Meet our Team

Justin 3
Executive Director

Justin Powell

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 16 Youthlinc trips, including a multi-time team leader to Cambodia, Vietnam, Thailand, Rwanda, Peru, Kenya, Fiji, and Madagascar.  He has lived abroad for several years, including Australia, South Korea, Egypt, and Vietnam.

He started Youthlinc’s Global Community Leadership program in 2017 in partnership with Utah State University and Utah Valley University, to integrate in Youthlinc’s community-engaged service model with the academic backgrounds of professors to organize and run study abroad trips for upper division credit.  Through this program, Justin has been able to develop additional partnerships in Rwanda, Colombia, Cuba, Vietnam, India, Nepal, Cambodia, Kenya, Peru, and Fiji. 

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 at Youthlinc and a high school teacher for language arts, social studies, economics, and business management.

In 2023, Justin was named the Citizen Diplomat of the Year by US Global Ties, the countries oldest and largest citizen diplomacy network, due to her personal and professional dedication to building a more peaceful, prosperous world through international exchange and by engaging himself and others in citizen-related work in foreign policy. He is also a member of the Rotary Club of Millcreek, having served as club president, foundation chair, service chair, and held a district role as Rotaract chair. 

Justin 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.

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International Service Director

Jordan Taylor

Jordan has been involved in Youthlinc since 2013. Since then she has been involved in 6 Youthlinc Trips. She started as a student going to Kenya in 2013 and since then hasn’t been able to walk away from Youthlinc. She has been apart of service years to Kenya, Guatemala, Cambodia, Thailand, and Nepal and can’t wait to keep adding more in the future. One of her favorite things about Youthlinc is their commitment to work with and follow up with communities to find their needs and wants. We really listed and do our best to meet their expectations. Jordan is thrilled to continue to develop and  grow the partnerships we have around the World as ISD.

Service has embedded itself in her life both Locally and Internationally. She has always had amazing examples of service in her family and was raised to watch for a need to act. Youthlinc opened so many doors to other service opportunities and now she gets to be involved in even more with friends and family. It has continually taught her about not only herself but about the world around her. Jordan’s favorite part of the service year is the relationship you can build with those you are working with both on your team and in the communities we serve. She believes that service brings people together and celebrates differences and change. The best way to see the world is to work hard side by side with the people of it to make it a little better.

Out of the office you will probably catch Jordan either outside with her dog, Georgia, or gathered around a table playing board games with Friends and Family.

Real Life DIrector

Melissa Pearson

From the first time she heard about Youthlinc, Melissa knew it was something she needed to be involved with. Melissa’s journey with Youthlinc began in 2014 as a Real Life volunteer at Historic Scott School and a participant on the Thailand team. Since then, Melissa has taken part in Youthlinc as a Real Life Intern (2015),  Real Life Assistant Director (2016), Global Community Leadership Program Assistant (2017), Operations Manager (2016-2018),  Team Leader (2018, 2021), and Bookkeeper (2019).

Locally, Melissa has volunteered with various associations including the Utah Food Bank, ESL classes at Salt Lake Community College , the Refugee and Immigrant Center – Asian Association of Utah, Promise South Salt Lake, and RESULTS.  It is through these opportunities that her passion for service was born. She hopes that through her continued support of these organizations, and her involvement with Real Life, she will be able to continue to foster Youthlinc’s mission of creating lifetime humanitarians in teens today that will continue to benefit the community for many years to come.

Melissa graduated from Westminster college with her Bachelor’s Degree in Public Health. In her free time she enjoys skiing, yoga, reading, and taking care of her dog, Honey.

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Service Year Director

Shannon Moss

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. She has since watched a similar passion for service grow in hundreds of students as the Local Service Director as well as in two more of her own children.

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. 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 continue to foster lifetime humanitarians in the next phase of development as the Capital Campaign Project Manager.

Shannon graduated from the University of Utah in and received her MBA in 2013. She is a lifelong learner and continues to explore new ways she can learn and grow in her life.

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Finance Director & Real life associate director

Allie Baxter

Allie has been involved with Youthlinc since 2014 when she joined as a student on the Nepal June team, where she fell in love with the program. She came back and has since been to Kenya, Thailand, and Peru with Youthlinc. She continued her involvement in Youthlinc as an Alum Leader, Assistant Team Leader and Mentor, Assistant International Service Director, Real Life Intern, Real Life Assistant Director, and now as the Office Manager.

Service has been a huge part of Allie’s life from a young age, and she is passionate about helping others cultivate and develop a love of service no matter their age. Allie loves Youthlinc’s mission and how it meets each individual where they are at. Her favorite thing about Youthlinc is its power to transform and change lives through service.

Office manager

Mariah Ahlstrom