Team Leader– Kelly Mattingly
Kelly can’t begin to express how excited she is to be the Team Leader for Cambodia this year! She had the chance to go to Kenya in 2009 and was sucked into the Youthlinc Volunteer Vortex and hasn’t been able to get out since (not that she would want to– says Kelly!). She is currently working as a school counselor and has worked with youth for the last 22 years in various psychiatric settings.
Kelly caught the traveling bug a few years back and has enjoyed a fishing trip to Alaska, a cruise to Hawaii and the Caribbean. Kelly’s husband and her are now empty-nesters which has been difficult but fun to get used to. Kelly’s oldest is 27 and has been married a year and her youngest is a sophomore at Utah State University. In her free time, Kelly loves spending it with a book or the tomatoes in her garden. Fall is a traumatic time of year for Kelly because she loves being outside fishing and boating and the cold just always seems to get in the way. Kelly wants everyone to know that you will not be sorry if you choose to join the Youthlinc team. Come spend 2 weeks with us in Cambodia! It will be an excellent adventure!
Alum Leader– Stephanie Chard
Stephanie’s participation in the 2006 Youthlinc trip to Peru was an incredible life changing experience for her. She recalls that the trip opened her eyes and heart to serving others. She also recalls the wonderful memories and friendships that evolved on her trip. Stephanie hopes to inspire others through her amazing experience. Over the years, Stephanie has continued her involvement with international humanitarian missions and local volunteer service. Stephanie recently graduated from the University of San Diego, and is currently working full time in Salt Lake City. She volunteers at Shriner’s Hospital for Children every week.
Stephanie is thrilled about the upcoming Service Year with Youthlinc. For her, it is an honor to serve as an Alumni Leader, and she looks forward to inspire young individuals to reach out to their communities– both locally and globally.
Team Leaders– Shelly & Mark Burningham
From the moment that Guatemala was announced as Youthlinc’s new service site Mark and Shelly knew they wanted to be involved. They have a deep love for the people of Guatemala, and have participated in various humanitarian projects– ranging from donating supplies to an orphanage school to raising money to build a school. When the Burningham family learned that newborn babies were often sent home wrapped only in newspaper, they chose to make and donate baby blankets to needy Guatemalan clinics. Mark and Shelly had the opportunity to visit Guatemala, and again raised money and many more educational supplies that they donated and delivered to another orphanage. During their stay, their love for the people grew. They came back forever changed – saddened to see the drastic conditions of the people yet humbled by their happiness and gratitude for the simplest things in life.
Shelly indicated that she was fortunate to hear about Youthlinc and has become a “hooked” volunteer. Shelly went on her first Youthlinc trip to Kenya in 2011 where she served as the education mentor. It was a “magical” experience and she will cherish the love and welcoming kindness that was offered by the people there. Shelly works part-time at Columbia Elementary School as a Reading Tutor. Mark teaches math at Viewmont High School and is the boys tennis coach. Mark has taught ESL and Spanish classes and is also endorsed in Computer Science. Mark and Shelly’s greatest joy in life is their family. They have three wonderful children, and a darling granddaughter.
Alumni Leader– Aubrey Marz
Aubrey is so excited to continue being involved this year. As a student on the 2011 Kenya team she was able to be on the education committee, teach many children in the village of Kiamuri, help with the construction at two different schools, and become friends with some of the wonderful people in Kenya. This was an amazing experience and it didn’t take long for her to decide that she wanted to do this again. As soon as she could, Aubrey applied for the position of Alum Leader. She wants to be able to help make life changing experiences for all those who will be participating in the 2012 Guatemala team. She hopes to spread her love of serving to all those she works with, and is looking forward to helping the great people in Guatemala!
Aubrey is currently attending Salt Lake Community College and majoring in Elementary Education. She loves learning and being involved at school. She is currently on SLCC’s Student Life and Leadership as the Service Chair and a member of Student Leaders In Civic Engagement. She has a love for service and helping all those around her. Between school and other activities, Aubrey works at a doctor’s office and cleans houses. She loves children and spends time each week volunteering at her local elementary school. She comes from a family of 5 kids and they love to have fun together and go camping whenever there is an open weekend. Aubrey loves life and is always ready for a new adventure. She is so excited for this upcoming service year and can’t wait to meet and work with many great new people while having the experience of a lifetime!
