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  • Our Team | Our Time To Act

    Our Team Our Staff Directors The people leading the everyday operations of Our Time To Act. Aidan Lin-Tostado Executive Director Aashika Srinivas Director of Advocacy & Research Ellie Wang CYAN Lead Organizer Ken Fesler Associate Executive Director Sparky Mitra Senior Director of Special Projects Rachel Choy Associate Executive Director Nicole Lillie Director of Housing Justice Michael Nguyen Director of Engagement Howard Truei Director of Development Our Staff The people handling the everyday operations of Our Time To Act. Andrew Park Core Staff Arianna Alvarado Housing Justice Organizer Irene Wu Social Media Coordinator Mehran Piroozmand Accountant Amaya Lin Community Builder Diego Washington Housing Justice Organizer Mariya Grabovska Editor in Chief Nicholas Tappin Policy and Coalition Representative Karis Lin People Specialist Masaki Mendoza Housing Justice Organizer Aathmika Radhachandran Marketing & Event Specialist Aarohan Hariharan Housing Justice Organizer Fiona Tang UI/UX Designer Faith Xiong Accountant Board of Directors The governing body responsible for Our Time To Act's mission, priorities, long-term development, and finances. Janice Park President Marina Tostado Board Director Holly Harwood Board Member Abbey Reuter Vice President Mario Varo Board Director Oliver Lin Board Director Anna Pierce Strategy & Risk Chair Ray Lin Board Director Gabrielle Darisme Ethics & Policy Chair Learn More About Us Explore our mission, strategy, and values. Our story is one of purpose, passion, and a collective commitment to making a difference. ABOUT US OUR WORK

  • Howard Truei

    < Back Howard Truei Director of Development Howard Truei (he/him) is a responsible and engaging member of the San Diegan community with capacious aspirations. Howard serves underrepresented communities by fighting San Diego’s housing crisis in his role as Director of Development for Our Time To Act, a youth-led, youth-founded not-for-profit organization striving for an inclusive, equitable, and sustainable future. His role in OTTA entails working alongside City Council members, providing representation for low-income students and families. He plans on pursuing a career in biomedical research, and has shadowed under lab researchers in Taipei Veterans General Hospital. He is currently part of an active research group targeted towards eliminating disengagement in high school students. Overall, Howard is an active member of his community, aspiring for positive change through discipline and dedication.

  • Nicole Lillie

    < Back Nicole Lillie Director of Housing Justice Nicole (she/her/hers) is a Political Science - Public Law student in her final year at University of California, San Diego. Before joining Our Time To Act, Nicole was heavily involved in community service work as well as voter registration and education efforts. She led her high school's Rotary Interact Club, establishing lasting bylaws and garnering over 70 regular volunteers over 3 years. In 2019 and 2020 she led [pre-]voter registration drives, [pre-]registering over 300 high school students. In July 2022, she joined Our Time To Act as our Youth Voter Engagement Director, and is now serving as our Director of Housing Justice. In 2023, Nicole was honored by the OTTA team as Staff of the Year. She was also previously awarded 2022 Passionate Leader of the Year. Nicole believes the current state of housing in San Diego is unacceptable and that youth have the power to change it. She is passionate about organizing her peers to have transformative conversations about housing justice. The housing crisis is an intersectional issue and solutions must be informed by those disproportionately impacted by it. Nicole and her housing justice team are committed to creating safe, inclusive spaces for youth of all backgrounds to have a say in their present and future. Housing may be a complicated topic, but youth have an unmatched capacity for learning. Nicole hopes that her team can provide the information and tools necessary for youth to combine their lived-experience knowledge to the technical information necessary to solve the housing crisis. Nicole believes part of achieving housing justice is ensuring the experiences and perspectives of youth are heard and valued by their elected and community leaders, and she is only getting started. After graduation, Nicole hopes to continue organizing youth for housing justice full time.

