Jenni Doherty, Founder

Jason Doherty, Founder

Bethany Hardy, Communications and Development Associate

Phil Jonckheer, Chair

Noelle Thomas O’Neal, Director

Talia Pierluissi, Treasurer

Talia is currently a Wealth Advisor with Aspiriant in Mountain View, CA. Prior to joining SIG, Talia co-founded SearchFox and worked for Stanford University as a fundraiser. She is a Certified Financial Planner and a graduate of University of Chicago (BA) and UCLA (MBA). She lives in San Francisco with her husband and two daughters. She volunteers with the IRS Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Program and the Financial Planning Association. In her free time, she enjoys hiking, biking, and traveling. Talia joined the Daraja Education Fund in 2015 as a director.

Steve Disenhof, Secretary

Steve recently retired as a Partner and Director of Human Resources with Litman Gregory Asset Management in Larkspur, CA. He was an at-home dad for much of the 1990’s, which followed almost 20 years as a social worker and manager with children’s and teen programs. He has worked with children’s programs professionally, as a parent, and as a volunteer for over 40 years. Steve’s family has been engaged with Daraja since 2009:  In 2011, he and his son, Jono, co-led the first Marin Academy Service Learning trip to Daraja. Steve also taught computer technology, photography and business skills on campus in 2010, 2011 and 2013. Steve holds an MSW from Boston University and an MBA from Edinburgh Business School.

Helen Dietz, Director

Helen is the Director of Wealth Management at Aspiriant, and the President and CEO of Stanford Investment Group, a boutique wealth management and financial planning firm in Northern California. She earned a B.A. in Business and English with a discipline in Economics from Rutgers University, and was awarded ‘Entrepreneur of the Year’ at the 2014 Wall Street Women: A Celebration of Excellence event by Trader Magazine. She enjoys spending time with her husband and two daughters, running, long bike rides, and coming up with new projects. Helen is very dedicated to women’s education and leadership.

Helen Cooke Pyne, Director

Helen is a freelance editor and writer, and a creative writing teacher. She’s worked as an editor for Doubleday and in PR for Seventeen Magazine in New York City. Her published works include two mystery novels in a series for young teens. She currently writes for Appleseeds, a children’s social studies magazine, and the SCBWI Bulletin. Helen has published books and magazine articles for kids, mentored students for the past three years for an annual anthology published by the Society of Young Inklings, and taught writing workshops at the Pacific Coast Children’s Writers Novel Workshop and Retreat. Helen earned her M.F.A. in Writing for Children and Young Adults from Vermont College of Fine Arts, and a B.A. from Middlebury College. She is married with four children, and loves to discover new ways to make a difference in the lives of Daraja’s inspirational students.

Raina J. León, Director

Raina has been published in over 100 journals as a writer of poetry, fiction, nonfiction, and scholarly work. She is also the author of three collections of poetry and a chapbookHer work has been a finalist for several prestigious awards, and she has received numerous fellowships and residencies—most recently completing a teaching poet-in-residence position at the Museum of the African Diaspora in San Francisco. She is currently a founding editor of The Acentos Review and an associate professor of education at Saint Mary’s College of California. Her research interests include high school engagement and the teaching of poetry, critical pedagogy, critical literacy in the high school classroom, and educational technology usage among high school educators.

Raina received her BA in Journalism from Pennsylvania State University, MA in Teaching of English from Teachers College Columbia University, MA in Educational Leadership from Framingham State University, PhD in Education under the Culture, Curriculum and Change strand at the University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill, and her MFA in Poetry at Saint Mary’s College of California.