Meet Our team
Bridget Alexander has been Executive Director since inception. She holds a teaching credential and 20 years experience supporting youth as they overcome homelessness and trauma. Prior to founding Waking the Village, Bridget worked as a teacher for 7 years, including 4 years teaching gang affiliated youth in a high school where her service learning courses won district awards. As Executive Director, Bridget authored and oversaw a range of grants that secured program funding. She co-designed all Tubman’s programs and trains staff. She leads outreach and creates alliances with providers in Sacramento. Bridget participated in CompassPoint’s Leadership Development Program for Executives Serving Transition-Age Youth and has been a planner for the Transition Age Youth Conference for the last 5 years. Bridget has also designed and led intensive trainings for Early Childhood Educators on the impact of trauma and the implications of brain biology on learning.
Blithe Raines is the co-founder and Program Director. She holds a BS in Community Development with an Education emphasis. She has 18 years experience teaching children and youth overcoming homelessness, including 4 years as a teacher at Mustard Seed School for Homeless Children. Blithe oversees and trains staff, provides aftercare, advises births as a labor coach, and teams with Bridget for continual program planning. Blithe ensures continuity in Tubman’s youth development approach through mentoring of staff. She also manages the Art Beast program, training Art Beast supervisors to effectively scaffold employment skills in Tubman clients as well as providing aftercare to Tubman clients that work at or visit Art Beast. In 2015, Blithe transitioned into the directorship of Artenia Beast’s Academy of Play and Whimsy, a child development center. She will always be a strong voice in setting Tubman’s course.
Mazelle Lolmaugh is the House Director Team Lead at Tubman House. House Directors are responsible for partnering with youth to build a warm home culture that nurtures all those living there through traditions, rhythms, and the development of communicative, responsive relationships. House Directors are a key presence in the evenings, ensuring family rhythms and community wellness are maintained. Mazelle has nearly 20 years of experience in the nonprofit sector with an emphasis in Youth Development . She has been a House Director for Tubman House since 2005, living on-site, in community with Tubman residents and their children. Mazelle has raised two daughters. Mazelle also manages other projects and administrative tasks for Tubman House as needed.
Latisha Simms is a Tubman graduate, has worked as House Director since 2009, providing a strong model of success to residents. Latisha worked as a certified nursing assistant prior to joining Tubman. Latisha attends college and has completed coursework in Early Childhood Development and Human Services. Latisha also works as a director in the on-site Child Development co-op, leading a program that offer a joyful, play based learning environment and promotes development for each child. She completed Music Together training and enjoys bringing song and movement into the Tubman center daily.
Maggie Gomez is a Youth Development Director at Tubman House where she stands by young parents as they overcome homelessness and claim meaningful futures. In this work, Maggie is on college campuses, in hospital birth rooms, in court rooms, and on rafting trips supporting residents in new experiences. She helms morning meetings and leadership sessions to guide residents as they govern their communities and deepen understandings of the issues underneath homelessness. Maggie is also mother to two children and brings the wisdom earned in her own experiences of parenting and overcoming homelessness. A graduate of Tubman House, Maggie helped launch and staff Tubman’s on-site child development center while a Tubman resident. In addition to her work as a Youth Development Director, Maggie also serves as Waking the Village's Outreach Director where she connects with all new applicants, interviews potential residents and connects them to resources as they wait to join a Waking the Village housing program.
Grace Loescher serves as the Program Director at Waking the Village and the Director of the Creation District. Withing these positions, Grace brings unbridled energy and passion for the healing power of visual arts and dramatic performance. Her work includes leading a group of youth on their first trip out of the country to participate in a service learning project building homes for the homeless in Mexico, giving homeless youth a platform to self-advocate by coordinating the Sacramento Youth Action board, and connecting Tubman's graduates and residents to improvisation, spoken word, and dramatic performance to tell both their individual stories and the larger stores of the social injustices overcome in their journey. Grace is a graduate of Rollins College in Florida with a major in Studio Art and a minor in Theatre Arts. As an artist, she has exhibited works of experiential art, sculpture, and installation. Grace profoundly believes that creativity is the most important element in discovering who you are, and that all young people should be given opportunities to grow and foster a healthy creative spirit.
Gabby Schiavenato serves as a Youth Development Director for all Waking the Village housing programs. In her work at Waking the Village, Gabby spends every minute invested in fierce relationship building and relentless support through the messy moments. Gabby graduated from Rollins College in Orlando Florida with a double major in music and theatre. Whether it is a 3 AM hospital call from one of her coachees or a weekend spent hauling around donated furniture, Gabby always puts her full heart and irrepressible sense of humor into every bit of work at Waking the Village. Whem Gabby is not at Tubman House, playing her banjo, or hiking with her dog, she can be found coaching lacrosse at Christian Brothers High School. Gabby is looking forward to more fun and games with a new group of creators this summer!
Shelly Hubertus is serving Waking the Village as a volunteer through the Jesuit Volunteer Corps. As a JVC volunteer, Shelly has committed to a year of service, lives in community with 7 other JVs, and survives on a monthly stipend of $100. Shelly is one of Waking the Village's Youth Development Coaches, through which she supports 2 youths through our Doorway program, 1 youth in Audre's Emporium of New Tomorrow's for singles, and 2 youths in Audre's Emporium of New Tomorrows for couples. She also leads workshops and activities, connects to resources, and is the Waking the Village representative to the Youth Advisory Board. Shelly believes firmly in the healing powers of trauma informed care and community living. She is excited to help Waking the Village Residents tell their stories and find their passions in order to advocate for social change and justice. Shelly graduated from Texas A&M University with a major in Communication and minors in Psychology and Spanish.
April is one of Tubman's Youth Development Directors driving a resident focused day program and individually coaching residents. April brings over 7 years of experience working in the mental health field and a passion for higher education and cultural awareness. She leads meetings and groups designed to promote positive relationships as well as educational development. April has a Bacehlor's Degree in Psychology and is currently pursuing a Master's degree in Psychology, with an emphasis on Professional Clinical Counseling. Prior to Tubman, she was a Wraparound Facilitator at Standford Youth Solutions and managed a residential treatment center for girls with mental health and behavioral challenges.