Renato Paiva

Executive Director

Renato came to San Diego to join Access Youth Academy in May of 2007 after previously serving as Assistant Coach at Harvard University and USC. Originally from Brazil, Paiva competed as Brazilian Junior Champion and a top junior in South America. He represented his home country on the national team as its captain, and graduated from Ruy Barbosa University with a business degree.

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. He has overseen the development of squash on the West Coast, serving as California Junior Squash Team Coach, winning five consecutive urban squash team titles and leading the only urban squash squad to compete in the prestigious U.S. High School Squash Nationals at Yale University, obtaining the #11th ranking in the nation (Access Youth Academy in 2011 and 2012).

Shelby CoopWood

Program Manager

Shelby moved to San Diego in 2018 after finishing her M.A. in Sociology at Colorado State University. She is originally from Tucson, Arizona and completed her B.S. in Sociology at Northern Arizona University. The six years she spent studying sociology has provided her with a unique understanding of how inequality persists in society.  Because of this, she has a strong commitment to work to create a more equitable world.  She believes that making higher education accessible to all individuals, regardless of their background, is fundamental for future generations.

Shelby has experience working with at-risk youth as a Behavioral Health Worker. More recently, she spent the last two years working as a Graduate Teaching Assistant in the university setting.

Deon Saffery

Squash Coach

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.

Tyler Smith

Squash Coach

Tyler played squash competitively throughout his youth and won two national titles along the way. After competing, he decided to combine his skill, passion, and innate understanding of the sport of squash into a successful coaching career. Before working with Access, Tyler worked at The Lawrenceville School, Pretty Brook Tennis Club in Princeton, NJ Squash Club, Coppermine in Baltimore with the great LekifaRagnoste, and recently came from Arroyo Seco Racquets club with the legendary Bob Handscom. For more than eight years, Tyler has coached players who have been highly ranked and seeded in junior tournaments. Tyler's students have played varsity squash at Bowdoin, Brown, Colombia, Cornell, Dartmouth, Harvard, Princeton, and The University of Pennsylvania. He is known for his passion and dedication. His success as a coach can be attributed to his contagious enthusiasm and unique ability to relate well to a broad range of age groups. He couldn't be more fired up and grateful to be a part of the Access all-star staff team and to have the privilege to serve those who are underserved!

Siarah Reed

Academic Coordinator

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 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.

Jaimie McBreaty

Operations Manager

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.

Jashua Sweeney

Facility Manager

Jashua moved to San Diego in 2016 from upstate New York, where he was born and raised. He began working at a very young age, first managing sales and customer service in his parent's retail stores, followed by service and managerial positions in the high-end hospitality industry. He specializes in new property launches and has been part of opening five high-profile venues. Jashua’s background has given him a passion for business acumen, customer service, and forming innovative and cohesive operating teams. He knows it 'takes a village’ to bring a successful project to life and strives to build and be part of teams that are motivated and committed to their work. Jahsua has a long history of volunteer work and is excited for the opportunity to combine his passion for customer service and team management with public service. He looks forward to dedicating his time and energy as an advocate for underprivileged youth and is excited to bring a high level of customer service and create a world-class customer experience at the Access Squash Club.

Cindy Sweeney

Associate Director of Development

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.