Ultimate Impact is a registered 501(c)(3) nonprofit that was launched in June 2016 to improve the lives of youth in underrepresented communities. The organization uses the team sport of ultimate Frisbee as the framework for providing boys and girls 6 to 18 years old with increased opportunities, confidence, communication abilities, and conflict-resolution skills. Through weekly training sessions, peer interaction, and consistent adult mentorship, Ultimate Impact creates a positive environment for youth to have fun, be active, improve athletic skills, and build community through the concept of a team.
Ultimate Frisbee (commonly know as "ultimate") is a fun, fast-paced, non-contact team sport that is low cost, easy to learn, and can be played anywhere. Ultimate is unique because it is governed by the self-officiating Spirit of the Game™ philosophy, making it a great educational tool for developing Social-Emotional Learning (SEL) competencies.
Partnering with local organizations that serve underrepresented youth, Ultimate Impact encourages participation, builds teams, and offers weekly instruction with experienced coaches and volunteers who have been trained in Ultimate Impact’s coaching techniques. Coaches work with the youth for up to two hours per practice session at least once a week. Additionally, youth attend scrimmages, tournaments, and other ultimate-related activities. Coaches also become part of the community fabric by building relationships with local leaders, teachers, school administrators, and parents.
Through these activities, youth gain the following:
Fun, fitness, and health development
Ultimate Frisbee instruction and competition
Improve the lives of underrepresented youth through the sport and community of ultimate.
Program Pilot and History
The initial seed of Ultimate Impact was planted in 2010, when founder Rocky Beach retired from a top club team and wanted to give back to the sport that had helped him in so many personal, social, and professional ways. Through a landscaping project that he led while managing volunteer services for United Way of the Bay Area in 2006, Rocky connected with the Program Director at Hunters Point Family, located at Gilman Playground in Bayview-Hunters Point and launched a youth ultimate team there four years later as a volunteer.
The youth, ages 6-13, came from surrounding neighborhoods such as Double Rock, Alice Griffith, Oakdale, and Hilltop and all attended a summer and after-school program at Gilman Playground, near the former Candlestick Park in San Francisco. The kids have incredible stories of resilience. “Over the years it has been extremely rewarding to see the group progress, not just in ultimate, but also in life,” Beach says. “It’s exciting to see some of the first-year players already in high school and talking about going to college.”
In June 2016, Rocky decided to dedicate his creativity, time, and passion — along with his entrepreneurial spirit and program knowledge — to launch an ultimate Frisbee program modeled off his experience with underrepresented youth.
What is Ultimate Frisbee?
Played with a disc, or Frisbee, ultimate combines the nonstop movement, field spacing, sprinting, and athletic endurance of soccer with the aerial passing skills of football — all in a non-contact format. Players compete on a field with end zones similar to football, in teams of seven on grass and five on sand. Ultimate is a fast-growing sport, with an estimated 5 million current and former players in the US and more than 80K in the Bay Area. Most universities have club teams, and ultimate has been featured in the World Games as a medal sport since 2001, with a future as a possible Olympic event. Ultimate is unique because it is one of the few sports played at a high level in a co-ed format, along with women’s and men’s divisions.
Executive Director and Founder
Rocky has a background in entrepreneurship, youth development, nonprofit management, organization building, and coaching. Rocky spent nine years at United Way of the Bay Area, where he built their corporate volunteer program and managed the organization’s largest portfolio as a Director of Development. Rocky also served as the Director of Partnerships and Development for CODE2040, where he grew annual fundraising from $2M to $7.2M by securing partnerships with Apple, Intel, Google, Box, PwC, and other industry leaders.
In the spring of 2016, Rocky left his leadership role at CODE2040 to launch Ultimate Impact. He has a BA in International Business from the University of North Carolina at Wilmington, graduating magna cum laude. In 2007, the Chamber of Commerce selected Rocky as one of the 50 future leaders of San Francisco through his participation in the Leadership SF program. He is a member of the Board of Directors for the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition and is also a World Champion Ultimate Frisbee player.
