Justin PowellExecutive Director
Justin has been involved with Youthlinc since 2008 when he joined the Thailand team as a mentor. Since then, he has been on a total of 12 Youthlinc trips, including a multi-time team leader, to Cambodia, Vietnam, Peru, Kenya, Fiji, and Madagascar. He has lived abroad for several years, including Australia, South Korea, Egypt, and Vietnam.
Justin was selected by the Board or Directors to become Executive Director in 2016 when our Founder, Judy Zone, retired after 17 years. Before becoming the Executive Director, he was Real Life Director and International Service Director.
Locally, he has volunteered with refugee and under-served youth and adults and formed a civic engagement club in the Salt Lake City School District. Prior to working at Youthlinc, Justin was a high school teacher in English, history, and business. He taught at the Salt Lake Center for Science Education and at West High School. He has an International Business degree from Westminster College, an English degree from the University of Utah, and a Master’s of Teaching degree from Westminster College.
Justin’s wife, Britnie, has been a part of Youthlinc since it was founded in 1999 . Justin’s son and twin daughters are the youngest Youthlincers on record going on a combined 7 trips already. Service is a priority for their family.
Shelly BurninghamReal Life Director
Shelly has been involved with Youthlinc since 2011 when she joined the Kenya team as an education mentor. It was a magical experience. She immediately became a dedicated volunteer because she strongly believes in Youthlinc’s mission to create lifetime humanitarians. Since then, she has served as a team leader to Guatemala, Peru, Nepal and Cambodia.
Shelly says that the biggest draw to Youthlinc is the opportunity participants have to serve both locally and internationally. Shelly is excited to work as the Real Life Director because she can continue fostering the value of local service. Real Life is a peer mentoring program with a life skills curriculum befitting refugees and under-served youth in Salt Lake City.
Shelly has a degree in Family History Studies from Brigham Young University and a Paralegal Studies degree from Mountianwest College of Business. She worked six years as a certified Paralegal and ten years as an Elementary Teacher in the Davis County School District.
Shelly is the mother of three children and a grandmother of five adorable grandchildren. Her greatest joy comes from her husband and family. Her second greatest passion is service and Shelly delights in helping our youth value and incorporate service in their lives.
International Service Director
As a Youthlinc student participant on the 2008 Kenya team, Jerika simply fell in love with the idea of serving both locally and internationally and has been involved with Youthlinc ever since. Jerika has served as an Assistant Team Leader (2011), Real Life Intern (2011), Mentor (2012, 2014, 2016, 2017), Youthlinc Board Member (2012-2014), Young Humanitarian Award Finalist (2010), and Local Service Director (2014-2017).
Jerika has always made community service a priority in her life. She founded the first Interact Club at Brighton High School (2006-2009) and organized several cultural exchange initiatives on the Hopi Reservation. While attending Westminster College, Jerika started the Westminster College Rotaract Club (2011-2012) and planned college-wide service projects through the Katherine W. Dumke Center for Civic Engagement. Jerika is now actively involved in the Murray Satellite Rotary Club, which is a Rotary club for young professionals in the Salt Lake valley.
Previously, Jerika worked as a Families First Specialist at Utah Youth Village where she taught parenting and life skills to families referred by the Juvenile Courts and DCFS. In her free time, Jerika finds herself studying as a graduate student in the Master of Arts in Community Leadership program at Westminster College.
Local Service Director
Shannon’s involvement with Youthlinc began in 2015 as a parent of a Youthlinc student. Watching the growth and development in her own daughter ignited the dedication she has for Youthlinc and it’s mission. Service as a way of life is something she is passionate about and finding an organization that shares these same beliefs has been important to her.
Internationally, Shannon’s family sponsors a young girl from Colombia to come to the United States each year for a prosthetic fitting due to a birth defect. She says watching her family bond with someone who speaks a different language has been inspiring. Through these experiences, she has found that love transcends language barriers and physical differences.
Shannon believes what sets Youthlinc apart from other organizations is its local service component. She believes that local service is where lifetime humanitarians are born. She is excited to help support Youthlinc students to foster a lifetime of service.
Shannon graduated from the University of Utah in Early Childhood Education and received her MBA in 2013. She taught pre-K for 14 years and was in the financial industry for 4 years. She is a lifelong learner and continues to explore new ways she can learn and grow in her life.
