Gregory BoyleExecutive Director at Homeboy Industries
Gregory (Greg) Boyle, the founder and Executive Director of Homeboy Industries, was born in Los Angeles as one of eight children. After graduating from Loyola High School in Los Angeles in 1972, he entered the Jesuits and was ordained a priest in 1984.
Boyle taught at Loyola High School and worked with Christian Base Communities in Cochabamba, Bolivia. He was Pastor of Dolores Mission in the Boyle Heights neighborhood of Los Angeles from 1986 until 1992. Before returning to Dolores Mission, he served as Chaplain of the Islas Marias Penal Colony in Mexico and at Folsom Prison.
Homeboy Industries traces its roots to “Jobs for a Future” (JFF), a program created by Boyle in 1988 at Dolores Mission parish. To address the needs of gang-involved youth, JFF established an elementary school, a daycare program, and found employment for young people.
In 1992, as a response to the civil unrest in Los Angeles, Fr. Greg launched Homeboy Bakery to provide training, work experience, and the opportunity for rival gang members to work side by side. The success of the bakery led to the creation of Homeboy Industries in 2001. Today Homeboy Industries’ nonprofit development enterprises include Homeboy Bakery, Homeboy Silkscreen, Homeboy Maintenance, Homeboy/Homegirl Merchandise, and Homegirl Café.
As an acknowledged expert on gangs and intervention approaches, Boyle is a nationally renowned speaker. He and several “homies” were featured speakers at the White House Conference on Youth in 2005.
Homeboy Industries was severely affected by the economic downturn in 2009, but is recognized as the largest gang intervention program in the county.
Kara PowellExecutive Director of the Fuller Youth Institute
Dr. Kara Powell is the Executive Director of the Fuller Youth Institute (FYI) and a faculty member at Fuller Theological Seminary. Named by Christianity Today as one of “50 Women You Should Know,” Kara serves as a Youth and Family Strategist for Orange, and also speaks regularly at parenting and leadership conferences. Kara is the author or coauthor of a number of books, including Growing Young, The Sticky Faith Guide for Your Family, Sticky Faith Curriculum, Can I Ask That?, Deep Justice Journeys, Deep Justice in a Broken World, Deep Ministry in a Shallow World, and the Good Sex Youth Ministry Curriculum.
Steven Argue joined the Fuller Theological Seminary faculty in June 2015 in a hybrid role as assistant professor of youth, family, and culture and as applied research strategist with the Fuller Youth Institute (FYI). A thought leader and researcher with decades of on-the-ground ministry experience, he came from Mars Hill Bible Church in Grand Rapids, Michigan, where he served since 2009 as pastor and theologian-in-residence. Prior to that he was executive director of the Contextual Learning Center (CLC) at Grand Rapids Theological Seminary, where he designed the seminary’s residency program that provided experience and assessment for seminary students. He has worked and led parachurch organizations that focused on youth ministry strategies and leadership development. Also, he was associate pastor of high school ministries at Elmbrook Church. Prior to his ministry experience, he worked for Hewitt Associates, a firm that provides human capital and management consulting services.
Dr. Argue worked with FYI for five years before joining its staff: as a Sticky Faith coach and speaker, a contributor on projects such as the Churches Engaging Young People Project (CEYP), and as an Advisory Council Member. He also taught as an adjunct at Fuller Seminary, as well as at Grand Rapids Theological Seminary, Cornerstone University, Bethel College (Indiana), Biblical Theological Seminary, Northern Seminary, and Jos Evangelical Theological School (Nigeria). His speaking engagements include Youth Specialties’ National Youth Workers Convention (NYWC) since 2008, and his publications range from numerous blogs and articles on the Fuller Youth Institute website, in Group magazine, Inside Track magazine, and Youth Worker Journal to coauthoring a five-volume set of training materials for youth workers. Argue was also a chapter contributor to Adopted, edited by Chap Clark.
