Youth Indicators Series

The youth are key indicators of how we are doing as a society!

Brought to you by

Youth Indicators Co-host

Chris "Jazz" Colthurst

Native San Diegan Chris is a lover not a fighter.  During the day he white boards cloud architectures for Comic-Con International and during the night he does improv, stand up and sketch comedy.  His film group Snarky Films participates in the 48 Hour Film Project yearly – making short films like the famous puppet super-hero musical “Captain Hand.”  He was also a writer for the show Tonight in San Diego.  He and his amazing wife Unison have two little boys Zion and Zachary.  Jazz enjoys the work of Peter Gabriel, Marina Abramovic, and Fred Rogers.  He believes “the children are our future” as best stated by Whitney Houston’s song “Greatest Love of All.”

Get to know Our

Guest Speakers

Episode 1 - Youth Indicators
Leighangela Brady, Ed.D

Superintendent National School District

Author of two books, “Transforming Ice Age Schools: A Practical Guide for School Leaders” and “Test Less, Assess More: A K-8 Guide to Formative Assessment. She is well known for engaging and motivating educators to think about shifting practice to meet the needs of today’s students.

Dr. Brady shares with us how her National School District team is working to develop “exceptionally prepared learners; innovative and compassionate world citizens. In addition their twitter hashtag #NSDnow and how the district is contributing to the 2030 United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals by engaging students in actions to secure a more sustainable future.

Dr. Brady earned her Ed.D. in educational leadership from San Diego State University, with both her B.S. and M.A. degrees from the University of Connecticut. Her favorite time is spent visiting classrooms and witnessing innovative education in action. She has served as an assistant superintendent of educational services; a principal, assistant principal, and teacher of K-8 schools; as well as in various support and coaching roles.

Episode 2 - Youth Indicators
Michael Bonocore


An accomplished photographer, filmmaker, traveler and Editor-In-Chief of the popular lifestyle magazine, Resource Travel.

A Photo Educator with  ‘The Giving Lens.”  An organization giving back around the world, focusing on local NGO and youth organizations.  Teaching photography to communities as a “tool for empowerment, self-expression, and storytelling.

Michael shared with us how The Giving Lens helps break the cycle of generations of youth not able to attend school for various cultural and economic reasons and learning skills to broaden creative minds and a passion to learn with storytelling. Reinvigorating the creative mind and the importance of education, and seeing the world through a new lens.

He also shares with us the story of 13-year old Aigerem Askar the Mongolian eagle huntress.  Who grew up in a family with generations of eagle “hunters” who came before her, including her father. He recollects the dedication behind her journey.

Episode 3 - Youth Indicators
Ariel Gonzalez, J.d.

Senior Vice President of Public Policy March of Dimes

With his Juris Doctorate from The Catholic University of America’s in Washington DC and Masters in Legislative Affairs from George Washington University, he has a very robust background in policy and law with organizations such as American Psychiatric Association and AARP.

AARP “America’s Largest Interest” group, Ariel shares the intricacies of policy and advocacy within various organizations and his passion to make a difference.  As well as his story on how he became a part of the March of Dimes and  ways we can support their efforts.

Public Policy is very important in society and Ariel helps shed some light. He also explains how we can be active advocates through sharing our stories with organizations making a difference. Storytelling is what allows us to understand the impacts and how to make a difference. The health of our youth begins from the parents. An important web of understanding and support our community needs in order to provide for our youth and future generations the best we can.

Episode 4 - Youth Indicators
Dr. Moises Baron

San Diego Center for Children

Dr. Barón, a psychologist with more than 26 years of clinical and administrative experience, joined the San Diego Center for Children as President and CEO in 2014.  

Prior to joining the Center, he served for 11 years as the first Assistant Vice President (AVP) Student Wellness at the University of San Diego.   Dr. Barón conceptualized and implemented a plan to restructure, expand and integrate health and wellness services, remodel facilities, and established integrated clinical, preventive and educational programs for undergraduate and graduate students.

Prior to this, Dr. Barón was Director of the Counseling Center from 1997 to 2006 where he managed all of the center’s operations and budget. He has been Adjunct Faculty at the School of Leadership and Education Sciences for over 20 years, and is the Founder of the COMPASS Academic Center at USD where he led a team that developed multidisciplinary and innovative programs to help and support families of children with special needs. He also served as Executive Director of the services arm of COMPASS in the community until 2012.

Founded in 1887, the San Diego Center for Children is the oldest children’s 501(c)(3) nonprofit in the region accredited by The Joint Commission for its excellence in quality of care. The Center provides evidence-based therapeutic, educational, foster care and transition age services to children and families struggling with mental, emotional and behavioral disorders. Today, with 8 program sites and community-based services within hundreds of homes and schools across San Diego County, the Center empowers over 1,000 people every day.

Epsiode 5 - Youth Indicators
Shurene Premo, MSW

Newe Numa Wa Ippe​

Hakenna, Mum (how are you all)! Ne nani-haant (my name is) Shurene Premo. Ne Tosawihi So-soni (I am from the White Knife band of Western Shoshone people).

 I represent the Newe Numa (Shoshone Paiute) Nation, and I am originally from Tokka Pati (Duck Valley) Nythe (Nevada) of the Great Basin Territory. I am grateful to be residing in the homelands of the Kumeyaay Nation. I received my Master of Social Work degree from San Diego State University. 

I do this for all Indigenous Nations and especially for the Tokka Pati Newe-Numa Nation. I strive for higher education because I come from a community that is profoundly affected by historical trauma in which it transforms into inter-generational as well as multi-generational trauma. We are a beautiful people, and we make up over 600+ Federally recognized nations as well as non-federally recognized Nations in the United States and Canada.  

