Mitchell was born into the sport of sailing. He grew up through the Learn to Sail/ youth race team programs here at WSC and then participated in the first three years of the High School Sailing Team. After a little time away from sailing and Portland he returned to town in 2015 and jumped right back in. Mitchell sails his 14Laser and races all along the West Coast on J-105’s, Farr 40’s, 6 Meters, J24’s and 505's. He was hired as the Program Director at WSC in October of 2016 and is looking forward to another fantastic summer of learn to sail camps, racing, and warm water!
Alejandra was born and raised in San Diego, but now calls Portland home. Her passion is promoting diversity and inclusion in both social and educational settings. She has worked with youth at all ages to develop a strong sense of self, as well as confidence. She pushes education past the classroom in order to make learning relevant to the real world. Alejandra’s mission is to is to provide youth, especially those from marginalized communities, with an equitable education so that they have the tools necessary to accomplish their greatest goals. In her free time you can find Alejandra going on long runs or working on a new painting. She is thrilled to be working with Sail2Change and having the opportunity to make an impact on some amazing youth.
I have a college degree in Vessel Operations with a decade of teaching experience. I began my nautical education as a boy aboard my parents’ 32’ Kettenburg cruising in Puget Sound and racing on Lake Washington.
In San Diego, I took a Basic Keelboat class aboard a Catalina Capri 22’. Subsequent cruising courses culminated with a charter to the Bahamas aboard a 36’ Jeanneau. Spinnaker Training at J-School opened the door to racing aboard several J-Boats. The pinnacle of success was being chosen as Helmsman aboard a Beneteau 40.7’ for the National Offshore One Design series. Then, I made the decision to turn my nautical education into a profession.
With a 50-Ton Captain’s License from the Maritime Institute in San Diego, I began teaching Basic Keelboat classes for Island Sailing Club (ISC) on the waters of Puget Sound and the Columbia River. At ISC, I developed a Spinnaker Handling course. I invite you to take command of the tiller aboard a keelboat with me.
Cynthia is an HR professional, currently working as the HR Manager at Harvest (a SaaS company). Her passion for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion work began as an undergraduate majoring in Women and Gender studies. Cynthia holds a BA, MBA, and MLS from Willamette University. She also serves on the Board of Directors for SAFER. A Pacific Northwestern at heart, Cynthia enjoys cheering for the Portland Trail Blazers and Seattle Seahawks.
Emily Guida Foos
Emily Guida Foos joined Red Wing Arts as the Executive Director in 2018. She has over 20 years’ experience in business development, marketing, financial management, operations and human resource management. She previously has held positions as Director of Human Resource, Legal Administrator, Chief Operating Officer and Consultant. She has played a vital role throughout these past few years of Red Wing Art's transition to bring art outside our physical location and contribute to the economic impact of the arts throughout our community. She brings a wealth of leadership experience to this position and is pleased to be following in her father’s footsteps. A Red Wing native, Foos earned her bachelor’s in International Affairs at Lewis and Clark College in Portland, OR.
In addition to being a DEI expert, Cynthia Roberson is an educator currently conducting diversity, equity and inclusion research in international schools for her doctoral research. Throughout her fifteen year tenure in education, she has engaged in antiracist and DEI advocacy in education systems in the United States and abroad, including presenting at national and local conferences on equity and inclusion, as well as best practices and strategies for decolonizing the English Language Arts curriculum. She holds Master’s degrees from Temple University and Saint Leo University and is currently a Doctor of Education student at the University of Illinois-Urbana Champaign.
Billy Van Der Wal
Billy was born and raised in Rhode Island and grew up sailing. He started sailing Optimists when he was eight years old, moved into larger dinghies, and eventually worked and raced old America's Cup boats (12 meters) as a summer job throughout college, where he studied Sociology and Urban Studies. He taught sailing in New York City to both kids and adults, and is an avid proponent of outdoor education and spreading the exciting world of sailing! More recently, Billy has been stoking his passion for alternative education and exploring more innovative and engaging models for educating kids.