Meet The Empowerment Team
TOBI JO GREENE, Founder & Director
Tobi’s work experience over the past 20 years has been related to the empowerment of individuals of all ages, including the development and implementation of environmental education programs, Facilitating Personal Empowerment and Team Building Ropes Courses, Sexual Health Education, Sexual Assault Awareness Education, Self Defense Instruction, Rape Crisis Counseling, Advocating for victims of sexual assault, as well as various team coaching positions. She has her Bachelor of Science Degree in Recreation Administration with a concentration in Environmental Education. The Girls Empowerment Workshop was developed from a combination of Tobi’s passion, experience and desire to empower young people with information, a deep self worth and a voice to go along with it. Tobi has a son and a daughter who have both been participants in this program for several years.
CASEY MURPHY, The Boys Empowerment Workshop Lead Facilitator
Casey joined our team in the Fall 2012 and works as a Lead Facilitator in our Boys Workshops. He is an experienced instructor with teens in outdoor & wilderness education, rehabilitation therapy and yoga. Casey has been working and learning with youth for 15 years now. He spends most of his days working with teens in Ojai exploring bowmaking, tracking, listening and yoga. Becoming a mentor for teens is one of Casey’s passion.
SHARLYNDA HORTON, Workshop Facilitator
Sharlynda is an educator and small business owner. As a teacher at Vista Real Charter School, Sharlynda supports efforts to end domestic violence and empower youth to end dating abuse. She has also worked as an Early Childhood Educator, Reading Instructor, Sylvan Learning Center Instructor and Site Coordinator, Duke Hospital School Language Facilitator, and Community College Adjunct English Instructor. As a Qualified Mental Health Professional, Sharlynda worked with a team of professionals, community members and families to provide person centered treatment plans, crisis response, skills training, psycho-educational activities, and advocacy for children and adults. In addition to this work, Sharlynda assisted researchers at Duke University (Department of Medicine) by facilitating focus groups and analyzing research data. She earned a B.A. in English and Chemistry minor from East Carolina University, and an M.A.T. in secondary education from the University of Southern California.
YAMIKO KAWALE started and runs our sister program in Malawi. As a school teacher, Yamiko has found passion in educating and empowering young girls. She has worked hard and successfully in generating interest and providing empowerment programming for the girls in her community, where her program is growing and gaining recognition.
For more information on Yamiko’s Program Click Here
KATIE MUNDLE, Wilderness Coordinator, Grant Writer and Workshop Facilitator Trainee
Katie joined the Girls Empowerment Workshop in 2016 as a grant writer and is currently training to be a workshop facilitator. She has had the privilege of working with youth and teens for over a decade as a camp counselor, sports coach, yoga teacher, and wilderness guide. It is her love of wilderness that Katie is most excited to share with the girls in her role as Camping Director for TGEW. Every summer Katie leads backpacking trips for teens in the Eastern Sierra; focusing on natural history, health, and mindfulness. Katie trained with the Art of Yoga Project, an organization that seeks to rehabilitate teenage girls in the juvenile justice system by teaching them art, yoga, and journaling. Combining wilderness experiences with yoga to empower teens is Katie’s passion, and The Girls Empowerment Workshop is overjoyed to have her on our Team.
JEANINE MURPHY, Workshop Facilitator & Board of Directors
Jeanine sits on the board of the TGEW and was first introduced to the program as a board member of the Ojai Valley Youth Foundation. As a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist and a Mental Health Clinician for Ojai Unified School District, she participates as a guest lecturer for the workshops. Jeanine is a registered trainer of SafeTALK (suicide awareness for everyone) and a national trainer/consultant for the Olweus Bullying Prevention Program. Jeanine has worked with children, adolescents and their families for over 20 years and believes that our youth need the opportunity to not only discuss the many challenges they face today, but also the opportunity to feel empowered to ask difficult questions, get to know themselves better and feel confident as they navigate through the stages of their development.
“I feel strongly about the mission of TGEW and am honored to be a part of a program seeking to educate, empower and elicit positive change in our youth.”
KASEY LENNON, Board of Directors
Kasey volunteered in some of our very first workshops for the Junior High Girls, and currently serves on our Board of Directors. She is a loved and valued guest speaker in our workshops, as well as camp chaperone. Kasey is involved in her community, and cares deeply for people. As a lover of nature, mother of two grown children, and local business owner, Kasey appreciates the process of life. Kasey served as an Executive Aide to Supervisor Steve Bennett for many years as well as Secretary to the non-profit, Meiners Oaks Business & Artists Association and currently has returned to school for a Bachelor’s degree.
“I am delighted to play a role in the very important mission of The Girls Empowerment Workshop.”
LAURA DIXON, Workshop Facilitator
Laura Dixon is an English teacher at Vista Real Charter School, an independent study school in Ventura. Previously, she taught junior high and high school English in Northern California. During her time working with youth, Laura has realized the importance of empowering young women. She has also worked with struggling adult readers through the Ventura County READ program. Laura is an alumni of CSU, Chico. There she earned her single subject teaching credential, a B.A in English Education, and a minor in Art Studio. She lives in Ventura with her husband and young son.
DENISE RAZANA MOROKE, Workshop Facilitator
“Each time I step into a workshop I am amazed to see the wonderful growth each student experiences throughout the sessions. I am reassured that the time and energy we put into each and every session is truly worth it. I am excited to see what more is to come!”
LYNNE GOLDFARB, Board of Directors
Lynne is currently Chair of TGEW Board of Directors, and is currently training to facilitate workshops. Lynne has been working for years in the field of education and values making a difference in every one of her student’s lives and grateful for what they contribute to hers.
