Our team at Cal Youth Programs & Camps is proud to continue the Cal tradition of excellence.
Our experienced staff brings a multitude of experience and unique skills that make every one of our Cal Youth Programs & Camps special and unique. Our staff are committed to leading innovative, high quality programs that epitomizes our Cal tradition of excellence.
Cal Youth Programs & Camps Staff
Click on the bars below to learn more about our experienced professionals who lead, coordinate, and facilitate Cal Youth Programs & Camps.
- YOUTH PROGRAMS & CAMP LEADERSHIP STAFF
Director, Youth Programs & Associate Director for UC Berkeley Rec SportsEmail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Nikita Kadam Sekhon
Supervisor, Year-Round Youth Programs & OperationsEmail: email@example.com
Nikita Kadam is the Supervisor of the Golden Bear Recreation Center and the Strawberry Canyon Recreation Area. In her capacity as Supervisor she supports Gymnastics, Archery, Skate, and other year-round programming. Nikita began her time at UC Berkeley as a student and used her previous experience as a gymnast to coach for Golden Bears Youth Gymnastics. In 2014, she graduated with a degree in Technical Theater and Performance Studies. While Stage Managing at local theaters around the Bay Area, Nikita took on a larger role in the Gymnastics program by managing their scheduling, camps, and marketing. In 2016, she took on the role of Gymnastics Camp Director. Due to the ever growing popularity of the gymnastics program, she worked with management to optimize the class schedule and enrollment processes. As Supervisor for Year-Round Youth Programs, Nikita works with Rec Sports Management to apply best practices and new innovative ideas to year-round youth programming. Nikita is passionate about using her experience in the arts and sports to serve the youth and parents of the East Bay.
Endowed Director, Martial ArtsEmail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Russell joined UCMAP in 2003 as the assistant director and taekwondo coordinating instructor and faculty of Physical Education at UC Berkeley. He holds an 8th-degree black belt in taekwondo from Kukkiwon and he has also black belts in Yongmudo, Judo and Kumdo. He was appointed UCMAP director in 2006 and recognized as “Endowed Director of Martial Arts at UC Berkeley in honor of Dr. Ken Min’s lifetime achievement” in 2008. He endeavors to build momentum for the program and move it forward, as well as elevate its goals to increase the quality of instruction and events. Russell served as the president of the National Collegiate Taekwondo Association and a board of director of USA Taekwondo, the National Governing Body of Taekwondo in the United States for past 8 years. Currently, he serves as the Vice Chair of the Taekwondo for All Committee of the World Taekwondo (WT), and the Technical Committee Chair of taekwondo for International University Sports Federation (FISU). In his instructor role, he enjoys facilitating students’ learning and their understanding of martial arts’ training values, humility, perseverance, respect, discipline, and character-building process that arise from training. He continues to teach martial arts as a great educational tool and a way of promoting a well-balanced lifestyle through extensive physical training and wellness by upholding a peaceful mindset.
Director, Cal AdventuresEmail: email@example.com
Sam Johnson directs Cal Adventures - the University’s outdoor program - and assists Lauren with the Cal Adventures Youth Camps. He started working with youth and outdoor programming 20 years ago, and has worked for UC Berkeley for almost 10 years, as Summer Camp Instructor, Kayaking Instructor, Forestry Field Technician, Ropes Course Manager, and Director of Cal Adventures. Prior to his current role at UC Berkeley, he also spent time inspecting and building ropes courses, guiding tree climbs in redwood forests, and teaching hands-on science at an overnight environmental science program in beautiful West Sonoma County. In his off time, Sam enjoys tinkering with electronics, hiking, camping, drawing, woodworking and archery. He is passionate about getting people active in the outdoors and connecting folks with the physical places in which they live.
Cal Adventures Ropes Course & Youth Programs ManagerEmail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Lauren has been a part of the Cal Adventures team since 2011. Her passion for group facilitation, adventure education, and outdoor skills found a home in the youth & ropes course programs. She can most likely be found among the Redwoods of the Ropes Course, or supporting aquatic programs in the sea air at the Berkeley Marina.
Outside of work hours, Lauren can be found exploring the Bay Area & beyond, usually with her Labrador mix. When she’s not outdoors, she can be found with friends, enjoying live music, cooking, and spoiling her pup as much as possible.
- YEAR-ROUND YOUTH PROGRAMS LEADERSHIP & SUPPORT STAFF
Operations Coordinator, Year-Round Youth Programs
Leesa started working at Golden Bears Youth Gymnastics in 1986 when she was a student at UC Berkeley (BA- Art, BS- Nutrtition). Leesa left and then came back in 2004 and has been working in Youth Programs ever since. Leesa has been involved in gymnastics as an athlete, coach and judge. Leesa specializes in Xcel gymnastics and has been chosen to present at Regional and National Congresses. Leesa has dealt with all aspects of finance as well as a myriad of other tasks associated with the day to day operation of Golden Bears Recreation Center. Leesa also still coaches a bit and really enjoys that aspect of her job. Leesa love’s seeing kids improve, and seeing the confidence that comes with it. Leesa is married to Rob, a scientist, Rob and Leesa have 3 sons. In her free time, Leesa plays competitive Scrabble, participates actively in ballet, art, and vegan cooking.
