IMPACT Academy for Youth

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Our Staff

Marissa Vessels

Executive Director

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@marissavessels

Marissa is a 4th year at the University of California, Berkeley where she is studying Political Science and Public Policy in pursuit of a career in nonprofit management. A Girl Scout of 16 years, she is a Gold Award recipient, camp counselor, Gold Award mentor, Delegate to the National Convention, troop leader, and former member of the National Board Leadership Lanes. Additionally, Marissa is passionate about sustainability and has previously served as the UC Berkeley Panhellenic Sustainability Chairwoman, Co-President of Greening the Greeks, and Board Chairwoman of Greening Forward. Furthermore, Marissa enjoys working with Youth Service America as a member of both their Youth Advisory Board and Board of Directores. Overall, Marissa aims to change the way the world views the leadership potential of girls and women and believes that youth service and engagement are an important part of creating the next generation of world leaders.

Krista Kracher
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Krista Kracher is originally from Fresno, California, and is currently a junior at Cal studying Political Science and Media Studies. She is also a member of the co-ed service fraternity Alpha Phi Omega and the Soccer Supervisor for UCB Intramural Sports. "Youth leadership has always been one of my passions, and I am grateful to IMPACT for allowing me to work with and for our community's youth," says Krista.

Johanna Romero

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Johanna Romero is a third year student at UC Berkeley originally from Los Angeles, California.  She is currently  pursuing a degree in Peace and Conflicts Studies, and minor in Global Poverty and Practice. Her calling is out in the world, and her ambitions are to travel, and to work with kids within the medical field/nutritional field. She takes pride in being a camp counselor during the summer time and a full time student during the school year.  Alongside her commitments with IMPACT!, Johanna is also involved in Cal Habitat for Humanity, Universal Love, and Peace, Cal Corps, Alternative Breaks, Other Voices, and Pre-Nursing Society. Her outlook on life is best captured by Albert Camus' words "The only way to deal with an unfree world is to become so absolutely free that your very existence is an act of rebellion."

Hera Wu
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Hera is a third year Molecular and Cell Biology Major at UC Berkeley with a pre-medical intention. She plans on also minoring in Ethnic Studies. Her hometown is Manhattan, Kansas. She enjoys community service and creative writing in her productive free time. She values unique perspectives as well as open minds and embraces all. 

Samantha Vessels


Samantha is a first year at the University of California, Berkeley, where she is studying Environmental Science. She is originally from Riverside, California. Currently, she is a Girl Scout of 13 years, a competitive soccer player of 13 years. She is passionate about youth leadership and education. In her future, Samantha plans to eventually serve as a Peace Corps volunteer after graduation to share her education and passion for service with the rest of the world.

Carly Asher


Carly Asher is a fourth year student at UC Berkeley originally from Rancho Palos Verdes, California. She is currently studying Psychology with a possible minor in Anthropology. Carly enjoys working with various organizations in the Bay Area that are committed to social justice and empowerment. She is very excited to now be part of  the IMPACT!


Michelle Zhang

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Michelle Zhang is a second year at UC Berkeley, pursuing a major in Social Welfare and a minor in Public Policy. She is originally from San Francisco, CA. She enjoys community service, advocating for Asian American issues and empowering youth leaders. She also hopes to travel to every continent and immerse in new cultures.