We are an equal opportunity employer, with over 150 staff in youth services, program management and administrative roles. The Link values diversity and provides a welcoming and supportive environment inclusive to people from all backgrounds. We value professional and lived experience within the areas of homelessness, juvenile justice and sexual exploitation.
Chief Executive Officer
Beth has over 20 years of experience in the field of youth homelessness and sex trafficking. Prior to joining The Link, she was the Homeless Youth Services Coordinator with the Minnesota Department of Human Services and has worked in street outreach, emergency shelter and transitional living programs with runaway, homeless and trafficked youth in Minneapolis. Beth holds a B.A. degree in Political Science and Anthropology, a Public Affairs certificate, and a M.A. degree in Nonprofit Management and Administration—all from Hamline University.
Beth has earned numerous awards serving as an active community volunteer. She has been awarded the Virginia McKnight Binger Award in Human Service, the Ain Dah Yung Center’s Native Ally of the Year Award and has been a Bush Foundation Leadership Fellow through 2016.
Chief Advancement Officer
Jen contributes years of experience in development as well as a strong background in juvenile justice and youth program funding. Jen is avidly committed to making a difference in the lives of the youth in our community and has the drive and passion for doing so. Jen attended William Mitchell College of Law where she received her J.D. degree and St. Cloud State University where she graduated with a B.S. degree in Communications and Graphic Design.
Housing and Services Division Director
Kesha joins The Link with 15 years of experience working with youth and young adults experiencing housing insecurity and mental wellness challenges. Throughout her work, Kesha developed a strong passion for ending youth homelessness and empowering young people to pursue the quality of life they want and deserve. Prior to The Link, Kesha served as the Program Manager at MoveFwd, where she had the opportunity to utilize some of her greatest skills: program development, team building and youth advocacy. Kesha is currently earning her M.A. in Social Work at Augsburg University and looks forward to bringing her knowledge of social justice, trauma and resiliency to her work at The Link. Kesha holds a B. A in Psychology from the University of Minnesota and M.A in Liberal Learning from Marietta College.
Human Resources Director
Shelly has over 20 years of experience in the nonprofit sector, most recently serving as Director of Operations and Human Resources at the Minnesota Council of Nonprofits, a nonprofit membership association with a mission to inform, promote, connect and strengthen individual nonprofits and the nonprofit sector. Prior to joining MCN, Shelly led fundraising campaigns for several environmental and citizen initiatives. Shelly has also worked as a dance educator and dance artist in the Twin Cities performing arts community and has served on the boards of several local nonprofit arts organizations. She has a B.A. in Political Science and Russian Area Studies from the University of Minnesota and an M.A. in Nonprofit Management from Hamline University.
Lois utilizes her 20 years of experience in nonprofit financial management to manage all the financial operations and oversee the accounting and finance staff for The Link. Lois has worked with us since 2009 and looks forward to helping the organization continue to grow.
Housing and Services Division Director
James has worked with runaway and homeless youth through crisis centers, homeless families in subsidized housing programs, and homeless single adults in the shelter system. Over the past 17 years, James has held positions such as youth counselor, case manager, program supervisor, and program manager. James earned his B.A. degree in Sociology from the University of St. Thomas. His passion is working with young people in crisis and meeting them where they are at while helping them to unlock their potential for growth, learning and stability.
Safe Harbor Division Director
CeMarr joined The Link in 2016 as the Project Live Out Loud (PLOL) Program Manager and was instrumental in the successful development and launch of the PLOL Program serving LGBTQ youth experiencing homelessness. Prior to The Link, CeMarr provided advocacy, education, and services to youth and adults who have experienced sex trafficking through her roles at Breaking Free and The Family Partnership PRIDE Program, and the Hennepin County Juvenile Detention Center. CeMarr also has extensive experience working with community stakeholders on large-scale initiatives within the anti-trafficking and homelessness fields.
