The work of Minnesota Alliance With Youth is driven by our three core values: Equity, Quality and Collaboration. This is the team that makes it all happen!
Damon Shoholm is currently acting as the Interim CEO (begining July 2021). He served on the Alliance’s Board of Directors for six years (2012-2018), and has been an AmeriCorps Promise Fellow supervisor at the Wilder Foundation. Damon has been a leader in the non-profit sector for over a decade developing a strong reputation in leadership development, civic engagement and facilitation training programs and services. Damon has come to a critical understanding of self that serves as the foundation for his own engagement across communities. He sums it up in the statement, “I support the change makers among us.” Not only does he feel this is a better description of his work, it gets to his core belief that we can all be a changemaker, leader or influencer no matter where we are positioned in organizations or community.
AmeriCorps Promise Fellow Leader - Recruitment
Emily is a connector and listener who would love to go with the flow at every turn. When working with people though she combines assertiveness and compassion to challenge people and help get them what they need. Emily served as a Promise Fellow at Murray Middle School in St. Paul last year and enjoyed the ebb and flow of chaos in the lunch room and peace and calm in a 1-1 with a student during the school day. In her free time she enjoys running, playing volleyball, eating Thai food and spending time with her pals, often functioning as the mom friend. And she often struggles to choose between cheesecake and ice cream.
Director of Youth Partnerships
Brandon is a big-picture thinker, ideator, and initiative-taker. Brandon is not afraid to question the status quo, and presses for accountability from all parties that he works with. He loves working with young people and facilitating dialogues. He is always looking to preserve the integrity of youth voice. Brandon is an AmeriCorps Public Allies alumni. In his free time, you can find him cooking, playing video games, watching documentaries, or napping.
Alliance AmeriCorps VISTA Leader
Chelsee is an encourager who cares very much about giving everyone a space to explore and find their passions while fostering their talents. Chelsee is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin Stout with a degree in Human Development and Family Studies. Last year, she spent served as an AmeriCorps Promise Fellow at Hastings Middle and High School. Now she is the AmeriCorps Vista Cohort Leader for the Alliance. She oversees and provides support to her VISTA members on the ground. Outside of the office, she enjoys spending time with her four legged child Knox (her Husky/German Shepard), going to coffee shops all over the Twin Cities – she wants to open her own one day, sewing DIY projects, additionally, Chelsee is building her own tiny house and is excited for all of the adventures that will come with her minimalism journey.
AmeriCorps Promise Fellow Leader
Maya is someone who loves discussions and implementing progressive ideologies into pop culture conversations. Maya is a strong believer in education but a realist in the changes that need to happen to ensure that Minnesota schools are providing equity to all of their students. Maya hopes to use her understanding and opportunities from her own Promise Fellow experience to help cultivate a community for Promise Fellows where they can be the best versions of themselves for the students they support. In her spare time, Maya is an avid reader and journal writer. Maya loves experimenting with new recipes, going to museums and parks, and is always on the search for new music and films!
Youth Voice AmeriCorps VISTA
Samara is a recent University of Minnesota grad, with a degree in Youth Studies and minors in Spanish Studies and Interdisciplinary Design. She is passionate about racial justice and equity work, specifically in the field of youth work. At the U, Samara worked to lead the Multiracial Student Union and is currently involved in Midwest Mixed, a dialogue based organization surrounding mixed race identity. You will find Samara in awe of every dog she passes while going on walks around Stone Arch Bridge but has yet to convince her landlord to allow her to foster one of her own. Samara is a professional log roller and has done competitive log rolling for 11 years!
Youth Program Manager
Halla is competitive, caring, and empathetic. She is continually inspired by youth power and seeks to drive educational equity in Minnesota. As the Youth Policy Coordinator for the Minnesota Youth Council, she works to build relationships with state legislators and Alliance members. A crossover cosmopolitan, she was raised in Minneapolis but spends most of their time in St. Paul now. Halla graduated from the University of St. Thomas with a degree in psychology. She has a cat named Luna at home who sleeps on her lap after she eats. Halla is politically engaged outside of the office. She runs a school board campaign in St. Paul.
Rosa finds the humor in every situation and brings this to her work. She brings levity to the spaces around her, but is also not afraid to ask the big questions. Rosa served two terms in St. Paul as an AmeriCorps member with College Possible. She worked with high school students across the country. Now she is excited to learn the behind-the-scenes work that goes into supporting members through a term of service as a Compliance Staff member. In her spare time, Rosa likes to listen to podcasts, sing in choir, and hang out with her cats Jack and Lemon, who are named after 30 Rock characters.
