SAR Board

President & Founder
Daniel Antonio Silva

Daniel is the founder of Self of Awareness & Recovery (SAR), a former inmate, and is a passionate reform and rehabilitation advocate. He was sentenced to state prison at 18 years old, and served 39 years; before being paroled. While serving time, he completed many rehab programs, but there was one program in particular that opened the doors to his second chance at life: Houses of Healing . This experience gave him the inspiration to create his own rehab program, and thus Self Awareness and Recovery was born. Had there been intervention and rehabilitation programs earlier in his development, Daniel believes that more of his years would have been spent on the outside helping others, as opposed to being locked-up on the inside - both figuratively and literally. It is his mission to fight for those who have no one to fight for them, by intervening before young people get stuck in the system, as well as advocating for the rehabilitation and healing of those who remain inside prison.

Board Member
Eryka Cohen

Eryka is passionate about helping people in and out of her community. Specifically, at risk youthand those in the forensic population. She is a firm believer in preventive rather than reactive
intervention when deterring the youth from a delinquent path. Furthermore, she believes peoplecan change with proper education, guidance and will to become productive members in ourcommunities. She does not believe people are defined by their crimes, there is always a root causewhich can be addressed and fixed if the individual is willing to do the work.
She has been a member of the Self Awareness and Recovery (SAR) team since 2017, she is both afacilitator and educator for the SAR.  Her educational background consists of a B.A in Psychologywith a Minor in Criminal Justice Administration. Currently, she is a second year student persuing a master degree in clinical counseling program. Her goal is to earn her degree, get licensed and use her knowledge to further help those in need.

Board Member
Faith Johnston

Faith Johnston is a graduate student in the Division of Criminal Justice at California State University, Sacramento. She received a Bachelor of Science degree in Criminal Justice from CSUS and during the course of those studies she became interested in the area of correctional practices, specifically as pertaining to vulnerable populations including inmates with mental illness. She has been active in the area of supporting the successful reintegration of formerly incarcerated individuals and has been a facilitator of evidence-based programs in community corrections and on campus at California State University, Sacramento. She is also a certified SAR facilitator and has participated in SAR's train-the-trainer programs for people who are incarcerated. Faith's specific research interests involve the exploration of narratives of those whom incarceration most impacts, the individuals who have served time in prison. Focusing on carceral practices affecting mental health of inmates, and utilizing the framework of Peacemaking Criminology, Faith seeks to explore ideas for eradicating suffering and building a foundation of non-violence wherein returning citizens can be integrated into a healthy society and have productive lives.

Board Member
Veronica Preciado

Veronica Preciado brings both life experience as well as professional training in human services to the SAR board. As an immigrant, she moved to the US and experienced first hand the exploitation of the immigrant community. This motivated her to go to college, learn english, and obtain a human services degree in order to advocate for others. She started her volunteer work with the Coachella Valley’s Sexual Assault Services in Palm Springs, and continued on to the CASA Program which advocates for children in foster care. Se also worked with the Family Center for Solutions, where she facilitated anger management groups. In El Centro, CA she volunteered with the helpline Crisis Center. Because of her combination in human services and technical expertise she was recruited to work for CALPIA in Centinela where she supervised job training for inmates. She now resides in the Sacramento area and works for the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation as well as a sponsoring LTG's groups, there she helps inmates improve their opportunity to parole and reduce recidivism rates. 

SAR Vice President &
Board Member
Mike Steffen

Mike is a member of the California State Bar and a licensed real estate broker. He was among the founding board members of Restoration House, a transition residence for parolees in Sacramento. Over the years, he has served as mentor to parolees, and facilitated personal growth workshops at Old Folsom and Mule Creek State Prisons. Mike met Daniel Silva and Henry Ortiz at Mule Creek in 2005 and there helped with the development of SAR in its early stages. In 2015, he assisted with SAR’s incorporation.  A native of Fresno, Mike obtained undergraduate and law degrees from the University of San Francisco. He had a long career with the California State Automobile Association in San Francisco and in Sacramento, and is currently associated with Security Pacific Real Estate Brokerage in Fair Oaks.  

Board Member
Gina Nicole Arstrong

Bio Coming Soon.