Join NN4Y in welcoming two new team members: Jo Ann Paanio, JD as our Director of Policy & Advocacy and Andrew Palomo, MSW as our Director of Community Strategies. We are so excited Jo Ann and Andrew joined the NN4Y team!

Jo Ann Paanio joins the National Network for Youth (NN4Y) as the Director of Policy & Advocacy with experiences in federal policy advocacy, human/equity centered design, education, and direct legal services. Prior to joining the NN4Y, Jo Ann focused on government relations and capacity building strategies as Policy Manager of the Forum for Youth Investment where she led a national campaign to increase pathways to education and employment for young people disconnected from school and work.

Jo Ann’s commitment to improving outcomes for children and youth began as a Legal Fellow with Whittier Law School’s Center for Children and Families. As a former legal advocate, Jo Ann’s work spanned across the child welfare, juvenile justice and immigration systems. During this time, she was also a member of the Journal of Child & Family Advocacy and taught constitutional law to high school students. Jo Ann later pursued her passion for teaching as she continued on to join the faculty of California State University, Dominguez Hills where she taught undergraduate courses in U.S. and global politics.

Jo Ann holds a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from California State University, Dominguez Hills and a Juris Doctor from Whittier Law School.

Andrew Palomo joins NN4Y as the Director of Community Strategies with  over 15 years of experience working with runaway and homeless youth (RHY).  He began his career as overnight staff for a transitional living program and youth shelter in Pennsylvania.  Andrew has held many positions in RHY programs from case manager to therapist to supervisor. Andrew supervised a maternity group home where he was responsible for the well-being of 12 parenting and pregnant young people.

Andrew was actively involved in the youth sub-committee of his local Continuum of Care (CoC) where he led the first YouthCount in his area.  Andrew was a key partner in implementing Allentown’s first drop-in center for homeless LGBT youth. He worked with his local Youth Advisory Board (YAB)  in developing programming at the drop-in center. One of his greatest achievements was developing leadership opportunities for YAB members. Currently, 2 YAB members have been hired on staff at the drop-in center – one member was hired as a case manager and one as a peer navigator.  Andrew is passionate in developing authentic partnerships with young people and the community.

Andrew is passionate about cross-systems collaboratives.  While supervising the Maternity Group Home, Andrew was involved in an integrated health collaborative which brought together various community partners to improve the health outcomes of homeless youth.

In 2013, Andrew received a Fulbright Public Policy Fellowship where he spent a year working with the Ministry of Education of Guatemala to implement inclusive education for all youth, including homeless LGBT youth.

Andrew holds a Master’s in Social Work from Fordham University and is currently finishing up his doctorate where he is studying the impact policy has on young people.