TEDx Youth@San Juan



Measurement and Accountability

Debra Joy Pérez

Debra Joy Pérez is currently the vice president for knowledge support of The Annie E. Casey Foundation. Before Annie Casey, Pérez worked at the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) in Princeton, N.J., where she built a strong record of achievements beginning 16 years ago and most recently served as interim vice president for the foundation’s Research and Evaluation Unit.


As a member of the leadership team, Pérez provided vision and strategy for RWJF’s research and programmatic activities, helping to develop the foundation’s research policy, vision, strategic planning, cost-effective grant making and best-practice methodologies. She represented research and evaluation activities to external organizations, government agencies, partner institutions and grantees. Pérez has also served as assistant vice president of the Research and Evaluation Unit from 2010 until her appointment as interim vice president last year.

Early in her career, Pérez was special assistant to the president of the Government National Mortgage Association as part of the National Urban and Rural Fellows Program of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. Her relationship with RWJF extends to 1997, when she began a three-year stint as deputy director for the Foundation’s New Jersey Health Initiatives, where she organized and conducted applicant outreach and support. She was a research fellow at the foundation before being named a research and teaching fellow at the Harvard School of Public Health.

She earned her bachelor’s degree in communication at the Rutgers University; a master’s degree in social science at University of Kent in Canterbury, England; a master of public administration degree at Baruch College at the City University of New York; and a Ph.D. in health policy at Harvard University.

Dimitrios Tourountsis

Dimitrios Tourountsis is Head of Learning at London Youth. He joined the organisation in January 2013 to help develop an evidence-based practice and lead London Youth’s work on leveraging knowledge. Combining hands-on frontline experience of engaging young people and the community with a strong research and management background, Dimitrios has worked for more than 10 years in the third and public sectors facilitating change, innovation and learning.

Structures for Systemic Change

Alex Morales

Under Alex’s leadership, Children’s Bureau formed a visionary plan and raised $22+ million through 600 generous individuals and foundations to make it a reality. These resources have been used to build the Magnolia Place Family Center and be the “founding spark” of the Magnolia Community Initiative in Los Angeles pioneered by a large community network.


This revolutionary initiative will become a national model/framework for building community wellness, resiliency, prevention and family support. Magnolia Community Initiative seeks to help ALL of the 35,000 children and youth within 500 blocks achieve success in education, health and receive nurturing care and economic stability form their families and community. Most recently, under Alex’s leadership, Children’s Bureau launched the Belong Institute to serve as a “national megaphone” for learning from the Magnolia Community Initiative. Belong Institute will promote replication nationally of the community wellness framework through training and advocacy. Alex has a Masters degree in social work and a Bachelor of Arts degree in physics.

Greg Landsman

Greg Landsman currently serves as the Executive Director for The Strive Partnership, an education consortium of local providers and funders working together to improve academic achievement along the education continuum – kindergarten readiness, proficiency scores, graduation rates, and postsecondary enrollment and completion rates – in Cincinnati, Newport and Covington. Before joining Strive, Landsman was appointed Director of the Governor’s Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives by Governor Ted Strickland in October of 2007.

Youth Development

Jim Clark

As the eleventh president and CEO of Boys & Girls Clubs of America (BGCA) since its founding in 1906, Jim Clark heads the nation’s largest youth development organization with a primary focus on creating great futures for young people who need Clubs most. He joined BGCA in January 2012 after serving for eight years as president and CEO of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Milwaukee, one of the largest and most successful local BGCA affiliates.


In Milwaukee, Clark led the development of a dynamic growth and impact agenda, launching innovative programs that drove outcomes in literacy, high school graduation, teen services and college preparation. He achieved seven consecutive years of revenue growth and added 17 new service locations. He also significantly increased average daily attendance and frequency, and more than doubled the staff. As a result of the organization’s work in literacy and its proven outcomes, he secured a $4.1 million Investing in Innovation (i3) grant from the U.S. Department of Education to take the literacy program to scale. Today the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Milwaukee, with 700 full- and part-time employees and 300+ volunteers, comprise 40 Club locations serving some 35,000 young people annually. 

Jim also has for-profit experience in the publishing industry, where he served in senior leadership roles in distribution, sales/marketing and customer service operations. He led new business development, acquisitions and mergers as well as process improvement initiatives. For 10 years Jim was an active member of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Milwaukee Friends Board, and knows Boys & Girls Clubs thoroughly, from both board volunteer and executive leadership perspectives.

Today Clark leads the largest network of facility-based youth development organizations in the world. Boys & Girls Clubs of America’s 1,100 local affiliates operate nearly 4,000 Club locations throughout the nation and in BGCA-affiliated Youth Centers on U.S. military installations worldwide. With a combined staff of more than 50,000 full- and part-time employees and some 200,000 board and program volunteers, the organization annually serves some 4 million children and teens through Club membership and community outreach. Club programs help young people achieve academic success and healthy lifestyles, develop good character, and engage in citizenship and public service.

Clark received his Bachelor of Business Administration, with a major in finance and marketing, from the University of Wisconsin. Jim and his wife Samantha have two sons. BGCA’s national office is headquartered in Atlanta.

Kristin Johnstad

Kristin has more than two decades of experience in asset- based human development and change. She works primarily with leaders and change agents in large not-for-profit youth-serving systems and facilitates their vision of strengthening multi-sector collaboration and community transformation.


