JPA Team



Curtiss Sarikey brings over thirty years of experience working to improve communities and schools for children and families. He was most recently at the Stuart Foundation from 2016-17 as Senior Director where he led work for the Foundation on educator leadership, labor management collaboration, and state level policy on continuous improvement and capacity building.

Mr. Sarikey was also the Deputy Chief of Community Schools and Student Services department in OUSD from 2011 to 2016 where he was responsible for student and family support services and district collaborations with public and private partners. In 2016, he was awarded a Community Schools Initiative Leadership Award from the National Coalition for Community Schools. He was also adjunct faculty for University of San Francisco School Counseling Program where he taught courses in family engagement and school improvement. 

His prior experience includes ten years in the San Francisco Unified School District as a supervisor for the Student and Family Services Department, executive director of Big Brothers Big Sisters of the East Bay, and social worker with the U.S. Naval Medical Center, Oakland.

Mr. Sarikey received a BA from the State University of New York at Geneseo, a Masters of Social Work from the University of California at Berkeley, and education credentials from San Francisco State University and Sonoma State University.



Cathy Torres Mercado joined Youth Ventures Joint Powers Authority in February 2017. Cathy has over 20 years of nonprofit administration and philanthropic experience. She served as a Program Associate focusing on education policy and open educational resources at the following: the Hewlett Foundation, the Stuart Foundation, and the San Francisco Foundation. Cathy also served as the Practice Coordinator at the UC Berkeley School of Public Health Center for Public Health Practice & Leadership, which supports students, faculty, alumni, and practitioners to promote individual and community health. Cathy was also a teacher and psychologist at the Montessori Children’s House, a pre-school that integrated special needs children into regular classrooms.

Cathy holds a degree in psychology from the University of the Philippines and a certificate in accounting from the Ateneo de Manila University in the Philippines.