Interim Program Coordinator, Year-Round Youth Programs
As Program Coordinator for Golden Bear Recreation Center and Strawberry Canyon Recreation Area, Vinh Nguyen brings seven years in sports administration to the position. Prior to his current role with Rec Sports, Vinh served as Operations Assistant for Golden Bears Youth Gymnastics where he administered enrollment and billing for the program. Drawing upon the program's success, Vinh's objective is to further the standard of all youth programming at Cal. From 2018-19, Vinh took a hiatus to attend the M.S. in Sport Management program at The Ohio State University. During his time in Columbus, Vinh interned at Integrity Athletics, a multi-sports facility where he analyzed program operations, performed market research and provided consultation to senior leadership. A graduate of UC Berkeley, Vinh is eager to apply his education and experience to provide opportunities to Youth Programs' diverse population. Vinh aspires to compete in elite powerlifting, enjoys creating art and has an affinity for cheesecake and other baked goods.
Interim Head Coach, Golden Bears Youth Gymnastics
Liz is currently the Interim Head Coach for Golden Bears Youth Gymnastics. Her gymnastics coaching career started in Wisconsin, while majoring in psychology at the University of Wisconsin Stevens Point. During her undergraduate degree, she began interning at New York University which led her to move to New York after she graduated. While working in New York City, she began a full time career as a gymnastics Head Coach, working with children aged 6 months to 18 years. In 2018, Liz brought her skills and knowledge to Golden Bears Youth Gymnastics and moved to San Francisco. As Interim Head Coach, Liz oversees all aspects of Golden Bears Youth Gymnastics and trains a number of gymnasts and coaches. As a professionally certified coach, Liz brings over 10 years of competitive coaching experience and a wealth of knowledge to all areas of the gymnastics program. Liz is happy to be a part of the Cal family and is eager to continue the success of the program.
Skate Coordinator, Cal Skateboarding
Sean has been running the Cal Skateboard Camp since 2000 and brings a lifetime of skateboard experience to the program. In addition to teaching skateboarding technique and skills, Sean emphasizes respect and bringing a positive attitude to camp. Sean’s skateboard curriculum is nationally recognized and he is sought after as a consultant to other organizations starting programs and building parks.
Coordinator, Cal Archery Academy
Victor has provided leadership to the archery program since 2009. He is a USA Archery Level 4-NTS coach and has trained at the Olympic Training Centers in Colorado Springs and Chula Vista. Victor’s coaching philosophy is to provide a fun and safe archery experience for all ages and levels, which is the primary goal of the Blue Camp program. The Junior Olympic Archery Development (JOAD) camp is a challenging environment to learn the National Training System (NTS) and develop archery skills.
- GOLDEN BEARS YOUTH GYMNASTICS - LEAD COACHES
Program Lead - Recreational & Preschool Aged Youth Gymnastics
Jade started participating in gymnastics when she was four (4) year old, and competed for seven years in the Optional levels with Bay Island Gymnastics. Jade has eight years of coaching experience, having started her coaching career at a small gym in Nebraska. Jade has been with Golden Bears since the summer of 2013. Jade is from Richmond, CA, and attended St. Mary's College High School. Jade holds a BS in Psychology from York College, Nebraska where she attended college on a track & field scholarship. Jade competed at several National events, primarily in the Midwest and Southern United States. In 2018, Jade obtained her MS in Sport and Exercise Psychology from Cal State Long Beach. Among Jade's future goals is to grow Golden Bears into the best and largest youth recreational gymnastics programs in the Bay Area. Outside of gymnastics, Jade's hobbies include interior design, cooking various meals, outdoor activities and travelling.
Program Lead - Junior Olympics Competitive Gymnastics Team
As the Junior Olympic Program Lead, Isa brings over 10 years of experience to this position. Starting out in Texas, Isa found her passion for gymnastics while training and working her way towards being a level 10 gymnast at Capital Gymnastics. After finishing up her gymnastics career, Isa started coaching Compulsories while earning her Bachelor's Degree in Kinesiology from The University of Texas at Austin. Finding a love for health and wellness, Isa went on to get certified as a Personal Trainer and earn a professional title in Bodybuilding. In 2018, Isa brought her love of health and fitness to Golden Bears Youth Gymnastics. Isa loves the opportunities that the University of California, Berkeley has provided her with, and is excited for all the potential growth that has yet to come.
Interim Program Lead - Xcel Competitive Gymnastics Team
Nico is a proud Berkeley native, and started working for Golden Bears Youth Gymnastics in 2017. His journey started in 1996 when he started taking recreational classes. Nico would continue to participate in recreational gymnastics for several years and fell in love with the sport. Nico's love for gymnastics has also been strongly influenced by the 10 years he spent in circus arts from 2005-2015. While Nico primarily focused on contortion, he also trained in various disciplines including, Chinese acrobatics, tumbling, hand balancing, and dance. During this time, Nico also spent six years performing with Acrosports’ City Circus Troupe where he performed in annual shows as well as corporate gigs. At Acrosports, Nico also coached for their circus and gymnastics outreach program and was their Camp Coordinator for three years. In 2016 Nico obtained with a B.F.A. in Dance from San Francisco State University where he studied Ballet, Modern and Jazz. While enrolled at San Francisco State, Nico attended and performed at the American College Dance Association festival for three consecutive years. Nico has also performed for the University Dance Theatre Company for two years, and upon graduation received special recognition for his outstanding choreography. In his role as Xcel Program Lead, Nico hopes his rich background, experience, and passion for the sport will provide athletes with a positive, enriching, and inclusive competitive experience.