Our mission is to empower youth to become global
change-makers with the knowledge, confidence
and empathy to make a positive impact in their world.

We envision a just and inclusive world in which empathy, care, and social engagement are at the center of healthy communities.

Our Story

Children for Change believes that children innately want to do good.  We provide opportunities for students to demonstrate that capacity.

C4C is student-driven, with our students engaging in the areas of study about which they are passionate, volunteering in our community, gaining agency in their philanthropy, and creating a giving community.

Children for Change is youth driven and youth led. Meeting topics, action campaigns and recipients of C4C’s charitable giving are inspired by students’ interests.

Management Team

Our management team is a group of “do-ers with heart” who hold a deep belief in the mission and value of Children for Change. As the engine behind C4C, this team balances its work building the organization with other responsibilities such as raising families, managing successful careers and volunteering in other areas of passion. As the C4C management team works behind the scenes, the true leaders of C4C, however, are its youth members who are empowered to guide the organization and are the true magic behind its success.

Annelise Bauer

Board Chair

Claim to fame:
Needs only 4 hours of sleep which leaves 20 hours for productivity.

Gretchen Ellis

Executive Director

Claim to fame:
Exploring California by visiting one Botanical Garden at a time.

Elizabeth Miller

Senior Director of Program

Claim to fame:
Can mindfully connect with anyone and everyone.

Board of Directors

Children for Change’s Leadership Team believes that our youth, given the opportunity, will lead with empathy and compassion to help others in need and create the change that is needed in our world. We fundamentally believe that it is young people who are making the real change for good happen. Core to Children for Change is the belief that the role of leaders in our organization is to let the young people lead and simply guide and assist them in their mission to create the change they seek.


Annelise Bauer, J.D.
While an intellectual property attorney by profession, Annelise excels at the inability to say “no” to volunteer opportunities. Annelise serves as an elected member of the Ross Valley School Board, a member of The Bay School of San Francisco School Board, Princeton University Alumni Schools Committee Chair - Marin, and in numerous other school-related volunteer jobs. She received a teaching certificate while studying at Princeton University and uses that when teaching Children for Change in the middle schools and managing her family with three children.

Little Known Fact: Annelise speaks Turkish.

Darcy Ellsworth Yow
Darcy has worked in independent schools in the San Francisco Bay Area for over 30 years. At Marin Country Day School since 1993, she runs all of MCDS’s community engagement programs for students, families and faculty, in addition to advising 8th graders. With an eye towards "Change, not Charity," her community engagement program trains participants to observe without judgment, identify assets in themselves and their community, and build empathy while helping students feel empowered to make a positive change in their communities. Darcy has college-aged twin daughters and is actively involved in several local non-profit organizations which focus on sustainability, education, food security, health, poverty alleviation, social justice and voting rights.

Little Known Fact: Darcy can furnish an entire house and clothe an entire family with flea market and consignment store finds.

Linda Frey
During a 20-year career in international development, Linda has done democracy and governance work in Latin America, helped launch a new global grantmaking program at the Hewlett Foundation, and led the global secretariat for the Open Government Partnership. In August 2021, Linda began working with California Volunteers in the Office of the Governor, where she is currently Director of College Corps -- a new statewide service initiative for 3,200 California college students.

Little Known Fact: Linda spent countless hours corresponding with pen pals across 5 different countries throughout middle and high school.

Dave Kolek, J.D.
David has more than 15 years of experience as both outside and inside legal counsel, focusing primarily on labor and employment law, general business litigation, and corporate matters. David’s pro-bono legal work has focused on advising non-profit organizations on employment and general business matters.

Little Known Fact: David has written four as yet unpublished novels.
Lisa Epstein
After a short stint as a legal aid lawyer, Lisa found her passion as an educator. Lisa has taught at various levels including elementary and middle school, and at the college level, and she currently serves students with diverse learning needs as a learning specialist at a Marin County independent school and in her private educational therapy practice. Lisa is especially passionate about disability rights and educational access for all.

