About Us


The Joy Connection was founded in 2016 by Marnie Young.

Marnie has a Master's Degree and two teaching credentials in Adapted Physical Education.  Marnie is a two-time world champion US Diver and a member of the Hall of Fame.  

Marnie created The Joy Connection in 2016 to provide a resource to families with special needs.  Marnie's passion is to help others of all abilities find their JOY through exercise, play, and community. 


Ashley Blanc

Director of Operations 

Michelle Thornburry

Director of Human Resources

Jessica Kane

Manager and Head Coach, Dive San Diego

Manager and Play Facilitator, Adapted Child's Play

Mallory Stanfield

Play Facilitator, Adapted Child's Play

Board of directors

Kevin Lynch, President

Marnie Young, Executive Director

Carl Measer, Vice President

Ashley Blanc, Executive Vice President

Taylor Clayton, Secretary

Don Cashmore, Secretary

Don Cashmore, Mentorship Programs

Jerry Sanchez, Treasurer

Julie Francisco, Community Liaison