Our Staff



Senior Leadership

Patricia Murillo
Executive Director

Patricia Murillo joined Alternatives in Action as Executive Director in April 2007 after serving as the Senior Director of Program Services for the Boys & Girls Clubs of San Francisco (BGCSF). Prior to BGCSF, Patricia was with Alternatives in Action for seven years in senior management positions. She was the Director of the HOME Project, co-Director for the Bay Area School of Enterprise, and the Director of Adult Learning and Development. Patricia has seventeen years of progressive leadership experience in organizations serving children, youth, and families. She holds an MSW from UC Berkeley with an emphasis on Management and Planning and a BA from Vassar College.

Email: pmurillo@alternativesinaction.org

Jennifer Lyle
Deputy Director

For over twenty years, Jennifer B. Lyle has actively worked towards the well-being of young people and their families. Her education and work have taken place in the streets, across continents, with community organizations, government, schools, and academia. Jennifer has designed and directed various community- and site-based projects that focused on economic justice, academic achievement, substance abuse prevention, health promotion, and community directed leadership development and change.

Prior to joining Alternatives in Action, Jennifer was the Executive Director for the Building Blocks for Kids Collaborative (BBK). As ED, Jennifer was primarily responsible for ensuring that internal systems and practices were aligned with the BBK Collaborative mission and principles; oversight and support of the 30-member collaborative and oversight of the BBK Collaborative staff and programs.

She received her Master of Social Work, Master of Sociology, and PhD in Social Work and Sociology from the University of Michigan.

Email: jlyle@alternativesinaction.org

Oriana Obligacion
Director of Operations & Finance

Born and raised in the Bay Area, Oriana Obligacion’s commitment to serving youth and families led her to join the Alternatives in Action team in January 2012. Having served most of her professional career in the private sector, it was important for her to obtain a position in an organization that was dedicated to the development of young people. Oriana is passionate about her pledge to family participation and high quality youth programs. She has held the positions of Co-Chair and Chair of the New Haven Unified School District Hillview Crest & Alvarado Elementary School Site Council and has volunteered in many aspects with Girl Scouts of Northern California. She is a huge movie buff and loves to spend time with her family, traveling, camping, and throwing elaborate parties. She holds a BA in Political Science from UC Berkeley and feels that all people should be offered an easy road to higher education no matter what walk of life they are from.

Email: oobligacion@alternativesinaction.org

Jora Atienza Washington
Senior Director of Community Initiatives

Jora joined the Alternatives in Action team in November 2017. Jora has held progressive leadership positions in youth-serving organizations in the Bay Area since 2000. Prior to coming to Alternatives in Action, Jora was the Director of Programs with Telegraph Hill Neighborhood Center in San Francisco for eight years, overseeing a range of services for adolescent youth including a full-service community school, school and community-based out-of-school time services, and workforce development programs. She was also the Senior Program Director at Oakland Asian Students Educational Services, where she managed programs for elementary, middle, and high school youth and hundreds of college volunteers each year. Jora grew up in the Philippines and Los Angeles, and holds a Master of Public Administration from the University of San Francisco and a Bachelor of Arts in Italian and Linguistic Anthropology from the University of California, Los Angeles. She lives in Oakland with her spouse and children and enjoys reading, cooking with friends and family, and plays a mean game of Scrabble.

Email: jatienza@alternativesinaction.org


Community Programs Leadership


Alternatives in Action’s Community Programs are located at Fremont High School, Life Academy of Health & Bioscience Middle and High School, the McClymonds Youth & Family Center, and the Seminary neighborhood. Our Community Programs offer youth and their families a broad range of after-school programming and school-linked services that prepare young people for success in college, career, and community leadership.

Jason Peters
Community Programs Manager at Alternatives in Action High School/Seminary Youth & Family Center

Jason Peters joined Alternatives in Action in August 2015 as the Community Programs Coordinator at Alternatives in Action High School/Seminary Youth & Family Center. Born and raised in Richmond, Jason has an extensive background working with under-served communities in Oakland and Richmond for the past fifteen plus years. A graduate of Contra Costa Community College, Jason started working in youth development through the YMCA of the East Bay and developed relationships with both the Richmond and Oakland communities. Jason then took on an opportunity to join Sports 4 Kids (now Playworks) and served at two sites along with being a part of national expansion for the organization and curriculum development for secondary school aged children. Jason, also known as Coach Peters, was then promoted to Dean of Students at OASIS Charter High-School where he helped grow the school in its capacity to serve students with varied needs until the school shut its doors. Jason continued to serve the community by coaching youth football for two years, through Martinez Youth Football Association, where he helped 12-14 year olds build their skills in tackle football. Jason then joined Bay Area Community Resources (BACR) as the site coordinator for after-school at Prescott Elementary where he built up a struggling program’s foundation. Jason is a dedicated youth developer who enjoys working in urban communities that have rich histories and many needs. His dedication to his work is seen in all the communities within which he has worked.