Johnstad has an MA degree in International Administration and Cross-Cultural Training from the School for International Training in Vermont. Additionally she holds training certifications in three areas that are relevant to the proposed work: (1) performance and leadership coaching (New Ventures West), (2) peer-based learning and network development (Authenticity Consulting), and (3) the application of complexity science to human system improvement (Human Systems Dynamics).

She works primarily with leaders and change agents in large not-for-profit youth- serving systems and facilitate their vision of strengthening multi-sector collaboration and community transformation.

Kristin spent more than decade at Search Institute as the senior consultant working with organizations and communities. Prior to that role, I was with YMCA of the USA and led civic engagement, social innovation and community action models through YMCA movements around the globe.

Local Youth/Community Development

Victor Rivera

Victor M. Rivera is a music-therapist, Latin Grammy Nominee musician and creator and president of Atención Atención, Inc. By developing Atencion Atencion for almost 15 years as an unique, educational-musical program, he has captured the hearts and imagination of children and adults alike.


His years and experience as a Music-Therapist working with special needs and institutionalized children have prepared him for the task of using music as a pedagogic and therapeutic tool to preventatively address social issues that adversely impact our children’s lives, while supporting children’s social development. Presently, Atención Atención is the first children’s program made in Puerto Rico, winner of two Emmy Awards.

Luis Perez

Luis is the Executive Director of the Technology Professionals Association of Puerto Rico. He has 13 years of experience in developing technology and coaching young people into the IT Industry. In 2010 he was named Executive Director for the PRIT Cluster and helped to spearhead strategies adopted for Industry Development and Integration in the Island. He is also collaborator in Foundation for Puerto Rico, IAMCP, Taller Tambuye (Local Bomba Culture Advocation Group), El Junte de Poetas (Poetry Group), and other pro youth nonprofit efforts and initiatives.

Giancarlo González

Giancarlos is currently the Chief Information Officer and Advisor to the Governor at Estado Libre Asociado de Puerto Rico. Previously served as Serial Entrepreneur and managing partner of MAX Web Group, Inc. Also as CEO of MA Web, where he developed ListMax.com, a real estate engine that served as the largest syndication engine in the Caribbean, as well as the MLS service provider in Puerto Rico. Launched CompraoAlquila.com and TasaMax.com, the leading real estate search and comparable data sites in Puerto Rico, respectively. MA Web Group served as a Babson Business School case study.


Gonzalez serves as a mentor and advisor for Grupo Guayacan, Inc. a private-sector driven, non-for-profit corporation whose goal is foster high-impact venture creation in Puerto Rico. Partner and advisor in Gustazos.com, a highly successful group-discount site in the Caribbean.

“I like to find opportunities, associate the right people and execute on the endeavor. In business and in life, it’s about finding great people to walk with me along the way… I’m close to my family and happily married. Strive to succeed and achieve the vision of what I’ve set for myself to accomplish and make a positive difference.”

Arthur Asseo

Arthur Asseo is the cofounder, with María de Mater O’Neill, of Rubberband Design Studio (2008), a transformation design firm specialized in participatory and user-centered methodologies. Rubberband designed a methodology to allow designers extrapolate, evaluate, understand and improve people’s experience with a product or service in order to increase the level of success of the firm’s clients.


Arthur is a candidate for an MA on the History of Decorative Arts from Smithsonian-George Mason University, Washington, DC and has a BFA on Image and Design from the Escuela de Artes Plásticas, Puerto Rico. In 2010, as senior partner in Rubberband, LLP, received the BID10 Award of the 2010 Biennale of Latin American Design in Madrid, Spain for the design of the exhibition “Hacia un nuevo rumbo” (Museo Casa Roig, Universidad de Puerto Rico, 2009). He has participated in multiple conferences and publications about design, design history and technology in Puerto Rico, Washington, DC, Finland, Cyprus and Argentina.

Inspiration Agents

José Esteban López

Jose Esteban is one of the youngest farmers in Puerto Rico, native to the municipality of Adjuntas. At his 10 years of Age Jose is one of the youngest students in the University of Puerto Rico in Cayey. His passion for farming comes from his learnings by helping his dad in the farm. He currently owns a five acre farm donated to him by his father, where he cultivates organic plantains, bananas, pumpkins and other vegetables but most importantly coffee that he later sells at an artisanal farmers market at the University of Puerto Rico in Cayey. Jose Esteban also has plans to open a school for agriculture and youth farmers as him.

Danitza Vazquez

Danitza Vazquez is the youngest Woman International Master in the world, has a norm of Woman Grand Master, which makes history not only for chess in Puerto Rico, but also for chess worldwide. This young, dynamic and extrovert, also won a scholarship for Webster University. Danitza employs her time in different activities in addition to chess, like music, mathematics, volleyball and swimming. Her early foray into the world of the 64 squares and the joint effort from her family, her coaches and herself are the cause of her success!

Ricardo Sánchez & Jorge Covas

Robinson School students and champions of the VEX Robotics Middle School World Championship 2011-2012 held in Anaheim, California. The championship had around 10,000 participants from 20 countries which made up 650 teams in the middle school, high school and university categories.

Darilyn Ortiz & Sorimar Santiago

Emilio Scharon High School students in San Sebastián who created Emilio’s Orchard along with a group of 12 other students. They also created a micro-enterprise that elaborates and sells sofrito, garlic with basil, plants and compost. Currently they educate other young minds to care for the orchard and to provide consistency to their project.