Executive Director & Board Member
Michael Gaulden is the Executive Director for Creating First Impressions. In preparation of starting his own non-profit, he connected with CFI and realized they had a shared mission. He succeeded Co-Founder Jessica Sobel as chief officer after connecting their aligned vision that all youth can succeed, no matter their backgrounds. He is the debut author of “My Way Home: Growing Up Homeless in America” a memoir that chronicles growing up homeless for ten years in the inner-city. He received his Bachelors of Arts from the University of California, Los Angeles. He is a certified and former qualitative and quantitative researcher for UCLA’s Black Male Institute, a research institution. He is the Career Exploration Coordinator and Internship Coordinator for the Monarch School Project, which educates K-12 students impacted by homelessness and a partner site of CFI. Gaulden is also the former Director of Business and Community Relations for Reality Changers, a college preparatory organization.
He is an active Homeless activist, education enthusiast, musician as well as an activist for all disadvantaged people. As a motivational public speaker, he has spoken to audiences ranging from 20-2000. He is a Spoken Word artist and advocate for the arts.” in order to shift the negative perception and connotation around homelessness and the people it impacts.
Chief Financial Officer & Board Member
Darrin is the current Chair of the Board of Directors for Creating First Impressions. He first became involved with the organization after teaching financial literacy to CFI students in 2016. For Darrin, giving back to the community is second nature. From an early age, his father took Darrin out into to serve the homeless and impoverished areas of Las Vegas.
Today, Darrin brings over 10 years of experience in the banking world to the CFI. In addition to his warm personality and breadth of football knowledge, his expertise both in the classroom and in the boardroom ensure that CFI makes the greatest impact on the most students in our community.
Michael Gold has been working in communications for 25 years. In 2016 he began taking his soft skills expertise to the classroom and started developing FASTcourse, a unique curriculum delivery model that blends the pace of broadcast news formatting with engaging interpersonal communication skills exercises. In the past two years Michael has taught courses and workshops serving over 100 students of diverse backgrounds in the San Diego City College Price Scholars program, Alta Vista High School and Access. Inc. Outcomes at every venue have been universally praised that the communication skills students gain are crucial for young people entering the workforce today.
Co-Founder & Program Director
Jessica Sobel has a passion for working with children and teenagers who have experienced trauma in their early childhood. She received her Master’s Degree in Marriage and Family therapy in 2013 and went on to work as therapist intern with at-risk juvenile offenders as well as an addiction and recovery specialist with both teens and adults. Jessica volunteered in the past as a facilitator, teaching classes to women who were looking to re-enter the workforce through an amazing program founded and funded by Dress For Success. In this program she was able to help these women create a better life for them and their children.
She has found such great purpose working with these women, which paved the way for her to start her own nonprofit organization called Creating First Impressions. CFI allows Jessica to work with disadvantaged youth and young adults by helping them attain career adaptability and resources for coping with personal traumas and/or setbacks that prevent them from constructing future careers. Resume and career consulting for young adults in any transition period in their life can only serve as a benefit. Jessica looks forward to helping others build a better future for themselves through counseling, career adaptability, and life skills coaching.
Resah is the Co-Founder of Creating First Impressions. In 1993, at the young age of 16, she found herself living on her own trying to figure out how to financially support herself and still focusing on education. While navigating a difficult season, she was able to finish college and start a successful business. This was accomplished with hard work and determination. She realized it was in her heart to teach others about hope and the life skills that she was unable to acquire till later in life. In the past 20 years she has worn many hats and had the pleasure of exploring various careers. This has expanded her knowledge, experience and wisdom. She is currently a business planner, mentor, coach, writer, speaker, and more importantly the proud mom of a vivacious 4 year old daughter. She likes to joke that she really is an accidental entrepreneur. Because of that, she is passionate to come alongside at-risk and at-need youth in our community.