YDN Staff

The YDN team is a diverse group of people dedicated to making the world a better place for youth, a little bit at a time. We enjoy our work as much as we enjoy our play. When you can’t find us at the office, behind a computer, or at a training, we might be cooking, traveling, grooving, enjoying some downtime with each other, or trying so mething new. Last year our team found itself making candy treats and enjoying a view of Lake Tahoe during a team retreat. Who knows where next year will take us?

Take a moment to get to know us!

Adrian Ruiz | Executive Director - Gallup Certified Strengths Coach
| Maximizer | Strategic | Woo | Communication | Ideation |  -- strengths.gallup.com

Adrian is recognized regionally as one of the leading facilitators, coaches, and trainers surrounding the strengths-based youth development approach. He assumed the role as Executive Director for the Youth Development Network in 2009. Over the previous years, Adrian has held the positions of Co-Executive Director and Youth Development Institute Lead Trainer. Adding Gallup Certified Strengths Coach to his repertoire, Adrian continues to shift the paradigm in how youth and adults partner with each other to create life-changing opportunities for youth to thrive and succeed.   Full Biography

916.308.7082 (c)    Email me

Vicki Stockbridge | Assistant Director
| Achiever | Responsibility | Relator | Arranger | Empathy |  -- strengths.gallup.com

Vicki Stockbridge joined the YDN team in October of 2005. Currently she supports the organization in the position of Assistant Director/Office Administration Coordinator, managing the office responsibilities of the YDN.   Vicki is proud to be a part of the YDN team and is excited to be a part of making a difference in the lives of our young people. “Our youth are our future. Share with them the tools they need to achieve self-confidence and success.”   Full Biography

916.801.9926 (c)    916.566.1652 (o)    Email me

Helen Yee | Gallup Certified Strength Coach - StrengthsFinder Specialist
| Positivity | Achiever | Relator | Activator | Arranger |  -- strengths.gallup.com
Ms.  Helen Yee, a Gallup Certified Strengths Coach and StrengthsFinder Specialist with Youth Development Network, is dedicated to supporting her community and making a difference in the lives of youth and their families.  With over 20 years of board experience, Ms. Yee brings expertise in team building, event coordination, training, facilitation and fund development.

Ms. Yee’s focus is to apply StrengthsFinder to the workplace to create enhanced engagement and promote strengths-based organizational culture.  Her experience includes numerous public and private sector leadership roles, where she devoted her commitment to bringing strengths-based principles to a wide range of community-serving organizations.  Full Biography

916.555.6695  Email me

Heidi Elneil | Youth Development Specialist/Trainer
communication | connectedness | belief | ideation | individualization  -- strengths.gallup.com

Heidi joined YDN as a Youth Development Specialist/Trainer in December 2015. She began her career in youth services with the American Red Cross Gold Country Region and later with Mutual Housing California. As the “youth person” at each organization she advocated or youth engagement and development at every level. She was introduced to YDN when she participated in their Cultural Relevancy Institute and is so excited to be on the other side of the trainings.

Her path towards youth development during her year of service with AmeriCorps where she tutored HeadStart students in literacy. Working with youth 3-4 years taught her how early development starts. She continued her experience with youth while completing her B.A. in Communications at UC San Diego.

Heidi lives in Sacramento with her husband Evan. When they aren’t working, they enjoy trying the diverse restaurants in the area and going to farmer’s markets and making delicious food at home.

805.558.8439  Email me

Trao Thao | Youth Development Specialist/Trainer
Includer | Arranger | Responsibility | Learner | Achiever  -- strengths.gallup.com

Trao joined the YDN team in November 2015 as a Youth Development Specialist/Trainer. He promoted Youth Development over the past 7 years through his work in the community organizations in the greater Sacramento area, specifically focusing on resiliency, engagement, well-being, and building the strengths of young people.

Before becoming a part of the YDN team, Trao began his journey into youth development as a member of the YouthWork’s leadership afterschool program, a program that fostered the youth development framework. After attending his first Leadership Development camp, Trao went on becoming a Youth Staff, Adult Staff, Youth Staff Coordinator, and Program Director.

Trao’s passion for creating positive life-changing opportunities for youth to thrive and succeed is a natural reflection of his StrengthsFinder Top 5 Talent Themes, with a passion for helping youth at the heart of his work. When Trao is not at the office, he loves to go on hike and spend as much time with nature as he can with his two beautiful Siberian Huskies.

916.524.6772    Email me

Elise Fider | Project Specialist
Achiever| Learner | WOO | Input | Responsibility  -- strengths.gallup.com

Elise became a part of the YDN team in May of 2015 as the Event Coordinator for their annual fundraiser, Break for a Cause through Board Member, Lilly Rankins. After the event was over, YDN decided to offer her a position as Project Specialist. Elise gladly joined, utilizing her skills of efficiency, sustainability, and branding to the mix of YDN.

Prior to YDN, she worked as an Event Coordinator for various events around Sacramento, Celebrate Sacramento, North Highlands Jubilee, and the inaugural Tet parade. She also has her degree in Public Relations from CSU Sacramento.

Elise lives in Pocket Sacramento and on the weekends, Marysville. Her joys are cooking, horseback riding, Netflix binging, traveling, and spending time with her boyfriend and son.

209.321.0672  Email me