Little Known Fact: If you can't find her, Lisa is probably in the swimming pool.
Inga Wahle
Inga is a research and analysis specialist with experience working with both private businesses and government organizations. Before migrating to California, she worked as an International Trade Officer in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, in her island home, Dominica. Making the difficult decision to leave her island, family and friends, Inga joined her husband in San Anselmo where he grew up. There, she invested her heart into raising three beautiful girls, instilling in them the confidence to be strong, resilient, empathetic global citizens. Her focus now is to deepen her involvement in racial equity work. She has spent the last four years working on the Ross Valley District Parent Equity Task Force helping change Board policy in an effort to build a community where every child feels seen and celebrated. She joins a movement where social activism drives social change and fosters a world where every child, regardless of race or socioeconomic status, have the confidence and tools to reach for the stars!

Little Known Fact: She unwinds with tea and popcorn.

Glen Galaich
Jennifer Grossman
Peter Martin
Roberta Romberg
Devon Preston
Wendy Donner

Youth Ambassadors

Purposeful by design, youth voice and opinion is critical to the success and growth of our organization. We have three seats on our board held by student representatives, chosen by careful consideration. 


Bayley Bauer - Co-Founder of C4C
Age 19
Bayley loves Asian food, used to have a root beer collection, and loves Brooklyn 99.

Cayden Bauer - Co-Founder of C4C

Age 19
Cayden makes a mean guacamole, can recite Game of Thrones and The Office, and loves to read.

Emma McFerron - C4C Member for 8 years

Age 16, 10th Grader at Archie Williams High School
Emma is an active C4C member - volunteering at the food bank and Marin Humane, packing and delivering sack lunches, and more. She has participated in many C4C projects like Books of Change, making films for the Redford Center, and helping to get sponsors for the C4C Challenge. Emma has also represented C4C on movie discussion panels and, she says, "I try to sign up for anything I can!"

Alexandra Berry - C4C Member for 5 years

Age 14, 9th Grader at Archie Williams High School
Alexandra has been involved with Children for Change since she was in 3rd grade at Hidden Valley Elementary School. Her work includes campaigning at her school to educate students how to properly dispose of waste, participating in the C4C challenge hikes, making meals for the homeless, and acting as a member of the C4C Homeless Summit to decide how to distribute funds raised by her local C4C chapter and participating on a C4C movie discussion panel. Additionally, Alexandra and two classmates made a game called “Schools and Ladders” with a Climate Change twist. Using recycled plastic straws, wrapping paper, tubes and food containers they demonstrated how to make use of recycled household products to make games. Through her work at C4C, Alexandra has learned about the importance of bringing awareness to issues that impact our world. She is hoping for and working towards a brighter future by making change happen now. Alexandra believes we all need to be collaborative change agents.

Zach Sperling - C4C Member for 1 year

Zach is in 7th grade at Mark Day School. He was first introduced to Children for Change a few years back at an event with Rabbi Michael Lezak and has been involved ever since! He loves participating in community service projects and helping out with the afterschool C4C class at Mark Day School. In his free time, he explores and hikes in the outdoors along with furthering his knowledge of engineering and aerospace. He loves to play soccer and run cross country.


Dylan Donner: 2017-2018
Liana Franco: 2018-2019
Kai Makino: 2018-2019
Eloise Sent: 2020-2021

C4C Advisors and Educators

Children for Change has assembled an all-star group of educators and student advisors to energize and inspire.

Eric Brandt

Eric has been teaching for 25 years in grades 2-5, most of this time has been in Ross Valley. Living and working in the same small town for several decades has allowed him to watch his students grow up and begin their own adult lives. Eric became involved with Children for Change in its starting stages as a lunchtime club. He enjoyed seeing the interest and energy as the students turned outward to issues and subjects beyond their own small world. Their excitement to raise money for causes and willingness to get involved in issues facing the greater community and world continues to inspire him. His hope in getting involved in a C4C Educator role is that he might play a role as his students become involved with organizations and causes as they grow up and move into adulthood. He says, "working with and inspiring these young change-makers is an honor."

