Michelle Ahearne, Executive Director
Natural Highs: Horror Movies, Reading and Live Music
Michelle has been Executive Director of Natural High since 2004. Prior to her experience at Natural High, Michelle was the Director of Family Services for Habitat for Humanity of Jacksonville Beaches. She earned her M.A. in Nonprofit Leadership and Management from the University of San Diego (USD) and her B.A. in Social Work at Cornell University. She served on the USD Institute for Nonprofit Education and Research Advisory Board, an alumnus of Fieldstone Foundation’s Executive Coaching Program and completed the San Diego Foundation & Center on Philanthropy at Indiana University’s Certificate in Fund Raising Management. Michelle is a Big Sister involved with Big Brothers Big Sisters and part of the Fieldstone Foundation’s Executive Learning Group.
Sasha Clifton, Director of Programs & Community Engagement
Natural Highs: Laughing & Mountain Climbing
Sasha Clifton has been committed to the non-profit sector for more than ten years. While earning her B.A. in Recreation Administration at the University of Nebraska, she was promoted several times at Girl Scouts, Spirit of Nebraska and held the positions of Camp Counselor, Receptionist, Store Associate, Camp Director, Program Director and Volunteer Coordinator. In 2007, Sasha moved to San Diego as the Program Director of Epilepsy Foundation of San Diego County and as part of her role there she developed a parent support group that began initially with five families and grew to 40 families. She is a new member of Fieldstone Foundation’s Emerging Leaders program.
Marcia Waitt, Education Coordinator
Natural Highs: Golf, Gardening & Cooking
After earning both her undergraduate and graduate degrees from Stanford University, Marcia has worked in education as both a teacher and counselor at the secondary level for twenty-five years in both California and Iowa. She is a Master Educator, always striving for new and innovative teaching methods and approaches to the curriculum. Marcia has always been interested in the effects of drug and alcohol use on the adolescent personality in addition to its physical effects, and primarily its impact on identity formation during this critical period of development. Furthermore, she has observed the effects and impact of role modeling on a young person’s behavior. Also a parent of both grown children and a teen, Marcia believes it is critical to engage parents in this message.
Allura Garis, Youth Engagement Coordinator
Natural Highs: Music and Activism
Allura is a freshman at Mesa College. She learned about Natural High at its booth at the Vans Warped Tour Concert in San Diego in 2010, when she was a student at Point Loma Charter. Before joining the Natural High staff, she volunteered more than 1,500 hours and has always been an influential youth voice and face in multiple Natural High campaigns. Allura created the "I Chose a Natural High" blog, co-presented at that Boost Conference and at multiple events in the community.
Krista Fiser, Director of Operations
Natural Highs: Four-Wheeling, Running & My Kiddos
Krista Fiser joined the Natural High team in July 2011 as Director of Operations, bringing more than 15 years of operational and administrative experience including more than five years in a non-profit setting. Prior to returning to Natural High in 2011, Krista resided on the Board of Directors for the Fruitland Community Center in Fruitland, Maryland. With no paid employees, Krista provided the professional insight and administrative support to build capacity and sustainability to ensure that local youth would be able to continue attending their local after-school and summer program. Krista's responsibilities included board development, grant management, program design and evaluation, and financial/budget oversight. Krista holds an undergraduate degree from SDSU in Health Science with an emphasis in Community Health Education, and she is a Certified Health Education Specialist.
Natural Highs: Soccer, Running, Skiing and Trivia
Prior to joining Natural High in August 2012, Lisa Kevorkian worked in sports information for the UC San Diego Athletic Department and a broadcaster at WTBU Sports in Boston, in addition to an assortment of soccer coaching gigs. Lisa obtained her B.A. in Media Studies from UC Berkeley and her M.S. in Mass Communication from Boston University; she played D-I soccer for both institutions. Lisa's responsibities at Natural High include executing and editing communication projects, co-managing social media, maintaining the website, overseeing DVD distribution and managing our online store.
Brittany Saylor, Special Projects Coordinator
Natural Highs: Skiing, Tennis, Organization
Brittany graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Communication from the University of California, San Diego; and is currently enrolled in the Fundraising and Development certificate program at UCSD Extension. While earning her degree, she was Vice President of External Relations for the Inter-College Resident’s Association at UCSD. The seed for Brittany’s interest in working with nonprofits was planted in junior high when she began volunteering with the American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life. Her nonprofit career began by interning with David Mirisch Enterprises and working for Photocharity. She has a deep passion for nonprofit work and is excited to apply her focus with Natural High.