Global Community Leadership Program Director
Rebekah’s involvement with Youthlinc started as a student participant on the 2012 Cambodia team. She loved her Youthlinc experience and has been involved with Youthlinc ever since. First, as International Service Intern (2013) where she spent nearly a month and a half assisting three Youthlinc Service Year teams in Vietnam, Cambodia, and Thailand. She’s also been an ATL (2015), a Mentor (2016), and Youthlinc International Service Director (2015-2017). She is excited about this new position as the Global community Leadership Program Director and can’t wait to help grow this amazing program.
Rebekah has a history of service, but her Youthlinc experience is what really converted her to making it a part of her life. In high school she was a special needs mentor. In college she was a volunteer at the Hser Ner Moo Community Center and a Co-Chair of the Bennion Center Service Corps. She’s also been a mentor for Splore’s Rock On program teaching children with disabilities how to rock climb.
Rebekah graduated from the University of Utah with a double major in Sociology and Health Society and Policy. In her free time, she likes to be active while enjoying the outdoors. She loves camping, fly fishing, rock climbing, volleyball, and road biking.
Rebekah’s favorite part of working for Youthlinc is seeing the change the students undergo year after year. They become more substantive people who are excited to contribute to both their local and global community. It is truly beautiful to watch this evolution.
Jackie has been involved with Youthlinc for several years as a Real Life volunteer and Annual Benefit volunteer, and she participated in her first Service Year as a mentor in 2017. Service has always been an important part of Jackie’s life. She grew up working with many elderly, homeless, American Indian, low-income and refugee populations in Utah and neighboring states. She thinks Youthlinc’s mission of creating lifelong humanitarians is so valuable because it allows students to recognize the need that exists right in their own communities.
Jackie graduated from the University of Utah in 2015 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in History. She served as an intern for the Utah State Senate during the 2015 Legislative Session, and moved into a grant coordinating position in the Governor’s Office of Economic Development for the following two years. In her free time, Jackie enjoys anything outside-especially if it involves the mountains. She thinks Utah is a pretty amazing place to live, and feels so lucky to have grown up here. That being said, she absolutely loves to travel, and experience new cultures, people, and places. You can always count on her to have some sort of trip planned for the future.
All her life, Taylor has been passionate about serving those around her. In the past, she has had the opportunity to volunteer with Kids Crew at Intermountain Healthcare, Horizonte School for English Learners, the Salt Lake City Women’s Shelter, the University of Utah LEAP program, and the Bennion Center. She began her involvement with Youthlinc in 2015, where she was a student on the Kenya team. She has also been an Assistant Team Leader (2016), Real Life Assistant Director and Intern (2017), Benefit Volunteer (2016, 2017, 2018), and Young Humanitarian Award Finalist (2018). She loves Youthlinc and all that it does for so many people, and is extremely excited about her new position as the Operations Manager.
Taylor loves every aspect of what Youthlinc does and has had her hand in as many of the programs possible. She loves Youthlinc’s mission and owes her love for service and her efforts towards being a Lifetime Humanitarian to Youthlinc.
Taylor is passionate about her education and is currently attending the University of Utah, where she is working towards her Bachelors Degrees in Health Communication and Business Administration. She hopes to one day earn her Masters, and maybe even her Doctorate.
Megan is Youthlinc’s Graphic Designer. She first joined Youthlinc as a student on the 2012 Peru team, then was the Real Life intern in 2013 and went to Peru again that summer. Megan was named Utah’s Young Humanitarian in 2013 for her service with Real Life, ONE, Good in the Hood and ASUU Community Service, among other organizations. She has been the Real Life Assistant Director since 2014.
One of Megan’s fondest service memories was her trip to Yanamono II, Peru with Youthlinc in 2012. She made deep friendships with community members and found her calling for public health. She still keeps in contact with many of her Peruvian friends to this day, inspiring her to move forward with Spanish and continue making personal relationships in the communities she works.
Megan has a BA in International Studies with a Global Health emphasis and Spanish minor from the University of Utah. She has studied abroad in Oviedo, Spain and participated in two other cultural exchanges as an English teacher in Kenya (2014) and Colombia (2015).
Outside of Youthlinc, Megan owns her own photography business and enjoys creating memories with her clients. She loves to travel, but struggles reconciling this with her profound obsession of owning a dog.