If you are interested in contributing, please visit our GOFUNDME and consider donating at a level that feels comfortable for you. This youth group is a much-needed resource for these kids, and the only one of its kind in Ventura! Every dollar is greatly appreciated!




Audrey Ford


Pronouns: They/Them & She/her


Audrey Ford is a program coordinator, motivational speaker, LGBTQQIAP+ competency trainer and activist working with transitional age youth at Rainbow Umbrella, a non-profit and activities-based peer support group. They also volunteer their time on the Ventura County Diversity Collective Planning Committee as the advertising & promotion chair and works on branding/design projects as a side hustle. 


Audrey has always had a passion for connecting with people and they give back to the LGBTQ+ community by holding space for those who feel silenced. 

Erielle Manhart


Pronouns: He/Him/His.

Erielle attended Rainbow Umbrella as a youth from 2014 to 2017 and has now been volunteering as a facilitator and training with us since September 2017. He is a graduate from Cal State Channel Islands in Camarillo with a Bachelor’s degree in Biology and is now continuing his studies at Ventura County Community College. Erielle is currently working with Audrey Ford at Rainbow Umbrella and Ventura County Behavioral Health to deliver LGBTQ+ Competency trainings across the county for school teachers and staff to better serve their LGBTQ+ students. As someone interested in a career in the medical field and beginning their own medical transition as well, Erielle has been passionate about researching Transgender/Gender Non-Conforming healthcare and is dedicated to finding the most up-to-date information and being able to provide it to those who need it. Due to his experiences growing up as an LGBTQ+ youth in Ventura County, Erielle is looking forward to providing a safe and welcoming environment for future youth to open up, learn, and grow in ways he was unable to.

Courtney Lindberg


Pronouns: She/her/hers.

Courtney is a Supervisor in the Environmental Sustainability Division for the City of Ventura. Courtney has been a volunteer with Rainbow Umbrella since it's inception and is the President of the Board of Directors. When Rainbow Alliance closed their doors in 2011, Courtney worked with other volunteer facilitators to keep the youth group active. Through immense support from the community and a group of amazing volunteers, Courtney was encouraged to create a stand alone non-profit organization, which the kids named Rainbow Umbrella to encompass the inclusivity of our youth group. The Rainbow Umbrella Board of Directors was officially sworn in as an active 501(c)3 non-profit organization in November of 2013. Courtney identifies as straight and serves as an ally to the LGBT+ community. 

Danny Saldana


Pronouns: He/Him/His

Danny Saldana is a small business owner in Ventura, board member for the Ventura Convention and Visitors Bureau and a past President of Diversity Collective Ventura County. Danny has been part of Rainbow Umbrella since 2011 as a facilitator, fundraiser, community activist, liaison and mentor. One of my biggest joys is seeing the difference that Rainbow Umbrella can make in the outlook and lives of our LGBTQ youth. As a RU facilitator I have had the privilege of mentoring individuals that have turned a complete 360 in their outlook toward themselves and other. I get to see these shy faces grow into confident, strong, future leaders of our community. I have only one word to describe how I feel about being a part of this incredible group. Proud. 

Karen Sedlacek


Cynthia Gonzales MFT Intern


Cynthia recently joined Rainbow Umbrella as a group facilitator in February 2017. Cynthia graduated in May 2016 with a Master’s degree in Counseling Psychology from Pacifica Graduate Institute where she wrote her thesis on the LGBTQ community. Cynthia currently works at the Coalition for Family Harmony in Oxnard as a therapist for LGBTQ-identifying individuals and for victims of domestic and/or sexual violence. Not only is Cynthia a facilitator for Rainbow Umbrella, but she also facilitates the LGBTQ+ Youth Group in Oxnard and the Pride Clinic Support Group at the Santa Paula West Clinic.

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A view into Michael's life and how he finds support as he comes out.

José Márquez


José Márquez

A view into Carter's personal struggles and journey to find his own identity, as he transitions from female to male.

José Márquez


On Display explores Lulu Alzamora, 14 gender non-conforming identity, evolving androgynous style and self confidence.


In My Eyes takes a view into Izaac's personal struggles and journey to find his own identity, as he transitions from female to male.

José Márquez




We have a new home! Our meeting location changed in July 2017, so if you haven't been in a while, make sure you head to Diversity Collective on Portola Rd


For additional information or questions, contact us at ruyouthgroup@gmail.com, 

(805) 836-0099, or PO Box 2882 Ventura, CA 93002


Rainbow Umbrella (RU) is a positive, safe and welcoming space, free of drugs and alcohol. RU is an activities based program that provides support and empowerment for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex, queer and questioning (LGBTIQQ) youth ages 13 to 23 and their allies. RU meets every Friday from 5:30 – 7:30 PM. All youth are welcome. Free and confidential. Rainbow Umbrella is a 501c3 nonprofit organization (501c3 ID # 46-4242088).


2018 Rainbow Umbrella