Meet Our Team


Aimee Zeitz 
Regional Director of Strategic Advancement 
Project Director of Partners in Prevention

I get to work with internal YMCA teams and external partners to support strengths-based, family-centered, trauma-informed, and culturally responsive services that meet the needs and preferences of communities across San Diego.

I know that there is a better way to ensure that all children and families have what they want and need to thrive. Working towards making this a reality motivates and inspires me every day.

I love spending time with my family outdoors, especially in the mountains!


Ariane Porras 
Consultant & Trainer 

I am passionate about the ways I have been able to serve in my hometown. My role includes two different forms of community engagement, first, by providing Early Childhood Mental Health Consultation to our Spanish-speaking families with children ages 0-5, where I can empower caregivers to best nurture their child's development. I also support capacity building through training for agencies in San Diego so they can provide families with trauma-informed and culturally responsive service delivery.

I believe that the time we spend connecting over and considering the needs of others, results in stronger communities. Facilitating those conversations is what gives me life and where I feel empathy is built step by step.

I try to get a regular dose of live music, art and nature through a variety of activities around town.


Brandi Paniagua 
Coordinator & Trainer 

I assist with project coordination, scheduling, and technical support for Partners in Prevention. My role is focused on assisting partners in adopting CIE, or the Community Information Exchange, in order to streamline the referral process between agencies in a way that is based on a family’s choice and strengths.

I will be supporting partner agencies as they navigate this change with technical support and consultation. I also support capacity building through training for agencies in San Diego so they can provide families with trauma-informed and culturally responsive service delivery.

I am passionate about this work because of my deep love and dedication to my community. I am a South Bay local and believe that we should use our education and credentials to reinvest in our communities. As someone with lived experience with navigating social services, I hope to bring the perspective of the community with me into this work.

I love to read, sleep, and travel, and have newly become a birder. I also have two bunnies named Bumi and Hana that take up a lot of my time. I enjoy any time spent in nature and love contributing to my community when I can.


Lexie L Palacio 
Community Collaborative Director 

In my role as the Community Collaborative Director, I have the honor of working collaboratively with community organizations to support systemic changes within San Diego County that support primary prevention efforts aimed at reducing entry into child welfare. I enjoy developing methods and innovative projects that contribute to enhancing a collective well-being system in San Diego. When I think about what I get to do in my role on behalf of the Partners in Prevention Initiative, a San Diego Community-Wide effort, I am excited to get up in the morning and dedicate my day to supporting transformational work that will benefit children, families and providers.

As a young child, I always knew I wanted to be a teacher, so I became an Early Childhood Educator, and that’s where I spent 15 years working with children 0-5 and their families. I am passionate about the work I do now as every family deserves to have access to the support they need and want. San Diego is my home and there is no better place I could imagine spending my time connecting with others who are also passionate about child and family well-being.

In my spare time, I like to ride my e-Bike on the boardwalk and am an active participant in the Pedal Ahead initiative that supports advocating for safer bike lanes in San Diego. I am active and enjoy hiking/walking outdoors, paddle boarding at Sail Bay, Pilates and take pride in cooking healthy meals. I love coffee and can often be found at any place in San Diego serving oat milk lattes. I am close to my family, almost all of us live here in San Diego and connect on a daily basis. 

Meg Olinger 
Early Childhood Mental Health Clinical Consultant 

I provide support for caregivers and providers who may be experiencing some behavioral or mental health challenges with a child who is in their care. In my role, I focus on building a relationship with the caregiver(s) and/or provider(s) so that they can strengthen the relationship they have with the child.

I also make sure to learn about the strengths of the child, caregiver(s), and/or provider(s) by listening to their experiences and perspectives, which helps me to then provide collaborative suggestions to decrease the challenging behaviors and increase the social/emotional skills of the child.

It is our goal to prevent preschool expulsions and increase the resiliency of children, caregivers, and providers while honoring their cultural backgrounds and highlighting the knowledge and skills they already have.

I entered the field of mental health as a way to work towards creating a society where ALL people can thrive and be successful. Children will one day be the decision-makers of our world, and I believe that we can bolster the strengths of our communities by teaching children how to be empathetic, creative, problem solvers who will work together to create a world that is accepting of our differences and commonalities and will make sure that our planet is a safe place for all living creatures.

Pre-pandemic I enjoyed traveling, going to concerts, food festivals, yoga, going to Disneyland, and spending time with friends. Currently, I enjoy spending time reading, playing video games, catching up with loved ones, and playing board games.