Meet Our Leaders

See what excites us about coming to work every day.

Kristin Harrington

Executive Director

I have the genuine privilege of working alongside some of my favorite people in life. In a job, you quickly realize that everything else is icing on the proverbial cake when you’re surrounded by the best-of-the-best. Passion, motivation, talent, work ethic – this team has it all and I am indebted to every one of them. That each team member has chosen to devote their energies and talents to changing young peoples’ lives – it doesn’t get much better.

“The team, the team, the team.” – Bo Shembechler

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Mollie Waller

Deputy Director

As a passionate communicator, it’s a privilege to tell our youths’ stories. I admire their hard work, dedication and commitment to achieve their goals. Their efforts are matched by the talented staff who are equally dedicated to helping them realize their full potential. Being surrounded by people who have found their true purpose and are helping others to find theirs is motivating and the ultimate reward from sharing these stories is when it motivates more youth to join our program.

To realize one’s destiny is a person’s only obligation. Paulo Coelho, The Alchemist

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Sonya Blanzy

DIRECTOR OF OPERATIONS, Jobs for michigan’s graduates

I could not be more excited to be a part of such a dynamic team of passionate, dedicated individuals working on solving barriers to success for youth in Michigan. The majority of our lives are spent working, and doing something that brings satisfaction and a sense of fulfillment is extremely important to me, and I have found that with Youth Solutions. Educating and preparing our future workforce will bring positive change to the communities we serve!

“We cannot always build the future for our youth, but we can build our youth for the future.” – Franklin D. Roosevelt

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Joe Tenbusch

ASSISTANT DIRECTOR OF OPERATIONS

To wake up each day to work on such a sacred mission as ours excites me. As a lifelong educator, I’ve always found it most prudent to practice what one teaches. Of all the foundational lessons in life, always remembering to have gratitude for one’s fortunes and blessings has to be one of the first. I am most thankful to work with a team of people in our office and throughout the state who are dedicated to positively guiding young people to manifest the greatness that is within each of them

“A single arrow is easily broken, but not ten in a bundle.” -‘The Way of the Warrior’

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Elizabeth Bernhard

ADVANCEMENT AND STAKEHOLDER ENGAGEMENT MANAGER

I bring to this position a passion for transformational education and a commitment to making education accessible for all. Investment in Michigan’s economically disadvantaged youth is not just good for the individual and the communities in which they live, but it is a key impetus for realizing positive economic change. By building innovative and purposeful pathways between young people and employers, we can begin to address many of the challenges Michigan, and indeed the nation, faces today.

“Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.” – Nelson Mandela

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Margaret Novy

PROGRAM DESIGN AND QUALITY MANAGER

Developing and building optimism, tenacity, confidence – and hope – in the lives of Michigan’s youth is my privilege as a member of this organization. What a joy it is to partner together with others who are similarly committed to guiding our youth to dream big and then set action steps to achieve their goals, leading to transformed lives and futures.

“We gain strength, and courage, and confidence by each experience in which we really stop to look fear in the face…we must do that which we think we cannot.” – Eleanor Roosevelt

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Hope Roberts

ADVANCEMENT AND MARKETING MANAGER

I’m excited to work for an organization leading the charge to make a positive change in the lives of at-risk youth. It’s a privilege to be a part of this team of forward-thinking professionals all working together on a shared mission. I’m motivated, both professionally and personally, to bring my experience and enthusiasm to the Youth Solutions team.

“Believe you can and you’re halfway there.” – Theodore Roosevelt

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Kelsey Leemaster

PROJECT MANAGER

It’s not very often that you can say your work directly correlates with your passions. Our mission and vision make me excited to go to work every day knowing that we are investing our time and resources in supporting and empowering Michigan’s youth and future workforce. I am proud to work with such a dedicated and inspiring team that is working to push these big dreams into reality.

“There is immense power when a group of people with similar interests gets together to work toward the same goals.” – Idowu Koyenikan

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Evelyn Castrejon

Senior Affiliate Experience Associate

I’ve been fortunate throughout my career to have the privilege of being in positions where I am able to give back to my community. I’m grateful to be a part of the Youth Solutions team where I can impact young people as we prepare them to become the future of tomorrow.

“Life is about making an impact, not making an income.” – Kevin Kruse

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Josh Cosner

Vice President of Finance, Kinexus

Solving the challenges of our communities means investing in the future and thinking long-term. As Michigan strives to fill the workforce gaps left by our retiring workforce, it becomes all-the-more-clear that investing in young people is the solution for long-term prosperity. I’m proud to work with an organization that’s in it for the long haul and committed to our future.

“Leaders think and talk about the solutions. Followers think and talk about the problems.” – Brian Tracy

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