After a successful for-profit career, Karen Lenyoun became dissatisfied with the status quo. She felt that longing to make a difference in her community and entered the nonprofit world over 20 years ago. Ms. Lenyoun played a significant role in the development of an affordable housing and employment nonprofit company offering opportunities to thousands of families in a marginalized demographic. This nonprofit transformed to provide interim supportive housing for homeless youth struggling with co-occurring conditions. As Program Director for an international technology nonprofit, Ms. Lenyoun oversaw several foster and justice involved youth mentoring programs throughout San Diego County. She joined SAY San Diego in 2011 as Sr. Program Manager for the entire North Central Region’s Alcohol and Other Drug Prevention Programs through 2018. While Karen was involved with Live Well San Diego almost from its inception through initial focus group gatherings, she was asked to participate more deeply as co-chair of the North Central Leadership Team in 2013 and still faithfully serves in that role.
Ms. Lenyoun currently works with NAMI San Diego as Program Manager for the Elevate Youth California Project where she trains on Naloxone Distribution and Harm Reduction models as well as previously on the Youth Opioid Response (YOR) project. During the first year of the Elevate Youth California Project, Ms. Lenyoun offered student self-leadership training to nearly 800 youth living in underserved areas of San Diego County. She received the Public Health Champion Award from San Diego County in March 2019 and sits on the TAY Council for San Diego County Behavioral Health Services. Ms. Lenyoun identifies as a family member of a loved one struggling with an opioid misuse condition and has extensive lived experience on harm reduction as well as opioid misuse treatment modalities. Karen Lenyoun holds a degree in Organizational Psychology from San Diego State University and has completed most of the AOD counseling curriculum at UCSD. She serves on numerous boards and has volunteered at youth-oriented non-profits throughout San Diego County extensively.