About Us

About FREE TO BE

Free to Be is a non-profit organization that provides character-based, youth development education for preteens and teens, taught by young adult staff, middle school and high school aged Peer Educators. Our age -and culturally- appropriate programs focus on providing young people with the information and skills necessary to make healthy life choices that will support their future aspirations. Through our educational components, young people realize that there are benefits to avoiding high-risk behaviors and there exists a community to support their decision.

Our Story

In 1992, our program was originally founded to equip teens with life skills to delay sex until marriage and form healthy relationships. Since those early years, Free to Be has reached more than 90,000 young people. We have since developed and expanded our educational materials and leadership program to address additional social-emotional issues facing preteens and teens today.

Meet Our Team
Jenean Thom

Jenean Thom

Executive Director


Jenean Thom joined Free to Be as Executive Director in April 2017. Jenean has worked with teens for more than 20 years as a high school and junior high vocal music teacher, youth leader, and mentor. Seeing the potential in youth is something that Jenean feels deeply about. She brings a passion for healthy choices and positive self-image for the teens of Sonoma County. Jenean is an energetic, detailed, and enthusiastic leader and is eager to add that to the Free to Be team. She brings with her, experience in program management, teaching, graphic design, communications, and volunteer coordination.

Jenean has been a resident of Santa Rosa since 2007 and in her spare time you can find her on the sports fields cheering on her two sons, riding bikes as a family, and spending time with her husband, Jason.

LAURETTA CEJA

LAURETTA CEJA

Office and Outreach Manager


Before coming to work for Free to Be in 2007, Lauretta was a stay-at-home mom balancing family and work as a licensed real estate agent. She ventured into the nonprofit world seeking a way to give back. Lauretta was inspired to work for Free to Be because of the life challenges she overcame as a teen mother. Now, married and mother of three daughters, Lauretta appreciates the importance of valuing self and not only building but also maintaining healthy relationships. When she is not on the clock, you’ll find her rocking out at Zumba or looking for lost treasures in local thrift shops!

Board of Directors
DENNIS DURHAM

DENNIS DURHAM

Chair


Pastor at St. Mark Lutheran Church

TAYLER HOCKETT

TAYLER HOCKETT

Vice-Chair


School Counselor at RVUSD

BRIAN REED

BRIAN REED

Treasurer, EVP


Chief Credit Officer at Summit State Bank

SHARON OMAN

SHARON OMAN

Secretary


Retired Maternal Child Health Director

MATTHEW DELANEY

MATTHEW DELANEY

Board Member


Wealth Manager at JDH Wealth Management

MARIA CRANE


MARIA CRANE


Board Member


Teacher

JOE PIASTA


JOE PIASTA


Board Member



Trial Attorney

SUE BISBEE

SUE BISBEE

Board Member


Founder of Free to Be