  • Our Time To Act | Building Youth Power

    Check out our upcoming events: a house party and a coffee chat! OUR EVENTS WE BELIEVE IN OUR MISSION The future is not something that just happens. It is created with intention, either by the status quo or by the people who dream for something better. Our society is suffering because we — future-shaping youth and youth allies — need more power to solve society's most existential problems: housing unaffordability, lack of public transportation, and neighborhood segregation; inequality of outcomes perpetuating injustice by class, race, gender, sexuality, ability, and more; and the climate crisis and environmental injustice. ​ ​ We organize powerful youth for an inclusive, equitable, and sustainable future. Will you join us in forging this ambitious, better future for us and the generations to come? ABOUT US Donate You power our work. Be a change-maker and help us advance our mission. DONATE Youth own the future. We're shaping it now. NAVIGATE TO: Projects Events Support Us OUR STRATEGY Our GOAT change-making model Our Time To Act's dynamic approach to change-making is our "GOAT" Change-Making Model, which encompasses grassroots organizing, advocacy, and training programs. Rooted in the Trifecta Model for Youth Empowerment, we strive to foster a virtuous cycle of adaptation, opportunity, problem-solving, and impact. VIEW ALL PROJECTS VIEW THE TEAM Grassroots Organizing Grassroots organizing is collective action powered by community based leaders and volunteers. HOUSING AVEP YVEP REDISTRICTING MIDWAY PROJECT Advocacy and Research Advocacy is a policy-based change-making using a small, well-trained team of advocates. Trainings and Workshops Trainings empower youth with the experience, network, skills, and resources to be impactful leaders. "Activating Youth" Workshop "Introduction to Advocacy, Mobilizing, and Organizing" Worskhop "How Youth See Themselves, and How the World Sees Them" Workshop GOAT Change-Making Model A COLLECTIVE EFFORT Be Part of the Team If you resonate with your mission or are interested in making an impact, consider joining the OTTA family by applying as a staff or board member! You can learn more about who's on the team here. JOIN THE TEAM FUND A DIFFERENCE Support the Work The biggest bottleneck in accomplishing our goals are funds. Right now, we work completely on a volunteer basis. Help donate today to rise money for resources and labor, enabling youth to make their voices heard. DONATE YOU'RE INVITED TO Upcoming Events Your chance get involved is right around the corner. With many events coming up, this is your opportunity to learn more about us, become involved in your community, and expand your network. 2023 Winter Gala: Dawn in the Mountains Get excited as we prepare to come together for an evening of celebration and reflection. As we look back on what we have accomplished over the course of the year, we eagerly look forward to the impact we can make and the community we can foster next year. LEARN MORE View our Past Events Our past events stand as milestones in our mission to create a more inclusive, equitable, and sustainable future. Each event was a unique chapter in our journey, bringing together passionate individuals, inspiring discussions, and unforgettable moments. VIEW MORE Events STAY CONNECTED Make a Change The biggest bottleneck in accomplishing our goals are funds. Right now, we work completely on a volunteer basis. Help donate today to raise money for resources and labor, enabling youth to make their voices heard. Supprort Us Become a Member Join our community as a paying member to enjoy exclusive benefits, network with like-minded individuals, and be a driving force behind our work. Join Today Volunteer Roll up your sleeves and get involved directly in our initiatives. Your time and skills are invaluable in creating a tangible impact on the ground. Sign Up Donate Your contributions fuel our efforts and drive our projects forward. Your financial support ensures we can continue working toward a better future. Donate Today WE HAVE FUTURE PLANS Stay Updated By staying updated, you become an integral part of our mission. Your awareness and engagement contribute to positive change in the world. Here, you'll also discover the incredible impact our community and supporters are making as well as a behind-the-scenes look at our projects, initiatives, and events. Our Newsletter Our newsletter is your gateway to an exclusive world of updates, insights, and inspiring stories. Join our ever-growing community of newsletter subscribers and keep your finger on the pulse of all things happening at Our Time To Act! SUBSCRIBE Press Releases COMMUNITY FEEDBACK We Value Your Opinion We believe that the most valuable insights come directly from our community. Whether you have a question, a brilliant idea, or constructive criticism, we're eager to hear it all. Feedback Form SUBMIT Thanks for submitting!

  • CYAN | Our Time To Act

    Become a Changemaker. Ever wonder why our systems never seem to change? How we go about pushing for change is just as important as why. Community organizing is one of the only ways to build enough power to challenge — and win — against the status quo. And we have a severe need for youth organizing in our local communities. CYAN Interest Form First Meeting Slides 4 DAYS TO THE EVENT April CYAN Meeting Apr 21, 2024, 2:00 PM San Diego Register Now Definitions from Oxford Languages COM•MU•NI•TY OR•GAN•IZ•ING noun NORTH AMERICAN the coordination of cooperative efforts and campaigning carried out by local residents to promote the interests of their community. "San Diego's youth citizens are now empowered to transform the housing situation through community organizing" We need more youth activists and leaders. Most adult-led youth programs have small cohorts, focus on specific skills, or fail to address the systems that disadvantage us in the first place. At the same time, many youth-led groups, at no fault of their own, lack the resources and networks to harness the power of collective action. We want to transform the field of youth-led organizing. We want to eradicate the disillusionment, disengagement, and disempowerment we experience as youth. For that, we need you. C IVIC Y OUTH A CTION N ETWORK The CIVIC YOUTH ACTION NETWORK is a program that recruits, trains, and empowers grassroots youth organizers for systems change and a more inclusive, equitable, and sustainable future. LEARN CYAN members gain access to trainings and workshops that teach you how to organize, mobilize, network, give public comment, analyze policy, fundraise, network, and so much more. The overwhelming majority of learning is youth-to-youth — we promise we’ll learn just as much from you as you from us. CREATE CHANGE Member-led collective action campaigns open opportunities in activism and leadership for youth to apply learned skills to better our future. Housing, transportation, social and racial justice, climate action, and inclusive governance are examples of issues CYAN members can advance solutions for. FIND COMMUNITY Perhaps the most cherished part of CYAN is the close community it fosters. There’s something unparalleled about fighting for change together, and it forges strong relationships that are fun, unique, and powerful. " Youth can breach the political realm — they just need knowledge and community." – Ken Fesler, Associate Executive Director of Our Time To Act A GLIMPSE OF OUR ORGANIZING EFFORTS Here are two examples of past organizing projects to give you an insight into what our work is like and how we make an impact. MIDWAY PROJECT In April 2020, we advocated for housing to be the top priority in the Midway development. Through organizing efforts and voicing our opinions in public comments, we were able to create a new map for the redistricting process that better represents the population of San Diego. LEARN MORE HOUSING In September of 2022, we organized youth in University City to fill out the 2022 University City Plan Update Survey to fight for their future within the context of supporting high-density and mixed-use development. ​ We spoke up and mobilized support in front of the San Diego Planning Commission on September 29th, 2022, leading to the reform passing in a 6-1 vote. LEARN MORE IT'S OUR TIME TO ACT UNITED. OUR MISSION THE PEOPLE BEHIND IT ALL APURV GUPTA Director of Services AIDAN LIN-TOSTADO Executive Director NICOLE LILLIE Director of Housing Justice STAY IN TOUCH subscribe to newsletter @ottaunited @our time to act united

