Meet the Team
Ashley Basanese originally joined BALANCE4kids in 2003 as an instructional assistant. Through her experiences at BALANCE4kids Ashley determined this was the field for her and went back to school at CSUMB to receive her Bachelor's in Non-Profit Business Management with a minor in Child Development. Between 2003 and 2016 Ashley held every role within BALANCE4kids with the exception of Executive Director. In 2013 Ashley moved down to part time to go back to school and get her Masters in Counseling Psychology. She graduated in 2015 and rejoined BALANCE4kids full time as the lead Therapeutic Crisis Intervention and Safety trainer, providing support on school sites to our staff. Additionally Ashley held the role of Respite Coordinator. In 2016 the board voted that Ashley would succeed Vicky George as Executive Director when the time came. Ashley served on the BALANCE4kids board from 2009 until October of 2018 when Ashley stepped up to the role of Executive Director. In her spare time Ashley loves to spend time sailing and sits on the board of the Santa Cruz Yacht Club.
Regina earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Legal Studies from UCSC in 2010 and opted to take a break before heading off to Law School. During this break she found BALANCE4kids, joined the team, and never looked back. Regina started in the office on an as-needed basis in 2011 covering the morning shifts for Ashley Basanese. Unsure whether she could give up working in the classroom, Regina moved to a 50/50 classroom/office schedule in 2015. Just this last year Regina transitioned to full time in the role of Program Director. As Program Director Regina oversees BALANCE4kids school staff and hiring, coordinates fundraisers, and various other administrative tasks. When not at the office she enjoys riding horses, sailing, cooking, and spending time with her two “fur children” at the beach.
Quest Day Program Manager
Christina Kim graduated from UCSB in 2008 with her Bachelor's in Asian American Studies. Christina originally joined BALANCE4kids in 2012 working as an instructional aide in the classroom. Christina has been managing the Quest Adult Day Program, BALANCE4kids newest program, since it was created in 2016. In 2018 she received her Master's in Psychology, Applied Behavior Analysis. Christina is currently working towards her BCBA Certification. Outside of work Christina enjoys going on adventures with her son Andy as well as various creative hobbies like making scarves and hats on a loom.
Kent earned his Bachelor's Degree in Computer Science from CSUMB in 2000. Shortly after graduating he was asked to help design a website for Abra Therapy with the team that would eventually become BALANCE4kids. He spent the next few years working part time as the BALANCE4kids webmaster before joining the staff full time in 2010. Aside from maintaining the website, he keeps the network and computers going, helps out at fundraisers as an event technician, and does all the purchasing for our yearly Teacher Grant Foundation.
Quest Center Director
Colleen Russell started working for BALANCE4Kids in April of 2003 after graduating from UCSC. That December she took the idea of starting a social skills group for children and young adults with special needs to Vicky George, where it was met with great enthusiasm and support. For the last 15 years Colleen has had the pleasure to work with the most amazing individuals and their families, alongside the incredibly talented staff at Kid Quest as the Director of Kid Quest. In February of 2016 Colleen became the Director of the Quest Adult Day Program, and has the privilege of witnessing several original Kid Quest participants’ transition from childhood to adulthood there. Colleen became a Therapeutic Crisis Intervention trainer in October of 2016, and provides behavior support to BALANCE4Kids aides in the schools. In her spare time Colleen loves to play with her two young daughters, bake, read, garden and walk alongside East Cliff with her family.