Jenae Casalnuovo

Prior to working with Children for Change, Jenae spent time teaching poetry to 3rd-8th graders in Ross Valley School District and several years as an elementary school teacher for San Rafael City Schools. After using C4C's climate change curriculum in her 4th/5th grade classroom and partnering her class with the C4C club at the district's middle school, Jenae was moved by the program's values, lessons, and approach to learning. She recognized the immense impact C4C had on her students' academic achievement and social-emotional development, and she knew she wanted to get further involved. Every day she is inspired by the creative problem-solving abilities of young people, as well as their propensity for critical hopefulness -- two qualities she believes are illuminated by C4C's programming and volunteer opportunities.

Our student advisors who range in age from 14-18 years old have a collected 36 years of Children for Change experience under their belts! Some have been around since C4C inception, others have used C4C as a launching off platform for community involvement, others have found a love of inspiring their peers through C4C teaching and all of them are incredible human beings who we feel lucky to work with and have inspiring the next generation of C4C young people.

Student Advisors:
Ella Furuichi (C4C Since 2016), Mia Slippy (C4C Since 2016), Dylan Donner (C4C Since 2016), Bayley Bauer (C4C Since 2014), Cayden Bauer (C4C Since 2014), Toby Lamorte (C4C Since 2019)

Strategic Partners

We are honored to work with established non-profit and community partners who have mindfully chosen to support and work hand-in-hand with Children for Change students over the years. We approach these relationships on the premise that the whole is more powerful than the sum of its parts. As such, we seek volunteer opportunities for Children for Change families that allow us to give as much as we get. These relationships are core to the success of our program. On the flip side, we’re confident that Children for Change volunteers provide support in unique and meaningful ways for our partner organizations.



homeward bound



book exchange

find your way






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downtown streets team

We are honored to have received grants from our philanthropic partners. This support is crucial to expanding C4C program so that every student in Marin has the opportunity to see themselves as a changemaker. We are grateful for the support and recognition of our work.



well fed world

Harbor Point Charitable Foundation logo

The Kehillah Fund



We thank our fiscal partners and appreciate their dedication and support of the C4C mission.

C4C in the News


C4C in the Community - Marin Living Magazine

December 2023

Children for Change Is Teaching the Next Generation to Get Involved

C4C Challenge - ABC 7 News

April 2018

The Challenge gets the attention of ABC News; kids creating the change they seek in this world is always newsworthy.


November 2018

C4C'ers speaking out to ban flavored vaping products in Marin County.


C4C Challenge 2018

April 2018

Annual fundraiser & community building hike

"Just Eat It"

January 2019

Movie Screening & Panel Discussion

Hunger Banquet

January 2019

An interactive experience to understand hunger here & around the world

Marin Humane

December 2018

Marin Humane Society’s holiday gift delivery for low-income pet guardians


Homeward Bound of Marin

Spring 2018 (Page 8)

Founders’ Circle

Our Founders' Circle brings together like-minded leaders and philanthropists in support of the C4C mission to empower young people to become global change makers. We are endlessly grateful for the generosity and backing of our current Founders’ Circle Members:

The Bauer Family
Larry & Judy Bauer
The Blanchard Family
Lance & Kathy Chilton
The Donner Family
The Dowd Family
Jason Davis & Laura Bradley Davis
The Forte Family
Linda Frey and Noah Goldberg
The Gilberd Family
Erin Heath & Jim Rivera
The Henry Family
The Kaplan Family
Patrick and Susan Keefe Family
Ruth Ann Keene

The Lillevand Family
Sarah McNamara
The Martin Family
The Morehouse Family
Steve Morreale
The Palmer Family
Vicki Peet & Steve Zimmerman
Kate Perry
Devon & Fraser Preston
Roberta Romberg
The Sent Family
The Shaw & Strong Family
The Ticknor Family
Katherine Van Dusen
The Winton Family

Join us on the ground floor as Children for Change’s innovative, experiential learning program expands to meet the demonstrated need in our community and beyond. You can be a part of the Founders’ Circle with a minimum donation of $250.


racial equity

Racial equity for students in Marin will be achieved when race and ethnicity no longer predict the outcome of a young person’s educational future. As a Marin Promise Partner, Children for Change commits to identify and dismantle racial inequities, and to provide equity-based supports, so that our most vulnerable children can achieve their full potential250.

“I learned that I love helping. That thought keeps me coming back."

- Noah, age 10