Our Team

St. George Youth Center has been serving Isla Vista and Goleta youth and families since 1998, providing a safe, fun, alternative space for teens during the high-risk after-school hours. Our goal is to create a space where all youth and teens feel safe, supported and empowered to be the best version of themselves.
The youth center is open to young people in grades 5th -12th, and we support the strength and achievement of youth and their families through a variety of educational, recreational, cultural and leadership opportunities.


✉ Valerie Kissell
Executive Director
☏ (805) 569-1103 ext 1432

Working with our most precious population, youth and young adults, has always been a passion for Valerie Kissell.  Valerie has served as the Executive Director for Youth and Family Services YMCA since 2016 overseeing the core social service programs for the branch.  Valerie has over 25 years of executive leadership in the private and public sectors.  Her non-profit experience was as the CEO of an urban Municipal Authority in which she worked with 21 regional municipalities with a $12 million dollar operating budget. In this capacity she was responsible for securing grants on a local, state and federal level, building solid partnerships and alliances. Kissell was the sole proprietor of a local consulting company, Sustainable Solutions, serving the non-profit sector specializing in services to vulnerable populations such as veterans, youth, disabled individuals and the elderly.  Valerie is active in the community and volunteers for a number of organizations. She serves on the board of the Santa Barbara County Continuum of Care representing unaccompanied youth, is a member of the Junior League of Santa Barbara Council of Community Advisors and is a religious education instructor at Old Mission Santa Ynez.  She holds a bachelor’s degree in Biology from Ohio University.


Youth and Family Services YMCA Board of Managers

Yonnie Harris - Chair
Carolyn Williams
Dan Watkins
Joseph Sullivan
Rob Saperstein
Marsha Roberson
Tom Richards
Daniel Ramirez
John Nelson
Dave Morley
Tammy Kronen
Yolanda Garcia
Wendy Atterbury