Who we are.
Sarah Springfield, Executive Director
Sarah has been with the Siskiyou County CASA program since October 2015 and became Executive Director of Youth Empowerment Siskiyou in April 2018. Her background in journalism has been a breath of fresh air to what can often be challenging work. Her interest in social work began while studying at UC Berkeley and from her time as an after-school program leader for low-income and marginalized youth in Santa Ana.
Sarah is committed to maintaining high standards of service as well as building strong relationships with Donors, Board, Families and all of the Diverse Community Resources we work alongside. Her vision for Advocacy and Fiscal Responsibility are the cornerstones that bring tremendous opportunity for growth and leadership to our at risk youth community.
In 2013 she hiked the California portion of the Pacific Crest Trail, fell in love with the Klamath River area, and decided to stay. She appreciates the unique chance to work in a small program that has a big impact in a rural county.
Robert Cowan, CASA Program Manager
Robert joined our team in July 2019. He was born and raised in Northern California and has a passion for advocating for those in rural and underserved areas. He spent 15 years in Nevada, 13 of which was working in the foster care and mental health fields. Robert’s social work education and many years of experience working with foster children and in the behavioral health field make him a welcome addition to the CASA team.
Briana Myers, Camp Coordinator
Briana joined the team in February 2020- we are ecstatic to have her and grow our camp program.
She grew up in a small town in the mountains of southern California. She got her education at Humboldt State University and Cal State Northridge. She has a Bachelors degree in Recreation Administration and a Masters in Recreation Management.
She's been a camper since she was old enough to go to camp! Having worked all over the United States in many different camp settings she is experienced and passionate about making a difference in the lives of the children and families Y.E.S. serves.
"I am excited to make lasting memories with the campers each summer."
China Taylor, Visitation Program Manager
I am a Siskiyou county resident of over 20 years. I grew up here and I love the beautiful area and the friendly people. Living here has driven my desire to improve our community in many ways. I am a College of the Siskiyous graduate with a background in Sociology and Psychology. I hope to continue my education so I can provide additional meaningful services for our society.
I joined Youth Empowerment Siskiyou in June of 2021. The work has been empowering for me, I enjoy and take pride in the impact that these services provide for our community. I hope to be able to continue serving Siskiyou County in the years that come.
In my free time I love spending time with my family as we garden, go mushrooming, hang by the lake or river, and attend the many local fairs and festivals of our proud community.
Barbra Risling, Visitation Monitor
I am a member of the Hoopa Valley Tribe as well as a Descendant of the Karuk and Yurok Tribes. I was born in Humboldt County but was brought up in the northern parts of Siskiyou. I have worked in the Human Services field for a little over five years now. My career in this field began with the Karuk Tribe's Indian Child Welfare Program as a Social Worker Assistant. That position fueled my passion for social work and I've continued on this path since then.
I joined Youth Empowerment Siskiyou's team in May 2021. I love the collaboration that happens here between co workers and volunteers to empower families in our community. I am excited to continue building services with our amazing crew!
Rachael Clem, Homeless Youth Program Manager
I have a passion for empowering young people that have experienced trauma to see that they have every right to take control of their lives, set and achieve goals.
I experienced being homeless as a teenager myself. As the Homeless Youth Program Manager, I try to be someone that understands and speaks to teens currently experiencing homelessness. I try to encourage them to believe that others have come out of it, and they can too.
When I take time for myself, I enjoy running around barefoot, baking with my daughters, and spending an afternoon cuddled up with my girlfriend binge watching mental health documentaries. I am also pursuing my degree in Psychology.
Ren Hurst, Grant Assistant
Ren joined our team in June 2020. She grew up near Fort Worth, Texas and holds a Bachelor’s degree in Management from Tarleton State University.
After a successful career as a horse trainer and hoof care practitioner, she decided to take a deeper look at her relationship and responsibility to captive, dependent animals, including human ones. This shift resulted in her leaving her career and Texas behind, relocating to Siskiyou County in 2013 to create a different life for her family.
She has since become an internationally published author and teaches a body of work that helps people address the trauma of their own domestication. She is wildly passionate about animals, nature, and helping at-risk teens, and her future dreams include creating a wilderness-based transitional living program for girls who have aged out of the foster care system. Ren currently volunteers as a CASA and is thrilled to be joining the Y.E.S. team!