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Staff & Collaborators

 

Daniela Di Piero

Movimiento’s Founder and Executive Director, Daniela has taught in public schools, women’s prisons, juvenile detention centers, charter schools, grassroots community organizations, and nonprofits. She holds Bachelors and Masters degrees from Brown University, a Masters in Counseling Psychology from Meridian University, and is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist #88547. Her private therapy practice is Growing Home Counseling. Daniela is also an artist and craftswoman, working with clay, printmaking, and ancestral crafts such as moccasin-making and felting.

Daniela Di Piero
Daniela Di Piero
When as a kid I first started realizing consciously what we humans have been doing to the earth and its creatures, the grief was big. I remember seeing pictures of clearcuts and oil spills and knowing that my life needed to be about helping heal the relationship between humans and land and non-human beings. As I got to high school and became increasingly disillusioned with our educational systems, I began dreaming about creating an alternative school where young people could learn through farming, travel, adventure, books, art, and visiting with inspiring people. Movimiento became the expression of that original dream, and it has been a priviledge to work with these young men and women, their families, tribes, and communities.

Rob Steffke

Rob is a Movi trip leader and Program Coordinator in conjunction with his organization Crows Calling, an initiative for teens and adults focusing on immersion experiences, rites of passage, and wilderness therapy.  Rob co-founded San Luis Obispo Sober School, a high school for teens self-identified as struggling with drug/alcohol addiction. He holds a B.S. and Secondary Teaching Credential from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo and a Masters in Counseling Psychology from Meridian University. He is a speaker and consultant in the areas of adolescent addiction and youth mentoring and is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist #90265.

Rob Steffke
Rob Steffke
 So many of the young people I have gotten to know over the years are bringing visions for a possible future that is beyond what the current systems are ready to let in. When a young person is experiencing difficulties, many traditional systems of care or education look to see how to modify the vision of the young person and help them develop a more “realistic” relationship to what is possible. I believe the most effective way to address the concurrent needs of our culture/civilization and our youth is to create means through which our youth can explore and refine the visions they have been born with, while at the same time helping them develop the skills and capacities needed to offer their dreams in a real way. We must shift from asking our youth to dumb down or limit their dreams to asking culture to grow to be able to encompass the possibilities that are emerging through them. Our young people need to experience people and communities that model for them a way of living and being that they know to be possible. 

Simone Weit

Simone, Movi volunteer and coordinator of Yoga in Nevada County Juvenile Hall, is a certified yoga instructor, artist, and children’s book author/illustrator. In teaching trauma informed yoga, she incorporates somatic and mindfulness based therapeutic techniques to help women and girls manage the symptoms of PTSD and addiction. Simone is presently earning an MS in Counseling Psychology through Prescott College. She is also a mother and a dedicated yoga practitioner.

Simone Weit
Simone Weit
I adhere to the perspective that psychological wellbeing is a holistic phenomenon and that we cannot separate our mental wellness from our spiritual, physical and environmental context. I am dedicated to providing holistic therapy to populations who may not otherwise have access to alternative healing modalities, and I hope to continue to deepen my therapeutic work with at-risk women and girls. 

Lyla Johnston

Lyla assisted Movimiento with its comprehensive program evaluation and continues to guide and inspire Movimiento programs. Lyla is an artist, researcher, Stanford graduate, musician, spoken word poet, and advocate for indigenous communities.

Lyla Johnston
Lyla Johnston
It is my honor to work with Movimiento. In my small hometown of Taos, NM we have incredibly high suicide, homicide and overdose rates among youth. I feel it is our task to regenerate as the forests do with a fire, to soak in the ashes of these catastrophes and use them to fuel our hearts, our actions and our movements in a positive direction. From tragedy, a most profound love is born. I have always been so very thankful for that and for Movimiento for always giving us hope and inspiration. 

Movimiento Board of Directors

Daniel Zarazua

Vice Principal and teacher at our partner Unity High School in East Oakland, Daniel supports Movimiento through board membership, outreach, mentorship, and community connections.

Andrew Saito, Resident Playwright at Cutting Ball Theater

Andrew Saito is the Andrew W. Mellon Resident Playwright at The Cutting Ball Theater in San Francisco.  Andrew has studied, worked and lived in Mexico, Guatemala, Peru and  Papua New Guinea, where he was a Fulbright Scholar in Creative Writing in 2012.  Prior to that, he was the Arts and Culture Program Fellow at The San Francisco Foundation.  Andrew holds an MFA from the Iowa Playwrights Workshop, where he received a Kenneth J. Cmiel Human Rights grant to teach playwriting in Mayan communities in Guatemala, and the Richard Maibaum Dramatic Writing Award for his script Dance of Pawns, about the internment of Japanese Peruvians in Texas during World War II.  He has collaborated with the Andean theatre company Kusiwasi, and the legendary Peruvian theatre collective Yuyachkani.  He has taught creative writing to immigrant and indigenous youth in Guatemala, Papua New Guinea, New Mexico, and California.  He previously served on the board of Generando, a battered women’s shelter in Guatemala.

Kahlia Waters, Peace of Earth Gardens

Kahlia is a landscape designer and runs a successful gardening company in the East Bay, helping her clients connect with the land around them through growing food and beauty. She brings dedication, ingenuity, and business acumen to Movimiento’s board work.

“The Movi youth I’ve met have been amazing and totally inspiring. Just knowing Movi exists–let alone my working with Movi–helps me feel hopeful about the future of our world and earth. Every time I think about the things Movi does, I feel inspired to be a part of something this creative, fun, and authentic.”

Hernaci’ona Henry

Hernaci’ona was a youth participant in Movimiento for eight years and later joined the board to gain experience in organizational leadership. With Movimiento’s help, she graduated from high school and Alameda College. Hernaci’ona traveled to El Salvador with Movimiento and supports the organization through active outreach and peer mentorship.

 

 

Funders

Bread for the Journey Foundation
Comcast Foundation
Daniels Fund
Foundation for Youth Investment
McCune Foundation
Morgan Family Foundation
New Mexico Community Foundation
New Mexico State Legislature
Pettus Foundation
Quail Roost Foundation
Rose Foundation
Rudolf Steiner Foundation
San Francisco Foundation
Santa Fe Community Foundation
State of New Mexico (Legislature)
Stewardship Council
Strong Foundation for Environmental Values
Taos Community Foundation
Tides Foundation

Youth Outside

 

Katherine Pettus, funder

The Pettus Foundation has funded Movimiento for almost ten years now because of Daniela’s visionary leadership, professional credibility, and personal integrity. She is an inspiring person to the youth who are attracted to Movi’s mission of expanding their horizons, service learning, and cross-cultural fellowship. I commend Daniela and Movi to donors who want to make a difference in the world, providing anything from small seed grants to support funding for this organization that will grow and blossom.

Mariel Nanasi, funder

It was great knowing that my money had a catalytic effect. Together with Movimiento, the Foundation for Self Sufficiency and La Coordinadora we tasted the sweetness of transformation: from the tragedy of years of war, extreme poverty and displacement into healing and wisdom for El Salvadorians and Taoseños alike. The change in the young people who traveled from Taos was palpable. They worked hard under strenuous conditions and loved it. Upon their return, the youth described their service expedition to an auditorium full of people (a presentation only 1 or 2 of them could have done successfully before their trip). They spoke with a great sense of pride, a new-found awareness of the plight of others and a commitment of service that was contagious.