Degale Cooper, MSW, (She/Her/Hers)
CEO & President

Headshot of Degale

Degale Cooper joined YouthCare as the Chief Program Officer in June 2018. Her thirty-year professional history in the non-profit sector includes an array of direct clinical services, program development and implementation, international consulting on issues of child welfare, and executive-level experiences within organizations dedicated to eliminating racism and empowering women, improving foster care systems, and eliminating experiences of homelessness for youth, young adults, and families. She has held leadership positions at The Mockingbird Society, The YWCA, Treehouse, and Youth Eastside Services.

Degale received her Master of Social Work degree from the University of Washington, B.A. in Psychology from Seattle Pacific University, and clinical supervision certification from the University of Washington. With over fourteen years as a foster parent, Degale passionately engages in her community as a mentor and support for children, youth, and families. In her free time, Degale enjoys fishing and squid jigging, camping, designing great food, traveling, and spending time with her family and friends.

Emma York-Jones, (She/Her/Hers)
Chief Program & Impact Officer

headshot of emma

Emma is driven by the principle that everyone deserves a safe and warm place to call home, and she believes that through data-informed work and performance improvement, housing equity can be achieved. Emma began her career with YouthCare in 2009, providing direct service to youth and young adults in housing programs. Since then, Emma has held various leadership roles, overseeing YouthCare’s Young Adult and Adolescent Housing Departments and the agency’s performance and quality improvement efforts, respectively. She has also led YouthCare’s capacity building Project EQTY and has presented nationally on topics related to serving LGBTQ homeless youth and adolescents transitioning to independence. Prior to launching a career at YouthCare, Emma was a health education volunteer in the United States Peace Corps in Tanzania.

Emma, originally from North Carolina and a graduate of Roanoke College, moved to Seattle in 2008. Today, Emma and her wife are raising two boys, who in their free time enjoy camping, hiking, traveling, coaching youth sports, and cheering for local soccer teams and the US Women’s National Team. As a family, they have had the opportunity to attend two World Cup Championships and look forward to many more!

Sophia Hernandez, (She/Her/Hers)
Chief Operating Officer

Sophia headshot

Sophia comes to YouthCare as an innovative Non-Profit Executive leader and finance professional with 10+ years of experience specializing in budgeting, analytics & reporting, and strategic planning. She has been fortunate to be a part of some Seattle institutions like Pearl Jam, Urban Artworks, and Molly Moons Homemade Ice Cream. Through sound financial ability and collaborative leadership, she provides non-profits, businesses, and entrepreneurs with the ability to be who they say they are and reach their goals. She is passionate about integrity, diversity, and equity in all her work and is looking to support organizations with similar missions.

Sophia was most recently with The Sophia Way, a nonprofit serving homeless women in east King County, where she served as the Executive Director – Finance & Operations and is currently the treasurer of the board of directors at Pongo Poetry Project, a nonprofit organization that helps young people experiencing trauma heal through poetry. In her free time, you can find Sophia in her backyard, which she has turned into a little urban vegetable farm (much to her husband and daughters’ amusement). She has a little teacup yorkie named Boba who is her favorite companion (other than her human family of course 😊).


Allison Barber, (She/Her/Hers) | Director of Human Resources – Operations

Amber Aman, (She/Her/Hers) | Director of Finance

Angel Mandujano-Guevara, (He/Him/El) | Associate Director – Community-Based Housing Services

Brandy Grant, (She/Her/Hers) | Deputy Program Officer

Carlos Espinoza, (He, Him, His) | Director of Marketing, Communications, and Public Relations

Connor Wilde-Braddock, (He/Him/His) | Associate Director of Workforce Services

Daniel Lugo, (He, Him, His) | Director of Government Affairs

Eric Sysak, (He/Him/His) | Director of Information Technology

Geoff Ringwald, (He/Him/His) | Associate Director – Systems Quality & Impact

Jose Pizarro, (He/Him, EI) | Director of Engagement Services

Kevin Parker, (He/Him, His) | Major Giving Officer

Manuel Zuleta, (He/Him/El) | Associate Director – SSYC

Megan Davies, (She/Her/Hers) | Director of Program Quality & Impact

Pat Kurtz, (She/Her/Hers) | Associate Director of Finance – Grants & Contracts

Randi Eseltine, (She/Her/Hers) | Director of Strategic Partnerships and Community Engagement

Rhina Navas, (she/Her/They) | Associate Director – Casa

Scott Myricks, (He/Him/His) | Director of Facilities

Shaina Lippard, (They/She/Them) | Director of Centralized Client Services

Vanessa Sanchez-Mexicano, (She/Her/Hers) |Director of Adolescent Services

Virgil Jones, (He/Him/His) | Director of Employee Experience