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About Us


Free to Be is a non-profit organization that provides character-based, youth development education for preteens and teens. 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 making positive choices and there exists a community to support their decision.

Our Story

In 1992, our program was founded to equip teens with life skills to build healthy relationships. Since those early years, Free to Be has reached more than 100,000 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.

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.

Curriculum Educators

Shannon DeMange

Curriculum Educator

Katherine Krulish

Curriculum Educator

Erika Barba

Curriculum Educator

Board of Directors


Board Chair

School Counselor at RVUSD



President and CEO of Summit State Bank



Founder of Free to Be


Board Member

Transformational Coach