Press Release: For immediate release
Lea Berhane, Chief Development, Marketing & Technology Officer
(650) 591-9623 x142
StarVista Welcomes its First African American Woman to its Board of Directors
August 8, 2023
San Carlos, CA – StarVista, a nonprofit that delivers high-impact services through counseling, case management, skill development, and crisis prevention to San Mateo County residents, welcomes its first African American woman and previous StarVista client to its Board of Directors.
Marilyn D. Thomas, PhD, MPH, is a Postdoctoral Fellow in the Departments of Epidemiology & Biostatistics and Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences at UCSF and former StarVista Daybreak client. After the program, she earned her Bachelor’s in Microbiology and Master’s in Public Health from SF State University, then earned her PhD in Epidemiology from the University of California, Berkeley. As a social epidemiologist, Marilyn is part of the Glymour Group and Social Policies for Health Equity Research Program (SPHERE) at UCSF, and investigates how social policies, practices, and norms contribute to racial and socioeconomic health disparities.
“It is an absolute honor and privilege to have Dr. Thomas join the StarVista Board of Directors,” shares StarVista’s Chief Executive Officer, Sara Larios Mitchell, Ph.D., MACP. “Her story is so inspirational and moving, and I remain in awe of her resilience, determination, and strength. Her journey from a homeless Daybreak client to a Postdoctoral Fellow at UCSF is a testament to her talent and hard work, and our staff’s ability to believe in our client’s potential.”
Marilyn was a client of StarVista’s Daybreak Transitional Housing program back in 1993. At Daybreak, Marilyn learned how to support herself and gain independent living skills after her mother became a recovery resident at The Delancey Street Foundation in San Francisco. Off and on over the years, Marilyn has participated as a group leader, mentor, and tutor for Daybreak residents and was a guest speaker at StarVista’s Changing Lives fundraising event in 2022.
StarVista, a nonprofit agency that delivers high-impact services through counseling, case management, skill development, and crisis prevention to children, youth, adults, and families. StarVista’s Daybreak Transitional Housing program provides independent living skills training and mental health support for homeless teens aged 16-21. In 2021, the program served 19 teens for a combined stay of over 2,280 nights.