Director of Recruitment
Kyle is a match-maker. He connects the right AmeriCorps recruits to the right positions. Kyle works to keep AmeriCorps members happy while building structures and balancing compliance. Kyle is driven by his passion for National Service, and wants others to have the opportunity to serve. Kyle is a two term AmeriCorps alum, serving with AmeriCorps NCCC out of the Vicksburg MS campus and as a Green Cities Sustainability Fellow in Pittsburgh PA. When he's not being a total "AmeriCorps nerd" he enjoys listening and producing podcasts, exploring the Cities on bike, and completing the NYT crossword puzzle daily.
Michaela loves a good bit of data analysis, but also finds real meaning in supporting people around her. She is a resilient and reflective learner who strives to have a good growth mindset whenever unfamiliar problems come her way. After two demanding terms of service in the Promise Fellow Program, Michaela is thrilled to return to the Alliance as an operations staff member. Outside of work, Michaela loves colouring with her niece and if you give her even the slightest encouragement she will happily expound on why Argentine tango is the best social dance.
Chief Advancement Officer
Kate is a communicator with a knack for coherent and succinct writing. She is creative by nature, and is energized by supporting others and making the Alliance successful through her behind-the-scenes work. Kate is a Returned Peace Corps Volunteer (Honduras 2007-09), mama to two boys, gardener, soccer-player, and pie-lover. When not at the office, Kate is volunteering with MN350 and Moms Demand Action.
AmeriCorps Promise Fellow Leader
William is an energetic entertainer who loves to express himself through music. Usually found riding his longboard or playing the ukulele. He’s great at listening when you need to be heard; yet, you can always count on him to fill an awkward silence. After spending the last year serving as Mr. Will the Promise Fellow by day, and Rockband instructor by night at Murray Middle School (where he's an alumnus); he is currently attending MCTC in Minneapolis for an AS in Sound Arts. Born and raised in St Paul, Minnesota, he is in a local band called PhilTyr (“we on Spotify” - Will himself), and enjoys making art, adventuring the great outdoors, as well as ice skating.
Sarah France Ullmer
Chief Program Officer
Sarah France Ullmer, “Sullmer” oversees the Alliance's AmeriCorps programs. Sarah does “the work of purpose,” and is mindful of creating space for reflection and healing. Sarah has worked with youth on local, state, and national levels and is a trained life coach. She believes deeply in the power of people to create change for good in the world. She is constantly trying to keep up with her kids as they try to understand the changing seasons, defined by the magic of icicles and blooming trees. She calls Minnesota home, but sometimes — as a Colorado native — gets lost looking for the mountains.
Kalia is a doctoral student at The Ohio State University in the Department of Teaching and Learning, studying Multicultural and Equity Studies in Education. Her research focuses on anti-racist and social justice education through a culturally responsive and sustaining pedagogy in informal learning and the decolonization of museum education. When she is not in school, she enjoys traveling and learning about new cultures and trying new foods. When she is home in Minnesota, she enjoys spending time with her dog, Winnie, and exploring the Minnesota parks and trails.
Director of Training Development & Evaluation
Noam is an interpreter of numbers, a problem-solver, and a seeker of continuous improvement. Noam partners with host sites and partners to work through the realities of AmeriCorps service. He is a pragmatic person who helps create effective systems around everyone’s needs. Noam is an avid cyclist and enjoys the year-round outdoor adventures that Minnesota has to offer. He also enjoys spending time exploring the Twin Cities with his wife and pug.
Chief Practice Officer
Kita effectively supports others to feel comfortable while doing their work. She creates safe spaces for people and quells anxieties in the workplace. In her own words, “If you don’t notice me, I’m doing my job successfully.” Kita is open-minded and laid-back. Kita is an AmeriCorps VISTA alum who enjoys spending time with her family. Their favorite things to do includes watching movies, playing board games, and scouring the Twin Cities food scene for delicious French fries.
Director of Financial Management
Hannah is the office organizer and information keeper, and approaches compliance with compassion. She strives to make policies and benefits equitable to both AmeriCorps members and staff, and seeks to create an engaging work environment. Hannah values gratitude and motivating others. She is great at big-picture thinking, enjoys strategic systems building, and remembers the small details too. When not reminding people to save to Dropbox, she is often exploring nature, riding her bike, spending time with her cat, or reading favorite books.