  • Ellie Wang

    < Back Ellie Wang CYAN Lead Organizer Ellie (she/her/hers) is the CYAN Lead Organizer at Our Time To Act. As CYAN Lead Organizer, Ellie works to build people power by building relationships with youth, including individuals, youth-led organizations, and youth-serving organizations and institutions. With a background in psychology from the University of California, San Diego, she is an incoming doctoral candidate in Clinical Psychology at the PGSP-Stanford PsyD Consortium. Ellie is driven to create positive alterations in mental health accessibility through systemic changes. Outside of work, Ellie loves to spend quality time with people she loves, cooking, painting, being out in nature, and playing basketball.

  • Oliver Lin

    < Back Oliver Lin Board Director Oliver has lived in Boston, Chicago, Denver, and Los Angeles but considers the Bay Area home. He is a Stanford and Harvard trained clinical psychologist and has returned to Stanford University to serve as Operations Director at Counseling and Psychological Services, teach courses in Asian American Studies, supervise the next generation of psychologists, and provide outreach workshops and trainings. Oliver is humbled to serve on the Board of Our Time To Act and truly inspired to see the youth make such a meaningful impact in their local communities.

  • Holly Harwood

    < Back Holly Harwood Board Member Holly (she/they) is a dedicated Vietnamese-American educator, project manager, and organizer born and raised in Eastside San Jose. Currently, Holly is Chief of Staff at Sustainable & Just Future, expanding solution-based environmental curriculum around the United States. Their work focuses on intersectional environmental justice, youth empowerment, and international climate policy. Their unique background in the legal industry, non-profit sector, creative storytelling, and climate education have strengthened their dedication to serving communities disproportionately impacted by the climate crisis. Holly believes it’s imperative that movements that center human rights and dignity must work together to create a more equitable and harmonious future.

  • Ray Lin

    < Back Ray Lin Board Director Ray brings more than 20 years of leadership experience in Finance, Operations, and HR. He possesses a broad business background having worked for startups, Fortune 500 companies, as well as non-profits. Mr. Lin is currently a sr. executive at an early-stage AI startup leading strategic and operational efforts. He is passionate about serving, mentoring, and empowering youth through Our Time To Act.

  • Anna Pierce

    < Back Anna Pierce Strategy & Risk Chair Anna Pierce is currently on the Strategy and Risk Committee of Our Time To Act. She was the Assistant Director of External Operations with Bayreach, Student Leader, and Woodwind Captain with her school’s marching band. In workspaces, she values collaboration and a shared desire for success. Outside of school and Our Time To Act, Anna loves to figure skate, horseback ride, and travel. She is also fluent in French and hopes to major in Sports Management.

  • Marina Tostado

    < Back Marina Tostado Board Director Marina grew up in south central Los Angeles. She is a graduate of Stanford University (B.A.,B.S.), University of CO (M.D) and USC (residency). She currently works as an Internist at Palo Alto Medical Foundation. Her hobbies include traveling, carpentry, gardening, hiking and reading.

  • Mario Varo

    < Back Mario Varo Board Director Mario is a Junior transfer at UC Berkeley studying political science. He brings non-profit experience from the Prison Library Project, and works to empower the community around him. Living in the Inland Empire, Mario has seen how a lack of resources that foster a sustainable future can have an effect on our youth. He one day hopes to be a Professor of Political Science and pay forward the mentorship he received in community college, so that the next generation has to tools to succeed.

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