We envision a world where local community members—regardless of age, background, and socioeconomic status—learn from one another, advocate for each other, and work hand in hand to advance equity and social justice.
We mobilize young professionals to advance community-based social impact by teaching them to deploy their time, money, skills, and influence as partners and advocates.
Why are we here?
As today’s young professionals, we are hungry to make a difference on issues we care about, but many of us lack the tools, knowledge, and connections to be effective agents of change. We want to support equitable solutions to systemic problems, not just as a reaction to social media and current events, but as part of our daily lives. Positively impacting our communities is not a task for the future. It’s an imperative today.
Community-based organizations work hard to address inequities in our society, but though they are experts in their fields, they often lack access to diverse resources that allow them to effectively pursue their missions. We have the opportunity to leverage our energy, skills, and networks alongside those already working towards sustainable positive change. We seek to be neither consultants nor saviors, but partners and amplifiers of the voices most impacted by social, environmental, and economic challenges.
We are empathetic.
We seek to first listen and understand, acknowledging that we have a lot to learn. The diverse experience and perspectives of our partners and peers are not just nice to have, they are essential to sustainable positive change.
We are committed.
We show up for ourselves, each other, our partners, and our community at large--not just today, but in the long term. Our knowledge and capacity for impact will likely change over time, and we take initiative and responsibility for our own growth and sustained engagement.
We advocate for our communities.
We are here to build sustained relationships and serve our communities, which means seeking to understand context, diversity, and systems of the communities we work with and inhabit. We embrace our roles as partners and advocates by supporting our peers on their own journeys and speaking fearlessly about what we value.
We have fun.
We enjoy our time together and with our partners, and we prioritize joy, celebration, and friendship. Things get heavy sometimes, but smiles and laughter are essential to the work we do.
"YCore made me realize how important this work is for my happiness and long term satisfaction, and that I need to create sustainable ways of integrating social change in my life."
-Gianna De Filippis
Fellow, Initiate Justice
Jessica Blackshaw, Executive Director
Jess joined YCore in Winter 2018 as a fellow working with 826 Valencia. Prior to joining the team full time, she worked across the Bay at Net Impact, where she managed case competitions, design sprints, and event content to inspire and equip emerging social impact leaders. Jess holds an MA in Iberian and Latin American Cultures and a BA in Philosophy and Literature from Stanford. When she’s not thinking about the ethics of citizenship, service, and social justice, you can find her running the SF hills, singing in public, or buying excessive amounts of seasonal fruit.
Katy Lardaro, Program Manager
Katy first joined the YCore community as a fellow in the Winter of 2018, partnering with the Housing Rights Committee of San Francisco. She previously worked with Hamilton Families as a case manager, supporting families in the Bay Area to stabilize and thrive after their experiences with homelessness. Katy graduated from Brown University in 2016 with a B.A. in Psychology. In her free time, she is learning how to roller skate and loves to make New York Style bagels from scratch.
Simon Shachter, Co-Founder & Board Chair
Simon is a current PhD student in sociology at the University of Chicago studying the role of philanthropy in American society. He previously worked at the San Francisco Jewish Federation, Stanford Center for Philanthropy and Civil Society, the Hewlett Foundation, and the Laura Arrillaga-Andreessen Foundation. Simon graduated from Stanford in 2014 with a degree in Computer Science and a minor in Comparative Literature. He is a philanthropy fanatic and is passionate about helping people realize the impact they can have. Simon loves football, the smell of full bookshelves, and collecting pillows.
Samantha Carpenter, Director of Philanthropy
Sam joined YCore in 2015 to lead a research project on Millennial philanthropy and has stayed on ever since. As a development professional working in Dartmouth's West Coast Advancement office and with a background in nonprofit consulting, Sam brings deep strategic and vision-making experience to YCore. Sam graduated from Wellesley College with a degree in Art History. In her free time, Sam enjoys running, seeking out the best gluten-free baked goods and exploring Berkeley.
Jay Lee, Alumni Board Chair
Jay joined YCore in January 2017, and has been both a project lead and mentor for YCore projects. He is the Head of Insights & Marketing at Rippleworks Foundation, which supports high-growth social ventures around the world, specifically through operational support and catalytic funding. When he's not working or volunteering with YCore, he's busy scouring the Bay Area for live music and planning mystery trips for his friends.