History: Youth SEED (Youth Social Entrepreneurship for Equitable Development) was built on a foundation of 3 years of social entrepreneurship training for Bay Area youth, in which 25 youth led social enterprises were funded and launched.  Originally known as Ashoka's Youth Venture San Francisco Bay Area, Youth SEED was created to advance our unique model of using youth social entrepreneurship as a vehicle for equitable development and to fully utilize our position in one of the most thriving social entrepreneurship ecosystems in the world. With the support of Youth Venture and Ashoka, we have now transitioned to fiscal sponsorship with United Roots, and we are ready to continue supporting the next generation of social entrepreneurs in the Bay Area.

Our Vision: Bay Area youth will have the self determination and the resources to play a pivotal role in building a more economically just and socially responsible global community.

Our Mission: to support the development of community-led social enterprises by providing training, resources and investment to young innovators who traditionally face barriers to economic opportunities.



aManda Greene

aManda Greene

aManda was raised between the Bay Area and Brazil. Since 2003 she has been involved in various arts and environmental educational programs in Santa Fé NM, Oakland, Bahia Brazil and Southern India. She holds a B.A. in Culture, Ecology and Sustainable Communities and a degree in Sustainable Enterprise (Green MBA). aManda is driven by the belief that the current paradigm of ‘development’ can be transformed into one that is valued based on ecological stability and social equity.


Gino Pastori-Ng

Gino Pastori-Ng

Gino was born and raised in Oakland, CA and graduated from the University of California Santa Cruz with a B.A. in Psychology. He spent several years teaching English abroad in South America and Asia, and has over a decade of non-profit experience pursuing his passion for social justice, environmental awareness and education. Prior to his role at Youth SEED, Gino supported the launch of a new elementary school in East Oakland, and worked on statewide environmental voter education.



Emmanuel Matthews

A Northeastern University graduate with a B.S. in Psychology and Business Development. Focusing primarily on customer experience and go to market strategy, I have developed a knack for understanding consumer and stakeholder psychology while developing and re-architecting processes that allow organizations and processes to scale with core business growth. I am currently a member of the Google Fiber team seeking to reinvent customer support experiences in the internet service provider sector. Moreover, I am passionate about bridging the chasm in representation between minority communities and tech related fields. In my spare time I volunteer as a Big Brother as a part of Big Brothers Big Sisters, as a Mentor Lead at East Bay College Fund, and as an independent career and professional development consultant.


Holly Roberson

Board Co-chair

Holly Roberson has spent the last fifteen years starting, managing, and supporting social enterprises. In her home state of Missouri, Holly established and grew three social enterprises: Terra Bella Farm, a 160-acre organic demonstration farm; Ragtag Cinema, an independent film house and bar/café; and Uprise Bakery, an organic bakery/gallery. In 2004, Holly left Missouri and moved to New York City to co-convene two multi-year projects involving young leaders and social change. Holly joined Ashoka::Innovators for the Public in 2007, and focused on bringing the work of Ashoka, its fellows and the field of social entrepreneurship, to the Bay Area. Since leaving Ashoka in 2011, Holly has worked with YES! to facilitate groups of young leaders who are working together to create just and living economies. Holly is a mama to two awesome little boys, James (5) and Eli (2).


Robert Girling

Board co-chair

Robert Girling has been a Professor in the School of Business at Sonoma State University since 1976. Prior to arriving at SSU he served as an economic planner for the Government of Jamaica, taught at the University of the West Indies and at the Federal University of Minas Gerais in Brazil. Dr. Girling received his Ph. D. in International Development Education from Stanford University; M.A. in Economics from the University of Essex in England and B.A. in Economics from the University of California, Berkeley. He has worked as a consultant with the World Bank, the United Nations, the Pan American Health Organization, USAID, the Inter-American Development Bank and the OAS. He is author of Education: Management and Participation (Allyn and Bacon, 1991) Multinational Institutions and the Third World (Praeger, 1985) and Gestao Participativa [DP&A Editora, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil 1998) as well as over 50 articles and monographs.


Johnathan Hill

A Youth Venture alumni and former facilitator who developed Farm Fresh Choice, an organic catering business. Johnathan has been working in the non-profit sector for 8 years. He graduated from SFSU, and is currently working in the Medical/Food Justice field.


Sharmila Singh

Sharmila combines her keen marketing insight with her unflagging passion for engaging communities in social change to drive teams in the U.S. and internationally. Sharmila’s clients have included Google Sustainability, B Corp, Goodwill Industries, HUB Amsterdam, and the San Francisco Bay Area Green Chamber of Commerce. She specializes in identifying strategic, revenue-bearing relationships for entrepreneurial companies in new markets, defining product value points, and identifying potential customer bases for successful market entry. She serves on the advisory board for Bay Area Green Tours, an organization that educates and encourages youth and professionals to incorporate environmental responsibility and social justice in their personal lives. In her spare time, Sharmila is a teaching assistant for the Sustainable Products and Design course at the Presidio Graduate School in San Francisco. She has an M.B.A. in Sustainable Management from the Presidio School of Management and a B.A. from the University of Wisconsin—Madison in addition to program certifications from the Haas School of Business at the University of California—Berkeley.


