On this page we feature real, solid Marin people who do meaningful or impactful things for the community, serve as role models to children and adults, or give back in ways that inspire others.
Marin-bred Jason Norelli and his partner in crime, Eliza Wheeler, are a dream team when it comes to providing services for homeless youth and adults in San Francisco. Volunteering their time outside of grueling day jobs in the field, J & E improve lives and inspire others through their leadership and sacrifice.
"HYA exists to meet youth experiencing homelessness where they are, and to help them build healthier lives. We believe that reducing harm is possible through the provision of accessible, non-judgmental outreach, one-on-one counseling, and medical and mental health care, as well as creative and educational workshops, syringe access and disposal, and accurate up-to-date referrals and information. We strive to empower young homeless people to protect themselves, educate each other, reduce harm within the community, and when they are ready transition off the streets."
THANK YOU TO THE STAFF AND VOLUNTEERS OF HOMELESS YOUTH ALLIANCE FOR MEETING THE NEEDS OF SAN FRANCISCO'S YOUTH, ESPECIALLY DURING THE COVID-19 SITUATION WHEN BOTH THE NEED FOR FOOD/SHELTER/SERVICES AND RISK TO HEALTH ARE HIGH. YOU ARE ALL STARS IN OUR BOOK!
Mary Howe, HYA Executive Director
Students. Researchers. Humanitarians. This driven Marin and East Bay-brewed power couple is busy setting an example for young adults (and everyone). From volunteering at their local food bank to advocacy and leadership within their college community, they work tirelessly to help others and make an impact.
Grace and Andras recently conducted research in Uganda in which they investigated the intersection among social enterprise, sustainable coffee farming, and disease prevention in mountain gorilla populations in the Bwindi Impenetrable National Park. Through their work, Grace and Andras aimed to identify and understand how gorilla parasite numbers were affected by improved farming techniques and local health education around the park borders. Their research has been published and they are currently working to broker a deal with a Ugandan coffee co-op to simultaneously draw attention to the gorillas' plight and put more money in the pockets of Ugandan farmers.
Thank you, Andras and Grace, for being all star human beings and for sharing your story!
Dad. Firefighter. Coach. Volunteer. Yes Man. Friend to All.
San Rafael resident Jeff Marcaletti is always seen with a smile. Whether he's coaching soccer, volunteering in the community, fighting fires or saving lives, Jeff's energy and positivity inspire others to be their best.
This Inverness-bred all star works tirelessly on a daily basis to ensure educational success for her 27 first grade students. Her day isn't over when the final bell rings. Lauren provides valuable tutoring sessions to children during afternoons and evenings, and dedicates additional time to coaching volleyball and basketball teams. Lauren implements a goal-oriented and thoughtful approach to teaching and tackling issues big and small, and consistently does this with a smile and a calm demeanor.
Thank you, Lauren, for being a rock for Marin's youth!
Mom. Former EMT/Volunteer Firefighter. Community Role Model.
Giving back to the community comes naturally to longtime Stinson Beach resident, Casen Splain. Director of Outreach and Enrollment at NatureBridge, Casen enjoys connecting Bay Area children to Marin's expansive and magic wilderness, an experience that some have never had despite living close by. As a busy mom and professional, Casen also makes time to volunteer at her son's school helping with fundraising, event planning, and more.
Driven, excited about life, and always seen with a smile, this former Tam High soccer player is an all-star in every way. Thank you, Casen, for all that you do!
Dad. Martial Arts Champion. Coach. Volunteer.
This Sausalito local was spotted on Bridgeway picking up garbage while walking his dog. Turns out he's picked up 17 bags of trash in 7 weeks on his daily dog walks. Derek has noticed how littered his neighborhood has recently become and has taken it upon himself to help fix the problem.
Derek grew up in Sausalito. This competitive martial artist now teaches children of all ages in San Rafael. He gives his extra time to his children's schools and is one of the most humble people you'll meet.
Thanks to this true Marin-lover for setting an example for others and making a difference in our community.