Michael A. Pereira (Executive Director)email@example.com
Michael A. Pereira has been working in the field of Special Education and Disability Services for nearly 20 years. Mike received his undergraduate degree in Secondary Education and English at Boston College, and entered into the field starting as a Special Education Teacher, then Educational Coordinator for a Non-Public School in Massachusetts. There he earned Board Certification as an Associate (then Assistant) Behavior Analyst and provided service within educational settings- non-public, public school districts, and assisted in the formation of another non- public school specializing in serving students then identified or diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome. Mike also continued pursuit of clinical work serving Early Intervention and School Age children on the Autism Spectrum for a Non-Public Agency offering direct ABA service, consultation, and parent training. In 2007, Mike returned to California to grow another Non- Public School, and to acquire a Masters of Education degree in Educational Leadership. In 2009, Mike moved to the Bay Area to serve as Clinical Director of an organization, overseeing clinical and programmatic service delivery to students and participants being served in an Adult Behavioral Day Program, three Adult Residential Facilities, a Supported Living Program, and a Non- Public School. Mike has been the Executive Director of Ala Costa Centers, since November 2015. He does not currently hold Board Certification in Behavior Analysis, though he is eligible to sit for the BCBA exam. He is passionate about providing service to the IDD community and opening avenues to support equality, access, opportunity, and advocacy.
Margie Bennett (Program Director - Alameda After School Program)firstname.lastname@example.org
Margie feels so blessed to have worked with Ala Costa Centers for the last 20 years, and has played a vital role in provided service to so many students over her tenure. Margie has a Degree in Special Education/ Developmental Disabilities and has held a Teaching Certificate for the last 18 years. She began her career at Ala Costa as a substitute aide, then teacher’s aide, eventually becoming a lead teacher, a site supervisor, and now Program Director. The staff, students and families have brought so much joy into her life, and she is honored to be serving Ala Costa students and is gratified in knowing that she has played a role in enriching their lives, and that of their families.
Brent White (Program Director - Adult Programs)email@example.com
Brent White is the Designer and Director of Ala Costa’s Adult Transition and Adult Community Training Programs.He identifies as Autistic, multiply Neurodivergent, and Disabled; He is a grassroots researcher and educator, as well as advocate for disability rights.
Marina Ilitskaya (Administrative Director)firstname.lastname@example.org
Marina has graduated from UC Berkeley in 2005 with a B.A. in psychology, and since then has worked in numerous organizations that provide education and support services to youths and young adults with Developmental and Learning Disabilities. Marina has been employed at Ala Costa Centers for over a decade, having started with the organization as an aide, and eventually becoming Ala Costa’s Administrative Director. She is passionate about racial and social justice, disability rights, self determination, and the acceptance and appreciation of Neurodiversity, and she brings that passion to everything she does at Ala Costa Centers.