Christa Gannon is the Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Fresh Lifelines for Youth, Inc. (“FLY”). Fifteen years ago, FLY was only an idea held in the mind of incarcerated boys; boys who were spending most of their teenage years, and for some their lives, behind bars for choices they had made. After being asked by then Stanford Law Student Christa Gannon what would prevent other youth from ending up like them, they helped design FLY. FLY believes that all our children deserve a chance to become more than their past mistakes. FLY’s mission is to prevent juvenile crime and incarceration through legal education, leadership training, and one-on-one mentoring. Today, FLY’s 50 staff and 150 volunteers each year serve 1,000 youth on probation and 1,000 at-risk middle school students in two counties in California, San Mateo and Santa Clara and provide services for less than 1/10th the cost of incarceration. Christa has received numerous awards for her work at FLY, including the James Irvine Leadership Award, Human Rights Award for the City of San Jose, Stanford Law School’s Inaugural Alumni Public Service Award, and an induction as an Ashoka Fellow. Christa has B.S. in Sociology and Law and Society, graduated with honors from Stanford Law School, and is a member of the California Bar. In addition to her work at FLY she sits on the Leadership Team of the Silicon Valley Council of Nonprofits (an alliance of nonprofits in Santa Clara County), has served on Stanford’s National Haas Advisory Board, and serves as a strategic advisor to Thrive (an alliance of nonprofits in San Mateo County). Christa is also a wife and mother of two children.
This presentation was presented during CDDRL's Program on Poverty and Governance's 2015 conference, "Educational and Entrepreneurial Initiatives to Support Youth in Places of Violence." The conference was held on April 28-29, 2015, at Stanford University.
For more information on the Program on Poverty and Governance, please visit: cddrl.fsi.stanford.edu/povgov.
For more information on Stanford's Center on Democracy, Development, and the Rule of Law, please visit: cddrl.fsi.stanford.edu.