Contracts and Evaluation Director
Denise brings over fifteen years of program management experience. Her work in youth development has focused on being a positive caring adult for young people in the juvenile justice system and with youth experiencing homelessness. Her experience includes program development, grant writing, grant management, and evaluation. Denise is passionate about social justice and walking along side young people as they work toward their goals. Denise has a BA in Sociology from the University of St. Thomas and a Masters of Public and Nonprofit Administration from Metropolitan State University.
Juvenile Justice Division Director
Blaine has over 10 years of experience in the juvenile justice and youth development field. Joining The Link in 2010, Blaine led the Juvenile Supervision Center as Program Manager for 8 years before transitioning to his current role as Juvenile Justice Division Director. Blaine earned his B.A. degree in Psychology from Central Methodist University. He is committed to serving the youth and families of the greater Twin Cities area, and breaking down barriers while carrying out the mission of The Link.
Megan joined The Link in 2008. Megan spent her first 5 years at The Link serving youth and young families in the juvenile justice programs as a Gang Prevention Case Manager and then as the Juvenile Supervision Center Program Manager. Megan transitioned to the development team in 2015 where she is now the Development Director helping to leverage supporters and their resources to further the mission of The Link. Megan has also worked outside of The Link in residential group homes and affordable housing. Megan earned her B.A. degree in Psychology from the University of Washington.
Young Families Program Manager
Cincere joined The Link in 2016 with 18 years of experience as an Advocate, Case Manager and Family Housing Department Manager providing support and services to battered women and their children and families experiencing homelessness. Cincere attended the University of St. Thomas in order to obtain certificates in their Essential Leadership Skills Series course, including: Essential Supervisory Skills, Interpersonal Communication, Conflict Resolution, Handling Difficult People, and Public Speaking and Presentations.
Safe Harbor Supportive Services Manager
Cora joins The Link with 12+ years of experience working with youth in both direct service and leadership capacities. Cora’s commitment to racial equality and social justice has allowed her to gain unique experience within the non-profit sector. Coupled with her professional experience, she also holds a degree in Human Service Administration. For 10 years, she worked in direct service via the charter school setting; gaining experience in both educational curriculum delivery, as well as, case management, all while serving youth and their families. Her experience crosses the United States, working at both Face2Face Academy in St. Paul, MN for 7 years and Houston CAN Academy in Houston, TX for another 2 years. Upon her return to Minnesota, Cora’s direct service experience translated into leadership, taking on a Coordinator role at Safe Zone Drop-in Center; a facility directly aimed at working with youth experiencing homelessness.
Marshall Reed Youth Centers Program Manager
Joshua has been committed to youth for nearly 20 years, serving as a coach, mentor, counselor and supervisor. He studied Psychology at the University of Wisconsin–Madison and earned his M.S. degree in Experiential Education at Minnesota State University–Mankato. Joshua believes that youth desire structure and guidance, and he feels privileged to have the opportunity to offer these to them. Through experiential learning, he is constantly trying to challenge youth to explore their own identities to determine which values they want to be known for. Joshua began serving youth with The Link in January of 2011.
Project Live Out Loud Program Manager
Sara Cassidy has a long history of working in LGBTQ advocacy through political campaigns, volunteerism, activism, and with other non-profits. After deciding to concentrate her energies on addressing homelessness for LGBTQ youth, she joined The Link as a housing coordinator. She now serves as Program Manager for Project Live Out Loud, and promotes an emphasis on mental health and higher education for program participants in order to not only prepare them for independence, but to provide them with a pathway for a healthier, brighter future.
Rapid Rehousing Program Manager
Lynndsy has been a dedicated youth worker since she was a young person herself. Throughout her 16 years at Twin Cities’ nonprofits and social service organizations, she has consistently worked in partnership with youth and adults to achieve their collective goals. She applies her creativity towards youth programming in order to address emergent issues. Lynndsy joined The Link in 2014 to further support young people in exiting the cycle of homelessness because she believes that everyone deserves safe, affordable housing. She works diplomatically with local and federal assistance programs to ensure that positive change is realized for the families and communities with whom she works.
