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).
Danielle joined Access Youth Academy in August 2016. She came to us from SeaWorld San Diego where she was a performer and show producer for SeaWorld’s animal shows and park wide events. In addition, Danielle was a representative for marketing and PR events. She also managed the shows operations team including hiring and onboarding. She received her Bachelor Degree in Theater Arts from California State University, Long Beach.
During the early years of Access Youth Academy, Danielle mentored the first class of students that have now graduated from College. She is excited to return to Access in the new role of Operations Director. She will be overseeing programs, office needs and event coordination.
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.
David Norton started playing Squash at age 18 in the small town of Santa Cruz. As a local competitive club player, his love for the game of Squash continued to grow, and at age 26 he moved to beautiful sunny San Diego. David helped select the first junior players for Surf City Squash (now known as Access Youth Academy) in 2006. And again helping in the recruiting process over the next two years, David watched their amazing growth and transformation. After the third season, that was enough to inspire David Norton to start his own life’s transformation towards becoming a squash coach. Over the course of the next few years, David transformed his squash technique, achieved US Squash Certification as Level I & II Squash Instructor and US Squash Tournament Director Certification. Now working into his tenth year of coaching of players up and down the west coast, he has groomed players from the age 5 to over 70+ years old. He has created programs for small groups and large teams with an extreme focus on squash technique, physical agility and conditioning. Coming a full circle now, Coach Dave will devote his time and energy to the dream machine; the junior players of Access Youth Academy.
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.