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 have lived in Rochester for 26 years and have had the privilege of raising 3 children here. During this time, I developed a desire to help weave the community deeper into our education process in order to serve educational systems as well as families, neighborhoods, and communities. My educational and professional background is in electrical engineering, and I am especially intrigued by systems and how sub-systems connect, communicate, and support each other. This interest serves me well as we consider those very attributes of our community systems and sub-systems through Cradle 2 Career.

I am grateful for this opportunity to work with Cradle-2-Career and combine my desire for technical work and my desire to ensure that all students and families are able to find the opportunities that exist in our community.

Data Analyst

Contact Cindy

Director of Data & Research

Contact Kelsey

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.

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.

Community Impact Administrative Assistant (United Way)

Contact Zeni

Community Engagement Coordinator

Contact Claudia
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.
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.

Staff Member

Contact Nahida

Communications Specialist

Contact Amy

I seek to use a person-centered approach to contribute to my community. Prior to Cradle 2 Career, I studied Elementary Education and Spanish at the College of Saint Benedict. My involvement in education, nonprofit programming, and local volunteering made Cradle 2 Career the perfect fit. Each day, I am energized by utilizing communications as a tool to connect with students, parents and caregivers, elected officials, and other constituents of this community-owned and community-led initiative. I believe in using authentic story-telling and meaningful data to invite others to get involved.

In addition to my part-time role at Cradle 2 Career, I am the Outreach Coordinator at United Way of Olmsted County. I promote volunteerism, advocacy, and collective impact. Outside of work, you will find me cooking, blogging, reading (and reflecting with my book club), doing yoga, or volunteering.

Deneene recently the joined Cradle to 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 to Career initiative.

Parent Engagement Specialist

Contact Deneene

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