Lina Lumme

Executive Director/CEO

Lina Lumme, an immigrant to America since 2003, has demonstrated an unwavering commitment to community service through her involvement with non-profit organizations. A distinguished member of the Fieldstone Leadership Network, Lina's dedication to professional growth is underscored by her attainment of certificates in Volunteer Management, Executive Directors Leadership, and Nonprofit Management. As of January 2010, Lina Lumme has been at the helm of The Youth Center, serving as its Executive Director/CEO. Her exemplary leadership has been marked by significant contributions to the organization's growth and impact. Lina's extensive board service includes positions on the Boards of Directors of prestigious organizations such as the Precious Life Shelter, Los Alamitos Education Foundation, P4S Family Resource Center, and Rotary of Los Alamitos/Seal Beach. Her ability to lend strategic insights and drive positive change has left an indelible mark on these institutions. Lina's exceptional contributions have garnered numerous accolades and recognition. In 2010, she was honored with a Lifetime Achievement award by NPDOC, a testament to her sustained dedication and impact in the non-profit sector. Lina's role in the Every 15 Minutes Program was acknowledged by LAUSD in 2015, further reflecting her commitment to fostering positive change among the youth. Lina's influence extends to the realm of legislative recognition as well. Her significant contributions to the local youth community led to acknowledgment by Senator Nguyen and the US Congress in 2017, a testament to the far-reaching impact of her work. Notably, Lina Lumme's dedication and contributions to Rotary were highlighted in 2018 when she was named Rotarian of the Year, demonstrating her commitment to service and leadership within this esteemed organization. Further recognizing her indomitable spirit, Lina was presented with an Honorary Service Award by LAUSD PTA Council in 2020, underlining her commitment to education and community engagement. The pinnacle of recognition arrived in 2022, as the California State Assembly bestowed upon her the honor of being named the Woman of the Year. Lina Lumme's journey is a testament to her exceptional leadership, boundless dedication, and steadfast commitment to community service. Her impact resonates across multiple sectors, leaving an enduring legacy of positive change and empowerment.

Maryam Guirao

Director of Development

Maryam Guirao is a dedicated member of the Los Alamitos community with a residency spanning over 25 years. Her journey is marked by a commitment to education, service, and nonprofit excellence. Maryam's academic pursuits have laid a strong foundation for her career in nonprofit management. She earned her Bachelor of Arts in Communication Studies from California State University, Long Beach, which provided her with a comprehensive understanding of effective communication strategies. Building on her academic achievements, Maryam further honed her skills by attaining a Master of Science in Nonprofit Management in 2013. This advanced degree equipped her with a deep understanding of the intricacies of nonprofit organizations, their operations, and the strategies necessary to drive their success. A Certified Grant Writer through the esteemed American Grant Writers Association, Maryam brings a strategic approach to securing essential resources for nonprofits. Her expertise has been cultivated through extensive experience, including her tenure as the Fundraising Director at the American Cancer Society Relay For Life division. Additionally, she held the position of Director of Development at the American Heart Association, where her impact on fundraising initiatives was profound. Maryam's role as a Volunteer & Event Consultant and Coordinator for the annual Rossmoor Community Services District, Winter Festival, highlights her multifaceted skill set. Her ability to organize and execute successful community events underscores her dedication to fostering strong local connections. Maryam's contributions have garnered well-deserved recognition. She has been honored with the Platinum Presidential Volunteer Service Award, a testament to her exceptional commitment to community service. Her fundraising prowess has been acknowledged by both the California State Assembly and local city councils, further emphasizing the impact of her efforts. Outside of her professional endeavors, Maryam's passions span a diverse range of activities. She finds joy in embarking on trips to Disneyland with her daughter and husband, creating delectable treats through baking, exploring new destinations while traveling, and expressing herself through dance classes. Currently, Maryam is poised to embark on a new chapter of her journey as the Director of Development at The Youth Center. With an unwavering enthusiasm for their mission, she is excited to forge lasting relationships with board members, donors, and community members. Through her role, she aims to contribute to the organization's growth and impact, aligning seamlessly with her dedication to nonprofit excellence.

Youth Programs Supervisor

Introducing our dynamic Youth Programs Supervisor, Janae! Armed with a degree in Sociology from the University of California, Santa Barbara, and a minor in Science and Mathematics Education, Janae brings a wealth of knowledge and passion to our team. Although her roots are in Hawaii, she has flourished in Southern California for the past 9 years.

Janae’s affinity for children is matched only by her dedication to community service. She’s always ready to lend a helping hand wherever needed. Beyond her professional pursuits, Janae’s heart belongs to her Australian cattle dog named Kiwi, who enjoys every moment of her company.

In her leisure moments, you’ll find Janae basking in the company of her furry companion, exploring new adventures, or contributing her time to meaningful community endeavors. Her vibrant energy and commitment to growth make her a perfect fit for The Youth Center.

Janae’s enthusiasm knows no bounds as she steps into her role, ready to embrace the opportunities and challenges that lie ahead. With her spirit of determination and compassion, we’re excited to witness the incredible impact she’s poised to create at The Youth Center.

