Board of Directors

Erica G. Young

Vice Chairwoman and Co-Chair, Fundraising Committee

Full Bio
Erica L. Garcia-Young is employed with the Connecticut Department of Social Service, Division of Health Services, and has 21 years of experience in coordinating health programs. Currently, she supports planning and organizing new medical and behavioral health integration policy projects for Connecticut HUSKY Health (Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Plan). She manages efforts to develop state-wide substance use disorder initiatives and provides technical assistance in drafting state policy, regulation, programmatic monitoring and prepares information for public distribution. Previously, Ms. Garcia-Young oversaw policy and systems operations for the Person-Centered Medical Home program: a Medicaid healthcare delivery system designed to support primary care practices in transforming into a modeled medical home under the standard requirements of the National Committee for Quality Assurance’s Patient-Centered Medical Home program.

Erica is currently pursuing a Professional Master of Business Administration in Healthcare Administration at Quinnipiac University in Hamden, CT. She earned a Master of Public Health concentrated in Community Health Education from Southern Connecticut State University and has a Public Service Management Certificate from the Business Mastery Program-Executive Education at the University of Connecticut. Her passion for health care systems began as an undergraduate student at UCONN, where she designed her own bachelor’s degree titling it, “Health and Societal Issues”. Erica received an Entrepreneurial Economic Development & Small Business Certification from the New Haven Small Business Academy in December 2018.

Erica Garcia-Young has committed over 25 years of community service as a member of Sigma Gamma Rho, Sorority Incorporated since May 8th, 1993. While attending the University of Connecticut, she along with seven other young women charted the first chapter in Connecticut, Nu Mu, as an undergraduate. In 1995 and 2005 she became again a charter member for Theta Alpha Sigma and Iota Chi Sigma, graduate chapters, respectively. Ms. Garcia-Young has served in many leadership positions, including Chapter Basileus (president) of Iota Chi Sigma from 2006-2010. As a segment of the Iota Chi Sigma Chapter, Erica and four other members worked together to receive 501 (c)3 status for the Iota Chi Sigma Foundation, to augment fiscal patronage and other resource support, she serves as Vice-Chair.

Erica is married to Dr. Darnell Young, a pediatric dentist practicing at True Pediatric Dental Care in West Haven. They live in New Haven’s Westville neighborhood where their daughter, Cyan, attends Edgewood Magnet School.

Erica Garcia-Young is an Urban Community Alliance board member serving as vice-chair.

Lawrence J. Jeune Jr.


Our Staff

Shirley Ellis-West

Executive Director

Full Bio

Shirley Ellis-West is the Executive Director of Urban Community Alliance, Inc. Prior to her position as Executive Director, Shirley has been employed at the New Haven Family Alliance for 27 years. Starting her career at the agency in 1993, as a parent advocate trainer and shortly after accepting a case management position working with youth and families in the CSAT Program focused on adolescent prevention use and abuse of alcohol and other substances. Over the years, she has provided support and leadership in all programs within the organization leading up to supervisory and management positions. In the fall of 2018, Shirley was invited to take a leadership role in the merging of the New Haven Family Alliance and V.E.T.T.S Mentoring Program in its early stages and currently serves as the Executive Director.

Shirley is a New Haven resident and has a long history of civic and community involvement in the Greater New Haven NAACP representing both the State Conference and National Association; New Haven Board of Alderman Elected Official 2000 through 2007 serving as President Pro_Tempore 2002-2006; New Haven
Public Schools Suspension/Expulsion Advisory, Community Engagement and Accountability Taskforce; National League of Cities Black Elected Officials, Human Service Policy and Energy and Environment committees; Sojourner Network of Democratic Women and Yale University Research Assistant, Photovoice Project on youth violence.

Shirley is a recent graduate of Albertus Magnus College obtaining a Bachelor of Science Degree in Human Services and will be entering the Human Services Master’s Program in January 2021. Shirley is a member of the Community Action Agency Board of Directors and Church on the Rock, New Haven, Connecticut.

Shirley is a proud mother to Nicole and Glenn; and grandmother to nine grandchildren ranging from 32 to 2 years of age. Shirley dares to dream and encourages others to never give up on their dreams because “Dreams Do Come True”.


John DeBoise

Executive Administrative Assistant

Intensive Family Preservation

Virginia DeBernado

IFP Case Manager

Male Involvement Network

Thomas Daniels

MIN Case Manager

Juvenile Review Board

Darcy Hudson

JRB Case Manager

Mardochee Bouanga

JRB Case Manager

Evon Vidro

JRB Program Manager