Email: jpeters@alternativesinaction.org

Cierra Price
Early Childhood Education Program Director

Cierra Price joined the Alternatives in Action staff in the fall of 2009 as a teacher at Alternatives in Action’s former Home Sweet Home preschool program and became the Preschool Manager in 2012. Cierra is excited to have the opportunity to grow with Alternatives in Action as we build out our Early Childhood Education Center (to open in fall 2017). She holds a BA from San Francisco State University. In her spare time, she enjoys volunteering with community youth, knitting, event planning, photography, and more.

Email: cprice@alternativesinaction.org

Sabaa Shoraka
Senior Community Programs Manager at Life Academy of Health & Bioscience High School

Born and raised in the Bay Area, Sabaa Shoraka joined Alternatives in Action as the Community Programs Manager at Life Academy High School in August of 2014. Prior to coming to Alternatives in Action, Sabaa served as the Career Pathways Manager at Youth Uprising, and Director of Administration and Finance at the Institute for Sustainable Education Economic and Environmental Design. Sabaa has lived and worked in Oakland for the past ten years. She holds an MA degree in Education with a concentration on Equity and Social Justice from San Francisco State University, and a BA degree in Sociology and minor in Education from the University of California, Santa Cruz. Sabaa is passionate about developing the skills of young people to become active agents for social justice and equity. In her free time, Sabaa enjoys baking and cooking, photography, and traveling.

Email: sshoraka@alternativesinaction.org

Destiny Webster
Community Programs Manager at Fremont High School

Bio coming soon.

Email: dwebster@alternativesinaction.org

Kharyshi Wiginton
Senior Community Programs Manager at McClymonds Youth & Family Center

Kharyshi Wiginton is a “youth magnet” who is passionate about empowering young people to effect change and lead their communities. Born and raised in Pomona, she’s rooted in the values of community. Her core values are informed by “I am because we are…We are because I am,” “Each one teach one,” and “It takes a village to raise a child.”

In 2014, she worked in partnership with Youth Together and the Alliance for Educational Justice to take ten girls from McClymonds High School, six youth from Castlemont High School, and two students from Emery High School from Oakland to Mississippi for the 50th Anniversary of Freedom Summer. In July 2015, Kharyshi spearheaded her own project, “MACK to Africa,” where she was able to take ten girls from McClymonds High School to South Africa.

Kharyshi has been an Oakland resident for the past ten years. She’s worked at elementary, middle, and high schools throughout Oakland. For the past seven years, she’s been living/working in West Oakland. She is deeply committed to McClymonds High School where she has spent the last five years developing students and running youth programs.

Kharyshi is in service to her community. She’s a member of Black Lives Matter Bay Area, the Black Arts Movement Business District, and an organizing member of the “State of Black Oakland.” She has served on the McClymonds Youth & Family Center Advisory Board, spearheaded ONE West Oakland, and chaired the West Oakland Health and Safety Collaborative. She’s currently a member of the West Oakland Youth Center Advisory Board.


Alternatives in Action High School Leadership


Alternatives in Action High School serves youth from the Bay Area who are motivated to transform their lives and their communities. Our youth-initiated charter high school is located in the Seminary neighborhood of East Oakland.

Phung Lai
Co-Director at Alternatives in Action High School

Phung Lai currently serves as the Interim Director of Alternatives in Action High School. She has been an educator and educational leader in the Bay Area for over fifteen years. Phung has extensive service in various Oakland non-profit organizations, AmeriCorps programs, and in multiple K-12 charter and district schools including Oakland Unified School District (OUSD) and Kern County Superintendent of Schools (KCSOS) where she was the Northern California regional program supervisor for the California Endowment’s Building Healthy Communities/Youth statewide mentoring program. During this time, she collaborated with OUSD, Fresno Unified School District, Merced City and County School Districts, Sacramento City Unified School District, and Del Norte County Unified School District working with school administrators, staff and students to implement mentoring throughout schools and local community based organizations. Throughout Phung’s career, she has been part of the leadership team for three charter schools, served as a mentor, teacher, and school administrator. She is also an endorsed trainer with the California School-Age Consortium (CalSAC). Phung received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Social Welfare with a minor in education from UC Berkeley and holds a Clear California Teaching Credential and Masters of Education in teaching with the Reach Institute for School Leadership. She values time with family and friends, enjoys sports, and loves learning and trying new things.

Email: plai@alternativesinaction.org

Logan Manning
Co-Director at Alternatives in Action High School

A Bay Area native, Logan Manning has been working in alternative education since 2002. Logan has a master’s degree in education from the Harvard Graduate School of Education and a doctorate in language, literacy, and culture from the University of California, Berkeley. She began her career as a high school English teacher in the Boston Public Schools and then moved to Oakland where she was a lead teacher at an alternative high school designed to serve students who experienced educational traumas in traditional schools. Most recently, Logan has worked as an assistant professor of literacy education at the University of Texas, San Antonio. She has authored publications on critical pedagogies and was the 2015 National Council of Teachers of English Promising Researcher in English Education. Logan was a humanities coach at Alternatives in Action High School from 2011 until 2014 and is excited to return as co-director of the high school. She is passionate about working with academic and enrichment coaches to ensure that Alternatives in Action High School offers a true alternative to traditional schooling for Oakland youth and continuing the tradition of nurturing the change-making potential in all students.

Email: lmanning@alternativesinaction.org