Calvin Williams

Calvin Williams has worked over the past 10 years in the field of leadership development and organizing. He found his calling in advancing an equity agenda for youth of color, their families and their communities across issues of public health, education, employment and civic engagement. Calvin is the Program Coordinator for the Oakland Boys and Men of Color initiative at the Urban Strategies Council, partnership of systems leaders, organizations and individuals committed to improving outcomes for young men of color through policy advocacy and systems reform on the issues of education, criminal and juvenile justice, and employment / workforce development. Prior to joining the Council, he developed and launched the Health Equity Fellowship program as part of an innovative partnership between The Greenlining Institute and California Endowment to build the next generation of health leaders in the philanthropic and nonprofit sector. He also served as a BMOC Fellow for The California Endowment in partnership with the 2011 – 2012 National Urban Fellows program. Calvin received his BA in Political Science at LaGrange College, Georgia and his MPA at City University of New York, Baruch College School of Public Affairs. He now resides in Oakland, CA.



  • Healthy Neighborhood Store Alliance (HNSA): delivers fresh fruits and vegetables by bicycle to 4 corner stores in neighborhoods that have little to no access to healthy foods. HNSA employs 5 youth and has sold more than 60,000 lbs. of fresh produce in West Oakland! 
  • Stories of the Queer Diaspora: a performance based literary reading and writing workshop series that explores how self-identified Queer im/migrant & 1st/2nd generation folks navigate their bodies, geography, language, and history. The annual series culminates with an intergenerational and multimedia performance, which has sold out 3 years in a row.
  • Simphony Productions is a youth-led media production company that highlights the stories of underserved communities and trains youth in media production. Simphony Productions has secured contracts with clients such as ABC, Rising Sun Energy and The California Endowment totaling over $20,000.



  • Olondis Walker and Jhamel Robinson were selected as Youth Venture Ambassadors.
  • James Berk won the ‘Art of Activism’ award from the Redford Center. You can watch a fantastic video of James here. And here’s a great SF Guardian article about the event
  • Adarsha Shivakumar was named #3 in a list of the Top 5 Planet Saving Whiz Kids. Here is a great video detailing Adarsha and the other winners.
  • Antonia Jackson, Miguel Olivares, and Jamelah Isaac received scholarships to travel to Serbia as part of an exchange program with the American Council on Foreign Relations.
  • Olondis Walker, Jhamel Robinson, Tyrone Stevenson, and Jon Rodgers all received scholarships to attend the Youth Venture Global Summit in Miami!
  • Jamelah Isaac was selected as one of 6 national finalists in the Banking on Youth competition and traveled to Washington D.C. to represent HNSA (the Health Neighborhood Store Alliance) for the chance to win the $15,000 grand prize!
  • Sharlana Turner won a scholarship to attend the national Youth Venture Summit in Washington D.C.
  • Sharlana Turner, Julio Madrigal and Jhamel Robison spoke at the Green Business Stage at the 2012 San Francisco Green Festival!
    Michael Muscadine and Ruben Leal
    hosted a tour of their murals in the Fruitvale neighborhood for Henry de Sio, COO of the 2008 Obama Campaign.
  • Youth SEED was selected as a trustee of Kiva Zip








Youth SEED is supported by the contributions of generous indiviual donors and the following partners:

  • The Jonas Family Foundation
  • The California Endowment
  • Americorps Public Allies
  • Brickyard Berridge Fund at East Bay Community Foundation
  • Give Something Back
  • Numi Foundation
  • Better World Telecom

Youth Impact HUB Oakland Business Partners:

  • Adobe
  • Alter Eco
  • Guayaki
  • Numi Tea
  • Nutiva
  • Telestream

Key Partner Organizations:

  • United Roots
  • Impact Hub Oakland
  • Pollination Project
  • Kiva Zip


Community Organizations and Schools:

  • 67 Suenos
  • Alameda Point Collaborative
  • Amigos de Las Americas
  • BAY Peace
  • Berkeley Youth Alternatives
  • Beyond Emancipation
  • Community Grows
  • East Bay Asian Youth Center
  • Ecology Center
  • Freedom Soul Kitchen
  • HOPE collaborative
  • Juma Ventures
  • Mandela Academy
  • Mandela Marketplace
  • Metwest High School
  • Oakland Food Connection
  • Planting Justice
  • Skyline High School
  • Unity Council
  • YMCA Teen Center Berkeley
  • Y-PLAN
  • Youth Radio
  • Youth Speaks





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Youth SEED is made possible by YOUR support! Please make checks out to:

Community Initiatives/Youth SEED

354 Pine St. Suite 700

San Francisco CA 94104

Your contribution is 100% tax-deductible!