Our program is only as good as our staff
We seek out talented professionals who will establish meaningful and lasting relationships with the children we serve. Several of our staff members have successfully emerged from the foster care system, serving as outstanding role models for the children and making their experiences a resource for our campers.
September Sucher - Camp Director
September is a Southern California native from Orange County. She graduated from FIDM with a degree in merchandising and was co-owner of two children’s boutiques for many years. She has always enjoyed working with children. Before joining Happy Trails in 2015, September directed a motivational camp for inner city youth. She has witnessed firsthand what camp and being in nature can do for kids - bringing them peace, giving them joy, and building self-confidence. She particularly enjoys interacting with the kids and seeing the joy on each of their faces when they conquer their fears, try something new, and realize with hard work and perseverance, anything is possible. She has witnessed the bonds and friendships developed at camp and it is her goal to give each child a positive and memorable experience. Each camper she works with has a special place in her heart. At camp and all camp outings, she encourages participation, fun, and friendship. Outside of work, she enjoys spending time outdoors hiking, bike riding and roller-skating with her two daughters and her husband. She also volunteers as a whale watch naturalist during the Pacific grey whale migration.
Vincent Stevens - Staff Director
Vincent Stevens is a graduate of Berea College with a B.A in Child and Family Studies. He has always worked in youth programming geared toward underserved "at-risk" urban populations. In addition to his work with Happy Trails Camp, Vincent works as the Youth Program Site Director for PATH Ventures, a community founded to help provide long-term housing solutions for those “graduating” from shelters and transitional housing. Vincent has worked with Happy Trails for six amazing years and has had a blast serving in many different capacities. He began as a counselor for the oldest boys and is now serving as Staff Director. Vincent has attended summer camp across the country every year since the age of 9, feels that there is no place quite like Happy Trails.
Jasmine Steele - Activities Director
Jasmine is a former foster youth, who is a full-time student at Long Beach City College.. She has been with Happy Trails as a Staff Member for six years, beginning as a Counselor for the oldest campers. She has also served as Director of the Junior Counselor program before becoming Activities Director in 2015.
Charissa Gonzales - Development Director
Charissa is Principal of Good Strategies, a nonprofit consulting firm. She has nearly twenty years of fundraising and event planning experience, in both nonprofit and political campaigns. In her career, she has been involved in the fundraising and management efforts for dozens of nonprofit organizations and agencies and has successfully solicited millions of dollars in direct contributions, created and executed hundreds of special events, as well as researched, submitted and reported on foundation and corporate grant proposals. Charissa earned her B.A. in Foreign Relations from Georgetown University and a Master's in Political Management from The George Washington University.