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Community (Practicum) Projects

Each year, class participants work in teams to challenge and strengthen their leadership skills and create a project to benefit the local Napa Valley community. 

Below are some of the projects that LNV Practicum groups have worked together on.


CLASS 34 (2021-2022)


All Youth Napa

Connecting Napa Valley's youth with the services they need. The team developed a website where youth and caregivers can search for resources. Serving ages 0-22, categories include  activities, healthcare, legal, educational and social services. Narrow results by age and location.

Group members: Chuck Dell'Ario, Patty Friesen, Amy Linn, Cristian Maldonado, Rebecca Rowan, Molly Williams Hodgins

CLASS 32 (2018-2019)

100 Kids Who Care Napa Valley

Established a new youth-centered fund-raising organization to inspire Napa kids to learn about philanthropy, build leadership skills, and collaborate to make a real difference.

Group Members: Steven Miller, Preya Nixon, Tony Onorato, Val O’Pry, Jessica Penman, Devereaux Smith

Youth Leadership Academy of Napa

Collaborated with the Youth Leadership Academy, during its pilot, to create a marketing tool kit they will use to grow the program.

Group Members: Ellen Bermingham, Janet Brown, Adam Ghisletta, Matthew McEvoy, Joy Riesenberg, Lea Ronald

Napa Neighbor Network: Stay Connected, Stay Strong

Developed a packet of information that empowers people to connect with their neighbors in order to be self-reliant during a catastrophic event.

Group Members: Jon Crawford, Kerri Dorman, Christine Hannah, Angela Hoxsey, Suzi Hubbard, Chris Meza

Welcome to Napa

In collaboration with Napa Kiwanis we are creating an updated and iconic “Welcome to Napa” sign. We have commissioned Gordon Huether to showcase Napa service clubs.

Group Members: Rina Faletti, Wendy Lombardi, Jeremy Mostafanejad, Paul Oseso, Monica Stevens, Laila Subaie

Senior Moments

Partnered with Queen of the Valley Community Benefit and CANV to provide information to Napa Valley seniors about community services and activities through ”Senior Moments”, a weekly radio segment airing live and podcasted at

Group Members: Bonnie MacMaster Andersen, Natalie Griffin, Tammy Manning, Will Marcencia, Kim Brown Sims, Bob Van Der Velde

CLASS 33 (2019-2020)

Bright Futures

Created a plan to update the Bright Futures (underutilized program under the Workforce Alliance North Bay) website and created a feasibility business plan. Covid put plans on hold.

Group members: Nelson Cortez, Norma Feriz, Lon Gallagher, Carolyn Hamilton, Julissa Marcencia, Brendon Freeman

Building Resilience from the Block Up

Planned to create a training for Low Income Housing Project residents to be ready for

emergencies. Instead created Every Roll Counts to get much needed supplies to those in most need during Covid.

Group Members: Marisol Vargas Josh Schultz, Mary Rezek, Jami Castro, Kevin Hanson, Bailie

Garden for Wildlife Animal Rescue Site

Developed a garden at the wildlife rescue clinic for recuperating wildlife. This will provide a variety of produce, grains and greens to help feed the animals in Napa’s Wildlife Rescue’s care.

Group Members: Tonya West, Matt Garcia, Woody Hedderman, Leslie Myers, Tiffany Iverson, Claudia Sonder

Wine Trail Signage and increased Accessibility

Created a plan to increase signage to the Wine Trail access points and to make it easier

to access. Covid put plans on hold.

Group Members: Kate Mulligan, Heather Maloney, Linsey Gallagher, Nora McAuley, Scott Williams, Benjamin Penning

Shinning a light on SpanishTown

Developed a plan to raise public awareness of the old Spanishtown section of Napa though development and placement of interpretive signage highlighting the history of the area. Covid put plans on hold.

Group Members: Julie Polson, Katelyn Duarte, Mark Vinella, Andrea Robinson, Jeff Tucker

CLASS 31 (2017-2018)

Teens Volunteer

In collaboration with Teens Connect, organized a robust effort to connect teens and volunteer activities through the Center for Volunteer & Nonprofit Leadership (CVNL) website.

Group Members:  Elizabeth Cabell, Jerry Curiel, Jennifer Goodrich, Marcia Hadeler, Liz Marks, Paul Martinez Everett


Partnered with Land Trust Napa County to build awareness for its work to preserve and protect the beauty of Napa Valley for all of us to enjoy through an annual “Get Out and Hike” celebration day.

Group Members:  Jarrett Anderson, Becky Merry-Barrango, Lorna Barker, Miryam Chae, Allison Haley, Scott Owens

Financial Literacy for Teens

Partnered with Redwood Credit Union and Napa Valley high schools to promote financial literacy to teens.

Group Members: Shannon Halikas, Choowle Kalulu, Katarina Mezeiova, Wes Salter, Shawn Smith, Corinne Weaver

Be Prepared! Take Action! Get CERT-ified!

Partnered with the Office of Emergency Services and CVNL to increase the number of trained Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) members in Napa County by raising awareness and streamlining the volunteer pathways.

Group Members: Roland Cavanagh, Linda Fine, Gary Hercules, Marie Matz, Christine McMillan, Margaret Niland

We ART Harvest

Promoted unity and positivity amongst middle school students by creating an inspirational art installation in Harvest Middle School bathrooms.

Group Members: Quinn Arntsen, David Busby, Michele Dahlberg, Peg Maddocks, Courtney Murray, Molly Rattigan  

CLASS 30 (2016-2017)

Napa Valley Community Connections

Created a sustainable mentorship program to provide hope, inspiration and guidance to students from Napa County’s Court and Community Schools, and laid the foundation to create a three-year plan.

Group Members: Ely Aguayo, Angela Jackson, Stefan Jezycki, Veronika Martinez, Thwani Satten, Joe Tagliaboschi

Food Samaritans of Napa Valley

Created a sustainable program that addresses food insecurity by connecting local restaurants to homeless families providing monthly dinners to the Samaritan House.

Group Members: Lisa Augustine, Julie Baldia, Betsy Cipriano, Michele Farhat, Jay Lang, Laura Orozco

Arts for Safe Routes

Furthered pedestrian safety education for Phillips Elementary students who are impacted by the lack of sidewalks and lighting in their neighborhood. They also created a “safety” inspired arts installation at the Napa Valley Transportation Authority.

Group Members: Steve Brassfield, Jenny Gass, Sonya Milton, Bernie Narvaez, Keri Rose Akemi-Bezayiff

Feed the Need

Assisted in jump-starting a countywide food access network, Waste Not Napa, and created a food resource guide for those in need and those who can donate.

Group Members: Carlos Barragan, Roman Block, Megan Dominici, Molly Moran, Sarah Marshall, Betsy Van Dyne

This is My Brave – Napa Valley

Worked to reduce mental health stigma by producing a performance featuring local people sharing their personal stories of mental health recovery through touching essays, original music, comedy, dance and poetry.

Group Members: Chris DeNatale, Kristine Haataja, Brian Henricksen, Beth Nelsen, Kelsey Morrison, Stacy Preiser


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