Voices for Children Staff Updates
Name: Michelle Arnold
Position: Recruitment and Outreach Associate
Hometown: Simi Valley
Academic Background: BA, Philosophy (concentration in ethics and pre-law), Sonoma State University
Professional Background: Michelle worked with a nonprofit organization in Sonoma County providing students at Sonoma State various volunteer opportunities. While in college, Michelle interned for a restorative justice mediation organization in Santa Rosa working with juveniles and the juvenile probation office.
Personal Information: Michelle enjoys going to the beach or the pool, going on hikes, and seeking unique restaurants and local shops.
Favorite Book: Harry Potter Series
Name: Kylee Stratton
Position: Associate Program Manager
Academic Background: BS, Business, Cal Poly San Luis Obispo
Professional Background: Kylee (nee Gibson) recently returned to Voices for Children after living in Orange County and working with Orange County’s CASA program, primarily as an associate program manager, for nearly two years. Prior to working for VFC as an advocacy supervisor, Kylee taught underprivileged and orphaned children at a government boarding school in Thailand.
Personal Information: Kylee enjoys traveling, both abroad and domestically, and spending time with her family and friends. She also loves spending time at the beach, running, hiking, camping, and being outdoors. She and her husband recently relocated back to San Diego.
Inspirational Quote: “Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible.”—Dalai Lama
Name: Kelly Grant
Position: Advocacy Supervisor
Hometown: Los Angeles
Academic Background: MA, Conflict, Security, and Development, King’s College London; BA, International Affairs with minors in Social Entrepreneurship and Political Science, Northeastern University
Professional Background: Prior to joining VFC, Kelly lived in Medellin, Colombia, where she worked for an international foundation investigating organized crime and drug trafficking in Latin America. Kelly has worked in business development, operations, and research in both the private and nonprofit sectors and is passionate about social impact and community development.
Personal Information: Kelly loves traveling and has backpacked through more than a dozen countries in Europe, Latin America, and Southeast Asia. In her free time, she enjoys camping, hiking, trying new restaurants, and checking out local live music. Kelly also enjoys playing the cello and curling up with a good novel.
Favorite Author: Ann Patchett
Name: Samantha Daum
Position: Development Assistant
Academic Background: BS, Marine Biology, University of California, San Diego; Nonprofit Management Certification, University of California, Irvine
Professional Background: Samantha has a background in quality control management and executive-level support. Samantha discovered her passion for serving disadvantaged children in 2013 when she volunteered for a summer at a children’s home in Kenya. There she worked with orphaned, abandoned, and abused children, She continues to be a dedicated volunteer for the organization, planning and executing fundraising activities and events.
Personal Information: In her free time, Samantha enjoys aerial silks workouts, camping, and DIY home-improvement projects. She loves farmers’ markets, traveling, baked goods, connecting with friends and family, and curling up with a book and her foster puppies.
Inspirational Quote: “Legacy. What is a legacy? It’s planting seeds in a garden you never get to see.”—Lin-Manuel Miranda, from Hamilton
Name: Sabrina Gonzalez
Position: Program Assistant
Academic Background: BA, Political Science, University of California, San Diego
Professional Background: A recent graduate of UCSD, Sabrina served two terms as the commuter representative on the College Council and also worked for the orientation and resident assistant programs at UCSD, helping new students transition into college life. After graduation, Sabrina managed a city council campaign in Silicon Valley, combining her interest in both politics and civil rights. Before joining VFC, Sabrina volunteered with Alliance San Diego, a local organization dedicated to promoting social justice and good governance.
Personal Information: A lifelong San Diego resident, Sabrina loves trying new restaurants and breweries, watching horror movies, and playing field hockey.
Inspirational Book: Across That Bridge: Life Lessons and a Vision for Change by John Lewis
Name: Erin Finnerty
Position: Advocacy Supervisor
Hometown: Brigantine, New Jersey
Academic Background: BS, Counseling and Human Services, University of Scranton
Professional Background: Erin is a recent graduate passionate about social justice. Erin has previously interned with the Children’s Advocacy Center of Northeastern Pennsylvania, where she worked with children who have been abused or neglected. Erin has also interned overseas at a daycare in Cape Town, South Africa, providing care and resources for children living in poverty. After graduating from college in 2017, Erin participated in a year of service with the Jesuit Volunteer Corps. Erin was placed with a nonprofit in Los Angeles, where she worked as a program coordinator to create a safe alternative to gang violence after school.
Personal Information: Erin enjoys spending time outdoors with loved ones and her two-year-old rescue dog. She enjoys going on hikes, doing yoga, and finding spots with live music.
Favorite Quote: “Every saint has a past, every sinner has a future.”
Name: Michael Botello
Position: Marketing and Communications Coordinator
Hometown: Orosi, California
Academic Background: BS, Leadership & Justice with Political Science emphasis, San Diego Christian College
Professional Background: Michael graduated in May 2018. Prior to starting with VFC, he was the deputy communications assistant for State Senator Joel Anderson since June 2015. Michael subsequently also served as Anderson’s Internship Coordinator, overseeing a team of about 40 interns.
Personal Information: In his free time, Michael enjoys hanging out with friends and spending time with his tuxedo cat Bowen. His hobbies include cooking and baking, video games, painting, playing guitar and singing, soap-making, hiking, reading, and binge-watching Netflix.
Favorite Book: Louise Penny’s “Chief Inspector Gamache” murder-mystery series