Meet the Coaches

“Leaders become great, not because of their power, but because of their ability to empower others.”

Russell Degnan – C.E.O

“The only person you should strive to be better than, is the person you were yesterday” Matty Mullins

Russell Degnan is a passionate change maker who has followed in the footsteps of his father (Bill Degnan), the founder of Operation New Hope.

1996 he began his career journey as a group counselor assigned to ONH’s contract with Riverside County’s Diversion and Los Angeles County Juvenile Parole. Assuming the Executive Director role in 2009 his goal was to elevate ONH from a successful “mom and pop” non-profit in to a thriving key-stakeholder in the communities they served.

2009 he set out a vision to establish a Youth Opportunity Center for the disadvantaged youth ONH served. The goal was to increase the success rate of those classified as “dropouts” throughout San Bernardino County by providing our Evidence Based Practice of case management, educational opportunities, leadership development, and career pathway programs. With these supportive services, he was confident that ONH would assist San Bernardino County in achieving more success with the TAY youth (Foster Youth, Teen Parents, Homeless, Mental Health, and those experiencing the Judicial System).  

2010, He would lead the formation of a successful collaboration to create two Youth Opportunity Centers to provide meaningful life skill resources for disadvantaged youth. As a result, ONH has been able to stimulate, sustain and engage “dropout” youth into comprehensive services in San Bernardino County.

Since the opening of the Youth Opportunity Centers; 3135 students have successfully completed ONH’s Career Pathway Program, 411 have graduated with an accredited high school diploma, with 83% entering in to employment, and or enrolled in to higher education or a technical schools.

Ultimately Russell’s passion is to provide underserved youth who have been expected to be the failures in society a place where they experience genuine love, hope, and opportunities to succeed in life. Weekly you will find him in the community encouraging youth to handle their business, actively engaging community leaders, and or developing community partnerships to help empower his beloved students he has devoted his entire life to serve. Mr. Degnan is one of the most loyal and sincere voices for our under-served youth.

Robert Sega, AMFT

Program Manager – Counseling & Case Managers

“If you don’t like something, change it. If you can’t change it, change your attitude“.       Dr. Maya Angelou”

ONH founder Bill Degnan hired Coach Sega in the mid 90’s, where he began his career  to mentor young students into responsible adults while teaching basic life skills. The interaction with the student’s and watching them all grow into the people they are and not the person others want them to be. 

Earned his Bachelors of Science in Psychology (Marriage Family Therapy/Child Psychosis) through the University of Phoenix (2012), and his Masters of Arts in Counseling (2014) through National University.

Coach Sega is naturally gifted with the passion to lead youth.  He is filled with compassion, empathetic and a solution-oriented mental health professional dedicated to providing exceptional trauma-informed therapy for children, adolescents, and adults experiencing or exposed to drug/alcohol abuse, child abuse, and/or domestic violence. For the past 20 years he has successfully worked with diverse client populations in one-on-one or group settings. 

His greatest talents are his effective motivating skills, his passion for his students, and an advocate with inherent ability to manage all types of personalities to diffuse stressful situations, proactively resolve issues and meet and achieve challenging goals and objectives. 

John Muir Charter School Staff:

Cristina Dickason – Teacher

“It doesn’t matter where you came from. What matters is who you choose to be.”
– Papa Smurf

Denise Hoogendoorn – IEP Teacher

“Give me solutions not excuses”

– Denise