Kathy Phillips, Board Member Emeritus

Kathy is the founding president of the board of Friends.  She is also an Educational Consultant working with youth with learning challenges and supporting program development for various educational and social service non-profits.  She has over 40 years’ experience with youth including more than 20 years in programs that support youth in foster care.  She is retired from St. John’s Educational Thresholds Center (now Mission Graduates) in San Francisco where she was the Executive Director for six years. She also directed the educational and vocational program for young parents at Florence Crittenton Services in San Francisco for 15 years. 

Arlene Hylton

Arlene is a founding member of Friends and is the Resource Family Liaison and a Recruiter  for the San Francisco Human Services Agency. She was formerly the Program Director of the San Francisco Human Services Agency, Independent Living Skills Program. A youth advocate with nearly thirty years of experience in all aspects of child, youth, and family policy development and intergovernmental collaboration, she is committed to improving conditions for youth in foster care and in achieving a healthy transition into adulthood. For many years she also served as the adult supporter for the California Youth Connection’s San Francisco Chapter working to promote the participation of foster youth in state, policy development, and legislative changes in an effort to improve social work practices and child welfare policy. 

Steven Nelson

Steven worked for twenty years with foster youth in direct care and program supervision before going to work for several years as a Vocational Specialist with the San Francisco Independent Living Skills program.  He currently works for United Way of the Bay Area as an Employment Specialist at Guardian Scholars, a foster youth support services program at City College of San Francisco.

Lisa Garosi, Treasurer

Lisa is a licensed clinical social worker who has worked with foster youth in several community agencies throughout California.  She has more than 10 years of social work experience, most recently as Assistant Director in the Psychological Health Outreach Program with the U.S. Marine Corps.  She has volunteered with Josie’s Place, The American Red Cross, and the Suicide Prevention Center.

Full Board

Kai Forsley, President

Kai is a programming professional that works with the Presidio Trust. She joined Friends in 2009 and became President in 2013. Kai has mentored foster youth and has several years’ experience working in nonprofit and governmental organizations, most recently with SF Public Library, San Francisco’s Department of the Environment and Chinatown Community Development Center.

Arlene Hylton & Kathleen Phillips

NEW Developments

Friends of ILSP is acting as the fiscal sponsor and mentor to a recent  grantee starting her own nonprofit to raise scholarship funds for foster youth. Visit her site here.

Significant Impact

Nationwide, only ten percent of foster youth enroll in college because they lack the  necessary resources. San Francisco beats those odds by sending six times as many youth to college.

A Legacy of Giving

Founded in 2005, with grants from George and Anne Yamasaki and United Way of the Bay Area, Friends of ILSP has awarded nearly $200,000 in grants to over 200 foster youth.

"We saw so many foster youth leaving the system lacking the necessary resources to pay for the costs of education and the basic needs that would allow them to take the next steps to self-sufficiency. Forming Friends of ILSP was the logical thing to do."

History of Foster Youth Rising

  1. 2005 - Friends is started with an initial generous grant from George and Anne Yamasaki.
  2. 2006 - With the support of the Pottruck Family and the John Burton Foundation, Friends funds foster youth to attend Black College tours.
  3. 2007 -United Way of the Bay Area funds Friends of ILSP to provide housing grants to youth transitioning from foster care to independent living situations and college dormitories.
  4. 2014Over $200,000 in total funding awarded to over 200 youth in the form of scholarships, housing-related costs and college tours.

Arlene Hylton, former Director of the San Francisco Independent Living Skills Program and Kathleen Phillips, former Director of Mission Graduates, started Friends in 2005 when they saw that there were critical gaps in funding for foster youth who were transitioning of out care.

Our Founding Board Members

Mary Nguyen

Mary has extensive volunteer and programming experience with organizations championing economic empowerment, social welfare, and youth leadership. She is very passionate about women and minority representation in STEM. Causes very near and dear to her heart include education and science and technology and youth. She has spent time in leadership positions, guiding others in fundraising and program development for non-profit organizations. She mentors youth interested in careers in technology. Currently, she is a product manager at Twitter in information technology enterprise applications, specializing in the implementation, maintenance, and development of support applications for business functions. 

William Martinez, Ph.D.

Will is a licensed clinical psychologist and Assistant Professor at University of California, San Francisco. He is also the Director of Child and Adolescent Services at Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital, an outpatient clinic devoted to providing mental health and substance abuse services to the children of San Francisco and their families who are living in or near poverty. His research focuses on how elements of neighborhoods put Latinx youth at risk or protect them from substance abuse and/or mental health problems, and how we can use this information to improve how we deliver services to this at-risk population. He also provides comprehensive, bilingual (English/Spanish) psychological evaluations for Latinx youth with emotional and/or learning problems. Will also volunteers for the Red Cross for their Disaster Mental Health team and is actively involved in various social justice initiatives throughout the Bay Area. 

Angelina Kim, Secretary

Angelina is passionate about empowering youth and giving them opportunities to fulfill their life goals. She has previously worked with Boys and Girls Club of western MA and has served on the board of another non-profit focusing on financial education for the youth. She is currently a Senior Product Manager at Tripadvisor.

Siobhan Guthrie

Siobhan is a Client Strategist at PricewaterhouseCooopers where she supports the firm's priority retail and consumer product accounts. Siobhan has seventeen years experience in market and account development, specializing in the creation of targeted marketing collateral, client events, and company and industry research. Her non-profit experience includes volunteering with the SF Bay Aquarium, New Door Ventures, Kids Included Together, and serving as a big sister in the Big Brothers & Sisters Program. She also participates in PwC's Toastmasters Chapter and Diversity Network. 

Margaret Prinzing

Margaret is a partner in the law firm Remcho, Johansen & Purcell, LLP, where she practices election, constitutional, and public policy law.  Margaret previously practiced civil and corporate law with Bingham McCutchen in San Francisco, and worked as a legislative assistant on social policy matters for two members of Congress in Washington, D.C.  Prior to joining Friends, Margaret was a Court Appointed Special Advocate in the Alameda County foster care system for six years, and served for five years as a member of the Advisory Committee to the California Habeas Project.  She continues to mentor foster youth.

Funding foster youth success one grant at a time...

Foster Youth Rising