Our Staff

Our Staff

Rachel Sottile | President & CEO
rsottile@ccyj.org | 206.696.7503 x 101
Rachel has twenty years of executive leadership experience in the non-profit sector and state government. She is a champion of systems reform, with professional experience in foster care and other challenges that impact children and youth. In the last ten years, Rachel’s work centered on advocacy, education, and systems reform, most recently as Senior Vice President of the Pretrial Justice Institute (PJI) advocating for safe, fair, and effective juvenile and adult pretrial practices. Prior to PJI Rachel served as Executive Director of the YES Institute working on preventing suicide through communication and education on gender and orientation. Rachel earned her Bachelor of Arts degree from Emory University and a Master’s degree in Counseling Psychology from Georgia State University.

Julie Carrasco | Bookkeeper
jcarrasco@ccyj.org | 206.696.7503 x: 116
Julie Carrasco is a motivated artist and financial professional. She brings over seven years of experience bookkeeping for small businesses, particularly independent artists, to CCYJ. Art is her lifelong passion and through this medium, she has impacted the community by teaching youth art classes and advocated for LGBTQ+ artists. She holds a dual Bachelor of Fine Arts degree, in Glass and Textiles, from California College of the Arts and a Certificate of Proficiency in Accounting from Berkeley City College. Outside of CCYJ, she runs an independent art studio.

Lily Cory | Program Coordinator, eQuality
lcory@ccyj.org | 206.696.7503 x 102
Lily Cory has a bachelor’s degree in human services from Western Washington University and a Master’s of Social Work degree from the University of Washington. As a foster care alumna, she is passionate about finding solutions to the issues surrounding child welfare. She has policy experience on the state and national level, most recently interned in the United States Senate for Senator Patty Murray. Lily has also worked closely with individual foster youth and families as well as students experiencing homelessness through her employment with Secret Harbor, Futures Northwest, Child Protective Services and as an AmeriCorps volunteer. When not working, Lily is hiking, playing board games, and dancing. 

Gina Cumbo │ Director of Programs
gcumbo@ccyj.org │ 206.696.7503 x 117
The center of Gina’s work is her commitment to breaking generational cycles of poverty to make a positive impact in the lives of children and youth. As Director of Programs, she oversees our efforts for LGBTQ, CSEC, and gang-involved youth, coordinates the Family Advocacy Center project, and staffs the Washington State Becca Task Force. With CCYJ since 2008, Gina previously represented adults and children as an attorney for the Snohomish County Public Defender Association and in private Social Security disability practice. She holds an interdisciplinary BA from Fairhaven College of Western Washington University and a JD and MSW from the University of Michigan.

John Deter | Information Technology Generalist
jdeter@ccyj.org| 206.696.7503 x105
John has worked in the Information Technology field for the last seven years, in multiple capacities.  His current project at CCYJ is to bring our technology up to current standards, as well as moving the organization to the cloud.  He has a BA in Business Management, an MBA with a concentration in social entrepreneurship, and both Waterfall and Agile Project Management experience.  He is currently working on Database and Network certifications, as well as relearning foreign languages.  For fun, he can be seen in the great outdoors, obsessively mastering the latest video game, or binge watching whatever Netflix recommends.

Heather Elledge | Administrative Coordinator
helledge@ccyj.org│206.696.7503 x 100
Heather brings over 12 years of experience in customer relations and management experience to CCYJ. She spent nearly 11 years with the Walt Disney Company, working in a range of customer-facing, management, and leadership roles.

William “Billy” Hairston | Program Manager, Washington State Becca Task Force and Youth Advisory Council
whairston@ccyj.org| 206.696.7503 x120
William Hairston Studied at Adams State University in Colorado where he began what has been almost two decades worth of experience working to support and partner with young people and their families, in several different rolls, in both Washington State and in Colorado. He spent the last six years with Seattle Public Schools, first as a Truancy Intervention Specialist in one of the most high need schools in the Seattle School District and then three years as a District Attendance Representative. Where he oversaw and partnered with 33 Seattle schools to help with attendance interventions and family engagement. William is also accomplished at developing young people and teams of adults that supporting young people.

Catherine Musangi │ Director of Mission Support Services
cmusangi@ccyj.org | 206.696.7503 x 108
Catherine is a highly accomplished and driven Finance professional with over twenty years of demonstrated efficiency and process improvements in corporate and private family financial analysis. She is passionate about advancing progress for children and youth and has volunteered with The Make-A-Wish Foundation and Big Brothers Big Sisters. Catherine earned her Bachelor of Finance and her MBA from Southern Illinois University and is also PMP (Project Management Professional) certified.