Program director and Coach
Nicole has an extensive background in program management and design in non-traditional educational settings. Nicole worked as a Wetlands and Fisheries Biologist for an Environmental and Engineering firm after college before shifting gears to follow her passion of working with youth. Since then, Nicole has worked at East Bay Innovation Academy in Oakland growing and managing programs, as a Camp Director with Galileo Learning, as an Educational Consultant writing curriculum for a High School Transformation Project in South East Asia, as a Middle School Para Educator in an Emotional/Behavioral Disabilities Program for Seattle Public Schools, and as a summer program instructor for Seattle Parks and Rec.
Nicole holds a B.A. in Environmental Studies from Seattle University where she started playing ultimate Frisbee and helped lead the school's first competitive ultimate frisbee team. After playing open, women's, and mixed in college, she continues to play for various single-gender and mixed club teams in Seattle and the Bay Area. Nicole brings many years of youth ultimate experience to Ultimate Impact, having coached mixed, boys, and girls at the high school, middle school, and elementary-school level since 2009. She coached at Seattle ultimate frisbee powerhouses Asa Mercer Middle School and The Northwest School as an assistant and head coach from 2009-2014. Nicole also worked as a counselor for 6 years with Seattle Youth Ultimate Summer Camps. In 2015, she joined the Bay Area Youth Club Championship coaching team as head coach of the newly formed U17 girls team, Belly of the Beast. Nicole is currently co-head coach of the YCC U20 mixed team Happy Cows, coach of the women's club team Tempo, and is President of BADA's Girls Advisory Board.
Jahlil “JJ” James
Community Engagement Coordinator and Coach
Jahlil has worked in Youth Development since 2013 when he partnered with Golden Valley Health Center to create a youth program, then later as a summer camp leader, and then eventually as a Playworks Coach in the Bayview and Mission neighborhoods of San Francisco. With more than 6 years of experience as a Youth Educator, he brings a wealth of knowledge and techniques for working with kids from all types of backgrounds and varying life circumstances. JJ also brings a positive attitude, fun and an engaging personality to Ultimate Impact.
“What excites me most about Ultimate Impact is the correlation between my childhood and the work that Ultimate Impact does with underrepresented students. In high school, one of the pivotal points in my life was when one of my mentors taught me how to play ultimate Frisbee. It started off as just a game but quickly became a way of venting frustration and being able to spend time with a caring adult that listened and guided me toward being a more successful as a human being. I’m excited to emulate my mentor and use ultimate as a way of reaching students and teaching youth social-emotional and conflict-resolution skills.”
Board of Directors
Christopher is a career software architect and engineer focused on distributed systems and the Java Virtual Machine. He is a world-champion Ultimate Frisbee player and helped to found the Cloud9 Men's Ultimate Frisbee team at Rice University. He believes in the ability of Ultimate to teach fundamental life-lessons and is proud to be a part of the mission for Ultimate Impact.
He is currently a staff engineer at Twitter, Inc. and serves as a lead of the @Blackbirds employee resource group focusing on increasing the representation of minorities in technology. Christopher’s day-job includes supporting many of Twitter's open-source projects and he is a co-creator and the maintainer of Twitter's open-source Scala services framework: Finatra.
Octavia Payne (known in the ultimate community as Opi) started playing ultimate 11 years ago at the University of Pennsylvania. Opi has played on different teams, including Scandal, Molly Brown and Fury. She has been a member of three US National Teams, won two world championships and four US national championships.
When she’s not playing ultimate, she spend a lot of time cooking. By day, Opi is a software engineer.
Pat King has been an attorney with Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP for 23 years and is currently advising some of the largest and most successful Silicon Valley corporations in complex intellectual property disputes involving a vast array of technologies.
Before attending law school at Columbia University, Pat wrote several children’s books and is a recipient of the International Reading Association’s Children’s Choice Book Award. His musical compositions have appeared in films, on radio, and in television commercials and he is the co-author of Cupid’s Inferno, a musical produced Off-Broadway in New York City.
