As mature experienced women in the community, we have a desire to share our life’s journeys with adolescent girls. We feel that it is our responsibility to equip them with skills that will allow them to make positive decisions in their lives. We are committed to doing this not just with disciplines, but by life example.
Founder/ Board Chair
Yolanda Pruitt has earned a degree in Arts and Humanities with Honors, from Monterey
Peninsula College, a BS in Collaborate Health and Human Services, with a concentration in
Public Administration, and Distinction in her major. She was recognized by the President of
CSUMB, for her work with Ladies First. She is now continuing her education at the University
of San Diego, in pursuit of her master’s degree in Nonprofit Leadership Management She is an
alumnus of Leadership Monterey Peninsula, class of 2015. She has received many community
service awards. She is also an advocate for under-served communities.
In 2010 Yolanda founded Ladies First a nonprofit organization; a preventive mentoring program
for adolescent teen girls of color. She believes that adolescence is a very important time in a
girl’s life. A time when girls are trying to decide who they will become. Yolanda feels it is up to
us as mature women, to help our girls develope into successful, strong, independent women. She
also believes that this is best accomplished by life example. Yolanda accepts as true, the phrase
“If she can’t see it, she can’t be it.”
Board Chair/ Grant-writer
Currently an Assistant Professor in the Department of Health, Human Services, and Public
Policy at California State University, Monterey Bay (CSUMB), Dr. Lopez-Littleton teaches
undergraduate courses in the Collaborative Health and Human Services program. Dr. Lopez-
Littleton holds a Ph.D. in Public Affairs from the University of Central Florida, a Master of
Public Administration from Louisiana State University, and a Bachelor of Science in Nursing
from Northwestern State University. Dr. Lopez-Littleton’s areas of interest include racial equity,
racial and ethnic health disparities, and cultural competency. Dr. Vanessa Lopez-Littleton is
passionate about public service as evidenced by her strong commitment to research, community
engagement, and public policy.
“My goal is to inspire the girl who will change her life and her future.”
Annalisa Mitchell has earned several degrees, and certifications. Among them are: B.A. Criminal
Justice, A.A. Child Development, and Administrative Justice, Licensed Substance Abuse
Specialist and Clinical Supervisor; Certification for Domestic Violence, and now serves as the
Director of Behavior Modification Program at Correctional Training Facility. She also works as
DUI facilitator at Sun Street Center in Seaside Calif. Annalisa has received numerous
congressional awards. Annalisa was also awarded counselor of the year for the State of California.
Annalisa has a passion to guide underrepresented youth in her community; ensuring that we are
very much interested in them, and that they know they are vital to us. She believes in always
considering the rights of others before her own feelings. Annalisa is purposed to make a
“The best investment we can make for the future, is to instill in our young women, to
believe in themselves, and they can achieve unbelievable things.”
Treasurer (Acting Secretary)
Joy Rubey brings to her work with Ladies First over 30 years’ experience in the nonprofit sector
as a staff member, volunteer, board member and management consultant. She has been a
Lecturer in Nonprofit Management at California State University Monterey Bay (CSUMB) since
2004, and periodically leads workshops for the Center for Nonprofit Excellence of the
Community Foundation for Monterey County. Joy is passionate about social justice and is
committed to creating a world where people of all races, faiths, nationalities, abilities, and gender
identities are treated with respect and dignity, and where difference is an opportunity not an obstacle.
Joy joined Ladies First because she wants to help ensure that girls and young women of color in
Monterey County have the chance to grow and develop in healthy ways, to learn about their
options, to explore their interests, and to discover their own potential.