Javon Brame – Central Denver
Javon was born and raised in Colorado and grew up in Northeast Denver (Park Hill). He is ardent about advocating on behalf of others and being a conduit for the voices of constituencies, as well as seeking to disrupt traditional notions of philanthropy by giving his time, talent, treasure and testimony. He is the past board chair and grant chairman for Denver African American Philanthropists and served on the non-profit internship committee at the Denver Foundation. Most recently, Javon was appointed to serve as a founding advisory committee member for the Black Resilience in Colorado Fund (BRiC) at the Denver Foundation.
Christymarie Jackson – Aurora
Christymarie Jackson serves as an Equity and Social Justice Consultant, on the Community for Public Practice at the Washington State Department of Health. In this role, she supports integrating equity and social justice within the Washington State Health Department.
Christymarie is passionate about working with young adults. She has over 10 years of experience working with youth. Prior to working at the Washington State Department Health, she coordinated youth activities for Denver Public Health and the Denver City and County.
Christymarie completed a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology at Colorado College and a Masters of Public Health at the Colorado School of Public Health, focusing on Community Health Education.
Zach Booz – South Denver
Like Chauncy Billups and Chipotle, Zach was born in Denver and has been proud to call Colorado home for most of his life. Zach has spent the bulk of his professional career working in youth development, education and facilitation. He’s worked with young people all over the world in and out of the classroom. He’s also heavily involved with The Chinook Fund, a local grassroots social justice fund. Outside of work, Zach enjoys reading or sleeping under a tree, snuggling his dog, watching TV, dancing in his kitchen, singing in his shower, cooking with his partner, backpacking with friends and/or soaking his body in hot springs.
Corey Mastroianni – Douglas County
Corey works as a school social worker at Morgridge Academy, a K-8 school for kids with chronic illnesses on the National Jewish Health hospital campus. She grew up in Colorado Springs, CO and stayed close to home for school white getting her Bachelor’s degree at CU Boulder and Master’s at University of Denver. She’s passionate about supporting communities through schools and empowering youth for positive change.
Aaron Earley – North Denver 1
Aaron earned his Masters of Social Work from the University of Denver while completing his practicum with YouthRoots in 2014. He is now a Program Specialist at Big Brothers Big Sisters of Colorado and serves as the North YouthBoard Facilitator.
Amy Navaab – North Denver 2
Amy has been involved in youth leadership and facilitation work since she was a high school student. She has a Master of Social Work from the University of Michigan and over five years of experience as a restorative justice practitioner. She currently is a School Social Worker in Jefferson County Public Schools.
Tierney Lain – Boulder, 15 Forever
Tierney is the 15 Forever Facilitator and teaches middle school in Brighton, CO. She has a Master’s in Agriculture Education and has spent her career empowering people to discover opportunities to become more innovative, informed, and interesting.
Ann Kolbrek – Sioux Falls, Youth Advisory Council
Ann is the facilitator for the Youth Advisory Council of the Sioux Falls Area Community Foundation which uses the YouthRoots program to empower youth to make a difference! She was in YAC with our founder when the idea of YouthRoots was planted.
Arielle Johnson, Youth Facilitator, Yellow Springs Youth Action Board
Arielle Johnson is a senior at Yellow Springs High School. This past summer she became a youth organizer for the Black Lives Matter movement in Yellow Springs, OH. She co-led these rallies and protests starting in July and is currently planning their return in the spring. She is also a co-founder of the Yellow Springs High School Ecology club and youth facilitator for the Youth Action Board.
Sophia Gisslen, Youth Facilitator, Yellow Springs Youth Action Board
Sophia is a senior at Yellow Springs High School who is committed to fighting for social and climate justice and loves creating positive change in her community. She first became interested in philanthropy and community involvement when she joined SPIDEE (Students Promoting Inclusion, Diversity, and Equity through Education) her freshman year. She has since gone on to co-found an environmental club, co-lead and organize weekly local Black Lives Matter Rallies, and become the new student leader of SPIDEE. She is very excited to currently be serving as a youth facilitator for the Yellow Springs Youth Action Board.
Melissa Heston, Yellow Springs Youth Action Board
Melissa has more than 40 years’ experience as a competitive athlete, fitness professional, and dance/theatre artist. She holds a BFA and MFA in Dance and has worked with several nonprofits, universities, and schools in the US in a variety of positions. A “jack of all trades,” she has nimbly shifted from providing food to the food insecure during the pandemic, to ushering the Yellow Springs Schools through the Youth Action Board, scholarship and grant processes, to overseeing the Foundation’s social media presence, all while maintaining her full-time job as owner of a personal training company. During her free time, Melissa enjoys partaking in outdoor activities – from gardening to hiking, biking, kayaking, and just sitting by water and watching the waves roll by. Melissa is the wife of Mary Kay Smith (a local business owner) and a mother of 3.
Linda Sikes, Yellow Springs Youth Action Board
Linda grew up in Yellow Springs, Ohio and attended Antioch College. After graduation, she taught special education and later worked for the Antioch College’s Admissions Office. She earned an MA in Educational Psychology and returned to teaching in the Dayton Public Schools and the Yellow Springs schools before finishing her career as a guidance counselor at Yellow Springs High School. After retiring from teaching in 2015, Linda traveled extensively and committed herself to volunteer work. In October 2020, the Yellow Springs Community Foundation offered her a position as an Encore Miller Fellow. She is honored to be helping young people grow and learn, while providing local nonprofits with talented workers.