Argue’s doctoral research focused on how undergraduate students who attend public universities perceive and work through spiritual struggle. He hopes this work can contribute to better understanding emerging adults—one of the most misunderstood groups of people in our churches today—and provide more meaningful ways for faith communities to support emerging adults in one of the most important periods in their lives.
His professional affiliations include the Society for the Study of Emerging Adulthood, Association of Youth Ministry Educators, International Association
Jude Tiersma Watson
Jude Tiersma Watson has lived the past 30 years in an immigrant neighborhood in central Los Angeles as part of InnerChange/Novo. Together with her husband John, she has shared the sorrows and joys of life as friends among her neighbors. In the words of Father Greg, what started out as a desire to save has become of life of savoring the relationships and moving toward radical kinship. Besides her role with InnerChange, Jude is on the faculty of Fuller Seminary, teaching in the areas of urban ministry, spiritual formation and self and community care in mission. She has loved Santa Barbara since her days (long ago) at Westmont College.
Matt currently serves as the Associate Pastor of Youth and Mission at Monte Vista Presbyterian Church in Newbury Park, where he has worked for the past 12 years. He graduated from Fuller Seminary in 2007. He has served college students at First Pres Berkeley, youth and families living as a missionary in Honduras, and has been learning how to reach disconnected students in his own community and abroad for the last 20 years. His professional background and other interests include sports, personal training, film and music production, consulting…and loves maple doughnuts. And at the time of writing this, he’s been waiting since 1988 for the Dodgers to win the World Series again. He has been married to his wife Lori for 15 years and they have 2 boys, Trent (12) and Wesley (10).
Chris serves as Executive Director for the Pro Deo Foundation in Santa Barbara, which is a Christian non-profit focused on creating pathways for vulnerable children and youth to flourish. Trained as a Presbyterian pastor (PCUSA), Chris has served churches in Southern California and Washington, most recently as Senior Pastor of John Knox Presbyterian Church in Seattle. Chris holds degrees from Westmont College, Fuller and Princeton Seminaries. He is currently a doctor of ministry candidate in Leadership and Global Perspectives from Portland Seminary. His interest is in the practice of institutional leadership for the transformation of lives and the common good of the city. Chris met his wife, Devon, at Westmont, and together they enjoy an active lifestyle with their three children, Hannah, Abby, and Lucas. They currently live in Carpinteria, CA. His other pursuits include playing soccer with his kids, surfing, hiking, traveling, and making artisan soap.
Teresa Goines is the founder and CEO of Old Skool Café – a supper club run by at-risk youth in San Francisco, which provides training, jobs and a second chance at life for youth coming out of incarceration and foster care. Teresa's experience working with gang-affiliated youth, as a juvenile correction officer, impacted her life in a way that changed her forever. Their stories gave her an in-depth understanding of how many young people end up on such a destructive path and compelled her to find a solution to the hopelessness she saw in the lives of incarcerated and forgotten youth.
Teresa's mission is to permanently break the cycle of incarceration, by giving young people hope, economic opportunities and training in a supportive environment where they can grow emotionally, physically and spiritually. From this passion the concept of Old Skool Cafe was born in 2005.
Ms. Goines has received several awards and recognition for her work with Old Skool Cafe and the Bayview Community: 2013 CNN Hero Award, 2012 Wells Fargo Community Spirit Award, 2011 Bank of America – Neighborhood Excellence Local Hero Award, 2011 Westmont Global Alumni Award, 2009 FBI Director’s Community Leadership Award, 2008 Jefferson Award, and 2006 San Francisco Foundation Koshland Bayview Fellowship Award.
Jason Tarman has worked in the field of family, child and adolescent behavioral health for 20 years; having worked with Santa Barbara County’s Juvenile Justice Mental Health Services team, homeless outreach team, and currently working with the County’s Lompoc Children’s clinic. His academic training and expertise is in Clinical Psychology with specializations in juvenile justice, gang involved youth, trauma focused treatment, and treatment of those with severe and persistent mental illness.
In addition, Jason provides multi-agency trainings in Trauma Informed Care, sociology and psychology of gangs, and suicide prevention.