Casey Gwinn, Esq.
Casey Gwinn is the President and Co-Founder of Alliance for HOPE International and the Founder of Camp HOPE America and is also the visionary behind the Family Justice Center movement, first proposing the concept of the Family Justice Center model in 1989.
In 2002 he founded the first Camp HOPE in San Diego and it is now moving across the country.
Casey is a national expert on domestic violence, including prosecution, strangulation, Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE), and best practices. Prior to this position, Casey was the elected San Diego City Attorney.
Gael Strack, Esq.
Chief Executive Officer
Gael Strack is the Chief Executive Officer and Co-Founder of the Alliance. Gael is a national expert on domestic violence and strangulation. Prior to this position, Gael was the founding director of the San Diego Family Justice Center, former prosecutor with the San Diego City Attorney’s Office, defense attorney and deputy county counsel.
Director of Camp HOPE America
Michael Burke is the Director of Camp HOPE America for the Alliance. He works with Family Justice Centers and other organization to bring Camp HOPE America around the country. He supports these sites with trauma-informed approaches, branding, fund development,
Director of Pathways to HOPE
Yesenia Aceves is the Director of Pathways to HOPE and is responsible for the development and coordination of this program, which works with Camp HOPE America youth, guardians, and volunteer mentors. The evidence-based Pathways program aspires to raise hope scores for trauma-exposed youth while exploring STEAM career paths. She is also a professional artist infusing creativity into all aspects of the Alliance including art projects, branding, and graphics.
and more. Michael was previously the founding executive director of a rural Family Justice Center in Shasta County California.
Program and Training Coordinator
Karianne Johansen is the Program and Training Coordinator of Camp HOPE America, a program of the Alliance. She works with Family Justice Centers, Multi-Agency Centers, and community-based agencies across the country to develop and implement the Camp HOPE America program in their own communities for trauma-exposed youth. Karianne writes evidence-based camp curriculum, develops group mentoring models, trains volunteers in trauma-informed care, and equips leaders to deliver a life-changing week of camp to the youth that they serve.
Chelsea Armstrong is the Project Coordinator for Camp HOPE America. With Camp HOPE America, Chelsea provides logistical support to help Alliance partners implement Camp HOPE America across the nation. Chelsea worked directly with survivors as an AmeriCorps member with the Wyoming Coalition Against Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault by facilitating empowerment classes to women in the Wyoming Women’s Prison. A native of Denver, Chelsea is an avid camper and is a graduate of the University of Wyoming where she majored in Criminal Justice.
Melissa Aguiar is the Program Assistant for the Pathways to HOPE Project, an innovative year-round mentoring program for children exposed to domestic violence and childhood trauma. Melissa helps coordinate monthly activities exposing teenagers to different areas of interest such as Nature, Arts, and STEM to spark career goals and develop pathways to achieve those goals. Melissa is a graduate of California State University, Chico where she earned a B.A. in Sociology and in Spanish. She previously assisted domestic violence survivors while working with a San Diego attorney.
Regional Coordinator-Camp HOPE America
Kamiah Thomas is a Regional Coordinator for Camp HOPE America. She supports the Camp HOPE America team to implement the vision, mission, and strategic goals of the Alliance and Camp HOPE America. Kamiah is a graduate of California State University San Marcos, where she obtained her Bachelor of Arts in Women’s Studies and Sociology. Kamiah has an extensive background working with adult and children survivors of domestic violence. Prior to joining the Alliance, she worked for four years in a domestic violence shelter both directly with children in the program, and as a shelter manager supervising the emergency shelter and 24-hour crisis hotline.
Regional Coordinator – Camp HOPE America
Cami is a Regional Coordinator for Camp HOPE America. She supports new and existing Camp HOPE America sites as they implement the vision, mission, and goals of Camp HOPE America. Prior to joining the team at the Alliance she worked directly with teens in a therapeutic setting with a program in Hawaii that incorporated the outdoors and a holistic approach. Cami is a graduate of San Diego State University with a bachelor’s degree in Interdisciplinary Studies in Three Departments; Psychology, Sociology and Recreation and Tourism Management. Cami is grateful to be able to bring her love for outdoor adventure and her passion for offering children impacted by trauma healing together at Camp HOPE America.
Alexa is an Administrative Assistant for Camp HOPE America. After graduating from Arizona Christian University she spent a month in Uganda working with children who are orphaned and in need, as well as painting a large mural in a new preschool. She has experience working with nonprofits, homeless outreach programs, and children with disabilities. Alexa is passionate about assisting others on their path of growth and is thrilled to be a part of this team where children are offered hope and healing.
Jenny Dietzen is an Intern providing administrative and programmatic support at the Alliance. Jenny has served as a Camp HOPE Counselor since 2012, and her experiences at Camp HOPE California motivated Jenny to work with kids. Jenny is currently a junior at San Diego State University, where she is studying social work.
Yolanda Ruiz is an Intern for the Alliance and provides administrative and programmatic support. For the past two years, Yolanda has served as a Camp HOPE Counselor which makes her the perfect fit to assist the Pathways to HOPE program staff by managing calendars and participating in project planning and events.