Our Staff

The Imprint is published by Fostering Media Connections.

Karen de Sá

Executive Editor

Karen de Sá has been executive editor of The Imprint since 2020. She has worked as an investigative reporter for the majority of her three-decade career in journalism, including 18 years at The San Jose Mercury News and three years at The San Francisco Chronicle. Her stories have revealed inhumane conditions in juvenile halls, group homes and youth prisons and detailed systemic injustice in the dependency courts. Recent projects exposed hundreds of questionable youth arrests in California children’s shelters and the excessive use of psychotropics in the foster care system. A 2006 Knight Fellow at Stanford University and finalist for the Goldsmith Prize for Investigative Reporting, de Sá has won numerous journalism honors over her career, including the American Bar Association’s Silver Gavel Award, Investigative Reporters and Editors awards, the Society of Professional Journalists’ Journalist of the Year and Young Journalist of the Year awards and the NewsGuild’s Heywood Broun Award. Her work has led to 10 state laws, overhauled institutions and improved public contracts with the nation’s most vulnerable populations.

John Kelly

Senior Editor

John Kelly is the senior editor of The Imprint and founding editor-in-chief of its predecessor, The Chronicle of Social Change, which he helped launch in 2013. In addition to overseeing national coverage, Kelly manages the opinion pages and produces Youth Services Insider, The Imprint’s subscriber platform providing business coverage and policy analysis for readers involved in child welfare and juvenile justice leadership. Previously, Kelly spent 10 years reporting on both fields for Youth Today.

Julie Reynolds

Associate Editor

Julie Reynolds is an investigative journalist and author of “Blood In The Fields,” a book about youth violence in the Salinas Valley that was a finalist for the 2015 International Latino Book Award. She has worked as a reporter for the Center for Investigative Reporting and for 10 years as a criminal justice writer for The Monterey County Herald. Her work has been broadcast and published by outlets that include PBS, NPR, The Nation, Newsweek and Mother Jones. Reynolds has received numerous journalism honors including a Nieman Fellowship at Harvard University, and awards from the Society for Professional Journalists, Investigative Reporters and Editors, the National Association of Hispanic Journalists, Evident Change and others. Reynolds co-founded the nonprofit news site Voices of Monterey Bay and produces the podcast “Gray Area: a Show About Justice and Redemption.”

Kate Gonzales

Associate Editor

Kate Gonzales is a freelance journalist and copy editor based in Sacramento, California. As a reporter, her stories largely focus on gender, identity, work and class. She attended community college in rural Northern California before earning a degree in sociology from Sacramento State University. Kate values accuracy, clarity and fairness as a copy editor.

Adilia Watson Reporter for The Imprint

Adilia Watson

New York Reporter

Adilia Watson covers upstate and statewide youth justice and child welfare issues from Buffalo, New York. After graduating from Seattle University, she was awarded an Emma Bowen Foundation Fellowship and worked as a reporter covering rural communities for The Daily Yonder. She is from Stockton, California, and has articles published in Cultura Colectiva and The Yucatan Times. In her free time, she enjoys reading science fiction and rollerskating.

Alex Perez

Minnesota Child Welfare Reporter

Alex Perez is a Minnesota-based reporter covering child welfare. He is a graduate of Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism, with a master’s degree in investigative journalism. He received a bachelor’s degree in broadcast journalism from North Central College. 

Jeremy Loudenback

California Child Welfare Reporter

Jeremy Loudenback is a Los Angeles-based senior reporter who writes about foster care and youth justice. Loudenback tracks data, follows legislation in the state capital and reports from confidential courtrooms to cover the most vulnerable and resilient children and families. Loudenback previously worked as a reporter at the North County Times and has blogged about politics and governance and worked with homeless youth. Over the last five years, he has chronicled the closure of California’s youth prison system and examined the use big data tools in the child welfare system, among other topics.

