SueAnn Ballat, M.P.A., is the Director of Administration at the Gang Alternatives Program (GAP). She’s been with the organization since 2005, and has been fortunate to be able to grow in different capacities within the organization during its own development. She started at GAP as the Executive Assistant (2005-2010), then as Public Affairs Officer (2010-2014), Associate Director of Administration (2014-2018) and now as the Director of Administration (2019-Present).
As Director of Adminstration she manages the areas of human resources and administration. She also is involved with the executive team on the strategic efforts of the organization. Ms. Ballat also has extensive background and experience in grant writing, public relations, community engagement, fundraising and stakeholder activities.
Her educational background consists of a Bachelor of Arts degree in Liberal Studies, and holds a Master of Public Administration degree with an emphasis in Public Management from California State University, Dominguez Hills. She also participates in various assocations, such as the Socieity of Human Resources, CSUDH Alumni Association and The Nonprofit Partnership. She has over 15 years of non-profit experience and has worked at the Boys and Girls Club and Camp Ronald McDonald for Good Times, part of the Ronald McDonald House Charities.
Ms. Ballat was raised in an environment around public service, her mother a school teacher and father a police officer. Ms. Ballat grew up in Los Angeles County, and attended Carson High School. As an LA youth in the nineties, gang crime and violence was an all time high. She experienced the dystopia from the Los Angeles riots, and violence that affected her close to home. Peers succumbing to the pressures of gang violence and involvement in crime. Due to her personal experiences, she has commited her service to the Gang Alternatives Program (GAP). She believes that families and communities need agency partners that they can trust and work with in rebuilding and keeping their communities strong.
Ms. Ballat also enjoys spending quality time with her family, traveling and discovering new and exciting foods. Her hobbies include outdoor activities such as snowboarding and road cycling.
Lee Harmon is currently the Operations Coordinator for Gang Alternatives Program. Lee began his work career with the organization in 2004 as a Bookkeeper and has had multiple job descriptions. As Operations Coordinator, he currently oversees all aspects of payroll, purchasing, IT administration, and finance for the organization.
Lee has worked in the Non-Profit sector for most of his adult life. Lee enjoys the satisfaction of giving back to the community and is a big supporter of living a Gangfree Life!
Lee is very involved with Youth Soccer Referee administration with the American Youth Soccer Organization (AYSO) and US Soccer (USSF). He volunteered for many years with AYSO and is currently a Referee Assignor with the Long Beach Soccer Referee Association and Cal South (CSYA). Lee is an avid sports fan and his favorite teams are Los Angeles Kings, Los Angeles Galaxy, and Los Angeles Angels. Baseball is his favorite sport but Hockey is a very close second.
Jennifer Galindo started working at the Gang Alternatives Program in 2013. As the Accountant for GAP, her main roles are handling the daily bookkeeping and accounting needs of the organization, as well as managing the finances. Detailed oriented and a number’s lover, keeping track of each penny has both its challenges and rewards. Ms. Galindo graduated from California State University of Long Beach with a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Accountancy. She always had a passion for numbers and money, so there is no surprise her career landed her to work in banking and taxation.
Working for GAP has allowed her to contribute her financial talents behind the scenes in making sure the agency has strong financial resources and operate fiscally sound. Her commitment to the organization comes with the belief that each community member deserves to feel safe in graffiti free neighborhoods as well as teaching our future generations that there are different alternatives than leading a life of violence and gangs. She is humbled to work for a non-profit such as GAP, where the main objective is to help the communities rise above and grow for the better.
Dimmery Davis was introduced to GAP in 2004, when he was approached by our present Executive Director Juan Torres and past employee Damon Sanders. They offered him an opportunity to make a difference in a child’s life by teaching them the harsh realities of gang life, while simultaneously, infusing hope and a positive influence through mentoring. Growing up in Los Angeles and having witnessed the effects of gang violence – with the individual, families and the community, Mr. Davis couldn’t resist the opportunity to champion a movement by using the GAP platform it has provided as a pillar in the community to make a positive impact in the lives of so many.
During his journey at GAP, like his collogues, he’s been fortunate enough to experience different responsibilities within the organization. GAP has provided opportunities for growth through professional development trainings and consistently administering best practice methods. Mr. Davis has held several positions over the years beginning as a classroom advisor for GAP’s Gangfree Life Prevention Program. He’s facilitated GAP’s Parent and Teen Project as well as the Gangfree Life Academy. Managed and mentored students in our Summer Youth Employment Program (SYEP) and spent several years as a STEP UP! After School Program Manager, where he was able to obtain extensive training opportunities through Los Angeles Unified School District and Los Angeles County Office of Education. Currently Mr. Davis is the Outreach Coordinator for our Public and Governmental Affairs Department, and is an advocate for the organization on the gangfree life mission and vision.
