Sam has been with the organization since it began in 2011. As a former Eastside Neighborhood Association director and Eastside resident, Sam has been instrumental in building the organization from ground up to support the organizations vision of “Creating an environment where all Eastside youth can reach their fullest potential.” Sam brings extensive experience to Eastside Youth Strong as has worked in the nonprofit housing sector, workforce development, and funding.
Sam holds a Bachelor of Science in Occupational Therapy from Western Michigan University and has completed coursework toward a Masters in Development Administration from Western Michigan University, focusing on international development and project management in developing countries.
Sam has traveled extensively living in Europe and Africa. She enjoys spending time with her husband Paul and her dog Suka.
Program Manager, Case Coordinator for Check & Connect
Will’s broad and in-depth experience is a key asset for our overall vision and mission. He has worked for youth development programs in Kalamazoo and Detroit since 2012. His diversity in education and leadership roles has suited him for the expectations from Eastside Youth Strong, but more importantly, the youth and families that we serve.
Will hails from Detroit, MI. He graduated from Western Michigan University in 2014 with a B.A. in Criminal Justice and another Interpersonal Communication (accompanied by an Associates in Social Psychology). Will is a member of Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc. He is also a very talented writer and enjoys doing so in his free time.
Lead Youth Development Worker for CHAMPS, Support Staff for EASEL
Yulonda’s excellent understanding of young people and setting expectations high for them and organizational skills provide the necessary qualities to support youth in their success socially emotionally and academically. Yulonda, has worked at Eastside Youth Strong for 4 years and prior to that lead the after-school program for 3 years on the Eastside through the City of Kalamazoo.
Yulonda, is also employed by the Kalamazoo Public Schools where she serves as a classroom specialist. Yulonda enjoys walking, cooking and spending time with family.
Assistant Lead Youth Development Worker for CHAMPS, Support Staff for EASEL
Heather is committed to providing high quality homework help to youth and increasing their academic skills. She also develops youth leadership roles to support youth in building 21st century skills for work and careers. Her niche is helping youth find their creativity.
Heather is also employed with Kalamazoo Public Schools as a classroom specialist. She enjoys spending time with her two teenagers and her husband. Heather also enjoys reading and doing crafts.