Name: Vacant

Position Title: Program Manager

Phone: 415-274-1970 x0024



Credentials: A.

Hobbies: A.

Why is she/he here: A.


Name: Cassandra Benton
Position Title: Health Educator/ Trainer


Phone: 415-274-1970 x0045

Credentials: Cassie has been working with HIFY since 2005, and since then has presented over 133 workshops, reaching over 1,550 youth. She received over 70 hours of intensive training on Health and Youth Development, Latin@s Health and Youth Development, Positive Sexuality, Working with LGBT youth, Substance Use and Youth, and Harm Reduction
Hobbies: Reading romance novels, blowing bubbles, and catching up with friends in her spare time.
Why is she here?: Cassie enjoys the works she does with youth, believing that she's building up her community, learning new skills and making friends along the way.

  Name: Elizabeth Samayoa
Position Title: Executive Director


Phone: 415-274-1970 x0021

Credentials: Elizabeth came to HIFY initially as Director of Finance and Administration in 2008. When HIFY’s Executive Director left the organization for health reasons, Ms. Samayoa ably stepped in and continues to lead the organization.  Ms. Samayoa has over 21 years of Non-Profit Program Management and Finance experience at health & social services organizations.
She has held various positions including Finance and Personnel Director, Program Manager, Fiscal Officer, Director of Finance and Administration among others. She has a Master’s degree in Public Administration from California State University at Hayward, a certificate of Non-Profit Management and a Bachelors Degree in Business Administration.  


Name: Gladys Reyes

Position Title: Bilingual Health Educator

Phone: 415-274-1970 x0028


Credentials: She holds a bachelor's degree in Biological Sciences, with a concentration in Neurobiology and Behavior from Cornell University. She is bilingual in Spanish and English. She has been involved in safer sex advocacy groups for more than 5 years.


Hobbies: reading fiction, playing soccer, walking to new places, going to the theater, and watching action/rom-com/sci-fi.


Why is she here: To help youth learn about positive sexuality, safer sex practices, anatomy and physiology, and to promote social justice in and outside the classroom.


Name: Aldo Gallardo
Position Title: Safe Space Coordinator


Phone: 415-274-1970 x

Credentials: Aldo graduated from Northwestern University with a bachelor's degree in Sociology with Minors in Latina/o Studies and Spanish Language and Literature, and also studied at the Pontificia Universidad Catolica de Chile. A bilingual community organizer, he has advocated for communities of color, immigrants, and LGBTQ individuals for the past ten years.
Hobbies: Reading, playing saxophone, and following pop culture.
Why is He here? Aldo joined HIFY because he is passionate about social justice and anti-oppression work, asset-based community development, and youth empowerment. He hopes to build coalitions in the Bay Area and make QTY an inclusive, safe space for queer and trans* youth in Oakland.


Name: Sheena Castrejon
Position Title: Bilingual Health Educator


Phone: 415-274-1970 x0020

Credentials:Sheena Joined HIFY as a Peer Health Educator in 2006. She was a Peer Health Educator at HIFY for 2 years. In 2007 she also got the opportunity to hop on board with WORLD (Women Organized to Respond to Life threatening Diseases) as one of their peer health educators. Sheena then took a maternity leave for a year, and had the opportunity to come back to HIFY as the Bilingual Health Educator. She has been here for almost 5 years.
As she returned to HIFY after her 1st child she became very interested in teen pregnancy. Sheena now is working on a curriculum for youth on pregnancy options and parenting. She is very passionate in the work that she is currently doing. She feels there is a strong need in the Latina/o community on sexual health, as well as in the young community on teen pregnancy. Sheena is also very interested in working with kids with mental, and some physical disabilities, and hopes to work with both populations at some point.
Why is she at HIFY? Sheena is at HIFY because she believes in empowering youth to make better choices than the ones she has made. She believes that adults could help youth by communicating with them in their own language, and by being open on important health topics.


Name: Anna Fagergren
Position Title: Evaluator

Email: Anna Fagergren

Phone: 415-274-1970


Credentials: Anna earned her MA in organizational psychology and program evaluation at Claremont Graduate University. She loves helping health and youth-serving organizations tell their stories and build their strenghts using data.
Hobbies: Playing outdoors, writing and reading short stories, meditating.

Why is she at HIFY? She is here because she wants to help HIFY leverage data strenghten programs outcomes and advance HIFY's mission.


Name: Elise Smith

Position Title: Health Educator

Email: smith@hify.orga>

Phone: 415-274-1970 x0028


Credentials: E.

Hobbies: E.

Why is she here: E.


Name: Alexander Cotton

Position Title: Health Educator/Program Coordinator

Email: Cotton@hify.orga>

Phone: 415-274-1970 x0036


Credentials: Alexander has worked with Bay Area youth since 2006, at non-profits focusing on workforce development, youth empowerment, green jobs, sexual health, and college access. His background is in community organizing and political activism, and he strives to bring a social justice lens to all his professional and personal projects. He graduated in 2013 from San Francisco Sex Information's 60-hour sex educator training course, and holds a BA in Politica Science from the University of Michigan.


Hobbies: Designing and playing games, volunteeting and political activism, crafting, and exploring.


Why is he here: Alexander believes that regardless of the hurdles they face, young people who come to a healthy and self-reflective udnerstanding of their own bodies and sexuality will have more fulfilling lives. He is inspired to work together with young men to challenge our society's understanding of masculinity and thereby to fight rape culture, sexual assault, and homo/transphobia.


Name: Elaine Manuel

Position Title: Intern

Email: manuel@hify.orga>

Phone: 415-274-1970


Credentials: Currently a graduating Senior at San Francisco State University with a Health Education Major, minoring in Women's Health Issues.


Hobbies: Spending time with family and friends.


Why is she here: She is here because she thinks it's very important for youth to have a support system in their life to help them make better decisions. The youth should be aware of situations we go through in life that can be avoided. Empowering them about the negativity that "social norms" play in our lives can be a step to changing the way we judge oneself and others.


Name: Carina Somname

Position Title: Intern

Email: somname@hify.orga>

Phone: 415-274-1970


Credentials:Carina is currently a senior in San Francisco State University finishing up a BS degree in Health Education and Minor in Women's health issues.


Hobbies: Watching movies, trying different cuisine, traveling.


Why is she here: Youth are our future. Investing and supporting youth help build up a better society. Therefore, I'm here to encourage, and educate young people about health education.

Contact Information

1550 Market Street
San Francisco, CA94102
Phone: 1(415) 274 1970
Fax: 1(415) 274 1976