Winnie Chan, Ph.D. is an Assistant Professor of Psychology at Georgia State  University. She received her doctorate in community psychology from the University of  Illinois at Chicago in 2010. She then served as a NIHM postdoctoral fellow at the  Institute of Child Development, University of Minnesota from 2010-2011. Her research  focuses on promoting positive youth development among adolescents and young adults  from diverse backgrounds. Applying the ecological model, her work examines the  influence of individual and contextual factors on youth development. Her research investigates how different settings (e.g., schools, neighborhoods) affect the mental health and educational experiences of urban youth. Her work also addresses the development, implementation, and evaluation of youth programs designed to promote healthy living for children and adolescents who are at risk of developing problem behaviors. For more information, please visit Dr. Chan’s website.


 Gabriel Kuperminc, Ph.D. is Professor of Psychology and Director of the doctoral  program in community  psychology at  Georgia State University. Dr. Kuperminc is  currently conducting two federally funded  evaluations of school and  community based  youth mentoring programs. He is a research board member of  the National Mentoring  Resource  Center, and serves as an advisory group member for the Canadian  Women’s  Foundation’s initiative on group mentoring  programs for girls. He has consulted with the  Georgia  Governor’s Office on Children and Families’ on the development of  After School  and Youth Development  Quality Standards, and served as a research fellow in the 2012 Summer Institute on  Youth Mentoring at the  Portland State University Center for Interdisciplinary Mentoring Research. As PI and Co-PI on numerous grants and contracts from federal, state, and private sources, he has conducted large- and small-scale evaluations using methods ranging from qualitative case studies to randomized trials. Dr. Kuperminc was recently appointed as Associate Editor of the Journal of Adolescent Research. He is a fellow of the American Psychological Association, the Society for Community Research and Action, and the Society for Applied Anthropology. Please visit Dr. Kuperminc’s website for more information.

Wesley West is a Teacher on Special Assignment hired to support the Mentoring For Success program Project Arrive: Group Mentoring in High Schools.  He came to SFUSD with 15 years experience working in Nonprofits, Higher Education, and Public Schools.  He has worked with a variety of populations (LGBTQ and MSM, Adults and Youth living with HIV and actively using substances, Transitional Age Homeless Youth) in South Florida, Chicago, and San Francisco.  At the Univ. of Miami he supervised field research with the National HIV Behavioral Surveillance (NHBS) project in partnership with the CDC.  He also worked as an elementary/middle school teacher for 7 years in Chicago Public Schools at a high needs technology academy school.  Most recently, he was an Associate Director with Larkin Street Youth Services overseeing college and career readiness programs for homeless high need young adults



Vida Merwin Sanford, MSW, PPSC is the District Program Coordinator for Project Arrive. She is a Learning Support Professional with experience in program management, community organizing, mentoring, database development, research and evaluation. Ms. Sanford joined Mentoring For Success in 2011. She focuses on recruiting high quality mentors, developing outreach and training for mentors; linking to community partners and furthering the research base on the group mentoring practice. Ms. Sanford also serves as a mentor to a small group of 9th graders through Project Arrive.


Self Pic Loren Faust is a graduate student in the Community Psychology doctoral program at GSU, and her  research interests focus on program evaluation, program development, and positive youth  development through after school programming. Currently, Loren is working on her Master’s Thesis,  a qualitative analysis of adolescent girl’s engagement in Cool Girls Inc., an after school program. Additionally, Loren serves as a project manager with EMSTAR Research, Inc. supervising and  assisting with the evaluation of the Gateway Center, a local homeless shelter. In her free time, Loren  enjoys spending time with her friends, family, two cats, two dogs, and tortoise.


Katie Hale is a doctoral student in GSU’s dual Clinical and Community Psychology Program. Prior to attending GSU, Katie worked in immigration law for a number of years. She also has professional experience with program evaluation, teaching, and research within non-profit organizations around the globe. Katie’s main research interests include mindfulness-based intervention strategies for positive youth development and resilience. In her personal life, Katie enjoys spending time with her husband and two young kids, practicing yoga and meditation, and traveling.



Christyl Wilson is a doctoral student in the Developmental Psychology program at GSU. She earned a  Bachelor’s degree in Psychology with minors in Child & Youth Development and African-American  Studies at the University of San Francisco. Prior to starting graduate school, Christyl was a Teach For  America corps member and taught elementary school for 3 years. Christyl is interested in positive  youth development, education, health, and youth program evaluation. Christyl enjoys exercising,  leisure reading, and traveling.