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Meet the Staff

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Devin Hanson

Executive Director

Devin provides the overall direction to youth first with the guidance of the board. She manages community relationships and ensures we are continually reaching more youth who may not otherwise know about our program Devin comes to Youth First with over 20 years of experience in youth development in YMCA camping and after school programming for middle and high school youth. 

When not at work, Devin enjoys spending time with her family - primarily doing activities outdoors or involving creativity. She also spends time volunteering as the PTO President at her children's school and as an adult volunteer with Job's Daughters International. 

Favorite Quote: "You have to grow old but you don't have to grow up." -unknown

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Julia Mantey

Youth Program Coordinator

Julia is the staff serving at Anoka Middle School at both the Washington and Fred Moore campuses. She holds a bachelor's degree in History and Political Science from Augsburg University. She has spent a lot of time with various youth programs including time as a mentor for History Day Minnesota, a substitute teacher for the Anoka Hennepin School District, and coaching volleyball at Anoka High School. In her free time, she enjoys reading, art, and being outdoors.

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Kee Her

Youth Program Coordinator

Nyob zoo. Kee is the youth coordinator serving at both the Coon Rapids Middle School and High School. He has been in previous roles serving various youth organizations such as College Possible, Upward Bound, and the Boys' & Girls' Club. Before Kee joined Youth First, he was a 2021 Fulbright English Teaching Assistant in Maha Sarakham, Thailand. Kee believes meeting youth at where they are at and connecting with them to effectively respond to their needs. In other words, he advocates fun and learning in his spaces. 

 

When not at work, Kee loves dancing. One can easily find him doing choreography, dance covers, and even TikTok. He has traveled to East Asia and Southeast Asia such as China, Thailand, and South Korea. He is a travel bug and is always planning when will his next trip abroad will be. 

 

Favorite phrase: Let's get it! 

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Safiya Hashi

AmeriCorps Promise Fellow -

Anoka High School

Information coming soon!

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Lauren Kelzenberg

AmeriCorps Promise Fellow -

Andover High School

Lauren is currently serving at Andover High School for the 2021-22 school year. She has always loved working with youth, and has been working in the schools for the last three and a half years. Lauren has a degree in Psychology, and has gone on to pursue her Master’s in Social Work at St. Catherine University.

 

Outside of her studies, you can always find her doing something outside, boxing at the gym, or cuddled up on the couch watching some cheesy Hallmark movies. 

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Lorenzo Mata Gallegos

AmeriCorps Promise Fellow -

Coon Rapids Middle School

Lorenzo is serving at the Coon Rapids Middle School for 2021-2022 school year. Currently, in his 3rd year of undergrad pursuing his degree in broad field Social Studies at the University of Wisconsin - River Falls. He is hoping to become a high school social studies teacher in the future. Lorenzo has been a part of the Youth First program for over 10 years, and believes that representation in your community matters. Connecting with youth and having them feel seen and heard is what Lorenzo feels leads to a successful relationship and future.

 

His hobbies include physical activity such as playing soccer or running, listening to music, and all things Nintendo! If not in Minnesota, you can find him in Mexico spending time with his family!

 

Favorite Quote: “If you can't fly then run, if you can't run then walk, if you can't walk then crawl, but whatever you do, you have to keep moving forward.” - MLK Jr.