Michael Fitzgerald

National Reporter

Michael Fitzgerald is a senior reporter covering state and federal child welfare and youth justice. He was previously an editor for Pacific Standard Magazine, and his writing has appeared in the New Republic, Vice, Outside and other outlets. Fitzgerald is a graduate of Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

Nancy Marie Spears

Indigenous Children and Families Reporter

Nancy Marie Spears is an enrolled citizen of the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma. She covers Indigenous children and families with a focus on the Indian Child Welfare Act and the impact of Indian boarding schools. She earned her bachelor’s degree in journalism with distinction from the University of Oklahoma and received top honors from the Native American Journalists Association, two first-place awards and one second-place prize for her coverage of environmental, health and elder issues in Native American communities. Nancy is president of the Indigenous Media Freedom Alliance and her stories for The Imprint are co-published with Indigenous news outlets across the country.

Sara Tiano

National Reporter

Sara Tiano is a Los Angeles-based senior reporter covering issues involving children, youth and families in the child welfare and juvenile justice systems, with a focus on L.A. County. Her work has previously appeared in Los Angeles Daily News, WitnessLA, Youth Today, and the Juvenile Justice Information Exchange. Tiano graduated from the University of Southern California with a degree in print and digital journalism.

Susanti Sarkar

New York Child Welfare Reporter

Susanti Sarkar is a New York-based reporter covering child welfare. She worked as a reporter at the University of California, San Diego and then in India, covering inequities in health care and education, politics, and climate change. She graduated with a master’s degree in investigative journalism from Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism, where she worked on a joint international health care investigation published by ProPublica and the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. “With Every Breath” exposed a corporate cover-up that allowed Philips Respironics to continue marketing breathing machines around the globe years after the FDA received warnings and the company’s experts concluded that the devices posed severe health risks. In 2024, the project she contributed to received a George Polk Award and was named a semi-finalist award for the Goldsmith Prize for Investigative Reporting. Susanti’s stories have also appeared in Inside Climate News, UPI, Wisconsin State Journal and other outlets.

 

Ivory Bennett

Ivory Bennett

Youth Voices Rising Program Manager

Ivory Bennett is the Youth Voices Rising Program Manager for Fostering Media Connections. Ivory’s pronouns are she, her, and hers.

She is originally from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania where she spent 17 years in foster care across three different counties (one urban and two rural). She lived in about 10 different foster homes, in four kinship-care homes, and in one shelter. She attended around 12 different K-12 schools, as well.

Ivory has a Bachelor of Arts dual degree from The University of Pittsburgh in Africana Studies and English Literature with a minor in Theatre Arts (Performance). She also has a Master of Education Administration and is an aspiring doctoral student. Outside of work, Ivory has a strong commitment to foster care and education equity and advocacy. Aside from belonging to several education and child welfare organizations and boards, Ivory does a great deal of advocacy through writing and speaking.

Tracey Onyenacho

Youth Voices Rising Editor

Tracey Onyenacho is the Youth Voices Rising Editor for Fostering Media Connections. She was recently the editorial assistant for Colorlines. She also was the lead politics reporter for Blavity Politics, covering criminalization, racial and social justice, and the 2020 presidential campaign trail. They have also written as an independent journalist for USA Today, The Washington Post’s The Lily, Prism, and more. Tracey received her undergraduate degrees in Literary Journalism, Film and Media Studies, and Psychology and Social Behavior from University of California, Irvine. Tracey resides in Los Angeles.

Christine Ongjoco

Graphic Artist

Christine Ongjoco is a Los Angeles-based freelance graphic designer and social media coordinator. She is deeply committed to using art and technology as an avenue for social change. For The Imprint, she creates graphics, illustrations and manages social media accounts for the team. Ongjoco’s work has been featured in other organizations such as VICE, Amazon Watch and Search for Common Ground.

Karlos René Ayala

Photographer

Karlos René Ayala is a freelance photographer, videographer, documentarian and writer living in Sacramento, California.

