Youth Counselors

The Youth Ministry at First United Methodist Church Santa Monica is a community of youth and adult volunteers who gather weekly to explore and grow in faith together. Right now they are meeting weekly on Zoom from 4-5:30 each Sunday. Email Tricia Guerrero if you would like to join this group for youth in grades 6-12.

Meet the Youth Counselors for 2020-2021

Tricia GuerreroPastoral Associate for Family Ministries
Hi everyone! It’s hard to believe I’m starting my 7th year with the youth group. Wow! This year’s group of senior’s entered youth the same year I came to this church as an intern. A little about me: I grew up in Texas, spent six years in North Carolina after college, and then moved to California for seminary in 2013. I came here as part of my training to be a church leader and I love serving in this community! Even though we’re starting the year on Zoom, I’m excited for the ways we’ve continued to connect and support one another and I’m looking forward to starting back this fall. Can’t wait to see everyone next week!

Adam Guerrero
I’ve been around for 16 years now. I grew up participating as a youth in this group and apparently never left. It’s fun and rewarding. The community, service trips, games, free food… all make this place very special to me. Finding new ways to engage teens has been a good challenge. Not only does it stretch my awareness of what is relevant these days but also keeps me “young” and in-the-know!

I work as a Computer & Network Engineer for NAVSEA, but if you ask a youth they think I’m a spy. I work on network systems aboard Navy and Coast Guard ships. I travel quite a bit for work, but always seem to make time for UMYF. I just so happen to be married to the youth leader- she keeps me on my toes and reminds me that I’m “no spring chicken” and can’t do back-flips anymore.

Maddy Ing
Hello friends! My name is Maddy Ing. I grew up in this church and went to youth the whole time I was in middle school & high school… though I went to Venice High, not SAMO like all you cool kids! I went to college at UC Berkeley (text me if you want to talk about college or UC Berkeley, I literally always want to talk about it). Then moved back to Los Angeles and now I’m a medical student at USC. I like knitting and watching tv and am excited to see you all again so soon!! Please prepare a real life or made-up story about your summer to tell me about it (just kidding, but not really). Miss you lots! 🙂

Jack McHugh
Hello! I’m Jack McHugh and this will be my 5th year with the Youth Group. Originally from the great old armpit of America, New Jersey, I moved in 2015 to teach music in Santa Monica after finishing my undergraduate degree at Northwestern. I’m currently in my second (and final!) year of my master’s degree at UCLA, studying choral conducting, and still teach music around the Santa Monica area. I can’t wait to start another year with you all, and hope we can meet together again soon!

Dan Stirling

I grew up in this church. Went to preschool and youth group, and then became a counselor a couple of years after I turned 29, in 1995. So this is my silver anniversary! I have had a myriad of experiences and developed countless relationships with youth, their parents and other counselors. I recall trips to mini-golf, broom hockey overnighters, snatch breakfasts, midnight hikes to Inspiration Point and photo sessions at the Camp Colby waterfall. I remember sacred songs in our chapel and intense discussions. I remember fundraising drives, eleven weeklong service project trips, and many candlelit devotionals that I wished would never end. I remember so many unique individuals, whom I impacted in some way and each of whom in turn had a tremendous impact on me. Also, as I often tell the youth, half of the reason I am here is to be entertained. So entertain me!

My education was in aerospace engineering – in fact you could call me a rocket scientist! But instead of doing that I have mostly worked in accounting for a bunch of dynamic companies. And now I am starting a new venture of my own, helping people find their purpose and giving them a system to fulfill it every day. I won’t try doing a backflip, but I am working on handstands. And if you want to go to the beach, call me!

Marissa Morgan

Hi y’all! Excited to say this is my first year with the youth group, and I’m stoked! I’m originally from Kansas (home of the best BBQ burnt ends you’ll ever taste), but have lived in LA for 10 years. I studied English writing/journalism in college, and from there have ventured into TV marketing / social media (If you ever need a partner for a TikTok dance, I’m there!). My interests outside of work include biking to the beach, obsessing over musicals, and dogs. Something I’m most looking forward to this year is getting to know you all (let the wacky Zoom backgrounds commence). I was introduced to UMYF last year, and have been blown away by the amazing people I’ve met and the things you do for your community. So I’m thrilled to get the opportunity to listen and learn from each one of you. The game nights and free food are just an added bonus 😉 Looking forward to a great year ahead!