Ziem Nguyen Neubert
Ziem first joined Project Cornerstone of the YMCA of Silicon Valley in 2011 as a volunteer, and then became its Director of School Partnerships in 2015, before assuming her current role as the Executive Director in 2019. Ziem brings over 20 years of experience as an educational leader in the public school system, having been a classroom teacher, Educational Services coordinator, assistant principal, and principal. As Executive Director, Ziem leads volunteers and staff in driving the vision and fundraising to empower youth in Silicon Valley and beyond. She collaborates with school and community partners to build Developmental Assets and Relationships, creating a positive and nurturing climate in order for all youth to become caring, responsible adults. She holds a Master of Arts in Education (Administration and Supervision) from San Jose State University, a K-12 Multiple Subject Teaching Credential, and a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology with a minor in Music from the University of California at Santa Cruz. When she is not working, Ziem enjoys Pilates, weight training, cooking, music, and spending time with her family, including her husband and two children. Most of all, Ziem loves learning and is always working on being a better person while attaining that priceless balance.
School Partnerships & Middle School Director
Debbi is thrilled to be a part of the Project Cornerstone team as the School Partnerships and Middle School Director. She has been involved in education for the past 25 years as a high school math and science teacher, an administrator at the high school level and district office, and a mentor to student teachers through the Stanford Teacher Education Program. She is passionate about social and emotional learning and helping students, staff members, and the caring adults in their lives thrive. Debbi has a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology from the University of Michigan and a secondary teaching credential. She also has a master’s degree in Educational Leadership from San Jose State University and an administrative services credential. Debbi and her husband have a full and joyful life with their four school-aged children. She loves being in classrooms and on school sites. Debbi is grateful that her volunteer work as an ABC reader and school lead brought her to her current role as a Project Cornerstone staff member.
Los Dichos Coordinator
Diana started her journey with Project Cornerstone as an ABC reader when it became available at her kid’s school in 2016. She enjoyed learning how to be a caring adult. Following her volunteering years, she stayed in the education field working with preschoolers with special needs for the Cupertino Union School District. Always involved and committed to the Spanish speaking community around her to help. Becoming Los Dichos Coordinator is a dream come true for her. She is now fully committed to work with the Spanish Speaking Community to make a difference. Diana was born and raised in Mexico City, Mexico. She earned a bachelor’s degree in public accounting in The National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM). After school, she worked in Marketing for many years until she found her mission. When she had kids, she got involved in their education as a volunteer and love to be/make a difference in their life. For Diana family provides a sense of identity, community, and support. She visits Mexico every opportunity she gets. Diana enjoys having delicious homemade Mexican cuisine with her husband and two teenage kids. She loves spending time drinking coffee with friends and considers traveling an excuse to enjoy life.
ABC Program Coordinator, Preschool/Transitional Kindergarten Coordinator
Lori first became involved with Project Cornerstone as a parent facilitator for Taking Asset Building Personally (now known as Take It Personally) study groups in 2002, and joined our staff in 2004. She works with adult volunteers in the Asset Building Champions (ABC), Preschool/Transitional Kindergarten, and FUNvisor programs and is a facilitator for Take It Personally study groups. Lori’s prior experience includes teaching a bilingual kindergarten/first grade classroom and more than ten years of active volunteerism in her children’s schools. Lori enjoys helping other parents learn more about the asset approach to parenting, keeping track of her two adult children and spending time with her husband.
Development and Communications Coordinator
Rona is excited to be a part of the Project Cornerstone team after being introduced to the programs when her children were in elementary school. An active community and school volunteer, she started a middle school Cornerstone Secret Service Club, with the mission of building a caring school climate through random acts of kindness and volunteered for four years at a high school college and career center. She comes with an extensive background in public relations and communications. At Project Cornerstone, she is responsible for grant writing, program reporting and evaluation, events, and communications.
Sarah first came to Project Cornerstone as a volunteer at her childrens’ elementary school, and spent several years as an ABC lead. With 13 years of international event management experience, she has planned and executed corporate events in over 20 cities around the globe. She has also worked as a personal concierge, helping busy people manage their lives. Today she puts her organizing skills to good use supporting the Project Cornerstone team in both daily operations and special events. Born and raised in the UK, she left in 2001 to see and experience more of the world. Today, having lived and worked in Europe, Asia, and the US, she appreciates the experiences she’s gained from living in multi-cultural societies. She loves spending time with her family and enjoys traveling, hiking, and cooking.