Pat is a founding member of the Dartmouth College ultimate team and the founder and captain of New York Ultimate, a club team in New York City that collected six national and four world championships. He remains active in the sport by coaching the men’s ultimate team at Santa Clara University. Pat is honored to help support Ultimate Impact in its effort to introduce young athletes in the communities it serves to a sport that promotes communication and respect among competitors.
Upon graduating from UC Berkeley, Ryo joined Location Labs, a software company that makes mobile applications for parents and their families, as a project manager. A decade later, he continues his work at Location Labs as an executive, managing operations and development of family safety products for mobile carriers including Verizon, AT&T, Sprint, and T-Mobile. He is excited to utilize his experience to build cohesive teams that integrate effectively with parents and communities to to guide Ultimate Impact through its early stages.
As a former player and captain of 4 time national and 3 time world champion San Francisco Revolver, Ryo has had the privilege to see the inner workings of a successful team. Through this connection, he joined a fellow Revolver alum and new teammates to build a youth development program for underrepresented Bay Area communities.
Former Board of Directors
Ultimate Impact’s mission of providing opportunity, teaching leadership and building socio-emotional skills through ultimate resonates deeply with Sam. Sports have been a powerful force in Sam’s life. She is especially passionate about getting and keeping girls in the game.
Samantha Salvia is a championship athlete in two sports, Rhodes Scholar, water resources engineer, coach, and mother of two. At Old Dominion University she won an NCAA Division I National Championship in field hockey and became Old Dominion’s first Rhodes Scholar. As a civil engineer, Sam specializes in water resources planning, and led one of the largest water supply infrastructure projects constructed in California in the last two decades.
She discovered Ultimate while a graduate student at Oxford and has played and coached for nearly two decades. Sam has won multiple national and world championships with San Francisco Fury. She continues to coach youth sports and leads workshops on positive coaching through the Positive Coaching Alliance.
2018 Junior Coaches
Ultimate Impact is proud to partner with the Mayor’s Youth Employment and Education Program (MYEEP) to hire six youth as Junior Coaches to help support training sessions, provide mentorship to younger program participants, and learn critical career-building skills through project work. Ultimate Impact is thankful to have the energy and enthusiasm of the Junior Coaches!
I'm 16-years old and my favorite colors are red, black, and white. I love sports and and stay busy by playing football, volleyball, baseball, basketball, and ultimate Frisbee. I'm from an island called Pago Pago in America Samoa. My favorite number is fourteen. I'll be starting my Sophomore year at Burton High school in the fall of 2018. I went to Visitacion Valley Middle School and that’s where I started playing ultimate Frisbee in September 2016 through Ultimate Impact. This is my second summer working for Ultimate Impact as a Junior Coach and it's awesome that we've grown and are now coaching more than 200 kids per week. I love catching the disc in the air but my favorite part about ultimate is throwing. One of the many things I like about ultimate is that you get to learn new things like cool throws and Spirit of the Game. One of my best skills is making friends and connecting with new people. I volunteered for the Student Council at Vis Valley and used my skills to get people involved with sports and school activities. I was the captain of the Vis Valley ultimate team and am working to get a team started at Burton High School.
I just finished my first year at Mission High school and went the entire year with a 4.0 GPA. I was a student athlete that played football and next year as a sophomore I’ll be on the varsity team. This is my second summer to be part of Ultimate Impact and I now feel that I’m a leader in the organization. I admire Rocky for what he has done and how he has expanded and improved the organization. I feel that I was an important part of the first stages of building Ultimate Impact and I look forward to how we can change lives through our work. I admire Martin Luther King Jr because he made the equality movement for Blacks a reality. I also admire Malcolm X because he was wise and wasn’t afraid to use freedom of speech to make a difference. I’m proud that I’m a leader, mentor, athlete, good friend, and I’m proud to be part of something that will be huge some day.