I also took the initiative to learn my original Newe language at SDSU instead of a foreign language. As my language is original to the land, we are standing on, and it is not foreign to me. I thought it was highly respectful, and I took great honor in knowing that my school backed me up in using my traditional curriculum of the Shoshone language to fulfill my language requirement. Although I am in the early beginning stages of learning my original language, it is never too late to learn, and we must keep our language alive for future generations.

Episode 6 - Youth Indicators
Prof. Dr. Knut Tielking

Hochschule Emden/Leer​

Prof. Dr. Knut Tielking is professor of social work with the top priority of behavioral abuse and substance abuse and prevention.

During his 24 years of scholarly activities at the Universities of Oldenburg, Bremen and since 2007 at the University of Applied Sciences of Emden/Leer – he has successfully implemented a variety of research projects concerning fields of action of social work, especially of health promotion and prevention.

In research a broad variety of matters of care in the social and health system were the topic of numerous of his studies. In the center of interest were innovations in prevention and health promotion as well as the optimization of standard offers and services in the different areas of activities of health promotion and prevention.

Of special interest are his activities concerning children and youth work in the context of schools and also extra-curricular, communal prevention projects, and self help.

Prof. Dr. Tielking’s recent alcohol and drug prevention research from an international perspective last year he traveled around the world to compare prevention programs in San Diego/California/USA, Coffs Harbour/New South Wales/Australia and Aurich/Ostfriesland/Germany.

Episode 7 - Youth Indicators
Coach Joe Quigley

Youth Mental Health & Wellness Mentor

Coach Joe Quigley is from Worcester, England, Born in Manchester. A youth mental health & well-bring awareness advocate and mentor, Coach Joe Quigley loves seeing people succeed.  He strives to better himself every day, so he can help others do the same.  
Through coaching and mentoring he engages the youth to help them be more confident in who they are by improving their mental well-being.   He is committed to striving for excellence, succeeding and being the help for those who need it.   His passion inspiring others and coaching spans from workshops to community groups and schools across the UK and virtually available worldwide.
Coach Joe Quigley’s techniques  include The Uplift and The Grey Space.  The Uplift is about confidence and no size fits all.  “Life is a funny thing that can come at you in so many ways.  Whether it’s work, relationships, family, or anything else.  The Grey Space is about learning and seeing options you may not realize are available, especially when you are inside it.   The space between where you are and where you want to be can feel massive.”  Often having someone to help understand this space and move forward with you through it is all you need.  Coach Joe Quigley is available for any youth from any destination globally to ‘listen’ – ask the questions, and help you be the best you!     

Epsiode 8 - Youth Indicators
Kira Finkenberg

The Kira Co.

Kira is the Owner and Founder of The Kira Co.  The Kira Co. is a concert marketing and event company founded in 2003. The Kira Co. handles marketing and ticketing for events in Southern California. 

She’s worked in the music business since she was seven years old working for her father who owned the New Mexico Franchise of Ticketmaster.  She is a graduate of the University of San Diego and resides in San Diego with her three Doodles; Jake Dog, Jackson & Kookie.

She is the board member of Jewish Family Service of San Diego, the Jewish Federation of San Diego, ADL San Diego and the JCC and CJC at the Lawrence Family Jewish Community Center.  She is passionate about community, heritage, music and youth.  She has an insightful background, helping us listen and learn how we can build a better future through local community efforts.  Her professional talents in PR for over 27 years is felt in all she does and influencing positive mindsets.  The love of her Jewish heritage, the arts, youth and community, is beyond inspirational, she is a role model.  She helps our youth see a bright future with hard work, dedication, respect, and voice.  By listening, learning and mentoring. 

The scope of her clients include Bill Silva Presents, The Andrew Hewitt Company, A&B Concerts and Live Nation/Hewitt/Silva, San Diego Aviators, AEG, San Diego Sports Medicine Foundation, Wonderfront Events, Junior Seau Foundation and Richter Entertainment.  The Kira Co. is responsible for the marketing and promotion of approximately 100 concerts a year, including The Hollywood Bowl, MGM Grand Garden Arena, Mandalay Bay Event Center, the Open Air Theater at SDSU, Viejas Casino and Viejas Concerts in the Park as well as  the Valley View Casino Center.

The Kira Co. also produces multiple events every year.  The Kira Co. has been the Event Director for Taste at the Cove since 2003, the annual San Diego Sports Medicine Foundation fundraiser.  This event raises over $400,000 annually.  The Kira Co. also produces the annual Shop with A Jock for the Junior Seau Foundation.

Episode 9 - Youth Indicators
Girish Venkat


Girish Venkat, a lifelong entrepreneur who has spent his career building innovative technology, including as the founding Chief Architect of Girish’s relationship with his son, Rohit was the spark that started Thrively.  

Girish struggled, like many parents do, to find the right enrichment activities to spark a genuine passion in Rohit. Helping Rohit find his passion, became Girish’s and through countless hours of speaking with experts in child psychology, reading books from Malcolm Gladwell’s “Outliers” to Jenifer Fox’s “Your Child’s Strengths,” and applying his entrepreneurial mindset to Rohit’s fledgling interests, Thrively was born. “Every Child Deserves to Thrive.

Knowing your child helps them soar academically and passionately. The whole child, their social and emotional well-being is the key of next generation education.  Thrively is a learning network, creating a education ecosystem.  A strength based movement!

“With a little ingenuity and a lot of hard work’, Thrively is “helping parents to understand their children more” and teachers to  “connect with their students on a more personal level.”

Scroll to Top