Team Leader– Britnie Powell
Britnie has been involved with Youthlinc since the beginning. She was on the pilot expedition to Kenya in 2000. Since then she has been committed to continuing service both locally and globally. Britnie has returned to Kenya several times doing humanitarian work, traveled to Peru with Youthlinc on an alum trip, taught English in China, participated in an expedition to Guatemala, and has led Youthlinc teams to Thailand, Kenya, and Cambodia. The work Brit has done in other countries inspired her to become a teacher.
Britnie has a Masters of Education degree and currently teaches 6th grade at the Salt Lake Center for Science Education. At school she also teaches a Service Learning class in which the students do a range of service projects: supporting a local care center for the elderly, environmental projects, organic gardening, teaching science to kindergarteners, helping the humane society, and they have even helped Youthlinc put together hygiene kits! Locally, Brit has been involved with the Boys and Girls Club, volunteered at Cottonwood Hospital, the Battered Woman’s Shelter, has tutored ESL students, made meals for the homeless, and has been a Sub-4-Santa for many years. She likes spending time playing the guitar, reading and riding her bike. She also enjoys adventures of animals. In her classroom she has a pet tarantula, two snakes, two pigeons named Chicken and Dinner, a gerbil, and a handful of other creepy creatures. Britnie is married to Justin (to our Friends and Family Team Leader!) and loves spending time experiencing new places with him. She is stoked to be leading the Peru team this year!
Alumni Leader– Ayrowyn Tanner
It was never a question whether service would be a part of Ayrowyn’s life. Her mother ingrained in her the importance of giving back and helping others, exemplified daily by taking homemade bread and soup to sick neighbors, or raking leaves for seniors, for example. It was never done with expectation, it was just a way of life. So at a young age, Ayrowyn incorporated this same passion for service. In addition, as a family, the Tanners were fortunate with all the experiences and opportunities life presented them, specifically, the opportunity to travel internationally. Ayrowyn’s international travel experience offered her exposure to different cultures, experiences, excitements, but also poverty, hunger and pain. These raw images that she keep within her head and heart have instilled a desire within her to work with others to positively impact the world and encourage a lifestyle of humanitarianism – which is exactly why finding Youthlinc was a perfect fit!
For years Ayrowyn pleaded with her parents to volunteer in Africa, they continued to say no, insisting it was far too dangerous. With the help of the Youthlinc program, her dream to provide humanitarian aide in Africa became a reality. She applied for the Kenya trip as a student her last year of college and was accepted. Joining an entire group with the same desire to provide service to impoverished areas in Africa was a welcomed journey for Ayrowyn. The positive attitudes, the motivation and the passion to help others was infectious and addicting. Since her service trip in Kenya, she has found any excuse to remain involved and active in Youthlinc. She is very excited for this next opportunity!
Team Leader– Scott Bawden
This is Scott’s third year with Youthlinc and his second as Team Leader. On Scott’s first trip he took his son and had such an amazing experience, he had to return as soon as possible. Scott went this past year with his daughter and had another wonderful and magical experience. For Scott, Kenya is a magical place with some of the most kind, caring, and generous people you will ever meet. Scott has been involved with youth service projects for the last 14 years and absolutely loves spending time with the type of young people that get involved with Youthlinc. The students that he has had the privilege of working with the past 2 years are some of the most amazing people he has ever met and he can’t wait to meet another wonderful group for Kenya 2012. The Youthlinc experience is life changing and one of the most amazing experiences he has ever had. Scott has a beautiful wife Michelle. They have been married for 23 years and have 3 wonderful children. Kevin is 19 and participated in 2010 with Youthlinc. Jaclyn is 17 and went this last year to Kenya and Jill is 13. We have two awesome beagles named Tucker and Hunter.
Other than traveling to Kenya with Youthlinc, Scott’s favorite things to do are golfing, jeeping, rapelling off of arches, listening to rock music (if it’s too loud, you’re too old), going to any Utah Utes games and going to Lake Powell. Scott works at the University of Utah School of Medicine as a Computer Professional which means he’s pretty much just a computer geek. He also has his own computer repair company which keeps him extra busy but allows him the ability to do lots of playing. Scott can’t say enough good things about the Youthlinc program and especially the Kenya teams he has had the fortune of working with. Kenya 2012 will be another exciting adventure as we go to a new village named Kajuki and get to learn to love the people there and help them help themselves to a better way of life. At the same time they will teach us how to be happy and joyful no matter our circumstances in life.
