ForWords…
DAVID, FORMER FORWORDS STUDENT