Marketing & Development Manager
Karla graduated from the University of St. Thomas with a degree in criminal justice and a passion for juvenile justice reform. She joined The Link in 2010, expanding her youth work experience by supporting and advocating with youth through the Juvenile Supervision Center. Karla transitioned to the Development Team in 2017, committed to helping strengthen The Link and ensuring that all young people in our community have the opportunity to thrive.
Suburban Housing Program Manager
Jennifer joined The Link in 2016, and has 6 years of experience working with young people, in housing and shelter settings, who have been impacted by homelessness. To her, the best part of her work is being involved in the everyday lives of resilient youth. Jennifer has also had the privilege of working along side of young people to open The Link’s Suburban Rapid Rehousing program, a first of its kind scattered site program serving the 5 county suburban metro area. Jennifer’s response to the growing number of youth impacted by homelessness is that she will fight what you are fighting and continue the community work of making housing accessible.
Rhonda has been with The Link since 2015. She has been an office manager for over 8 years, working both in the private sector and with non-profits. She Has a BA in English from the University of Minnesota, and she continues to build her capacity in the IT field. She is highly organized, detail oriented and an effective communicator. She is committed to an excellent work standard and focused on the quality of work needed to keep The Link’s staff equipped with the tools they need for such important work in the community.
C.O.R.E. Drop-In Center and Street Outreach Program Manager
Steph joined The Link in 2016 to assist with implementing Dakota County’s response to youth experiencing homelessness. She has been providing services to homeless youth for four years as a Case Manager to youth in both shelter and Permanent Supportive Housing. She also has experience in working with victim/survivors of sexual assault, poverty policy, community organizing and those with developmental disabilities. Steph is passionate about large scale community and organizational change regarding young people experiencing homelessness as well as how our responses to the issue vary depending on urban, suburban and rural landscapes. Steph has a dual Bachelors degree in Social Work and Woman’s Studies from St. Cloud State University and a Masters in Social Work from the University of Minnesota.
School Matters Program Manager
Caalynn joined The Link in 2012. She has a degree in Elementary Education from the University of Minnesota and many years of non-profit experience working with adults with barriers to employment and assisting families with childcare assistance. Caalynn is looking forward to learning and growing with The Link and our School Matters program.
Housing First Program Manager
Jake comes to The Link with a long history of working in human services. He started working with youth experiencing homelessness in 2005 as a youth housing advocate and transitioned into case management, with a concentration on housing, mental health and LGBTQ services. Jake has also focused on HIV services, working in counseling, testing, chemical health and needle exchange. After working in HIV services for six years and gaining supervisory experience, Jake is excited to continue his work with youth experiencing homelessness as the Housing First Program Manager at The Link.
Lindquist Program Manager
POWER Program Manager
Emily Terrell joined The Link in 2016 as the Program Manager for The POWER (Positive Opportunities for Women of Every Race) Program, a gender-specific program for justice-involved girls. Emily’s experience in youth work spans across crisis intervention with youth and families, school-based and clinic mental health, community programming and groups for justice-involved girls, high school athletics, and mentoring. Emily earned her B.A. in Psychology and her M.A. in Counseling Psychology from the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities and is a Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor (LPCC). Simply put, Emily’s life’s work is to build relationships with youth as they make meaning from their stories, use their voices, and build power in their communities.
Juvenile Supervision Center Program Manager
Josh joined The Link in 2016 as a School Matters Truancy Case Manager before transitioning to the role of Juvenile Supervision Center (JSC) Program Manager. Josh earned his degree in Law Enforcement from Minnesota State-Mankato before serving as a youth worker for the past 6 years. Josh is committed to connecting with youth and families, providing guidance and support as he leads the JSC program. Josh is passionate about The Link and furthering the mission of helping youth and families overcome the impacts of poverty and social injustice.
Passageways Program Manager