Solid, consistent, and creative one-on-one support for young people in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Who we help:

  • Teens and young adults who are going through transition from treatment to home or from home to independence.
  • Youth who are struggling with home life, school, or friends.
  • Families with young people who could benefit from more structure, activity or a healthier routine.
  • Young people who need help making decisions about their future.

An Individualized Approach:

Every person is different and has different needs and abilities. East Gate Mentoring works with families and existing professionals to design and implement a support plan that is tailored to each individual. 

These plans vary depending on what each young person might need and mentoring services can range anywhere from 1 hour per month to 10 hours per week. Here are some of the support services that East Gate Mentoring can offer: 

One-on-one Mentoring

It is the goal of East Gate Mentoring to support clients through the challenges of life by introducing the positive relationship of a mentor: someone who can listen and relate to them while challenging their self-defeating beliefs. A young person often doesn’t know how to handle the difficult transition into adulthood.  As a result, they can take it out on themselves, loved ones or family. Many feel like they are alone and that no one understands them. Building rapport through a mentoring relationship invites openness to new ideas and perspectives.

Real Life   Experience

Many young people are not fully prepared for the “real world”. East Gate Mentoring can help today’s youth and young adults find meaningful and productive ways to invest their time and gain experience for the future. Finding employment, volunteering opportunities, continuing education, and sober activities are some of the ways East Gate Mentoring can help your youth or young adult find safe and fun ways to engage with their community.

Health and Wellbeing

East Gate Mentoring focuses on helping clients find healthier ways to cope with life. With countless distractions and ways to escape hardship, young people often find themselves aligning with apathetic or destructive cycles of behavior.  There are often great benefits to be had in making changes to diet, exercise regimen, and general self-care. A wider span of interests or hobbies can also help broaden horizons. East Gate Mentors share their experiences and can help clients find new, healthy passions to explore and enjoy.

About East Gate Mentoring:

Conor Powell

Conor Powell

Conor Powell

With over 14 years of experience working with youth, Conor has a natural ability with young people and his diverse experience helps him to easily relate to his clients and their families. He started East Gate Mentoring when he moved to the San Francisco bay area 4 years ago and has enjoyed helping families and their children succeed in all the surrounding areas.

Before moving to California, Conor was the Field Director of Outback Therapeutic Expeditions. His 5 years in the west desert of Utah were spent living with, mentoring, and challenging youth to live up to their potential. Conor has always been passionate about helping people understand that they have the power to improve their lives.

After graduating from Gordon College with a BA in International Affairs and Spanish, Conor moved to Guatemala where he trained rural, indigenous women to run their own businesses. During his years there, Conor also helped start an urban empowerment program for at-risk youth, managed a library and after school program, and became Country Director for a fast-growing, international non-profit organization.

Among other powerful experiences and travels, Conor has also lived abroad in China as a program manager for an educational consultant firm, taught people with disabilities how to ski in Colorado, guided expeditions in Alaska and has supported Native American communities in South Dakota. In an effort to achieve and model a balanced life, he spends his free time playing soccer, surfing, hiking, listening to music, reading and spending time with his family.

Yoshiko Hedges

Yoshiko Hedges

Yoshi is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist who has lived and worked in Oakland California since 2013. She received her Masters in Counseling with an emphasis in the Expressive Arts from the California Institute of Integral Studies in 2016.

Yoshi is passionate about encouraging youth to feel more empowered and positively engaged in their lives. She has dedicated over 15 years to supporting the social, emotional, behavioral, and academic goals of young people.

Yoshi has 8+ years of experience working as an educator, both in classrooms and as a private tutor. She loves finding creative ways to reach all different types of learning styles, and has found success teaching students of many ages and learning abilities.

For over 3 years she served as a Wilderness Instructor for “At risk youth” in the Utah desert. Through the heat, wind, rain and snow, she supported hundreds of teens to make better choices through some of the most challenging times of their lives. This transformational experience gave Yoshi great insight into the lives and minds of youth, and has endowed her with empathy and ease of connection with this population.

