Renato Paiva

Executive Director

renato@accessyouthacademy.org - (619) 795-8603 x101

Renato Paiva has served as the Executive Director of Access Youth Academy since it began. During the past 15 years, he has ably led Access to produce outstanding results and has helped Access to be regarded as one of the leading urban squash and youth development programs in the nation. During that time, Access students have achieved 100% college graduation rates, secured$9.7 million dollars in scholarships, and 13 national squash titles. Working closely with the Access Board, he led the design and construction of state-of-the-art education and squash facility located in a federally designated Promise zone in Southeastern San Diego that opened in June 2021.

A native of Brazil, Renato became an internationally ranked squash player and competed in several countries. Prior to Access, Renato coached in several colleges, including serving as Assistant Squash Coach at Harvard University and a Head Coach at USC. In 2010, Paiva was named Development Coach of the Year by U.S. Squash and was honored as 2011 Coach of the Year by the U.S. Congressional Caucus on Youth Sports in Washington, DC. His wife, Renato and his staff are supported by a dedicated board of directors, mentors, and volunteers.


Shelby CoopWood

Program Director

shelby@accessyouthacademy.org - (619) 795-8606 x104

Shelby joined Access in 2018 as an Academic Coordinator. She successfully helped graduate three classes of AYA high school seniors who all matriculated on to four-year universities. In 2021, she played a large role in the expansion of the program as Access opened the new facility. Her commitment to student success expands beyond academic achievement as she takes a holistic approach that focuses on students’ overall well-being, development, and growth. As Program Director, Shelby extends this methodology to the entire youth program and internally within her leadership style.

Shelby earned her master’s degree in Sociology from Colorado State University after completing her bachelor’s degree from Northern Arizona University. Originally a child of the desert from Tucson, Arizona, Shelby is thoroughly enjoying living by the beach in San Diego.


Deon Saffery

Squash Coach

deon@accessyouthacademy.org - (619) 795-8612 x108

Deon has combined her experience as a high-ranking professional squash player with her love of squash to build her career. As a coach, Deon has been fortunate to work with many of the best players and coaches in the world. Deon's experience and passion led her to establish the Empower Squash Foundation in the UK. In addition to her coaching, Deon ran the sports scholarship program at Birmingham City University while studying for a master's degree in International Sports Management.

Deon's professional goal is to open doors and provide others with opportunities similar to those that inspired her development. Deon moved from the UK to the US to join the Access team. She is excited to work with the Access Youth Academy students and team members and is looking forward to her new life in San Diego.


Siarah Reed

Academic Coordinator

siarah@accessyouthacademy.org - (691) 795-8609 x106

Siarah was born and raised in Southeast San Diego. After completing high school at a local K-12 charter school, she went on to earn a degree from the University of California, Santa Cruz. Following the completion of her undergraduate career, she began working in K-12 education, providing college admissions and application support to high school students. Later, she was afforded the opportunity to also work in the classroom with students, providing 1-on-1 and group academic support.

It has been Siarah's goal to help foster environments that promote belongingness and access amongst students from underrepresented and underserved communities. After having experienced it herself as a high schooler, Siarah is now committed to creating opportunities for students to thrive academically and in life as a whole.


Nate Cambridge

Academic Coordinator

nate@accessyouthacademy.org - (619) 795-8609 x106

Nate Cambridge was born and raised in upstate New York and relocated to San Diego in 2020. He earned his Bachelor’s degree in Education from The City College of New York. Early in his career, Nate worked as a Senior Resident Counselor, providing life skills and mental health support for adolescents living in a group home. Nate then spent several years working as a first-grade teacher in Title I schools in New York City. Prior to joining Access, Nate worked as an Academic Specialist at Harlem Children’s Zone, working with high school students on academic goals and college access.

Nate has devoted his career to helping students gain access to equitable educational opportunities. He is passionate about sports and believes in the power of integrating athletics with academics. Nate is thrilled to be a resident of the San Diego community and part of the Access Youth Academy team.


Cindy Sweeney

Director of Development

cindy@accessyouthacademy.org - (619) 795-8605 x103

Cindy Sweeney joined Access Youth Academy in 2019. She brings to the team 20+ years of experience in both for-profit and nonprofit business development, management and consulting. Prior to joining Access, she was founder and managing partner of an international sourcing and manufacturing business. In this capacity she was responsible for overseeing the design, production and sale of everything from clothing and jewelry to custom-made furniture. As a mother of two young sons, while living in rural upstate New York, she co-founded and and worked as lead development officer for a nonprofit program that successfully brought gardens to each of the regional schools, more nutritious food to school lunch tables and science-based healthy-living curriculum to the classroom. She is inspired by the Access students and is excited to bring to bear her gathered experience in support of their success.


Jaimie McBreaty

Operations Director

jaimie@accessyouthacademy.org - (619) 795-8604 x102

Jaimie McBreaty joined Access Youth Academy in January of 2021. She brings to the table a talent for process establishment, optimization, and organizational skills, which will be a great asset to the Access team. For the last 15 years, she worked in the food and beverage sector as the Director of Operations for a health and wellness company, and before that, as Operations and Inventory Manager for a strawberry processing company. In both roles, she was tasked with establishing baseline operations and then scaling those programs up to support the rapid growth of both companies. She has a degree in Linguistics from UCSD, attended SDSU’s Master’s program for Deaf Education, is a Certified Sign Language Interpreter, is proficient in three languages (English, Spanish, ASL), and has worked as an educator both at Sea World and at a local San Diego preschool. She is a mother of three young children (twin girls and a son) and is inspired to be in a role that supports the success of the Access Youth Academy students.