April 2021 Convening

Posted on: April 16, 2021  |  Posted in: Community Blog

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Welcome to the resource page for the San Diego Military Family Collaborative (SDMFC) Monthly Convening using Zoom for Friday, April 23, 2021! This convening was dedicated to the topic of Month of the Military Child

Please sign in via our Attendance Sheet by clicking HERE!

Convening Featured Guests Include: 

  • Shirley Koch [Ages 0-5]  

Project Specialist I, Transportation Safety Program 

Health Stars of Rady Children’s Hospital of SD 

Shirley Varela joined Rady Children’s Hospital San Diego in 2008 after completing the NHSTA child passenger safety technician certification. She has helped countless families with child passenger safety needs and expanded her knowledge by completing the special needs enrichment training in 2010. She then became certified as a child passenger safety technician instructor in 2012. Shirley joined the Safety Store as a health educator in July 2010 and is now educating parents on all aspects of injury prevention and providing multiple services for children with special needs. Shirley provides one-on-one safety education and public presentations, including the monthly Safe Beginnings workshops. Shirley is bilingual (Spanish-speaking) and enjoys working with families from all over the world. 

  •  Joey Jerome [Elementary] 

Director of Military Relations & Program Enhancement 

ASYMCA San Diego 

 Joey Jerome, a retired Hospital Corpsman Chief, who served as a Special Amphibious Reconnaissance Corpsman (SARC) and retired after 24 years. Since retirement, he graduated on the Dean’s List from the University of Southern California, with a Masters in Social Work. 

  •  Lily Carlton [Middle School] 

Director of Navy & Joint Programs West 

United through Reading 

Lily Carlton is the Director for Navy and Joint Programs West.  Her focus is to build awareness and implement United Through Reading onboard ships deployed around the world, military bases, schools, and military community partners. She is a navy spouse of 16 years and resides in San Diego. 

  • Manny Molin [High School]  

Senior Coordinator, West Region 

Travis Manion Foundation 

 Manny Molin is the West Region Senior Coordinator at TMF and has their West Region office in Old Town. Manny has worked with TMF since 2018 delivering workshops, trainings, and opportunities for veterans and families of fallen heroes that are transitioning back to civilian life. Manny also sets up youth development programs where veterans and families of fallen heroes are trained to become mentors to serve our youth and the communities in which they live in. Manny is an inspired civilian originally born and raised in Boston and graduated from the University of San Diego in 2017 with a Master’s in Higher Education. Manny is a husband and a father to his two-year-old daughter, Aria. Manny is passionate about bridging gaps between veterans and civilians, youth education, and leadership.  

  •  Jennifer Gibbons [All Ages]   

MCEC Community Liaison 

Military Child Education Coalition San Diego  

Jen Gibbons is the Community Liaison for Southern California for the Military Child Education Coalition. She has worked with the Collaborative since 2014 and has represented MCEC on the Coordinating Council these past two years. She is committed to working in support of military-connected families and is appreciative of the SDMFC’s dedication to do good and wonderful things on behalf of those that serve us all. 

  •  Sabrina Huda [Special Highlight]  

Project Director – Sabriana Huda 

Sesame Workshop 

Sabrina Huda is the Project Director for various Sesame Workshop Initiatives that reach our most vulnerable and underserved kids and their families. As such, she works with key partner organizations that are committed to helping all kids become smarter, stronger, and kinder. Currently, she leads Sesame Street’s initiatives for Military Families plus Strategic initiatives spanning from health emergencies and COVID response to racial and social justice. 


(Following the event date)



For your convenience, below you will find resources and relevant links that will be referred to in the February Convening. 

SDMFC Materials:

COMMUNITY RESOURCES on ¨Month of the Military Child¨: TBD



  • Feel Good Fridays: May 14th & 28th @ 1pm
  • MTSE Action Team Meeting: May 13th – 10:00 am-11:00 am
  • MTSE: Virtual Workshop: May 18th- 5:00pm – 7:00pm (Registration required, visit: https://sdmilitaryfamily.org/transitions/)
  • WIWMPK: Action Team Meeting: May 27th – 12:30 pm-1:30 pm
  • SDMFC May Convening: May 28th, 10:00am-11:30am
  • SDMFC Members-Only Trainings: June 2021- TBD 

*SDMFC will be using Zoom to convene these virtual meetings for the time being, where you can join us through the comfort of your webcam or phone. In order to fully participate in these virtual meetings, SDMFC recommends using a smartphone or computer to access Zoom. You are also able to participate by calling in, but will not be able to access the online materials and activities that will be presented.  To utilize Zoom, you will need to do the following:

  • Call in using your phone or join using a Zoom Account on your smartphone or computer(to be able to fully participate in activities we recommend using a computer) Sign-Up for a free account using your work email: https://zoom.us/signup. Tune in to SDMFC’s Facebook page for the Zoom link or copy from below!


If you require assistance please do not hesitate to contact us! To stay most updated on SDMFC news, please review the SDMFC Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/sdmilfam/. We will continue to share resources for the community at large including information on resources individuals can access online as well as fun family activities you may consider enjoying together.