Welcoming our new Executive Director

The Board of Directors of Civicorps is thrilled to announce the appointment of our next Executive Director, Tessa Nicholas, effective Friday, March 1, 2019.

With nearly 25 years committed to youth and community development, Tessa has spent her career in alternative education and nonprofit program management.

Through her work with organizations such as the Student Conservation Association, Girl Guides of Jamaica and oneLondon Ltd, she has witnessed the beauty of young people seizing the chance to engage with their learning and to be inspired to reach for their dreams.  Tessa continues to listen, learn, and seek new ways to best address the inequity of opportunity impacting young adults in under resourced communities.

A Coro Youth Development Fellow and a Return Peace Corps Volunteer, Tessa brings an academic understanding and real-world experience of how systemic racism impacts people and their ability to live their best life.  By continuing to create and support relevant education and training programs, Tessa believes we can make a difference in the lives of young people and their families while also addressing our biased systems. 

Tessa is a veteran Civicorps staff member with a lengthy history of service to the organization, and is deeply familiar with every facet of our work.  Most recently, Tessa served as Civicorps’ Deputy Director.  In this role, she gained broad exposure to all aspects of operations at Civicorps.  During her 18 year tenure at Civicorps, she variously worked directly with our Job Training, Academy and Recycling Departments, giving her deep and granular knowledge of how we function across every department.  As such, Tessa enjoys broad support from staff throughout the organization.  Tessa holds a BA in Social Science from Chapman University, and an MA in International Service from Roehampton University of London.

Civicorps is proud of our successful history of assisting young adults, particularly youth of color, transform their lives through education and job training.  As Tessa herself reflects, “while at Civicorps I have learned that we all deserve a safe space to learn, grow, and connect with others who believe in the power of our dreams.” 

The Board of Directors is committed to excellence and intends to amplify our successes as we enter this new phase of institutional leadership and vision with Tessa at the helm. Tessa’s capacity, commitment and positive energy speaks for itself. We are confident that she is an excellent match for this position and will be a strong asset to Civicorps in this role.

We invite you to actively participate in realizing the potential of every young adult who steps through our doors, and we look forward to your continued partnership. Please join us in warmly welcoming Tessa Nicholas as Civicorps’ new Executive Director.

Nita Kirby,

President, Civicorps Board of Directors

Filed under: NewsTagged with: , ,

A New Chapter at Civicorps: Executive Director's Transition

AUGUST 1, 2018

After seven years of leading through a period of intense growth and change, our Executive Director, Alan Lessik, leaves Civicorps.  Alan has been instrumental in evolving the organization, developing public and private relationships throughout the East Bay and greater community. His leadership in the development of our public/private relationship with the Waste Management-Teamsters Union Apprenticeship Program has created opportunities for our talented and skilled Corpmembers to gain family-sustaining careers. Alan has positioned Civicorps for continued growth and improvement as well as long-term stability. He leaves the organization in a very strong position as we embark on our next phase. The Civicorps Board thanks Alan for his many years of leadership and dedication and wishes him all the very best in his next adventures.

The Civicorps Board of Directors is committed to carrying our mission forward and ensuring a smooth transition.  We have created a transition plan that will be open, transparent and, above all, will ensure the quality of education and other services we provide continue without interruption. 

As we embark on the search for a successor and frame the vision for the next chapter of the organization, we will invite Civicorps partners, supporters and members of the organization to provide feedback.  We value your input and want to hear your thoughts and hopes for Civicorps’ future.  More details to come as we set up the mechanisms to engage Civicorps friends and community.

We are grateful for your continued support and dedication as we look ahead to the next chapter of Civicorps and serving the Bay Area Community. 


Nita Kirby
Board President


Filed under: Blog, NewsTagged with: ,