“As of late, I realized that I did not want to be separated from doing important work by the content I teach and the organizational restraints that are placed upon me. Having a mother who suffered from tremendous PTSD, it has always been tucked away in my heart to work with females of all ages and backgrounds to give them that chance that my mother lost. Having female family members that also have challenges with trauma, substance abuse, and eating disorders the timing has shifted, and I can no longer ignore my heart’s calling to work directly with females. There is a saying from my spiritual tradition, ‘If you save one life you save the world,’ I am ready for this new journey of contributing my training and heart to the girls and young women of The Girls Empowerment Workshop, which offer invaluable content to girls and young women.”
KRIS GRECO, Board of Directors
Kris is an active member of TGEW Board of Directors. She has served on several boards in The Ojai Valley because of her love for our community. She lives in Ojai with her husband and 2 children.
“With all the conflicting and sometimes negative messages our kids are bombarded with everyday I believe TGEW is important and timely. Teaching our children to be empowered is good for them and their future. I look forward to doing the meaningful work with this group of amazing people.”
HANNAH GREENE, Workshop Alumnae, Mentor and Workshop Assistant
Hannah began as a participant in The Girls Empowerment Workshop in 2006, and was much of the inspiration behind its development. Hannah has participated as student, and developed into a positive addition to our team as a Mentor to the Junior High School Girls, a Camp Leader at our Wilderness Adventures, a workshop assistant and as an Ambassador throughout her daily life. Hannah is currently a full time college student and soccer player and works in her family business. Hannah is the first and only girl to have played Football at her high school, earning two CIF rings and earning the honor as the highest scoring female in the county as her teams Kicker. She has volunteered at Camps for children with Autism, which she found to be one of her favorite experiences, and has a passion for animals, through which she has developed an awareness campaign for Pit Bulls.
CHEYENNE JENSEN, Workshop Facilitator Trainee
Cheyenne works as a Pastry Cook at the Ojai Valley Inn & Spa, and studied Baking and Pastry at Long Beach City College. She has a background in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and Kickboxing, and is passionate about self-defense training as a means of empowerment for girls and women. She plans to work in collaboration with TGEW and Ojai Valley MMA to facilitate self-defense training for the girls in the program. Cheyenne is also training to become a workshop facilitator for TGEW and is passionate about educating young people to make empowered decisions in life.
CHLOE SNYDER, Workshop Facilitator Trainee
CARRIE WIDENER, Workshop Facilitator Trainee
HANNAH JOBUS, Workshop Facilitator Trainee
Nicole is the mother of two girls. She is currently progressing toward her Masters in Clinical Psychology while working as a bookkeeper. She has been an active volunteer in Ojai’s education system having served as Nordhoff Parent Association President for 4 years, Scrip Coordinator at Topa Topa, and Treasurer at San Antonio Elementary. She has also served on numerous Ojai Unified School District committees and was awarded the OUSD’s Volunteer of the Year in 2013. Nicole also served on the Ojai Education Foundations’ Board of Directors and is currently Secretary for the Measure J Citizens Oversight Committee. Prior to raising her daughters in Ojai, Nicole had an accomplished career in advertising and marketing. Nicole is proud to be involved with the Girls Empowerment Workshop.
Prior to Judy’s work as an attorney, she worked as a social worker dealing primarily with economically and emotionally impoverished single women and their children and saw first hand how negative role models and dis-empowering messages in the family, community and media, rendered young girls incapable of making good choices for themselves. In recent counseling work—this time with older women—- Judy saw how early poor decision-making played out in lifetimes of dysfunctional relationships, addictive behaviors, and crushing depression.
“I’ve chosen to work with The Girls Empowerment Workshop to avoid that tragic result by helping girls become self-confident young women, capable of making good choices that will create satisfying lives.”
Suzanne is on the Board of the Ojai Valley Youth Foundation, a youth organization supporting The Girls Empowerment Workshop and other programs aiming to support and inspire youth in the midst of their tumultuous teenage years. She has over a decade of experience in non-profits; everything from running a no-kill dog shelter in Santa Barbara to advocating for the Los Padres National Forest to getting kids out into their local watersheds with State Park environmental education programs. In all of her past positions, as well as her undergraduate and graduate studies, Suzanne had a focus on education and involving youth. Her passion has found its home with the Youth Foundation programs and kids they serve. www.ovyf.org“I cannot express the joy I felt being part of The Girls Empowerment Workshop; I was witness to friendships beginning, confidence expanding, self-respect blossoming, and plain old fun at every session. This program embodies my personal belief that through open, respectful conversations we give our children the greatest gift, knowing that someone cares and that they are essentially and forever worthy of it. The experience of a program like The Girls Empowerment Workshop is invaluable for youth.”
Odessa has been involved with The Girls Empowerment Workshop since 7th grade, and continued participation as a member of the Girls Empowerment Leadership Group, as well as Mentor to junior high girls, camp chaperone and assisted with several Public Awareness events. Her favorite volunteer job so far has been coaching youth volleyball and teaching 5th grade girls how to play. She loves mentoring kids and currently helps a fourth grade class at Meiners Oaks Elementary everyday as part of her schedule. Odessa looks forward to continuing her involvement with the program, and to help encourage young women to become informed about the issues affecting their lives. She has most recently organized a fundraising/ Sewing event for the organization, “Days for Girls,” where her goal is to raise $500 and provide products for 50 girls in need.
© The Girls Empowerment Workshop™ is a nonprofit 501(C)3 Charitable Public Foundation.
California Corporation Federal ID #3555600