Rebecca Gilgen, Executive Director

I hold a Master's degree in Social Work from the University of Minnesota and a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Wisconsin - Madison, am a certified Technology of Participation facilitator and a qualified Technology of Participation trainer.  I have more than 15 years of experience working with and on behalf of young people, families and community. I'm passionate about igniting energy, capturing consensus and building momentum for groups to solve problems and capitalize on opportunities for improvement or excellence through facilitation, evaluation and project management methods. I have worked locally and nationally with organizations such as The Minneapolis Youth Coordinating Board, Youthrive in Wake County, Carolina, the cities of Minneapolis, St. Paul, Brooklyn Center and Brooklyn Park, and Hennepin County, Minnesota. My hobbies include, but are not limited to: teaching boxing, watching Packer/Badger football, singing karaoke and taking walks around Lake Nokomis. 
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Kaysone Syonesa, Project Coordinator

I hold a Bachelor's degree in Theatre Arts and Communications from the University of Minnesota. I've grown up and lived all over the Twin Cities, and yes even in the Brooklyns! Most recently I as a Program Manager for a nonprofit in Sydney, Australia that offers a space for women experiencing trauma and marginalization to  be safe and openly authentic. I've worked with youth using theatre as a platform for their voices and stories so they can motivate themselves and others. With the Alliance, I'm able to utilize my diverse skillset by providing administrative support as well as coordinating the work of the Brooklyns Youth Council and the Access, Outreach, & Coordination Team. It is inspiring and humbling to work towards creating and sustaining a transformational community where youth voice is valued, engaged, honored, and deemed as essential. My creative passions are theatre, dance, and writing.
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Luis Salado-Herrera, Youth Employment Coordinator

I’m extremely excited to be a part of an organization that truly cares about providing the right resources for youth to have successful futures. I grew up in Brooklyn Park, graduated from Park Center Sr. High (GO Pirates), and spent several great years working at Zanewood Recreation Center, so I've had an abundance of experience in the community. My job as the Youth Employment Coordinator is to provide opportunities for youth of the Brooklyns to build pathways to college and career through employment training and experiences. Being someone who had the opportunity to be a part of youth employment during my teen years, I know just how important such experiences are and I want to give back the same experiences to today’s youth! When I’m not creating awesome opportunities for youth, you can catch me on the pitch playing some soccer, eating at new restaurants or spending some quality time with my family! 
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Ivan Lui, Data and Quality Coordinator

I’m excited to be a part of the Alliance Team as the Data and Quality Coordinator. A native Californian, I moved out to Minnesota years ago to work as an engineer. Since then I've switched gears and earned my Master's degree in Social Work. During the past 5 years I've worked for a non-profit using agricultural business to promote economic development in developing countries. I think I bring a unique mix of experience in academic research, project management, economic development, and social work to the team. In my position here, I’m responsible for collecting data to help everyone understand what is actually happening with our programs and for the youth in our community. I love to read, cook, run, and spend time with my family, which mostly consists of chasing after my children.
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Jolene Rotich, BrookLynk Specialist

I am honored to work in the community that I grew up in and that I call home. I took part in the Brooklyns Youth Council as a member in high school and as an intern in my freshman year of college. I graduated from Bethel University with a Bachelor's degree in Business and Political Science. I am passionate about working with young people and inspiring them to reach their fullest potential. I get to do that in my current role by doing outreach about BrookLynk, connecting with partners who work with young people in the community, and also by working directly with interns as they go through the program. I am so excited to continue to work with such motivated youth and supportive staff members.
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Ilili Tilahun, Youth Engagement AmeriCorps VISTA 

My role is to help the Alliance partners develop and expand youth engagement strategies within their programs and activities. I graduated from the University of Minnesota with a Bachelor of Arts in Speech Learning Hearing Sciences and Public Health. During my time in undergraduate I engaged with young people through tutoring, homework help, and afterschool activities aimed at increasing literacy skills for youth in kindergarten through 12th grade. I believe young people are the leaders of the future and I am excited to work with the cities and the Alliance partners to create opportunities and experiences in which young people have the chance to grow to their full potential.
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Min Lee, Intern

I am thrilled to be a part of the Alliance team. I was born and raised in Minnesota to 2 wonderful parents that moved to Minnesota from South Korea. I went to high school at Osseo Senior High School and then went on to The University of Minnesota for my undergraduate work. I am back at The U of M working towards my Master's of Public Policy at The Humphrey School of Public Affairs. I originally thought I wanted to work in the media world and I've been working for iHeartMedia for the last couple of years. Communicating with people is wonderful, and I don't want to lose that, but I wanted to connect on a deeper level and help on a systemic level. That's why I am here this summer!
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Lisa Thao, Community Organizing Intern

I am excited to be at the Alliance this summer as the Community Organizing Intern and to work with everyone from Alliance staff to the young people and the community. I grew up around the Brooklyns and still live in the area. I graduated from Park Center Senior High School in 2009 and received a Bachelor of Science Degree in Family Social Science and a minor in Youth Studies from the University of Minnesota. After completing my Bachelor’s degree, I worked for two years with AmeriCorps as a Math Tutor and Promise Fellow. Currently I am back at the University of Minnesota working on my Master's of Social Work and Master's of Public Policy. I love spending time with family and friends eating, cooking, chatting, and playing volleyball.
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