When returning to California, Yoshi wanted to bring the lessons from the wilderness to urban youth, which led her to develop Nature Sages, a two-year leadership and self-empowerment program for teens at Sienna Ranch, and Wandergirls, an arts and nature-connection summer camp for adolescent girls. Both of these projects combined Yoshi’s wilderness, art, counseling and teaching experience into a community offering that can now be facilitated by others.

She is pleased to stand with youth and their families as a life skills mentor with East Gate. Families do not need to face theses challenging times alone!

Ted Powell

Ted Powell

Ted has extensive experience coaching and teaching youth of all ages. His most formative experience was a year spent as a field guide at a Utah wilderness therapy program for at-risk teens. He also spent four summers as Theater Program Director and cabin counselor at one of the longest-running YMCA camps in the U.S and spent additional years as a teaching artist in the Philadelphia area.

Most recently, he served as an assistant general manager at one of the Bay Area’s busiest restaurants. He is now pursuing a Masters in Counseling Psychology at The Wright Institute in Berkeley. Ted is a composer, recording artist, and experimental playwright as well as a history, musicology, and Lego enthusiast. He relishes living in The Bay Area where he can explore the cities’ rich cultural events as well as the beautiful nature surrounding them.

Ted’s approach is largely strengths-based, making plenty of room for his clients to explore creative ways to connect with their authentic, unique selves. The fundamental power of self-discovery is given equal weight with goal-setting as Ted tailors his clients’ sessions to suit their singular needs. It is a relational, collaborative art kept safe by attentive, compassionate camaraderie.


Katie Cooper

Katie Cooper

Katie is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, earning her Masters in Integral Counseling Psychology from the California Institute of Integral Studies in 2014.

Since graduating, Katie has worked as a psychotherapist and mental health professional, in both private practice and community-based settings. She has worked as a school-based counselor at a bay area middle school for the past 3 years, in addition to working with pre-teens, teens, and young adults in her private psychotherapy practice. Katie works to create a collaborative relationship with her mentees that encourages their thoughts, feelings, and motivations to come forward, to support them in forming goals, developing skills, and cultivating their sense of agency.

Katie feels most alive when adventuring to wild places, and tries to spend as much time as possible outdoors, hiking the hills of the East Bay, or relaxing on the beach. She likes to paint, draw, sing, dance, and play guitar- and relies on her mindfulness practice and running at Lake Merritt to support her in feeling centered and energized.

Katie is grateful for the opportunity to work as a mentor, and looks forward to building solid, supportive relationships with youth and their families.


Maggie Hippman

Maggie Hippman

Maggie has worked with at-risk adolescents and young adults since 2009. She has a BA in psychology from University of Wisconsin-Madison and an MA in Environmental Humanities from the University of Utah. 

In 2009 Maggie moved to Utah to work in wilderness therapy. She helped guide trips into the wild deserts of Utah for adolescents struggling with anxiety, depression, social issues, technological addictions and other difficulties adjusting to their circumstances. Living and working with these teens-who seemed to make leaps and bounds under the influence of nature- was a transformative experience and led Maggie to other, similar fields of work. She has also worked in horticulture therapy in Hawaii and residential treatment centers for adolescents on the spectrum, with learning difficulties and in general need of more individualized attention. 

Last summer Maggie took homeless and adopted youth in the LA area backpacking in the woods as part of a program to prepare them for the California Conservation Corps where they can begin generating income and building a resume. She is known for her ability to develop quick rapport with adolescents and young adults and has a knack for inspiring them to uncover or grow their passion for life through their own interests and abilities. 

Maggie has been an athlete her entire life- competing at the college level in track and cross country- and continues to hike, swim, play tennis and rollerblade. Health has also been a huge focus for her since moving west from Wisconsin, and she is currently studying to become an Ayurvedic Practitioner. She is a certified yoga teacher (RYT 500 hours) and has been a serious meditator for over a decade. She’s spent almost 6 months cumulatively in India exploring health through the lens of traditional medicine. 

Her interest in the total health, extensive experience with youth and young adults from a variety of backgrounds, and genuine curiosity and enthusiasm for life make her a great catalyst for change in the lives of those she comes in contact with.


“It may be that when we no longer know what to do,
we have come to our real work
and when we no longer know which way to go,
we have begun our real journey.
The mind that is not baffled is not employed.
The impeded stream is the one that sings.”
― Wendell Berry