Malik Rainey

Photographer

Malik Rainey is an American photographer and educational teacher dedicated to photographing the essence of interconnectedness, joy, and love within the Black community as a whole. His work has been seen in publications such as The New York Times, ABC News, TIME Magazine and many more. When he is not working on projects and assignments, Malik dedicates his time to educating the future within the Buffalo Public Schools system.

Annie Sciacca

Contributing Reporter

Annie Sciacca is a California-based journalist covering juvenile justice and child welfare systems for The Imprint. Her work has also appeared in Kaiser Health News, Civil Eats and other publications. Prior to freelancing, she worked for the East Bay Times and The  Mercury News covering government, the court and legal systems, the economy and statewide breaking news events. She has covered some of California’s biggest natural disasters in recent years, and her reporting on the 2018 Camp Fire in Butte County, California, was part of a package of stories honored as a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in breaking news.

Madison Hunt

Contributing Reporter

Madison Hunt is a New York-based reporter covering child welfare. Previously, she reported on social justice issues within minority communities for Capital News Service. Her work has been featured in The Washington Post and The Baltimore Sun, among other publications. She holds a master’s degree from the Philip Merrill College of Journalism at the University of Maryland and a bachelor’s degree from St. John’s University in Queens.

Nell Bernstein

Nell Bernstein

Contributing Reporter

Nell Bernstein is the author of “Burning Down the House: The End of Juvenile Prison” and “All Alone in the World: Children of the Incarcerated,” both published by The New Press. Launched with starred reviews in Publisher’s Weekly and Kirkus and appearances on Fresh Air and the Tavis Smiley Show, “Burning Down the House” went on to win the Silver Gavel Award from the American Bar Association and was named one of the Best Big Ideas of 2014 by The Daily Beast, a Best Book of the Year by Publishers Weekly, and “What to Read” by Glamour Magazine. “All Alone in the World” was selected as a pick of the week by Newsweek, a best book of the year by the San Francisco Chronicle, and a top 10 book of the year by the Online Review of Books.

After launching her career as a counselor in a group home for adjudicated youth, Ms. Bernstein spent nine years as editor in chief of YO! (Youth Outlook), a magazine by and about young people in the San Francisco Bay Area. She has written for multiple national publications including the New York Times, Washington Post, USA Today, Marshall Project, Glamour, Mother Jones, Buzzfeed News and many others; and made numerous radio and television appearances, including Fresh Air, The Tavis Smiley Show, The Diane Rehm Show, and MSNBC. She has been awarded a Soros Justice Journalism Fellowship and a Journalism Fellow in Child and Family Policy at the University of Maryland, and received a White House Champion of Change award for her work on behalf of children of incarcerated parents.

Steven Yoder

Contributing Reporter

Steven Yoder is a New York-based reporter covering juvenile justice and child welfare for The Imprint. His work has also appeared in The Washington Post, Time, WIRED and elsewhere. Previously, he served on a team that supported federal reviews of state child welfare systems for the federal Children’s Bureau, writing reports on best practices in child welfare reform. He also was managing editor at a clearinghouse of the federal Family and Youth Services Bureau, producing youth policy news and analysis.

Sylvia A. Harvey

Contributing Reporter

Sylvia A. Harvey, also known as SAH, is an award-winning journalist, speaker, and author of “The Shadow System: Mass Incarceration and the American Family.” SAH’s work on race, class, policy, and incarceration has appeared in The Nation, Elle, Politico, Vox, The Marshall Project, The Root, and more. NPR, WBAI, Women’s Media Center Live with Robin Morgan, Embodied WUNC, Cheddar News, and others have featured her commentary on the criminal legal system. She has spoken at numerous conferences and universities across the country. SAH’s work is being used in university coursework and has been cited by federal lawmakers calling for criminal justice reform. She is the recipient of a National Headliner Award and a National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ) Salute to Excellence award. The Oakland native holds a bachelor’s degree in sociology from Columbia University and a master’s in journalism from Columbia’s Graduate School of Journalism.  SAH lives in New York City. You can connect with her on social media as Ms_SAH.