Mr. Davis is a proud father to a teenage son, jazz enthusiast, and avid dog lover. Hobbies include mentoring youth, working as an assistant coach for his son’s basketball team at the Crenshaw and Gardena YMCA’s. He also enjoys reading and spending time with family and friends. He is both honored and grateful to be part of an organization that works extremely hard and stands as a beacon of hope in the communities we serve.
Humberto Bautista is the Assistant Director for the community clean up department at the Gang Alternatives Program (GAP).
Mr. Bautista attended Willowbrook Middle School and Centennial High School. After graduating from high school, he enrolled in the Union Local 96, painters and drywallers. In the union is where he developed his skills working for companies such as Universal Studios, Pepperdine University and many others.
Mr. Bautista wanted to join the team when he saw the GAP graffiti abatement department remove graffiti in his community. He began working at GAP in 2007 as a crew supervisor, removing graffiti in the LA County south flood control system, and then worked with the crew in the Downtown Los Angeles area where he removed graffiti from second story buildings. It was his knowledge and experience at GAP, that he then applied for the position to become Assistant Director.
Mr. Bautista currently manages the Lynwood and Santa Fe Springs warehouse and crews. He also still enjoys going out into the communities to remove graffiti. It gives him a great feeling to give back to the community. He also enjoys working with others such as L.A. County Department of Public Works, and work with our law enforcement partners when graffiti is needed to be removed. There is many rewards to working in the clean up department, and one of the best feelings is when he is out in the field removing graffiti and a resident of that community thanks him. It is a motivating to him to work harder, remove more graffiti, and know that GAP is making a difference in peoples lives and the community.
Mario Gomez is the Clean and Safe Streets Program (CSSP) Manager for the Gang Alternatives Program (GAP) in Lynwood, California. Raised in North Hollywood, CA , Mr. Gomez attended North Hollywood High School and Los Angeles Valley College. He then attended California State University, Northridge and graduated with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Media Management.
Mr. Gomez manages an efficient team of seven (7) employees out in the field, seven (7) days a week. Clean and Safe Streets is a city wide effort to clean LA City neighborhoods with community based non profit partners and the City of Los Angeles Office Of Community Beautification to provide additional weed and litter services.
Mr. Gomez has been employed at GAP since 2014. He started as a Crew Supervisor doing graffiti removal In Downtown LA. What he enjoys the most is making a visual impact in the community, one wall at a time and one sidewalk at a time. He finds it rewarding when members of the community thank you and give you accolades for what we do in the community.
In middle school, he was able to work for a nonprofit for two summers, volunteering and doing clean ups and graffiti removal around his neighborhood. Mr. Gomez believes that this is when his calling began to make it his life mission to keep communities clean.
He loves spending time with his family, and tries to spend as much time with them as possible. He enjoys taking vacations, long trips or just get in the car and travel. He enjoys watching sports and going to games. He is an avid Dodger’s fan. His all time bucket list is taking a road trip across the United States with no plan destinations and just get in the care and go. He also enjoys karaoke and bike riding as well.
For over thirteen years, Victor Medina has contributed to the Gang Alternatives Program (GAP) vision, “To prevent young people from joining gangs.” Victor currently works in the Community Clean Up (CCU) Department as the CCU Coordinator. Prior to transferring to the CCU Department, Mr. Medina worked in the Public and Governmental Affairs Department as the Community Outreach Coordinator for many years. He also worked as the STEP-UP! after-school program manager. Mr. Medina is privileged to work with hard working and dedicated staff members who spend their days improving the community for the residents of Los Angeles.
In September 2013, Mr. Medina was appointed by the Mayor of the City of Los Angeles to serve on the Board of Neighborhood Commissioners. The Commission is responsible for setting and overseeing policy that includes approval of contracts, leases, and rules and regulations.
Mr. Medina was selected as the Honorary Mayor of Wilmington in September 2016. Some of the duties were to represent the Wilmington Chamber and the business community at special events, parades and many civic events for a term of two years.
Through his longevity at GAP, Mr. Medina has served on many community groups such as: The Harbor City/Harbor Gateway Chamber, Wilmington Chamber, Central San Pedro Neighborhood Council, Harbor Gateway Neighborhood Council, Harbor City Neighborhood Council, Harbor Gateway South Neighborhood Council, United Way Group,Harbor Community-Police Advisory Board (CPAB), Wilmington Neighborhood Council, Wilmington Coordinating Council, Phillips 66 Community Advisory Panel Meeting (CAP) Andeavor Community Advisory Panel Meeting (CAP), Narbonne High School Safety Collaborative Community Meeting, Banning High School Safety Collaborative Meeting and Gardena High School Safety Collaborative Meeting.