Alumni Leader– Kevin Bawden
Kevin is really looking forward to being a part of the 2012 Youthlinc team, and especially the opportunity to work with a whole new group of people who love to serve. In 2010, Kevin went to Kenya with his father. It was an amazing place and the people were wonderful to him. His experiences were life changing and they helped him appreciate the things he has. Kevin loves serving others
and finding ways to help those around him. He currently serves at the Boys and Girls Club and wherever else help is needed. He is always looking for opportunities to serve. That’s why for Kevin, Youthlinc is a wonderful opportunity because it gives people a chance to serve their community and make lifelong friends while doing it.
Right now, Kevin is attending the Salt Lake Community College and plans on transferring to the University of Utah to pursue medical school. Kevin has wonderful parents and two awesome little sisters. He loves hanging with his family and friends. He is a huge sports fan (go UTES!), and loves going to Lake Powell and spending time outside.
Team Leader– Megan Dunn
Megan Dunn started her life of service in 1992 when she became a Job’s Daughter. Service got in her soul and never really left. Her service with Youthlinc started in 2006 when she traveled as a student to Kenya, and then in 2011, she went to Thailand as a mentor heading up the educational committee. Megan cannot wait to return to Thailand as the Team Leader!
When Megan is not involved with Youthlinc, she teaches 3-year-old’s at the Challenger School. She is also a Big Sister with the Big Brothers Big Sisters program. She is a Big to a 10-year-old Little. They love to hang out, go to movies and explore all the fun places Salt Lake has to offer. The most important things to her are her family, friends and making a difference in every person’s life she meets. Megan inspires us with this quote: “I’ve learned that you shouldn’t go through life with a catcher’s mitt on both hands. You need to be able to throw something back.” ~Maya Angelou
Alumni Leader– Jenessa Halliday
Mother Teresa once said that “we can do no great things, only small things with great love.” Though it seemed small at the time, one of the greatest decisions that Jenessa made in her life was to take a Youthlinc trip to Mexico in 2006. While there, she discovered a great love for service that has since been the greatest influence in her life. Thanks to her experiences with Youthlinc, Jenessa has volunteered with many organizations that help children in need, including Big Brothers Big Sisters of America, Courage Reins, and the Family Support and Treatment Center. In addition to her wonderful experiences locally, Jenessa also had the opportunity to complete a development internship in Thailand last summer. During those months, she helped at a local orphanage and worked with an organization that helps children affected by AIDS. She fell in love with the generosity and hospitality of the Thai people and has longed to return ever since—to give some small service back to the people who touched her life and welcomed her into their communities and homes.
Jenessa plans to become a physician assistant and one day volunteer for a worldwide health organization. Although she looks forward to her experiences, she feels most excited to think of the service she can give now, and the skills she can build in preparation for future volunteer opportunities. Jenessa is especially thrilled to have the opportunity to serve as the Alum Leader for the Thailand 2012 trip. She believes it will be a wonderful year and she cannot wait to meet the team members!
Justin has been involved with Youthlinc since 2008 and went as a mentor on the Thailand trip in 2009. He was also a mentor on the Cambodia 2011 team. What Justin loves most about Youthlinc is that it is a vehicle for anyone participating in the program to gain a new lens through which to view the world. Through acts of local service, preparations for international projects, and implementing projects abroad, Justin’s mindset has been forever altered in how he perceives his role in the world. Justin has especially enjoyed working on the education and micro-finance committees, and has had some incredible and humbling experiences helping to pilot Youthlinc’s first livestock exchange program in Cambodia. Thanks to Youthlinc, Justin has had an avenue from which he can do meaningful work to better the local and international communities. He also loves to help students on the teams find the power and motivation within themselves to become active citizens in the world.
Justin worked as a business professional for several years before making a career change pursuing the education profession. He is currently working on his Masters of Education at Westminster College and has Bachelors degrees in International Business and English. In the past Justin has lived in Australia, Egypt, South Korea, and Vietnam. Justin has a great wife, Britnie (the Peru Team Leader!), who is responsible for his introduction to Youthlinc. Justin is stoked every year to get to take part in this kind of work with her.