Meet our team! Each one of our staff embodies our values of Community, Courage, Progress, and Results.

Executive Director

Contact Julie

I am dedicated to aligning the resources our youth need to succeed, cradle to career. I have sixteen years experience in K-12 education as a high school English teacher and after earning a Master’s in Human Development, I shifted into the workforce development field so as a community, we can help students know their career options early and often. I believe Olmsted County will grow and prosper by ensuring all residents, current and future, see their work as valuable and aligned with their individual strengths, passions, and skill sets. This starts with equitable access to the valuable resources we have at the ready in our community.

I live in Eyota, Minnesota with my husband and two sons. If we aren’t home, you can find us outside, taking in the best of each Southeast Minnesota season. Personally, I particularly enjoy running, hiking, snowboarding followed by some yoga or binge watching a well-written series.

I come to Cradle to Career via United Way and Girl Scouts ConnectZ. I have experience in data analysis, program evaluation, and community mobilization. Prior to Girl Scouts, I was in Burkina Faso as a Peace Corps Volunteer. I graduated from Yale with a degree in economics, even though most of my coursework was in game theory and international studies. I have held two post-grad fellowships, one with the Minnesota Education Equity Partnership and the other with the National Security Program.

I am drawn to this work because I enjoy the blend of logic and principles that comes about when we use data to inform community change. In my free time, I can typically be found in nature – hiking, biking, and kayaking are my jam. I live with my partner and his two daughters, and we have a wonderful doggo named Yerome.

Director of Data & Research

Contact Kelsey

Community Impact Administrative Assistant (United Way)

Contact Zeni

I joined United Way of Olmsted County in 2016 as Community Impact Administrative Assistant. In 2017, my role included assisting Cradle 2 Career with the administrative tasks. In additional to my role with United Way and Cradle 2 Career, I am an interpreter of the Amharic language with IMAA for different programs. I am also one of the members who formed the Ethiopian Community group in Rochester, MN.

I am a mother of two daughters attending Rochester Public Schools. The value of education is highly emphasized in my professional and personal life.

Originally from Peru, I moved to Rochester in 1997, where my husband and I decided to start a family and raise our three sons, now 20, 18, and 15. For the past 12 years, I served as a volunteer in youth-serving organizations. My role as Community Engagement Coordinator with Cradle 2 Career allows me to continue to work towards an equitable community by engaging organizations, parents and caregivers, students, and community members.

Community Engagement Coordinator

Contact Claudia

Data Manager

Contact Nahida
I am from Narayanganj, Bangladesh and I moved to the United States of America back in 2015. I finished my bachelor’s degree at Saint Cloud State University and currently doing my Master of Public administration degree at the same institution.

I have always been passionate about data so right after graduation with my bachelor’s degree I started working at the Saint Cloud School district as a Research and Assessment Assistant. Fast forward in 2020, I joined the Cradle 2 Career team as a Data Manager. I mostly work with Rochester Public Schools and its partners. I also administrator the data site called “Story”.

In my down time I love to cook and watch television. I think cooking works as a of stress relief for me.

Deneene serves on the Cradle 2 Career team as Parent Outreach Specialist. Deneene has a love for volunteering within the community. She especially enjoys working on projects and initiatives focused on early childhood and youth development. Deneene is active in the community serving on a number of nonprofit boards. She previously worked United Way of Olmsted County on their Community Impact team. She looks forward to getting to know parents around the community and listening to their ideas and input. She is thrilled for the opportunity of working together with all the great partners involved with the Cradle 2 Career initiative.

Parent Engagement Specialist

Contact Deneene

Evaluation Intern

Contact Ayooluwa

I am originally from Nigeria and immigrated here when I was four years old, meaning that Rochester has been my home for the past 13 years of my life. I am drawn to Cradle 2 Career because of the impact they strive to make in the Rochester community. I plan to graduate from high school in the spring of 2022.

In my free time, I enjoy going on walks, biking, and watching movies.

I began working on Cradle 2 Career’s Data Code of Ethics document in March of 2020 until December 2020. Doing an internship virtually was an adjustment at first, but throughout the months, we were able to create a productive working environment. By being organized and using technology to overcome obstacles, we completed the Data Code of Ethics!

Data Intern

Contact Sahejpreet

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