Don has worked in the non-profit sector for over 25 years. He has worked for 20 years as an Executive Director, and started here in November 2006. He holds a MS in Hydrology/Hydrogeology from the University of Nevada-Reno, and prior to entering the non-profit sector, worked in the private sector as a hydrogeologist, focusing on groundwater remediation.
Under his guidance, Child Advocates has grown from serving 25 foster youth in 2006 to over 500 foster and at-risk youth a year. He is a Board Member for the Nonprofits' Insurance Alliance of California and is Co-chair of the Placer Collaborative Network. Don is a former member of the California CASA Board of Directors and the former Chair of the Placer County Community Services Commission.
Amber Lane Celmer
Amber comes to us with a B.A. in Sociology from California State University, Chico (CSUC) with an emphasis on Women's Studies. While in college, she led the Elementary School Environmental Program within CSUCs Community Action Volunteers in Education program, and also volunteered for the CSUCs Women's Center, where she organized events such as the campus's annual 'Take Back the Night Week' event.
Over the last ten years Amber's professional experience has focused on Client Services, Strategy, Marketing, and Business Development. In addition, Amber has personal experience with the CA foster care system, and this led to her involvement with the California Youth Connection and other youth advocacy organizations over the last 20 years. Formerly a Case Supervisor for Child Advocates, Amber now oversees Development and Social Media for our program.
Program Manager - Volunteer Training / CASAtaylor@casaplacer.org
Taylor holds a B.A. in Psychology from Sacramento State University. She studied Journalism and Early Childhood Development as well and worked as the Editor-in-Chief and features writer on the newspaper there. She has experience working in visitation with a private foster agency and has volunteered at Shiners Hospitals for Children in the Therapeutic Child Life Center. She has been working with children/youth coaching, mentoring, and teaching in various roles for over 10 years. Her passion to serve children and people has allowed her to travel to Spain, Italy, Scotland, Jamaica, France, Germany, Holland, and Mexico.
José Huizar, MA
Program Manager - Youth Mentor / K94Kids / CASAjose@casaplacer.org
Before joining Child Advocates of Placer County, José completed his M.A. in Applied Anthropology from San Diego State University in 2015, where he developed a background in international research.
As a graduate student, José completed his thesis work in a rural community in Oaxaca, Mexico, where he worked alongside a community support group for elders who had been left behind by migrant family members. In addition, he led a U.S.-Mexico research team that examined the process of deportation at shelters in Tijuana, Baja California. His passion for helping those who are most vulnerable has also led him to volunteer at a children’s after school mentoring program in Oaxaca, Mexico, and at a center for unaccompanied immigrant children in San Diego, California.
Program Manager - Family Mentor / CASAjamie@casaplacer.org
Jamie has her B.S. in criminal justice from California State University Sacramento and has completed Master’s coursework in criminal justice at CSUS. Before coming to Child Advocates, Jamie spent four years as a case manager for Volunteers of America (VOA) where she worked with AB-109/Re-Entry clients. As part of the Court Re-Entry team, she taught life skills, anger management, and domestic violence education. She has also worked directly with domestic violence victims. Prior to her work at VOA, Jamie was a Deputy Probation Officer for Solano County and a probation assistant for Sacramento County, where she worked with both juvenile offenders and at-risk youth.
Program Manager - Delinquency / CASAjason@casaplacer.org
Jason has a B.A. in Communications and Journalism from Beloit College. He has over 10 years of experience working with children and families in various communities with a focus on youth with significant mental health, behavioral challenges, and delinquency struggles. In his prior work, he has been a Wraparound Supervisor, Care Coordinator for families, and worked with probation youth.
Program Manager - Prosper Placerkatja@casaplacer.org
Katja has her M.A. in Sociology from the University of Hamburg, Germany and has added classes in economics and Latin American studies. Before working for Prosper Placer, Katja has worked in retail and Project Management at many major German airports being in charge of developing new store concept, operating stores, and leading large teams.
After moving to the US in 2009 she continued to work in retail focusing on event planning, marketing, and sales.
She is excited to return back to her roots and help grow Prosper Placer.