Fundraising Coordinator

Amanda Hernandez is currently enrolled at Cypress College, where she is pursuing a major in Human Services. With an Associates Degree in Psychology already under her belt, she has set her sights on further education, aiming to transfer to Cal State Fullerton to earn a Bachelor’s Degree in Human Services.

In the early months of 2022, Amanda’s journey at The Youth Center commenced as a dedicated volunteer for our after-school Rascals Program. Her genuine passion for engaging with children, coupled with her proactive approach to tasks, quickly caught our attention.

Recognizing her exceptional contributions and commitment, Amanda seamlessly transitioned from volunteer to a valued member of our permanent staff. Her dedication to making a meaningful impact and her proactive attitude perfectly align with the values of The Youth Center.

Amanda’s journey is one of growth and service, and we are delighted to have her as part of our team. With her educational aspirations and fervor for empowering young minds, she’s set to create a lasting impact at The Youth Center and beyond.

Gina Elefante

Administrative Director

Meet Gina Elefante, a seasoned administrative professional renowned for her customer service prowess. Her journey to becoming an integral member of our team is paved with her deep affiliations with esteemed organizations, including the Lions Club, Seal Beach Police Foundation, Chamber of Commerce, and the impactful Every 15 Minutes program. Gina's extensive experience working directly with the public has honed her communication skills and strengthened her commitment to community service. Her dedication shines brightly through her active involvement in various Youth Center events, where her passion for creating positive experiences is palpable. Gina's dedication to making a difference has not gone unnoticed. Her exceptional volunteerism has earned her numerous accolades, a testament to her unwavering commitment to giving back. In recognition of her outstanding contributions, she was named the esteemed Seal Beach 2019 Citizen of the Year. With a heart full of enthusiasm and a track record of exceptional service, Gina Elefante is poised to continue making her mark at The Youth Center. Her commitment to excellence and passion for community engagement make her an invaluable asset to our mission.

Hans Lumme

Teen Camp Director & After School Coordinator

Hans Lumme, an educator with a wealth of experience, holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Anthropology from California State University Fullerton. His journey to becoming an educator was marked by dedication and a commitment to fostering student growth. Hans' teaching journey began with a strong foundation, as he completed his student teaching at Tustin High School and went on to earn his teaching credential from California State University Long Beach. Currently, he serves as a devoted full-time teacher within the Special Education Department at Marshal Academy of the Arts in Long Beach. With a passion for nurturing young minds, Hans has maintained a remarkable association with The Youth Center for 19 years, donning various roles that have allowed him to make a lasting impact. Having first engaged with the Youth Center as a teenager participating in sports activities, Hans's journey has come full circle. Hans's ability to engage youth in group activities is unparalleled, and he has a unique gift for cultivating mentor relationships with our participants. His overarching goal is to create a nurturing environment where youth can authentically be themselves, share their challenges, and look to our staff for guidance. Not limited to his interactions with the youth, Hans also excels in connecting with parents. His compassionate approach reassures parents that their child is under the care of The Youth Center, emphasizing the special attention and care each child receives. Additionally, Hans takes on the role of managing over 150 community volunteers during our month-long Christmas tree sale—an impressive feat that showcases his leadership skills and commitment to community engagement. Hans Lumme's journey is one of profound dedication and service. Through his roles as an educator, mentor, and community builder, he continues to contribute positively to the lives of youth and the community at large.

Tara Farajian

View U Director

Tara Farajian is a seasoned Licensed Clinical Social Worker, boasting an impressive career spanning over 20 years. A product of academic excellence, she earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in Sociology and Spanish from the University of California, Santa Barbara. Tara's pursuit of expertise led her to further academic achievements. She holds a Master's degree in Social Work with a multicultural concentration in children, youth, and families, which she obtained from California State University, Long Beach. Her commitment to professional standards is demonstrated through her licensure by the Board of Behavioral Sciences. Beyond her professional pursuits, Tara wears multiple hats. She not only maintains a thriving private practice but also serves as the dedicated Executive Director of Transitions In Motherhood, a nonprofit organization. This dual role showcases her ability to excel both as a practitioner and as a leader in the realm of mental health and social work. Tara's journey is a testament to her dedication to fostering well-being and supporting individuals through their unique life transitions. With her extensive experience and commitment to making a positive impact, she continues to stand as a beacon of hope and guidance in the field of clinical social work.

Ally Hatakeyama

Leadership Council President

Meet Ally Hatakeyama, a passionate advocate and trailblazer in the realm of student leadership. As the president and founder of the Leadership Council of Students, Ally's unwavering dedication shines through her commitment to enhancing the well-being of children through engaging programs. Witnessing the genuine smiles and pure happiness of these young minds fuels her drive to make a positive impact every single day. At the helm of Emerging Leaders, a prominent club at Los Alamitos High School, Ally's leadership prowess takes center stage. This club is more than just a name; it's a platform for leadership development, a safe haven for members to share, and a dynamic space where comfort zones are transcended. Ally's vision for this club centers around nurturing growth and learning from inspiring role models, fostering an environment that encourages transformation and empowerment. As a high school student, Ally's aspirations reach far beyond the classroom walls. She eagerly anticipates a future that is dedicated to further supporting children's mental health and giving back to her community. Her journey, marked by compassion and the pursuit of positive change, is a testament to her unwavering commitment to making a lasting difference in the lives of others.