Board of Directors
Cynthia Austin has twenty years of experience in the non-profit and youth development fields, making it her mission to help create and launch innovative social change organizations. Cynthia began her career as the Associate Director of Foster Youth Incentive, a non-profit she helped to start. She went on to be a Manager at YMCA Turning Point transitional living program before spending three years as the initial Director of YMCA Mary’s House where she designed and implemented a holistic based transitional living program for former foster girls. She moved on to become the initial Director of Just In Time for Foster Youth, a program that has since received the Governors Award. Her passion for innovation took her to her next launch non-profit organization, Wave Academy, providing Aquatic Bodywork Therapy to veterans struggling with Post Traumatic Stress. Cynthia has continued to operate her own consulting company, The Shen Way, providing an array of services to non-profit executives and their organizations helping them to thrive. The beginning of 2018 she discovered the harsh realities of sex trafficking in San Diego affecting so many women and teens without access to other employment or career options being offered by service providers. With a passion for human rights, coupled with her vast experience, she launched a new social change organization, Shyne San Diego, with a mission to create pathways of success for survivors through grassroots leadership and professional development. Cynthia enjoys sitting on the Board of Directors with Neighborhood House Association (NHA), for the past four years, where she uses her knowledge and skills to strengthen NHA social enterprise InnoVisions. Mrs. Austin is also an advisory member for The Global Guiding Light Initiative in South Africa helping youth become entrepreneurs. Cynthia earned a Bachelor of Arts in Social Work from San Diego State University, and received her Massage Therapy license through Body Mind College.