Sandra Ainslie is CEO of Girls Inc. of San Diego County. She is a strong advocate for youth and committed to creating equity for young people in San Diego. Sandra’s responsibilities at Girls Inc. of San Diego County (GISD) include increasing impact, developing organizational strategy and driving financial growth.
Sandra brings 20 years of experience building and leading innovative youth organizations and programs. She has spent the majority of her career working with underserved and multi-cultural communities, who often face compounded and complex challenges. She is deeply committed to working with youth through asset-based approaches, which enable young people to harness their power, confidence and potential. She is a collaborative leader who believes that community partnerships and connected ecosystems are the best path toward sustainable social change efforts. As a leader she enjoys creating an environment of support, growth and learning.
Prior to joining GISD, Sandra served as Executive Director of the AjA Project, an organization utilizing participatory photography with refugee and immigrant youth. Her work at AjA Project earned Sandra the, Coming Up Taller Presidential award for excellence in youth programming.
Following her work at AjA Project, Sandra served as Senior Director for the Jacobs Center for Neighborhood Innovation where she developed a college and career pipeline for disconnected youth.
Sandra holds a bachelor’s degree from University of California San Diego in Cultural Anthropology and a master’s degree in Leadership and Nonprofit Management from the University of San Diego. In addition to her academic work she has done field work with youth in Africa, Central America and Asia. Sandra immigrated to the U.S. from Mexico at age 8.
STRONG Programs Manager
Becky Espinoza is our Strong and Bold Programs Manager. She is a proud Mexican American entrepreneur, humanitarian, and strong advocate for mental health and happiness.
Her field of study at Sacramento State University was in business management and child development. Becky has 10 years of extensive background in community outreach, global mentorship, data analysis, and event coordination/facilitation.
She is passionate about the belief that service to many leads to greatness and therefore strives to live a purpose drive life of integrity, compassion, collaboration, community, connection, transformation, and growth.
Youth Program Facilitator
Esmeralda's passion for higher education ignited early in life. During high school, she dedicated her time to assisting students in need of academic support through local nonprofits in Escondido. Upon graduation, her aspiration to empower community members in exploring their unique career paths and lifelong learning became clear. Pursuing this goal, she earned her bachelor's degree in Sociology from San Diego State University.
Following her graduation, Esmeralda continued her work closely with local nonprofits and the Escondido School District, striving to uplift her community members.
As an adept professional in education and community engagement, Esmeralda excels in crafting and implementing comprehensive curriculum plans tailored for both K-8 and 9-12 education levels, specifically focusing on School-to-Career Services. Her expertise lies in orchestrating impactful events and conducting invaluable training and workshops for K-12 students. These include engaging Career Days, empowering Communications Workshops, and essential Financial Literacy sessions.
Esmeralda is deeply committed to nurturing robust community partnerships and actively engaging in collaborative initiatives. This dedication ensures the successful recruitment of potential program participants and enriches the overall learning experience for students and the community as a whole.
SMART Programs Manager
Olivia Kasik has had the honor of working with Girls Inc. since 2018.
Olivia’s work began in Omaha, Nebraska as the Eureka! Coordinator, inspiring and cultivating interest in STEM careers for young women and girls. Now as the STEM Specialist at GISD, she's continuing that passion for middle schoolers to engage in holistic, hands-on, minds-on, STEAM learning.
In addition, Olivia is certified in mindfulness and yoga. She continues to educate and learn about how bodies hold trauma. In her free time, Olivia enjoys exploring San Diego with her husband and checking out vegan restaurants. She is a graduate of Grace University.
Ericka Wells, born in Mexico and immigrated to the U.S. at a young age, is a proud first-generation Latina woman driven by a deep desire to shatter barriers and uplift the next generation of youth. A trailblazer in her family, Ericka became the first to graduate from college, earning her Bachelor's Degree in Human Development from California State University San Marcos (CSUSM). Fueled by her passion for education and empowerment, she pursued a Master of Arts in Education with a Concentration in Counseling at San Diego State University, achieving an outstanding 4.0 GPA. This academic achievement not only marked a personal milestone but also exemplified the resilience and determination ingrained in her immigrant experience.
Ericka's professional journey has been marked by her unwavering commitment to support and guide others, especially those from underserved and underrepresented backgrounds. Her roles have spanned from Education Program Coordinator to Case Manager to Student Success Coach. Today, as the Operations Manager at Girls Inc. of San Diego County, Ericka is responsible for supporting development, data management, human resources, monitoring program budget, and grant compliance. Holding additional credentials in Restorative Justice Practice and Trauma-Informed Care, Ericka is excited to merge her personal journey with her professional expertise at Girls Inc. of San Diego County, striving to empower staff and create equity for the next generation of youth in our community.
Lead Youth Program Facilitator
Jordan has had a lifelong passion for mental health and working with the youth. After graduating with a Psychology degree from California State University San Marcos, she was able to combine her two passions. Prior to joining the Girls Inc. team, she worked in early childhood administration and served as a secretary for the Mt. San Jacinto College’s first Sexuality and Gender Alliance club. As the lead facilitator in North County San Diego, Jordan continuously strives towards creating a welcoming, growth-based environment for all Girls Inc. participants. She is proud to call herself a Girls Inc. mentor and loves being able to connect with the next generation of strong, smart, and bold leaders in her community.