Our Experts

Jaqueline Arenas-Garcia
Job Title:
Center Manager
Expertise:
Bio:
Jaqueline began her career as a Preschool Teacher for the Garden Grove School District. After 2 years with the District, she came across an ad in the Penny Saver advertising Child Development Centers, now known as Catalyst Kids. Jaqueline was hired as a teacher's assistant in 1999. She soon obtained her teacher permit and was able to work each school year with the same group of children that had started during their kindergarten year through their fifth-grade year. She became a Site Supervisor in 2009 and began running a traditional summer camp for children in grades K-2nd and an Adventure Camp for those in 3rd and up. At one point, she was overseeing 3 sites over summer camp with over 155 children! Jaqueline leads and supports many staff trainings around summer camp. Jacqueline is currently a Center Manager and has started the journey to completing her bachelor's degree.
Jennifer Escamilla
Job Title:
Center Manager
Bio:
Jennifer is the Center Manager for the Port Hueneme sites (Fred Williams, Hueneme, and Haycox) and has over 13 years of leadership and supervisor experience. She has worked for the organization for 17+ years and has a bachelor's degree in Early Childhood Education, a master's degree in Education and currently holds a Program Director Permit. Jennifer is the Co-Chair of the Ventura County Local Planning Council, Camarillo and the current Chair of Public Policy of CAAEYC. Jennifer also supports Dual Language strategies for our agency by collaborating with California State University at Channel Islands University.
Joel Monahan
Job Title:
Program Quality Manager
Expertise:
Bio:
Joel is currently a Program Quality Manager in our southern California region. Joel has over 15 years of experience in child development, including running programs at the Boys & Girls Club and recreation-based camp activities in Lake Tahoe. Joel has made a career expanding his expertise and knowledge of afterschool programing in roles as Site Coordinator, Director, Area Director, and Grants/Resource Development. Joel graduated from California State University, Chico with a Recreation Administration degree and continued his schooling with National University where he earned a single subject Teaching Credential. In addition to his career with Catalyst Kids, he has maintained his passion for mentoring children one on one by volunteering with Big Brother Big Sister for the past 3 years. Joel is also a proud husband and father to a feisty one year old boy named Rome, who provides daily experience and opportunity to reflect on his own abilities to effectively problem solve with a toddler.
Keya Gupta
Job Title:
Fund Development Coordinator
Expertise:
Bio:
Keya is a Fund Development Coordinator for Catalyst Family and graduated from UC Irvine in 2019 with a B.A. in Psychology and Social Behavior. She is currently pursuing her master's degree at Concordia University, Irvine in Healthcare Administration (MHA), set to graduate in 2022. Her plans are to matriculate straight into a doctoral program preferably specializing in Nonprofit and Philanthropic Leadership. At UC Irvine, Keya was involved with the Associated Students of the University of California, Irvine (ASUCI) and was president of one of the largest non-profit organizations on campus. She is currently a student advocacy representative on the Healthcare Executives of Southern California student council (HCE SoCal) and a member of the American College of Healthcare Executives (ACHE).
Job Title:
Program Quality Manager
Bio:
Lizelle Wulff has been working for Catalyst Family Inc. as a Program Quality Manager for the past three and a half years. She supports the program quality improvement of the Oxnard/Ventura region. After graduating with a bachelor’s degree in Early Childhood Education from the University of Maryland, she had years of experience as a K-3rd grade classroom teacher and Reading/Math intervention teacher in Maryland, Florida, and California. One of Lizelle’s passions is supporting Multilingual Learners, so she pursued a graduate degree in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) from Nova Southeastern University. Lizelle transitioned back into the Early Learning and Care field by being a Site Supervisor for a California school district’s preschool program that had a combination of both Head Start and State Preschool classrooms. During that time, Lizelle completed an Advanced Core Certificate in Early Childhood Education with UCLA Extension. Since joining the agency, Lizelle has also become a Certified Trainer for the Program for Infant-Toddler Care (PITC). She was an instructor for the Dual Language Learner Professional Development Project courses at California State University Channel Islands, which equipped current early educators with the skills needed to support dual language learners in early care programs.
Marcel Sheer
Job Title:
Director of Field Support and Compliance
Expertise:
Bio:
Marcel has worked at Catalyst Family for over 8 years, starting off as a Contracts Manager. When Marcel started with the agency, there were no ongoing quality systems in place to ensure compliance. Marcel piloted and streamlined the ways in which Catalyst Family ensures compliance while supporting the field. Marcel is now the Director of Field Support and Compliance. Marcel holds her Bachelor of Arts degree in Sociology from California State University, Dominguez Hills and Master of Business Administration Human Resource Management degree from the University of Phoenix. She has always known she wanted to help people in a social service capacity. At Catalyst Family Inc., Marcel is able to help families by ensuring that we comply with California Department of Education (CDE) and Community Care Licensing.
Maria Guzman
Job Title:
Site Supervisor
Expertise:
Bio:
Maria is a Site Supervisor at Catalyst Kids Joseph Sims. Maria has her B.A. in Liberal Studies and has been working for Before and After school programs for nearly 30 years. She has worked as a teacher facilitating the day-to-day schedule, managed the overall camp operations, and trained staff to work in a camp program.
Mariana Bosch
Job Title:
Program Director
Expertise:
Bio:
Mariana has been working in the Early Childhood field for over 25 years in nearly every role; Toddler Teacher, Preschool Teacher, School Site Facilitator, Site Supervisor, and as a Program Director. Currently she is a Program Director for Catalyst Kids in our South region and supports our toddler, preschool and before and after school age childhood programs.

Mariana holds a master's degree in Education with an emphasis in Early Childhood Education from CSULB, as well as a post-graduate diploma in Education from Institute of Education- ORT University. Additionally, she holds a bachelor's degree in Education, with an emphasis in Early Childhood from the University of the Republic of Uruguay.
Rena Fields
Job Title:
Program Quality Manager
Expertise:
Bio:
Rena is currently a Program Quality Manager (PQM) for Catalyst Family Inc. She first started working in the Child Development field when she was in high school as a Science Camp Counselor. After high school, Rena began to work for the same nonprofit first as a Camp Leader, Childcare Teacher, Camp Director, and then as a Camp Coordinator. During her time with the organization, she learned about childcare licensing and got to be part of the American Camp Association Accreditation process. After graduating from California State University, Fresno with a BS in Child Development, Rena applied for a position with Catalyst Family Inc. Rena started as an Assistant Site Supervisor of a School Age program and then transferred to another center and became the Site Supervisor of Santa Teresa’s Preschool and School Age program. During her time at the center, she learned a lot about Catalyst Kids Preschool and School Age programming state compliance (Title 5) and camp. Rena became part of various leadership groups such as the Camp Ninjas and Leadership Ops. Rena soon was given the opportunity to join the Education Department and became a Program Quality Manager. She supports the Bay region with knowing what quality programming is and how to achieve it.
Job Title:
Site Supervisor
Expertise:
Bio:
Silvia has worked with children ages 6 weeks to 12 years of age with Catalyst Kids (formerly CDI/CDC) for the past 28 years. She began her career as a Assistant Teacher and has since obtained her Site Supervisor Permit from the California Teachers Credentialing Commission and Associates Degree in Early Childhood Education. Silvia is very passionate in developing teaching staff that engages and builds strong relationships with children and families, celebrating successes and having fun. A cherished part of her day is walking into the infant/toddler and preschool rooms and seeing staff sing and engage with children, the happy faces of both children and staff make her day.