STAFF

 

 

Jodi Kurata 
Executive Director

Jodi serves as ACHSA’s Executive Director. Prior to this position, Jodi served as both the Child Welfare Policy Director and the Mental Health Policy Director for twelve years. Jodi came to ACHSA from Mental Health Advocacy Services (MHAS), where she was a staff attorney supervising an advocacy program to address grievances of youth detained in Los Angeles County juvenile halls. At MHAS, Jodi represented children with mental and developmental disabilities and advocated on behalf of her clients in special education IEP meetings, mediations, and administrative hearings. Before MHAS, Jodi worked for the Senior Law Project at Asian Pacific Islander Legal Outreach in San Francisco, and for the Children’s Rights Project at Public Counsel Law Center in Los Angeles, managing legal clinics for at-risk students at high schools and community centers. Jodi obtained her Juris Doctor degree from Hastings College of Law at the University of California. She received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science from the University of California, Berkeley.

 

 

 

Alex Wilensk y
Child Welfare Policy Director

Alex serves as ACHSA’s Child Welfare Policy Director. Prior to this position, Alex served as the ACHSA Child Welfare Policy Analyst for three years. Alex came to ACHSA from Catholic Guardian Services in New York City, where she was a preventative services case planner providing services to at-risk families in the Bronx. Before Catholic Guardian Services, Alex worked for the Downtown Women’s Center in Los Angeles, coordinating events and workshops for homeless women. Alex received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Sociology from the University of Southern California.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sylvia Guan
Mental Health Policy Director

Sylvia serves as ACHSA’s Mental Health Policy Director. Sylvia graduated from the University of Pennsylvania, where she received her Master of Science degree in Social Policy and her Bachelor of Arts degree in English. She previously worked as ACHSA’s Mental Health Policy Assistant. Prior to their work at ACHSA, Sylvia was a Princeton in Asia Teaching Fellow and served as an International Tutor at The Education University of Hong Kong (EdUHK) in Tai Po, Hong Kong. She has also interned at the Center for American Progress (CAP) and for former California State Senator Josh Newman, roles in which Sylvia worked to address education inequity for students of color and those facing housing insecurity.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Katie Walt
Child Welfare Policy Analyst

Katie Walt serves as ACHSA’s Child Welfare Policy Assistant. Katie graduated from Occidental College in 2017 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Sociology and a minor in Spanish. Before joining ACHSA, Katie worked as a Legal Assistant in the Benefits Program at the Alliance for Children’s Rights, assisting both foster families and current and former foster youth to obtain their appropriate funding/benefits. In her spare time, Katie enjoys baking and camping. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Eric Hernandez
Mental Health Policy Assistant

Eric serves as ACHSA’s Mental Health Policy Assistant. Eric graduated from the University of California, Irvine, where he received his Master of Public Policy degree. He previously served as the Legislative Director of the Associated Graduate Students at the University of California, Irvine. Additionally, he has worked as a District Representative for the Mandate Democracy Foundation, an initiative to advocate for a more participatory, technology-enabled democracy. Eric also has prior experience interning for the City of Santa Ana, where his responsibilities included legislative analysis and census strategy.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Emma Smith
Executive Assistant

Emma serves as ACHSA’s Executive Assistant. Emma is a recent graduate of the University of California, Berkeley, with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Sociology and a minor in Education. Emma has previous experience as an executive assistant, and has worked in education both as an ESL teacher and a tutor to youth with academic challenges.