How It All Started…

What started out as a program developed by the Boys & Girls Club of Malibu in partnership with SAMHSA to address mental health needs for youth in our Clubs and the greater community grew into so much more… Empowered Voices has formed an LA Collaborative with twenty other Boys & Girls Club across LA County. Together, we are dedicated to ensuring ALL youth have the tools they need to be successful.

“Youth have experienced a very unique situation with the COVID19 pandemic. The feelings of isolation and uncertainty have had profound impacts. Being able to voice and express their feelings and identify who they are through the Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) modules will help tremendously to provide the necessary tools to navigate life’s uncertainties.
Youth benefit significantly from positive programming, and they need more than a singular approach which is why our focus on SEL is so critical to making youth feel “whole and complete”. No matter what adversity they have faced in their past, it’s the impact of a collaborative approach that can truly make a difference. “It takes a village,” indeed. Through this opportunity, youth gain a sense of “taking on the world” and feel empowered. This course, in and of itself, allows them to seek out challenges, new opportunities, and to know that they can make a difference.”

Lance Holliday
Director of Program Development │ Boys & Girls Clubs of Long Beach


Kasey Earnest

Chief Executive Officer

Boys & Girls Club of Malibu

Lance Holliday

Director of Program Development

Boys & Girls Club Long Beach

Peggy Zherdev, MSW, MPPA, ASW #95390

Director of the Wellness Center + Social Support Services 

Boys & Girls Club of Malibu

Violet Way, MA

Teen Center Director

Boys & Girls Club of Malibu

Ashlen Kernes

Special Events & Marketing Director

Boys & Girls Club of Malibu

Lauren Quient, MA

Director of Education + Project Based Learning

Boys & Girls Club of Malibu

Nick Koontz, MS, LMFT #103076

Director of Wellness Programs

Boys & Girls Clubs of West San Gabriel Valley and Eastside

Tyler Hawkins, MS

DEI + Brent’s Club Director

Boys & Girls Club of Malibu

Ethan White

Data & Development Director

Boys & Girls Club of Malibu