Team & Culture

We tell each other: if you have an emergency at home or with your child, it’s ok to walk out the door.

"Family first" means working more (or less) depending on your financial needs and the needs of your child. Some bring their infant to work for the first year and others work from home when needed. Most of our staff work a hybrid schedule to accomodate the needs of their children. In our multicultural office, we celebrate all our children and all our holidays - from Eid to Xmas. Together, we create an environment where everyone is happy to come to work.


Kausha King

I have been working with families of children with disabilities for over 20 years. I am the mother to a son with complex healthcare needs. My story is the story of the families we support at FRN. When families connect with FRN, they are supported by experienced and knowledgeable staff who have navigated the same paths. I am an avid NBA basketball fan.

Valeria Brabata

Specialty: Spanish
Before joining FRN, I served as grant-maker, program director, and senior consultant for organizations such as the Kellogg Foundation and the Global Fund for Women. Our FRN navigators were a light in the dark when my son got sick. I love playing board games with my son.

Brandy Wright

Brandy develops and implements programs, partnerships, and fundraising strategies that enhance the capacity and impact of nonprofits. She is committed to fostering intentional connections, inspiring people, and strengthening the nonprofit sector. She holds a Master’s of Nonprofit Administration (MNA) from the University of San Francisco and a Bachelor’s of Feminist Studies (BFS) with an emphasis in Law, Politics, and Social Change from the University of California Santa Cruz. Outside of work, she volunteers at Marin Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA).


April Key-Lee

Department: Management
Specialty: Intermediate ASL
I have been working with FRN families since 2018. I am a parent of two boys who adore complex contraption games and playing Minecraft. During my free time, I enjoy cooking and baking a variety of foods, DIY projects, and sight-seeing natural wonders with my family.

Carol Cohen

Department: Management
I have been working with children with complex medical needs since 2006. One of the best parts of my jobs is bringing families to the annual Family Voices Health Summit to help families connect with their elected representatives.

Corina Samaniego

Department: Management
Specialty: Spanish
I am a program manager but I have a lot of extra jobs at FRN – as staff ask me for help with their computer or phone. In my spare time, I like spending time with my family, doing crafts and baking.

Lilian Ansari

Department: Management
Specialty: Persian (farsi)
In Iran, I spent my summers taking care of my cousin with Muscular Dystrophy. Then in the US, I was the primary caregiver for my brother with a Traumatic Brain Injury. My most profound training comes from parenting two kids with disabilities. I am passionate about providing support to other families so they don’t feel alone.


Alex Guerrero

Specialty: Spanish
I love working for an organization that does amazing things for the community. I found out about FRN through my mom because FRN helped her in many ways. I love what we do and am so happy to be a part of this team. In my free time, I enjoy fitness and watching movies.

Ali Hernandez

Specialty: Spanish
My son has led me to knock on the doors of FRN years ago after his diagnosis. And today I’m proud to be part of this great team and to be able to support the community, as one day they did with me.

Beheschta Barati

Specialty: Dari, Farsi, German
Originally from Afghanistan, I understand the unique challenges faced by families raising children with special needs. With both personal experience and professional expertise, I’m here to assist Farsi/Dari-speaking families in navigating the system. I’m dedicated to supporting families through coaching, so they can advocate for their children and access the support networks they deserve.

Betty Wong

Specialty: Cantonese
I was born in Hong Kong. It’s always my pleasure to help the community and Chinese-speaking families. I love purple. You would always see me with purple hair. I love traveling, shopping, trying out new restaurants, learning another culture.

Emilee Leon

Specialty: Spanish
I have been with FRN more than 10 years now, and I have 3 children. When not busy helping families, I like playing practical jokes – but only on my co-workers.

Isabel Alvarez

Specialty: Spanish
My son Santi, who is 10 years old, has autism. I attended an FRN support group and from day one I felt welcomed, understood, and started to know about resources for my son. My goal is to help families by connecting them with the system to make their journey a little easier.

Kay Holmes

I am a sibling to an amazing brother who was diagnosed shortly after birth with Cerebral Palsy. I remember seeing the frustration and sadness on my mother’s face. It brings me so much joy and peace to now be apart of the FRN family, using my background in Interior Design and Event Coordination, to make genuine connections with families by designing unique workshops, trainings and conferences to bring more awareness and free resources to the community. I am always ready to create a safe space for support and inspire families to walk the walk alongside us.

Mayyadah Zaidani

Specialty: Arabic
I studied democracy and human rights and I am an advocate for women. I love helping others and making more people aware of the services and resources they can be provided with, especially Arab people because I come from the same background as them and want to guide them in the right direction by providing them with useful resources.

Rocio Peralta

Specialty: Spanish
I joined FRN after being a parent leader. The other staff tease me and say that they always know when I am working because they smell coffee and popcorn – but I like coffee and popcorn.

Sameena Ishaq

Specialty: Hindi, Urdu
I am the warrior mom of two kids and my younger son has a rare disease and has special health care needs. In addition to working at FRN, I co-run the Union City Special Needs Library Playgroups. I have a passion for arts and crafts. I enjoy working with families and helping them advocate for services.

Selina Zhan

Specialty: Cantonese, Mandarin
I am a mom of two children and first came to FRN as a parent. I am very happy to work in the FRN organization. I have received a lot of training at work and have increased my knowledge of special education, which enables me to better support my children. I also very much hope to help more families who have similar experiences and needs, and to help people in the Alameda County community.

Silvia Gonzalez

Specialty: Spanish
I love the work I do for families! When not working, I spend time with my family. I love taking pictures, and taught everyone at FRN how to take good selfies.

Sonia Waters

I have been working with FRN for over 20 years, and I stay because it is so rewarding to work with families. And I get to see lots of babies, and I do love seeing the babies.

Sumathi Balaji

Specialty: Hindi, Tamil
I am a parent turned advocate. I enjoy learning and researching services available for children with complex needs. My life’s satisfaction comes from helping families receive the services they deserve. When I am not researching, I enjoy being outdoors.

Will Long

Specialty: ASL
I am a Hard of Hearing family advocate with training and experience with IEPs. FRN is host to some of the most passionate and helpful team members I’ve ever seen in the disability world. I also rely on them for support! I’m honored to be part of this team. Family empowerment is my goal for you. Disability is normality!


Pei He

Specialty: Cantonese, Mandarin
I started working at FRN as an Administrative Assistant in 2014. In my free time, I like hiking and traveling the world to see different places by exploring and understanding other cultures and customs.
Image of mother and daughter with sunglasses

“I started as a client at FRN. I was able to preserve critical services that could easily be lost. It was important to me that my child have friends and be in her neighborhood school and grow with the kids in her neighborhood. We would not have been able to figure this out without the help of FRN because there are not many who would take our calls.”  -KANAKA


Our board is made up of: parents who are great advocates and who want to give back to the community and professionals who dedicate their careers to helping children. All our board members are passionate about our mission and make significant contributions to the families of Alameda County.



Daniel Vasquez

Department: Member

Jan Grossman

Department: Member

Steve Allie

Department: Member

Sumita Kalra

Department: Member