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 a youth development program modeled off his experience with youth and ultimate Frisbee.
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.
Director of Programs 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.
2019 Junior Coaches
Ultimate Impact is proud to partner with the Mayor’s Youth Employment and Education Program (MYEEP) to hire 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, leadership, and enthusiasm of the Junior Coaches!
Third-Year Junior Coach
I finished my second year at Mission High school and am working hard to keep my 4.0 GPA. I was a student athlete that played football. This is my third summer to be part of Ultimate Impact and I feel that my leadership has grown in the organization. I feel as though I am one of the founders and it’s great to see the organization grow. 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.
Second-Year Junior Coach
My name is Kasey and I am 15 years old. I live in San Francisco and will be a sophomore this year at Balboa High School. I attended Dr Martin Luther King Jr. Academic Middle School where I first learned about ultimate Frisbee. I have played sports through my middle school years and have played softball and basketball my freshman year in high school. The reason I enjoy playing sports is because it teaches me new skills that I will take with me to my future job/career. Ultimate Impact has taught me a lot about the responsibilities I have as a Junior Coach and as a team player. One thing I like about ultimate Frisbee is how the whole team communicates with each other and has each others back. This is my second year of being a Junior Coach for Ultimate Impact and I've enjoyed it even more than last year. My goal for this year is to get more kids engaged and enjoying the sport as much as I do.
Second-Year Junior Coach
My name is Edwin and I am 15 years old. I live in San Francisco and attend Abraham Lincoln High School as a sophomore. I went to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Academic Middle School where I learned how to play ultimate Frisbee. My hobbies include playing ultimate Frisbee and baseball. Ultimate Impact has helped me to be more social and responsible. One thing I like about ultimate Frisbee is the way the team needs to communicate in order to win. This is my second year of being a junior coach with Ultimate Impact and I feel like I have helped this organization grow. It’s amazing to see the kids have so much fun playing the sport. My goal this year as a junior coach is to see everyone engaged and having fun. In the future I hope to attend UC Davis or play baseball for Oregon State University.
First-Year Junior Coach
My name is Deneil, I’m 15 years old and I’m from the Philippines. I graduated from Visitacion Valley Middle School in 2018 and I’m currently studying at Philip Sala Burton High School. I started playing for Ultimate Impact in the 7th grade and have been playing ultimate for 3 years. This is my very first job and I hope I will get a chance to work for Ultimate Impact again because it has been so much fun teaching kids a sport that I’ve learned. My dream job is to be a businessman or the manager of a store. My other dream is to be a professional baseball player and make it to Major League Baseball. I really like playing baseball, especially when there are many people watching me play. My hobbies are sleeping, playing baseball, playing ultimate, eating, hanging out with friends, and traveling. My favorite fruits are bananas because they are good for my health and taste good.
First-Year Junior Coach
My name is Marquest and I’m 15 years old. I go to City Arts And Tech High school and this is my first summer working for Ultimate Impact. I started playing ultimate during Ultimate Impact’s summer program and started playing full-time a year ago. I show up for the Dragons practice every week. Being a member of Ultimate Impact is an awesome experience because I get to do things I’ve never done before such as go to tournaments and play against other high schools. This summer I got to expand on my experience of playing and become a Junior Coach. It’s real fun being a Junior Coach because I get to practice my leadership skills and teach younger kids the basics skills of ultimate and how to be on a team.
First-Year Junior Coach
Hi, my name is Nikko and I’ve been working with kids for almost 3 years now. I’ve helped at multiple Boys and Girls Clubs in San Francisco (Vis Valley, Mission, Excelsior.) I bring a lot of positivity and energy to the table and am always very helpful when needed. I’ve also grown a lot working with kids. My goal is to help kids grow while also learning from the experience myself. Through Ultimate Impact, I want to develop my leadership and Frisbee skills.
In the fall I will be a Junior in high school and have a 3.4 GPA. I play football, but I want to learn to play ultimate Frisbee as well. I am proud to be not only smart, but social and active as well. I like competing and will never give up when something is too hard. I want to teach kids about responsibility and serve as a mature role model for youth.
First-Year Junior Coach
My name is Marcelo, I’m 17 years old and I live in San Francisco. I attend Mission High School and I graduated from Visitacion Valley Middle School. Before I started playing for Ultimate Impact, I had never played Frisbee in a competitive way. I would just throw the Frisbee around with friends. I’ve learned a lot of new skills through Ultimate Impact, both on and off the field. I first heard about Ultimate Impact at my high school from one of the wellness center staff who knew Rocky. He said that it was a great sport and that I should try it out. My first practice was amazing. I had no clue what was waiting for me to learn and express through this team. What I like about Ultimate Impact is that it helps me meet new people, have fun playing the sport, and learn new skills. When I’m not with Ultimate Impact, my hobbies are building sets, collecting hats, and going for walks. My main two goals with Ultimate Impact are learning every unique throw and learning how to be a better player. This summer I’m a Junior Coach with Ultimate Impact and I enjoy teaching kids how to play.
First-Year Junior Coach
My name is Joel and I go to Mission High School and I will be a junior. I’ve lived in San Francisco my entire life. I grew up in the Mission and I’ve been playing ultimate frisbee since 2017. I like playing ultimate because it’s hella fun and cool. I want to be a doctor and a professional ultimate Frisbee player. Being a Junior Coach has taught me leadership skills, has taken me to new places, and has given me the opportunity to work with younger kids and get them excited about something new.