A native of Los Angeles County, Charnelle Ruff has been working at some sort of non-profit ever since she began working. Any day of the week, you can find her sharing her love of collaboration with people to benefit man-kind; that is why she has chosen a career in non-profit work. Charnelle discovered her love for philanthropy as an undergraduate at University of California, Los Angeles (Go Bruins!). At UCLA, she volunteered for UniCamp, a summer camp program planned and implemented by UCLA students to support underserved youth in Los Angeles. At UniCamp, Charnelle gained a ton: she found her love for being silly and bringing joy to others as well as learned how to solve life’s unique challenges, such as how to keep the bears from entering the kitchen! Charnelle’s experiences at camp helped her to develop into the adult she is today.
After graduating with a B.A. in Anthropology, Charnelle became the Educational/STEM Director at the Boys and Girls Club of Santa Monica. This is where her eyes were opened to the social injustice that plagues our youth and communities. It was shocking that while residing in one of the wealthiest counties in California, many of her families were struggling to feed their children dinner. This reality, as well as the challenges she faced to provide resources to her staff to respond to these complicated issues stood out to her: it was clear that something had to be done.
After her experience at “The Club”, Charnelle landed at CalSAC. She started as a Program Assistant in August 2015 and is now a Program Coordinator. She is excited to be associated with an organization that is creating greater opportunity for California’s youth through the strengthening of out-of-school time programs and professionals. Every time she gets into an Uber and talks about what she does for a living, her heart flutters. She believes that children are our future and any effort that benefits that future is worthwhile.
Charnelle can be known as a little too excited about everything. She loves being out in nature, from a weekend of camping, to a nice walk in the park, to an adventure at Disneyland. In her free time, Charnelle also likes to go on adventures with friends and attend movies and musicals.