Mr. Medina was raised in the Harbor Gateway where he currently resides. He is a committed resident of the City and County of Los Angeles where he believes you don’t have to leave the neighborhood you grew up in to find a better life. This belief has led him on a lifelong path to fight for a just society where people have a real opportunity to pursue their dreams.
Mr. Medina is a graduate of GAP’s Junior Executive Program (JEP), and the Senior Executive Training Alliance (SETA) program. These programs prepare GAP staff for greater leadership opportunities and decision-making roles within the organization. Some of his Professional Development trainings include Sheriff’s Community Academy in March 2014, General Security and Emergency Awareness Training in April 2012, Community Emergency Response Team Program June 2011 and LA County Office of Education Symposium on Street Gangs and School Safety Training in March 2010.
Over the past years, Mr. Medina has worked with city government and local agencies to improve and expand GAP’s services, so that we can help more communities. He’s worked with community leaders, business owners and school’s officials to ensure that we are addressing the unique needs of every community. He has also worked with young people, their families, and the residents within each community, to empower them with resources that can make a positive difference in their streets.
Working with children has been very rewarding for him. He always says, “Children are my favorite kind of people. They are true to themselves and live totally in the moment.” He enjoys witnessing the excitement they feel when they accomplish something by themselves or create something they are proud of. He feels really lucky to be a part of that. He uses his experience as both a father and long-time childcare provider to guide and enrich the children he works with through creative and fun learning, imagination, and positive reinforcement. He desires to inspire others to achieve success by obtaining their goals in life. He enjoys camping, being outdoors, soccer, and sharing a variety of hobbies with other staff members.
Jessica Martinez, Ed.D. is the Director of Gang Prevention at the Gang Alternatives Program (GAP). She has worked at GAP for nearly 15 years, and started as a Gangfree Life Advisor providing students with a classroom based gang prevention education. Today, she has the wonderful opportunity to direct the My Gangfree Life program as she once had the pleasure of presenting to so many students many years ago.
She is responsible in overseeing GAP’s My Gangfree Life® program for the 2nd, 4th, and 6th grades in public and private schools, managing the My Gangfree Life Advisors® who go out to schools, and oversee core curriculum development. She maintains close working relationships with principals (or designees) and teachers, and is responsible for seeing that advisors are in compliance with all qualifications for classroom admittance. Additionally, she monitors GAP’s teen and parent programs, manages the Summer Youth Employment Program (SYEP), and participates in the strategic efforts as needed in any of the innovative programs or projects facilitated out of GAP’s Learning Office. She is proud to be a part of GAP, which not only strives to educationally impact young people, but also enhance their families and communities with a variety of services.
Dr. Martinez is an original and current member of the Freedom Writers of Long Beach and assist in the active training of teachers who participate in the Freedom Writers Institute. Her experience as a Freedom Writer has led her to remain within the field of education in order to make positive impacts in the lives of young people. It’s an effort that is close to her heart and is what has contributed to her many years of service at GAP.
Cherie Ellis is the STEP UP! After School Program Manager for Gang Alternatives Program (GAP). She currently manages three elementary school sites and 25 staff members. She attended Carson High School and graduated with a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Criminal Justice from Westwood College.
She has worked with youth for more than ten years that includes volunteering at Veterans Parks and Recreation in the City of Carson. She strives to motivate and inspire team members to go above and beyond expectations. She’s passionate about being the voice for the team as well as for our youth and giving back to the community anyway she can.
She began her career at GAP in 2007 as an advisor, working with youth ranging from Kindergarten to fifth grade. After one year, she was promoted to site coordinator and now is the program manager of the After School Program. Working as an advisor has allowed Cherie to have one on one contact with students, and has strengthen her passion to work with kids and families even more. Even though program management doesn’t directly have her work with the kids, it allows her to coordinate the program with their needs in mind.
Ms. Ellis finds that her most rewarding part of working with GAP is when students return to visit after graduating from elementary school, as middle school and high school students. They share their future goals and how the afterschool program was able to help their homework structure and building confidence with their peers and teachers. She is able to help students and families with core values in their educational and social needs and that is very gratifying.
She also started a drill team with GAP’s after school program which competes in a showcase at Santee Education Complex in Los Angeles, California against other elementary schools from the LAUSD District. Awards were given to 1st place, 2nd place and 3rd place winners. Ms. Ellis is proud about their achievements at these showcases. Which has won 1st place, two years in a row. She loves coaching the students, and amazed to see them practice and devoting all their time, effort, and energy to the program.
Ms. Ellis’s hobbies are teaching dance and choreography in drill team, exercising, listening to a variety of music and flying kites.
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