Laura Nagel | Program Coordinator, Project Respect
LNagel@ccyj.org | 206.696.7503 x 121
Before coming to CCYJ, Laura provided wraparound services and case management to commercially sexually exploited children (CSEC) in Bangkok, Thailand and throughout Washington State. She pursued an MA in Counseling Psychology before realizing that she wants to collaborate with systems-involved partners for systems-level reform for CSEC. Laura coordinates Project Respect, providing technical assistance to Washington’s CSEC task forces, collecting data, and innovating ways to increase statewide collaboration. Laura holds a BA in psychology and women’s studies from Seattle Pacific University.

Chelsey Nill | Program Coordinator, LINC
cnill@ccyj.org │ 206-696-7503 ext. 107
Chelsey is one of our Program Coordinators for our LINC- Leadership, Intervention, & Change program, and currently facilitates all of our LINC Multi-Disciplinary Intervention Teams. She has extensive youth development experience in both of her recent roles. Chelsey was recently a juvenile parole counselor for the past three years working with young people across King County when they are released from Juvenile Rehabilitation Administration (JRA). Prior to her position in parole, Chelsey worked at Echo Glen Children’s Center as a residential counselor for 4 years. In her words, she craves “the ability to utilize creativity to seek solutions, the freedom to celebrate the small steps of progress for an individual or a team, ideas formed “outside of the box”, and to be part of a project that is ever-evolving.

Nicholas Oakley │ Sr. Programs Manager and Policy Counsel
noakley@ccyj.org │ 206.696.7503 x 113
For Nicholas, doing youth justice work for a living is a privilege. He empowers CCYJ’s efforts for LGBTQ and CSEC youth by bringing together groups of stakeholders to implement groundbreaking protocols. Prior to joining CCYJ, Nicholas represented youth and families in dependency, juvenile offender, education, family and criminal law matters as an associate attorney at Carey & Lillevik, PLLC. He holds a BA from the University of California at Santa Cruz and a JD from the University of Washington School of Law. Nicholas is also a volunteer mentor with If Project, which provides support to incarcerated women as they prepare to re-enter the community.

Laurel Simonsen │ Managing Attorney, Lawyers Fostering Independence
lsimonsen@ccyj.org │ 206.696.7503 x 111
As LFI Managing Attorney, Laurel directs the LFI program and helps young people in King County, who have experienced foster care and/or homelessness, access the legal resources and support they need. Before joining CCYJ in 2017, Laurel advocated on behalf of parents and children involved in dependency, termination, family law and administrative proceedings as an associate attorney at Carey & Lillevik, PLLC. Laurel holds a BA and a JD with a concentration in Public Service from the University of Washington. In her personal time, Laurel supports justice for women and girls as a volunteer attorney for Legal Voice.

Anica Stieve │ Lead Program Manager, LINC: Leadership, Intervention & Change
astieve@ccyj.org │ 206.696.7503 x 110
Anica thrives on working collaboratively with multiple stakeholders in the private and public sector—a skill aligned with her work directing the LINC Program, which aims to make systemic changes to reduce community violence and improve outcomes for youth and families in King County.  Anica is inspired by the project’s many partners and the work they do for youth and families. Joining CCYJ in January 2013, Anica brings knowledge of mental health law and community services from intern work for King County Crisis and Commitment Services, part of the Mental Health, Chemical Abuse and Dependency Services Division.  She also draws on six years of volunteer experience in King County’s Adult and Juvenile Detention facilities.  She holds two BA degrees from the University of Washington, in Sociology and Law, Societies and Justice.  Since joining CCYJ she has worked solely on LINC and has served as the Lead Program Manager since 2016.

Jennifer Whitaker | Director of Development
jwhitaker@ccyj.org | 206.696.7503 x 118
Jennifer has 17+ years of experience improving brands and implementing creative fundraising techniques to increase revenue as much as 35% in six months. She has served in executive positions for national and international organizations supporting causes such as global health, conservation and wildlife and has been interviewed by NPR, The London Times and The New York Times as a program expert. She has led multiple organizational turnaround efforts. Guided by her passion to make a positive impact in the world, she builds relationships and connects individuals to the causes that matter most to them. Her experience includes major gifts, capital campaigns, government and foundation grants, corporate sponsorships, board governance, and coaching others to achieve goals. She has a Master of Arts degree from Prescott College and dual Bachelor of Science degrees from Auburn University in Alabama. In her spare time, you will find her gardening, volunteering or curled up with a good book.