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.
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.
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.
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!
Pastor at St. Mark Lutheran Church
School Counselor at RVUSD
Chief Credit Officer at Summit State Bank
Retired Maternal Child Health Director
Wealth Manager at JDH Wealth Management
Founder of Free to Be