I attend Burton High School where I’m in the 11th grade. I was born in Hawaii, moved to San Hose when I was three, and then moved to the San Francisco Bay Area when i was 14. My hobbies include playing ultimate frisbee, other sports like basketball, and gaming on my computer. I also make clay action figures and love boxing. I hope to attend college at University of Oregon to play ultimate Frisbee while studying fire engineering. I want to become a firefighter to save lives like my uncles. I like to coach ultimate Frisbee because it brings me joy to teach others and share the ultimate experience. Ultimate Impact means so much to me because it is a family where everyone is welcome, I can meet new people, and make new friends. For the 2018 summer, my roles and responsibilities are coaching, coordinating our high school team, making videos, and capturing very special moments on camera for Ultimate Impact.
My name is Kasey, I’m 14 years old, and I’ve lived in San Francisco my whole life. I graduated from Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Academic Middle School in 2018 with a 4.0 GPA. I will be attending Balboa High School and will be on target to graduate in 2022. Sports are important to me because i can exercise have fun and hang with my friends and the sports I played i middle school are softball, basketball and I also ran track for all three years of middle school. I was a manager of the girls volleyball team in 2017. The things I like about ultimate Frisbee is how we communicate with our teammates on and off the field. I also enjoy learning new skills through the sport that I can use in life. When I’m coaching I get to teach kids a whole new sport they have probably never heard of and I get to connect and mentor them. Being part of Ultimate Impact has taught me a lot of social and physical skills that I will use in high school and beyond in my future career/job. For Ultimate Impact this summer, I coached at Paul Revere Elementary School, Aim High, and Gilman Playground. I also helped build the volunteer database and set the framework for the Ultimate Impact girl’s team.
I just graduated from Visitacion Valley Middle School and am headed to Burton High School in the fall. I liked my middle school experience because I had a lot of friends. Everyday at lunch I used to play soccer with my friends. One day, Rocky was practicing throws and caught my attention. I left soccer to learn how to throw like Rocky and was invited to join the Ultimate Impact team for a tournament and then months later as a Junior Coach for my first job.
I enjoy playing ultimate Frisbee because I can play with friends while putting in a lot of hard work to keep improving. My future goal is to be an engineer who repairs airplanes, tanks, and boats for the military. I like being an ultimate Frisbee coach because I get to teach young kids the right steps to follow so they can be successful in life and learn how to be in a community. Ultimate Impact is important to me because I have the opportunity to work with friends in a comfortable environment where I can learn life skills. Through my work at Ultimate Impact, I coordinated a tournament for elementary, middle, and high school players plus helped the team coach more than 200 kids each week during the summer.
My name is Edwin and I am 14 years old. I’ve lived in San Francisco my whole life and graduated from Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Academic Middle School in 2018 as a 4.0 GPA student. In the fall, I will attend Abraham Lincoln High School as a freshman and will graduate in 2022. I won two student athlete awards in 2017 and 2018 playing baseball, running track and field, and I was also a manager for the girls basketball team. I first learned about ultimate Frisbee in February in 2018 from a teacher that played ultimate. She gave me the opportunity to join Ultimate Impact’s practice and ultimate has now become my new favorite sport. I’ve improved my athletic abilities through ultimate and I’ve also worked on my communication skills. My favorite thing about ultimate is the opportunity to run deep and catch a huck for a score. Being a Junior Coach for Ultimate Impact is a great opportunity because it’s not only teaching kids the skills of playing ultimate, it’s also great to see kids come back every week with a smile on their face and ready to learn and play more. Ultimate Impact will forever have a impact on my life because it has taught me to learn a new sport, become a better teammate on the field, and most importantly, become a better person. My goal as a athlete is to win a championship as a an ultimate player also go as far as possible with baseball. My summer project for Ultimate Impact was to create a Junior Coach Playbook for coaches to learn from our experiences. The playbook will highlight the drills, games, and activities that the Junior Coaches have learned this summer. I’m also helping the team coach more than 200 kids per week this summer!