Youth Alternative Home Association Staff

Karen- Executive Director


Karen has worked at YAHA for 10 years and has a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology.  She enjoys working at YAHA because she loves watching the kids decide to make changes and being able to be a part of the process.  Karen is a great leader.  She is organized, intuitive, personable, calming, respectful (as well as respected) and professional.  She enjoys talking with the kids and learning what they have to teach.  Karen maintains a great rapport not only with the kids, but with other agencies as well.  She is very honest and does not sugar coat the truth.  Karen is always willing to step in and do what needs to be done.  


Mark- Assistant Director


Mark has worked for YAHA for 23 years and has a Bachelor of Arts in Social and Behavioral Science.  He enjoys working at YAHA for the opportunity to help youth and their families be successful.  Mark is extremely resourceful, reliable, dependable, and a great problem solver.  He is able keep an even-tempered demeanor and is always willing to go above and beyond to make sure that the shelter is operating to the best of its ability.

LeAnn - Group Home Program Coordinator

LeAnn has been with YAHA for 9 months but she has become a vital part of the team at YAHA. She is great with the kids and they know they can come to her with anything they need and she will help. She is determined though that they are always held accountable for their actions. LeAnn's helpful attitude and superior organizational skills make all of our jobs much easier. She is natural at Program Coordinator as she handles many different facets of  the YAHA program and somehow manages to get everything done on time and correctly! LeAnn is a great asset to the team and is enjoyed by staff and residents alike.

Debbie- Administrative Manager

Debbie has been with YAHA for 20 years.

Although Debbie's title may indicate that she is only behind the scenes, reality says otherwise. Debbie has been a part of the YAHA family for a long time and it shows day in and day out.  Debbie is constantly thinking about the best interest of the residents and she does whatever she can to help them be successful. If it is making sure they have clean clothes for their next day of school or the residents coming back to the shelter with their favorite treat waiting, Debbie lets the residents know that we are always thinking of them. She doesn't hear it enough but we are thankful for Debbie and everything she does. 



Ryan - Group Home - Direct Care Supervisor

Ryan has been with YAHA for 2 years. Ryan is a hard worker and is willing to do what is best rather that what is easiest. He is a great listener for the kids and they enjoy talking with him. Ryan  has a calm way of getting the kids to think. In his spare time, Ryan enjoys participating in LARPing. He also likes to do any outdoor activities.

Jodi- Shelter Youth Development specialist

Jodi has been with YAHA for 19 years.

As you can tell by her profile picture Jodi doesn't strive for attention. She doesn't seek out recognition and she doesn't want to be anything more than a contributing member of the YAHA family. Unfortunately, Jodi is much more than simply a contributing member. Jodi is the blood that allows YAHA to function. She works the midnight shift at the shelter, although most staff never sees her, absolutely everyone sees the results of what Jodi does during those tireless nights. Without Jodi, YAHA would not be the incredible place that it is. 

Mike- Group Home Youth Development specialist

Mike has worked at YAHA for about 6 years and has an Associate's Degree in Psychology.  He is currently working on his Bachelor's Degree at the University of Wyoming.  He enjoys working at YAHA because he feels he can truly help the children become better people and the support team of co-workers and feels his co-workers are the best he has ever worked with.  Mike works very well with others and has a natural talent at communicating, building and maintaining rapport and relating to others.  He is able to communicate with the kids on their level easily in a way that they understand and respect.  He is also very patient when working with kids and staff alike.  Mike is the "Big Brother" of YAHA; the kids really enjoy spending time and playing with him outdoors.   The kids look up to Mike and are eager to please him.  Mike has a good understanding of life's lessons that he is able to share with the kids and he is very calming when they are upset.  Mike is a hard worker and is always the first to jump up and volunteer to get a job done.





Rick- Shelter Youth Development specialist 


Rick has worked at YAHA for 18 years total and has 26 years of experience working with youth and adults with special needs.  He Attended 2 years of college for Theater. Rick likes to work at YAHA because he loves having the opportunity to help make a difference.  Rick is very good at using humor as a way to break the ice and is good with words.  Rick has a strong background in working with individuals with substance abuse issues and holds a weekly group with the residents on the topic.  Rick is a father and grandfather with deep roots in the Evanston Community.  He is truly an asset to our organization.


Cody- Group Home Youth Development specialist

Cody has been with us almost 3 years. Cody is one of our younger staff and was raised in Evanston Wyoming. Cody graduated from Evanston High School in 2012 and then served a two year Mission for his church. He has a passion for working with the youth as he has been through the YAHA program himself. Cody is currently working on his associate degree. Cody is a great example to our kids and is such a good role model. We are so fortunate to have Cody on the team. He does whatever needs to be done and does it with a smile. He has such a peaceful nature and has a great connection with our youth. 

Kathy- Cook and Youth Development specialist

Kathy has been with us for 2.5 years and has had quite the impact with our kids. Kathy brings something special to YAHA that the residents really need. Her strengths are based around individual one on one time. She sees each resident as her own and chooses to take on the responsibility of teaching the basic living skills that most of us take for granted. The residents are lucky to have Kathy and YAHA is as well. Most recently, Kathy has taken over the important job of feeding our residents and staff. She is a fabulous cook and is introducing lots of new foods to the residents. 

Cindy - Shelter Youth Development Specialist

Cindy has been with us for 5 months. Cindy is very caring and responsive to the needs of our residents. She sincerely cares the kids and will do whatever she can to help them out. She is a true mama bear when it comes to the cubs!

Nick - Group Home Youth Development Specialist

Nick is our newest Youth Development Specialist and has been with YAHA 3 months. Nick is great with the kids and has become a great team member. Nick has a good understanding of where the kids are at and how to best help them. He is patient and kind and has a huge heart. He works hard to give the kids the best opportunities they can have and is always looking out for their best interests.